After Meeting With Apple CFO, Analyst Believes Lower-Cost iPhone Makes Good Sense

iphone_5_black_whiteFollowing recent meetings with Apple Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer, Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty today issued a research note sharing some of her takeaways from those discussions and her views on Apple's future plans.

While she did not disclose any specific information shared by Oppenheimer, Huberty did come away feeling that Apple will be working hard to expand carrier partnerships and distribution for the iPhone to drive growth in Apple's largest segment. She also believes that Apple is working to develop new services to take advantage of the "stickiness" of the Apple ecosystem.

On the topic of the lower-cost iPhone which has been the subject of increasing rumors, Huberty makes the case Apple's experience with the iPad mini and continued strong sales of the iPhone 4 that saw the company experiencing shortages throughout the fourth quarter of 2012 are driving the company's efforts to focus more on cheaper offerings.

We also see several signs that a lower priced iPhone makes sense: 1) iPad Mini is expanding Apple's customer base with 50% of purchases in China/Brazil representing new customers to the ecosystem. 2) Chinese consumers show a desire to purchase the latest version of iPhone (instead of discounted older generations). 3) iPhone 4 demand surprised to the upside in the December quarter. Even at a low 40% gross margin and 1/3 cannibalization rate, we see an "iPhone Mini" as incremental to revenue and gross profit dollars.

Huberty goes on to note that she believes Apple has maintained its long-standing approach to product decisions under the leadership of Tim Cook and that the company remains committed to innovation with a strong product pipeline under development. Despite continued investments in that pipeline, Huberty believes that Apple is likely to return more cash to shareholders as its cash holdings continue to grow.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
99 months ago
As usual, I stopped reading at "analyst".
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
99 months ago

As usual, I stopped reading at "analyst".



This.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
99 months ago

why lower cost? its already free with carrier subsidies.

where would this have its advantage? only outside USA?


I never understood americans view un subsidised phones?? It seems you think you are getting the phones for free, you even refer to the subsidised price when you talk about how much the phones cost. Do you know that you are actually paying more for the phone than they would cost paying full price right away? ...but the price is baked into the subscription...and the more money you pay to your carrier, the less you will have to pay for the phone.

We have these offers in Europe too, and most people use them, but at least we know it´s not a free phone.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
99 months ago
At some point the current target market gets saturated. Much as I love :apple: products, I'm only gonna have 1 iPad, 1 iPhone, 2 Macs (home & work) at a time, and (when available) 1 iWatch, upgrading each no more than every 2 years (and probably a lot less often); likewise for most current customers. The $500-$5000 market audience is limited and heading toward saturated. More products in that range will not sell proportionately more.

If :apple: is gonna grow more, they have to address & expand fringes. Higher cost devices is a exponentially-decreasing category. That leaves cheaper ... so of course lower-cost iPhones make sense. Make 'em more akin to iPod Nanos with phone capability.

Stickiness works. I bought an iPod Shuffle, and now I've got 4 iDevices in front of me, 4 more at home, and write iOS apps for a living. I have been assimilated. Resistance is futile.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
99 months ago
I still hate the idea. Apple is known for durability. Lowering that destroys their image imo.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
99 months ago

The problem isn't lowering the price of the phones. It's lowering the price of phone plans. When you have service providers like Verizon, AT&T, etc. sitting on an ever growing mountain of cash that they GOUGE from us every month, you have a problem.


ROFLMAO! Yea, those carriers are gouging while poor Apple's cash pile is only $137 billion. Thank goodness Apple sells their products for a minimal profit to help out the poor consumer.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

iOS 14 Widgets Offer iPhone Users Creative Home Screen Ideas

Sunday September 20, 2020 8:43 pm PDT by
Updated on September 22nd with hands on video. In iOS 14, Apple introduced ‌the concept of Home Screen‌ widgets, which provide information from apps at a glance. Widgets can be pinned to the Home Screen in various spots and sizes, allowing for many different layouts. Despite the relative lack of...

iPhone 12 Lineup Rumored to Be Named 'iPhone 12 mini,' 'iPhone 12,' 'iPhone 12 Pro,' and 'iPhone 12 Pro Max'

Monday September 21, 2020 5:24 am PDT by
Leaker known as "L0vetodream" has today shared the alleged naming for the upcoming iPhone 12 lineup on Twitter. The tweet proposes that the upcoming iPhone 12 models will be titled "iPhone 12 mini," "iPhone 12," "iPhone 12 Pro," and "iPhone 12 Pro Max." The names likely correspond to the three expected sizes of iPhone 12, with the 5.4-inch model being the iPhone 12 mini, the 6.7-inch model ...

PSA: New Apple Watch Owners Have to Return Entire Device for Ill-Fitting Solo Loop or Braided Solo Loop

Monday September 21, 2020 3:26 pm PDT by
With the Apple Watch Series 6, Apple introduced two new band options, the Solo Loop and the Braided Solo Loop. These new bands are unique because they have no clasps, buckles, or other fasteners, and instead use a stretch design to allow them to pull onto the wrist over the hand. Because these bands are not adjustable, Apple sells each one in nine different sizes to make sure each person...

Hands-On With iOS 14 Widgets, Custom Icons, and Home Screen Setup

Tuesday September 22, 2020 3:25 pm PDT by
Apple with iOS 14 introduced widgets on the Home Screen, leading to unprecedented levels of customization for the iPhone. Combined with Shortcuts that let you change an app's icon, iOS 14 lets you create a whole new look for your Home Screen. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. We've been following along with some of the creative alternative Home Screen designs that M...

Apple Releases First Public Betas of iOS 14.2 and iPadOS 14.2 With New Shazam Control Center Options

Monday September 21, 2020 10:34 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the first public betas of upcoming iOS 14.2 and iPadOS 14.2 updates to its public beta testing group, a few days after seeding the first betas to developers and a little less than a week after releasing the iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 updates. Public beta testers who have signed up for Apple's beta testing program can download the iOS and iPadOS‌ 14.2 updates over the air after ...

Microsoft Announces Outlook for Mac Redesign, Improvements to iOS and watchOS Apps

Tuesday September 22, 2020 8:56 am PDT by
Microsoft has today announced plans to bring a new design to its Outlook for Mac app along with several other improvements and features for Outlook on iOS and watchOS. In preparation for the public release of macOS Big Sur, Microsoft has been testing a new design for Outlook on Mac. The design includes Microsoft's Fluent icons and several design cues from Big Sur such as rounded corners....

Kuo: Apple to Accelerate Adoption of Mini-LED Displays in iPad and Mac Notebook Lineups

Sunday September 20, 2020 10:00 pm PDT by
Increased competition among Apple's suppliers for mini-LED display chips will accelerate the company's adoption of the advanced technology in its iPad and MacBook lineups, according to a new research note from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo seen by MacRumors. Kuo says that while Epistar had been predicted to be the exclusive supplier of mini-LED chips for Apple products in 2021, Sanan Optoelectronics...

Interest in iOS 14 Home Screen Ideas Helps Pinterest Break Daily Download Record

Wednesday September 23, 2020 4:37 am PDT by
Apple's introduction of widgets on the Home Screen in iOS 14 has driven a surge in interest among users looking to customize their iPhone, and that has reportedly had a knock-on effect for Pinterest, whose iOS app has seen record downloads as users flock to its content seeking design inspiration. As reported by TechCrunch, App Store intelligence firm Apptopia was first to note the impact of ...

Apple Releases Eighth Beta of macOS Big Sur to Developers [Update: Public Beta Now Available]

Tuesday September 22, 2020 10:08 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the eighth beta of an upcoming macOS Big Sur update to developers for testing purposes, close to a week after releasing the sixth beta and more than two months after the new update was unveiled at the Worldwide Developers Conference. The macOS Big Sur beta can be downloaded through the Apple Developer Center and once the appropriate profile is installed, subsequent betas...

AT&T Already Working on 6G, Says 5G iPhones Might Not Be 'Massive Event' Due to Economic Uncertainty

Monday September 21, 2020 10:05 am PDT by
Apple's upcoming launch of 5G iPhones might not be a "massive event" due to economic uncertainty amid the global health crisis, AT&T Communications CEO Jeff McElfresh said in a paywalled interview published by CNBC. "I do believe that you will see many of the iPhone subscribers move to upgrade to the device," said McElfresh. "But I wouldn't forecast that it's going to be a massive event. I...