From analysts to pundits to bloggers, we've all been expecting a low-cost, plastic iPhone to appear later this year. What we haven't been expecting is that the phone would come in fluorescent colours straight out of the 1980's .
The French website No Where Else has uncovered what it says may be genuine photos of the back case of a plastic iPhone. They equally could be photos of a cheap iPhone knock off, the site says, but if they're real, they may explain a thing or two about the bright colour scheme Apple has chosen for its soon-to-be-released iOS 7 software upgrade.
Or it may be the other way around: the software colours may explain the bright plastic backs.
In June, Reuters reported that Apple was taking a cue from its bigger rival, Samsung, and releasing cheaper versions of the iPhone in a range of colours.
"Apple plans to dress up the cheaper phone in a range of 5-6 colours to differentiate it from the more expensive model that has traditionally come only in black and white," Reuters reported.
"The US firm has discussed a price of $99 for the cheaper phone, the timing of which could slip to next year, one of the people said. It's not yet clear what the final price would be," the wire service continued.
While the iPhone is still the number one selling smartphone in the US, it's not faring so well globally, where its market share slipped to 17.3 per cent in the first quarter of this year, according to IDC. That's well behind the 75 per cent market share controlled by Android, most of which (possibly as much as 95 per cent of which, depending on who you ask) is sold by Samsung.
Samsung's strategy has been to flood every corner of the market with devices of all shapes, sizes and prices, in stark contrast to Apple, which still bangs on about doing just a couple of things, but doing them well. (Apple has a TV campaign to that effect running at the moment.)
If Apple does come out with a cheaper, plastic iPhone, as widely expected, it will be a victory for the Korean way of doing things. But doing it in fluorescent lime green? Even Samsung doesn't go that far.
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