Apple is planning a "low-end iPhone" that will lack some of the extras found in the company's iPhone 5, one analyst claims.
In a note to investors today, Amit Daryanani of RBC Capital Markets said that Apple plans to launch "multiple new phones" between June and July this year. According to AppleInsider, which obtained a copy of his investors note, Daryanani said in addition to a flagship handset that Apple will call the iPhone 5S, the company will deliver a lower-end device featuring "plastic casing and no Retina display."
"With a lower price point, Apple will be able to target a growing and important part of the smartphone market (sub-$400 price band)," he wrote.
This isn't the first time we've heard from an analyst that a low-end iPhone is coming to the marketplace. Earlier this month, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said thatApple would offer a low-cost iPhone 5 that would come with "hybrid casing of fiberglass and plastic will make it lighter and slimmer than general plastic casing and easier to make in various colors." That device, however, would be heavier than the iPhone 5S.
The upshot for Apple of delivering a low-end iPhone could be major, Daryanani says. The addition of that handset to the iPhone lineup could bring another $22 billion in revenue in 2014.
Apple seems to be inching its way toward a lower-end iPhone. The company last year unveiled an iPad Mini that's designed to capture customers who don't want to spend more cash on a full-priced, bigger slate. Apple also still offers previous-year versions of the iPhone to customers on a budget. A lower-end iPhone could split the difference.