Reports are surfacing today that Apple is considering a “low-cost” iPhone option for overseas markets like China (via DigiTimes and WSJ). Obviously, this is aimed at making more money by selling more iPhones in places where paying American-style prices for a smartphone just isn’t feasible for a large chunk of the population.
I have a different idea: Apple should make more money by charging people in existing markets a bit more instead. Why? For so long Apple has had one unified phone product globally. The iPhone is the iPhone is the iPhone–period. Now I know that Steve Jobs told Tim Cook not to constantly think, “What would Steve do?” which I am sure was a great relief for Tim, but at the same time, from consumers to tech journalists, people are beginning to talk like the magic is oozing out of the Apple brand.
By charging existing customers a bit more for the iPhone Apple can still expand it’s bottom line without compromising it’s unified standards. Let’s face it, Apple fans will pay just about anything for a new iPhone at the moment–but that might not always be the case, perhaps especially if the brand starts to get watered down.
Another point is this: if you, Apple, are going to charge less for another version of the iPhone abroad, why not start licensing ...