KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is back with another Apple prediction, this time reporting on what to expect when the low-cost iPhone 5C launches later this year. Some of Kuo’s latest claims are pretty out there, but he’s got a solid batting average when it comes to predicting Apple’s movements.
Kuo predicts that the iPhone 5C will launch on China Mobile first in Q3, suggesting Tim Cook’s recent outreach to the country’s biggest carrier has been a success. The low-cost iPhone won’t launch globally until Q4, when it will replace the iPhone 5 while the 4S become Apple’s cheapest iPhone.
Once the iPhone 5C is available for U.S consumers, Kuo believes it will fall between the flagship iPhone 5S and the 4S, suggesting that the 5C will be a decidedly mid-range handset. That means off-contract the plastic iPhone will cost about $400 to $500, though it should also be available for just $99 with a two-year contract based on Apple’s established sales model. That sounds about right to us, though we think Apple could do better dropping the iPhone 4S altogether and selling the iPhone 5C at the low-end, the iPhone 5 in the middle and the iPhone 5S at the top.
We’ll know more when Apple reveals its new iPhones and strategy during its rumored Sept. 10 event in San Francisco.