Lower-priced iPhone could cost as much as $400, analyst says

Another analyst report adds to the rumors that Apple will release a lower-priced, plastic smartphone in July. It also projects a $350 to $400 price point for the handset.

Donna Tam
Donna Tam Staff Writer / News
Donna Tam covers Amazon and other fun stuff for CNET News. She is a San Francisco native who enjoys feasting, merrymaking, checking her Gmail and reading her Kindle.

Suppliers and vendors in China are buzzing about Apple releasing a lower-priced, plastic smartphone in July, and according to another analyst report that supports the rumors, the device could sell for $350 to $400.

Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White wrote that he attended a technology trade show in China and spoke with companies that worked with Apple.

His report mirrored an earlier analyst report that Apple will announce the lower-priced iPhone and the iPhone 5S at the same time in June and then release the products in July. White's report included some pricing details as well.

"We also learned the pricing could be a bit higher than our recently raised expectation, reaching as high as $400," he wrote. "As such, we are now projecting a $350 to $400 price point for the 'iPhone mini.' We believe this price point will provide relief for those investors concerned that Apple would be sacrificing too much margin or brand to serve the lower price band of the smartphone market."

White said vendors and suppliers were still calling the cheaper iPhone model an "iPhone mini," despite most folks saying the device will have the same screen size as an iPhone 5, a "curved back casing made of colored plastic," and will be thicker than its pricier counterpart. In contrast, a few people disagreed and think the screen will be smaller, he added.

The 16GB version of the iPhone 5 goes for $650, unlocked, on Apple's Web site. With a wireless service plan, it goes for $200.