Editor's pick: Originally published March 11, 2016
If Apple's (AAPL) bet on a smaller, cheaper iPhone is right, the move could help turn around a worrying slowdown in iPhone sales.
The tech giant is expected to unveil a new 4-inch version of the iPhone, known as the iPhone SE, at an event on March 21. Pricing is unknown at this point, but KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo expects the new iPhone to be priced between $400 and $500. By comparison, an unlocked iPhone 5s costs $450 and an unlocked iPhone 6 starts at $649, so this potential pricing strategy makes sense.
Jackdaw Research analyst Jan Dawson expects the new iPhone to help move the needle on Apple's sales, but it all depends on how it's positioned.
A lower-priced strategy would be more in line with what emerging markets are looking for, particularly countries like India, which Apple CEO Timothy D. Cook has called out recently as a place of intense interest and growth for Apple.
Aside from being the second-largest smartphone market in the world behind the only China, Cook also noted the demographics (the media age of India's population is 27) and economic growth as good signs for Apple. "It's a very rapidly expanding country," Cook said on the company's fiscal first quarter earnings call. "And I think the government there is very interested in economic reforms and so forth that I think all speak to a really good business environment for the future."