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From: bdawgp (Rep: 179)Date: 02/19/2013 09:41
Forum: Apple Computer - Msg #10212Thread #673502871 (Rec: 0)
Cheaper iPhone May Triple Apple's (AAPL) Presence in China - Analyst

Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) is indicated for a higher open Tuesday following bullish comments out of Morgan Stanley earlier.

Analyst Katy Huberty sees Apple debuting a $330 (2,060 yuan) "iPhone mini" for the Chinese market. She notes that the low-cost smartphone would help in tripling Apple's market share in China.

Even with gross margin at 40 percent, Huberty sees an "iPhonemini" being incremental to earnings.

As previously noted, a key driver for Apple to grow in China would be China Mobile (NYSE: CHL). The world's largest company by market cap (Apple) and the world's largest wireless provider (China Mobile) have been unable to come to an agreement over the iPhone. If Apple were to bring a $330 device to the table -- which had pricing in-line with competitors like Lenovo, ZTE, and Huawei -- China Mobile might consider forming a partnership.

This isn't the first time a low-cost iPhone has been mentioned, but there is one key point on Huberty's analysis: cost. Since the end of 2012/beginning of 2013, analysts have been mulling the potential price range of a cheaper iPhone. Initial prices were at $99, but those have moved higher and higher as weeks have progressed. Recently, Topeka said it sees a low-cost iPhone pricing at about $250 to $300.



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