What if Apple had made an 'iPhone 4C' instead?

Some have said the iPhone 5C is too expensive to make a mark in places like China. A new analyst report suggests Apple should have revamped the aging iPhone 4 instead.

Apple’s new mid-range smartphone, the iPhone 5C, has come under fire for being far more expensive than many Wall Street analysts were hoping. Now, one such firm has laid out a plan B that never emerged: a phone with the guts of an iPhone 4, but the look and feel of the 5C.

That device, dubbed informally the “4C”, could have saved Apple more than 20 percent compared to what it’s paying now and been more attractive in emerging markets, Toni Sacconaghi of Bernstein Research said in a note to clients Monday. The savings could come in the form of the plastic case, and a laundry list of older tech like 3G (instead of LTE radios), 8GB of memory, and 512MB in RAM.

All that could lead to an (imaginary) iPhone that costs somewhere between $375 to $400, which would be well under the $441 Apple’s charging now for the one-year-newer iPhone 4S internationally, Sacconaghi said. That’s also far below the approximate $733 and $864 Apple’s charging for unsubsidized versions of the 16- and 32-gigabyte 5C models in China.

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