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Apple Inc. (AAPL): A Polycarbonate iPhone Out This Year?

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) – despite being the second most-held stock among the stable of hedge funds we monitor – has been taking hit after hit to its stock due to reports of slowing growth. And because of the slowing growth and reduced margins on its products, there have been various rumors swirling that Apple may have to move into a low-cost smartphone market to jumpstart its double-digit growth, and to get a foothold in emerging markets like China, where CEO Tim Cook has visited several times lately and has insisted multiple times that the market would be a priority for Cupertino.

All of the rumors are apparently now materializing into some more specific reports and details about a possible low-cost iPhone, which is reported to have a $330 price point that puts it on par with the 16-gigabyte Wi-fi only iPad Mini. Talk is this new device would be thicker than more recent iPhone models and would be made from polycarbonate material, similar to early-model MacBooks. Despite that, thsi new smartphone may be cheaper to produce but may likely have a very similar design to every other iPhone.

Apple Inc. (AAPL), Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN), Barnes & Noble Inc. (BKS)Not only is Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) rumored to put out this low-budget phone, but there is also some evidence that a 4.5-inch new iPhone (perhaps an iPhone 6?) may be delayed until later in the year, and an iPhone 5S model may have a new feature, reports say – the iPhone 5 update is expected to have two flash modules that will be situated right next to the camera lens.

in addition to the reports out of China about these new smartphone devices coming from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), but there are also indications that a “phablet,” could be out in 2014 – a device that likely would be between the iPhone 5 and the iPad Mini in size. No other details were mentioned about this phone-tablet hybrid, which would be Apple’s new foray into this mobile segment, which has been controlled by Samsung and a couple of its Galaxy devices.

What do you think? Should Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) make the move into low-budget smartphones in order to keep its growth, or would you offer a different strategy  for the company moving forward? We’d like your thoughts in the comments section below.

DISCLOSURE: I own no positions in any stocks mentioned.

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