By Alexandra Burlacu | Sep 09, 2013 11:04 AM EDT
The much-rumored budget iPhone 5C may have the greatest benefit for T-Mobile, as the fourth-largest carrier in the U.S. is targeting budget-conscious shoppers.
Apple is expected to unveil its next-generation iPhone 5S, as well as a lower-cost iPhone 5C at its Sept. 10 event and the industry is boiling in anticipation. The budget iPhone may mark the very first time that T-Mobile launches an Apple smartphone on the same day as its rivals, the other three major U.S. carriers - Verizon Wireless, AT&T and Sprint.
The more affordable iPhone 5C will reportedly sport a plastic case in order to keep costs down and be available in a range of colors. This handset will seemingly target iFans who are not necessarily interested in getting the latest, high-end iPhone 5S.
According to a new Bloomberg report, analysts believe that the iPhone 5C could help T-Mobile lure customers away from larger carriers such as Verizon and AT&T. T-Mobile not only offers lower prices, but it also has more flexible service plans that aim make it easier for budget-conscious shoppers.
Interested iPhone buyers who can afford to pay the full price for a new iPhone can get out of a lengthy agreement with a carrier. T-Mobile, however, doesn't require its customers to sign a contract, which in turn allows users to switch at any time, without having to pay penalties.
Aside from the benefits it would bring to T-Mobile, the purported budget iPhone could also help Sprint gain more customers. While AT&T and Verizon have shifted to tiered and shared data plans, Sprint's approach is to offer unlimited plans for calling, texting and data.
The general expectation is for Apple to price its upcoming iPhone 5C between $400 and $500 unsubsidized. The lower-cost iPhone is expected to become available worldwide, but analysts believe that Apple is targeting China in particular with this new model. Customers in the country usually prefer to buy smartphones without a contract subsidy, and it's no secret that China is a very important market for Apple.
Both the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C are unconfirmed at this point. With the big event just one day away, however, Apple will make it all official soon enough. The media event starts at 10 AM PT, 1PM ET on Tuesday, Sept. 10.
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