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Apple CFO meeting fuels iPhone Mini speculation

Morgan Stanley analyst meets with CFO Peter Oppenheimer and predicts a cheaper iPhone is on its way

A recent meeting with Apple’s CFO has convinced a Wall Street analyst that the company will release a cheaper iPhone this year.

According to a report on Business Insider, a meeting between Morgan Stanley’s Katy Huberty and Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer left the analyst confident that a lower-priced iPhone was on its way.

Her reasoning was based on three things. Firstly, that the iPad Mini is expanding Apple’s consumer base, with 50 per cent of purchases in China/Brazil representing new customers to the ecosystem. Secondly, Chinese consumers show a desire to purchase the latest versions of the iPhone instead of previous generations, Huberty said, and finally, iPhone 4 demand was a pleasant surprise in Q4 despite the launch of the iPhone 5.

The iPhone Mini was expected to launch in mid-year at $330 and be in-line with products in China from Lenovo, Hauwei, ZTE and Coolpad. Huberty is one of several analysts who have predicted a lower-priced handset could be on the cards.

“Even at a low 40 per cent gross margin and 1/3 cannibalisation rate, we see an ‘iPhone Mini’ as incremental to revenue and gross profit dollars,”Huberty stated in her investors note.

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More about: Apple, Lenovo, Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Wall Street, ZTE
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