iCheap: iPhone Mystery 4S Hits 'Within Weeks' To Battle Samsung Galaxy (Again)
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iPhone 4 ‘cheapie’, which many are calling ‘4S’ is expected ‘within weeks’, Reuters reports suggest, meaning Apple will be joining the middle to low (er) end smartphone ranks for the very first time – where the likes of Nokia and LG currently operate.

 Apple’s biggest rival Samsung is also now catering for ’emerging’ markets, just releasing 4 spanking new Galaxy middle-of-road smartphones all under $200, so will be eyeing up the new iPhone with interest. 
 How much the budget 8GB flash drive iPhone, branded by analysts as a “necessary evil” will cost is still unknown, although sources ave previously indicated Apple ‘aiming’ for US$400 outright and free on a two year contract. 
4S or iCloud iPhone, as it is known by others, launch date along with high end iPhone 5 is set to be the end of September. 
It is currently being manufactured by a ‘South Korean company’ say sources, implying rival Samsung or LG could possibly be making the new device, showing what a perverse industry technology is. 
 Cupertino based Apple and South Korea’s Samsung are thus set to come head to head yet again, but this time for the budget consumer and in different battle grounds – with both giants eyeing up emerging markets like China, India and African nations. 
 In July, Apple announced record iPhone shipments of 20.34 million, one million more than Samsung’s 19.2m figure for Q2. 
However, in total the Galaxy maker shipped over 70 million mobiles including its low end devices running Bada OS. 
 Nokia, who is king of basic mobiles, has had a firm foothold on this market to date, and ships millions of handsets to developing markets annually and to consumers from ‘developed’ markets looking to avoid the smart bells and whistles. 
 “A lower-priced version of iPhone 4 seems to be a necessary evil at this point in the iPhone adoption cycle, especially in emerging markets where the average income of individuals is much lower,” said Channing Smith, co-manager of Apple shareholder fund, Capital Advisors Growth Fund. 
 The new Samsung phones – all Galaxy models – include: W, M Pro, Y and Galaxy Y Pro are a combination of touch and QWERTY keyboard devices. 
 This week, Samsung forecast budget handsets would account for 50% plus of the smartphone market by 2015 by volume, marking an almost 300% jump compared to last year. 

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Picture: Samsung new cheap smartie, the Galaxy W. Image Credit: GSM Arena.

Emerging markets such as India and African nations are the next port-of-call for smartphone giants, a trend Samsung identified in its most recent financial announcment. 

 “Samsung seeks to expand market share in the emerging market with models costing around $200, as those markets have lower smartphone penetration rates compared with advanced markets,” a Samsung Electronics’ mobile exec was quoted as saying at a meeting this week. 
Previously the phones fight was for the high end market with iPhone battling it out with its Android foes, in particular the Samsung Galaxy S II released earlier this year, which gathered a massive fan base, threatening the supremacy of Apple in the category. (Cue ugly patent battle(s), accusations of copycatting and attempted market bans). 
 Other Androids including HTC and Motorola also threatened iPhone market share, which according to IDC stands at 18.5% compared to Samsung’s 17.5%. 
 And analysts say it was only a matter of time the battle lines would move to middle to low end market: “It’s an inevitable trend but will at the same time lower margins. 
Only a handful of top-tier manufacturers can survive in that end,”said Lee Seung-woo, an analyst at Shinyoung Securities.
Read What In The Galaxy? Samsung ‘Wonder’ Smartphones On Cheap Here