The rumoured June 2014 release date of the iPhone 6 could come a bit earlier as Apple ramps up its efforts to increase visibility in the emerging markets and the tack for now is to reintroduce the near 4-year-old iPhone 4.
A report by The Economic Times in India indicated that freshly-manufactured iPhones 4 units started showing up in a number of Indian retail stores by late January 2014. The same report added that production of the new iPhone 4s was dated December 2013, implying that the tech giant has resumed production of the device.
Apple discontinued the iPhone 4 in September last year shortly after the iPhone 5S and the less expensive iPhone 5C was unveiled in the same month.
It is understood that the return of the iPhone 4, which debuted in June 2010 and the first smartphone to boast of Retina display technology, will mark Apple's renewed thrust to capture bigger market shares in Brazil, India, Indonesia and China.
According to The Economic Times, the iPhone 4 will retail at around 15,000 Indian Rupee or $270 in Australia. The price point is deemed attractive to budget-conscious buyers and is Apple's way of declaring its intents to disturb the turf, the emerging markets, currently dominated by Samsung and Chinese mobile device makers.
The move is also read by analysts as the precursor for bigger plans to unfold this year, pointing to the impending release of Apple's initial foray into the exploding phablet market - the iPhone 6.
The bigger iPhone, according to numerous reports, will sport screen size that ranges from 4.8-inch to 5.5-inch though there were suggestions too that the device is hitting the market in two builds. They will have separate release dates, with the more affordable model touching down earlier, likely in May or June 2014.
The premium model, on the other hand, is set to arrive in September of the same year.
In redeploying the iPhone 4, Apple is seen to correct 'the mistakes' of the iPhone 5C. Even Apple CEO Tim Cook himself has admitted that the 5S performed below expectations and the blame points to its exorbitant price tag.
In China for instance, the iPhone 5C was reported to retail for as high as $800, in the process turning off would-be buyers and shooing them to low-end and mid-range Galaxy smartphones.
If indeed the iPhone 6 will be offered in two models or at least Apple would intro a replacement to the 5C with lower pricing, then any of the devices will serve as solid follow through on the tech giant's seemingly spirited push to gain better traction on territories outside of the United States and its other traditional market strongholds.
With the iPhone 4 back in the game, Apple could be hinting too that the iPhone 6 release date is quite imminent and the excitement heats up as fans anticipate killer features such as a phablet-size screen, 64-bit A8 chip, up to 128GB of internal memory, a Liquidmetal casing with sapphire coating and iOS 7.2.