Should Apple make a budget iPhone?

Anthony Caruana
6 March, 2017
View more articles fromthe author

iPhone, ResearchKit, macworld australiaAt the start of last week, Nokia announced that they will be resurrecting one of their most popular phones ever – the 3310.

(I know that what has really happened is a company called HMD Global has licensed the Nokia brand for 10 years but, for simplicity’s sake, I’m going to say Nokia is making the phone).

The new 3310 takes a lot of what made it extremely popular – robust build, long battery life, ease of use, and Snakes (a very addictive and simple game) – but gives it a modern twist with a modernised design and colour screen.

By the way, if you’re thinking about the Nokia 3310 as a cheap and cheerful phone for kids – don’t bother. Nokia is not giving the 3310 3G support, so it won’t work in Australia for long as the old 2G network is being decommissioned. But there are rumours emerging that a 3G version could be coming.

Apple doesn’t typically dabble in entry-level consumer products, but the iPod shuffle and iPod nano are exceptions to that rule. They offer the core functionality of the iPod without too many bells and whistles. The iPod shuffle doesn’t even have a screen!

Imagine if Apple made an iPhone nano. A simple phone that made calls and played music. No apps, just an easy-to-use interface and large buttons that make it easy for older folks to use and so parents don’t have to worry about kids accessing the internet and social media all the time.

I’m not sure there’s a huge market for it but I’d buy one. I don’t have a landline at home but a simple iPhone on a calls-only, cheap pre-paid plan would fit the bill nicely. And, when my youngest goes to the shops he could take it with him. (He may be the only teenager who doesn’t have or want a phone).

What do you think? Should Apple offer a simple iPhone? Or does their obsession with the high-end market relegate this idea to the scrap heap?

This article was previously posted to subscribers to our weekly newsletter. Please subscribe by visiting our subscription page.


2 people were compelled to have their say. We encourage you to do the same..

  1. Ron says:

    Not enough profit margin and it might degrade the image

  2. PHilip Caballero says:

    I have a 10 year old Nokia dumb phone and it suits me fine. Aside of receiving the occasional phone call, I send and receive a few texts. I use it to check the time instead of a watch. I work on an iMac next to a landline and have an iPad and an iPod. So the Nokia lives in the car and is mostly turned off until I go out. The iPod is for playing music in the car. A prepaid $30 credit lasts me over a year and the balance carries forward. A bonus is that I get free Vodaphone to Vodaphone calls to phone my wife.

    I would definitely buy a simple iPhone that just made calls and played music, especially now that the iPod only works with iOS6.

Leave a Comment

Please keep your comments friendly on the topic.

Contact us