The latest gossip and speculation floating around the supply chain, with none of the news being substantiated, is that Apple's plans for an inexpensive iPhone will focus on the China market and will include a TD-SCDMA version through cooperation with China Mobile.
The rumors are probably based on the fact Apple CEO Tim Cook recently visited China Mobile and that a partnership there would be a way of paving the way for cooperation to sell TD-SCDMA versions of the inexpensive iPhone. The story is that a WCDMA version of the inexpensive iPhone would be sold through cooperation with China United Network Communications, an existing iPhone sales partner.
In the China smartphone market, Apple is expected to continue its strong status in the high-end segment but faces increasing challenges from China-based smartphone vendors in the mid-range segment.
China-based smartphone vendors, in order to maintain their market shares in the China market, have continued to upgrade product specifications with sales prices remaining unchanged or even lowered, bringing increasing competitive pressure on international vendors, thus leading to increased speculation that international vendors will address the issue with new low-end products.