Apple iPhone 6 Price Hike Might Suggest Both High-End As Well As Ultra High-End Models

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Apple Green Leaf
The Apple Symbol, with its leaf illuminated green

There are rumors that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will release two versions of its iPhone 6, one in the fall that will have a 4.7 inch screen and one in the spring that will have a 5.5 inch screen, essentially a "phablet" iPhone. But even if there are two versions of the iPhone 6, it does not mean that one of them will be cheap.

If the expected smaller iPhone model coming this fall is the more expensive version of the iPhone 6, it would suggest the version coming in a matter of weeks will feature a screen made of Sapphire Glass, which is produced by GT Advanced Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ:GTAT). It would also suggest that the phablet iPhone expected next spring will be equipped with Gorilla Glass, which is manufactured by Corning Inc. (NYSE:GLW) and is already used with the iPhone 5s.

Sapphire Glass is extremely durable but significantly more costly than the current industry standard, Gorilla Glass, suggesting a higher pricing point for a phone with a Sapphire Glass display.

The iPhone 5C, which is a relatively low-end product, failed to impress the Chinese market and was largely a failure in the United States. Currently, the older, costlier iPhone 5 outsells the newer, cheaper iPhone 5c by more than a factor of seven to one in China. The message here is clear: There is no room for cheap iPhones in the telecom market. As a result, Apple could be expected to modify its strategy and produce two iPhone models at slightly different price points. After all, Apple offers high-end computers and high-end tablets but also has less expensive offerings. It only makes sense that the Cupertino, California, company follow the same business model for its smartphone offerings.

Meanwhile, production delays could push back the planned Sept. 9 release date of the iPhone 6, Reuters said Monday. Apple unexpectedly had to revert to a two-layered backlit display from the original plan of having one layer, something the company did to create the thinnest iPhone possible. 

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