An influential market analysis firm appears to have ruled out a low-cost iPhone in the foreseeable future, despite widespread forecasts elsewhere that this will be the year that the fabled handset finally shows its face.

In its latest projections for smartphone market trends, Canalys predicts that in 2017 the total number of smartphones shipped will stand at 1.5 billion. Of which some one billion will be Android handsets, up from about 470 million in 2012.

However, the outlook for the iPhone isn’t so rosy. According to the France-based analysis company, Apple’s share of the market will actually fall from 19.5 per cent in 2012 to 14.1 per cent in 2017.

The reason? Well, if Canalys can be believed it’s because Apple won’t have a low-cost iPhone option available to compete with the likes of Samsung’s Galaxy Ace range.

If we were of a mind to read anything in to that – and let’s face it, we obviously are – that suggests they think the low-cost iPhone is a non-starter. At least until after 2017, anyway.

Jessica Kwee of Canalys said: “Apple’s growth will be curtailed by the fact that momentum in the smartphone market is coming from the low end, and Apple is absent from this segment.

“Android’s continued dominance is due to the scalability of the platform.”

Rumours around the low-cost iPhone have been especially rife in recent months. The phone-maker was purported to be keeping costs low by ditching premium materials for a plastic shell and recycling parts from earlier models.



By Jonathan Leggett