It’s no secret that Apple has to change something in order to get back on track with where any company wants to be - on top. With the last major thing to come to the iPhone being LTE featured in the iPhone 5 (2 years after major US carrier Verizon launched the first large-scale public LTE network), it's hard to argue with the statement that some say when they claim that the iPhone is "somewhat behind". With that being said, what changes is Apple willing to make to convince us, the consumers, that the iPhone is still a relevant phone to purchase?

Rumors are flying everywhere about what Apple plans to do. My initial hope was that Apple had something up their sleeve. Surely Apple saw the disappointment many people expressed after the release of the iPhone 5. I understand that Apple saw we wanted bigger phones with 4G capabilities - but other than that there's not much that the iPhone 5 had that other phones didn't already feature long before the iPhone 5 was released. Even the 200+ changes that were supposed to take place with iOS 6 were minimal and for the most part cosmetic within the software. Then you compare it to the Galaxy S III and the Galaxy Note II that people raved about all day, plus the updated versions Galaxy S 4 and the (presumable) Galaxy Note III that I presume will be released around the same time or shortly after any new iPhone. It's a lot to catch up to, but surely Apple will deliver, right?

Maybe not so much. Not in the way I had predicted, anyway, because according to several news reports SVP of iOS Jony Ive has stated that he plans to make iOS flat and simple. While this could be taken several ways into what it really means, anyone can see that this "new" direction iOS is supposedly going in probably isn’t the "new" direction that people like me were hoping to see. I was hoping to see more features and more customization while still embracing the simplicity and beauty that iOS already is. I was not expecting the company to take two steps back to make it even more simple than it already is. I mean, I'm not saying this move won't work. It might. After all, they are the experts. I'm just a lowly spectator who buys the products. But after hearing about this move, I can't help but feel that my initial prediction will certainly not hold up to what I had hoped.

Other rumors flying around go back to an old rumor that's resurfaced with a fresher perspective: perhaps Apple is planning to sell cheaper iPhones with a more colorful selection. I could actually see this being an option, mostly because of two things Apple has already started doing. The new iPod Touch now comes in several vibrant colors, and they released a cheaper and smaller iPad Mini. So, combine the two and you could probably come up with the prediction that they'd make cheaper iPhones with more colors to choose from.

I'm still not sure exactly what Apple could do to make iPhones any cheaper though, at least from a subsidizing standpoint. I still feel that their current model works decently. When a new iPhone comes out, the preceding models get knocked down by about a hundred bucks until you eventually hit one that's free. Even the iPhone 4 works better than a lot of "new" smartphones that hit the market today (I'm talking lower end Android here). It might not have the best specs, but if you handed me an iPhone 4S and an iPhone 4 and asked me to tell you which one was which just by looking at the home screen I would't be able to tell you.

Now if "cheaper iPhones" means creating more affordable iPhones for prepaid carriers like Virgin Mobile or Straight Talk then I can maybe see where that could be a good move for Apple in its current situation. The stigma around prepaid carriers being the only place where people with bad credit can go is slowly fading and newer, more up-to-date phones are steadily showing up in prepaid carrier inventories. Even though the two prepaid carriers I just mentioned already allow iPhones on their network, you're most likely going to have to pay a hefty full price in order to make that happen (which most of us have been taught not to do with subsidized prices). If Apple creates a cheaper iPhone (maybe $300-$350 full price) then people might be more willing to use an iPhone on those networks.

Between the two options, I'd have to say that I would much rather have a refreshed version of iOS be released instead of cheaper iPhones. I think it's become evident that people are willing to pay whatever it takes to have an iPhone in many cases, but lately the "elite" status that follows having an iPhone is fading. While the handsets still look and feel premium, they don't act premium. They act like 2007, and I think that the software needs refreshing more than the price of the devices.

Readers, what do you think? Would you rather purchase an iOS device that has a more refreshed interface or would you rather see cheaper, more colorful iPhones on the market? Let me know your thoughts!

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139 Reactions to this post

"What would rather see from Apple: Cheaper iPhones or an improved iOS?"

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Recce Carlyon Price does not concern me, Every smartphone released in NZ is released at basically the same price. iOS needs the attention.
Kevin Price Less expensive, why continue to let them bask in such high profit margins.
Marcus Samual Winchester damn keyboard, I was going to say barely stabile apple maps
Marcus Samual Winchester overhaul that dated OS. It worked well for the first few years, especially during the early days of Android, but now Android I feel feature wise has surpassed ios. Apple only have iphones running so smoothly not because of optimisation, but simply because ios is really bare bones. Dont get me wrong, Apple make great hardware but with old software like ios, the hit and miss Siri and the ba tee l stabile Apple Maps
Tanner Emmers iOS 100% this interface needs to better I mean now widgets, custom Themes a place where apps aren't clogging up your wallpaper I don't mean folders some where they can be separate and multitasking should be more efficient than closing every single app by pressing a x button the size of a speck.
Jason Vanderhyde Screen and OS
Sebastian Gomes I hate apple really and iOS sucks really, so that could use some work. Price isn't an issue because iSheep throw money at anything with an apple logo
William Smith i say keep it the same! it's a good os for beginners and it just works! Just add to it. widgets are for android and live tiles is Windows so let be! Love my note 2
Austin Montiel Hernandez Why is this even a question?
Aly Youssef screen size and iOS
Dalton Davis Improved iOS!!!!
Facebook user Improved. We buy our phones for technology purposes and the reason to upgrade is from advancements, improvements, usability, etc. not because they are cheaper.
Ryan Rees-Williams Or even better...
Ryan Rees-Williams Cheaper iPhones for sure, I'd love to develop apps for iOS but the price of the device to test on and the software to develop with combined is too damned high for a student.
Maegan Babcock I'd much rather see an improved iOS experience. A cheaper iPhone just doesn't appeal to me. The ones they make now are fine.
Timothy Phillips Improved iOS!
Jeff Seaver Improve iOS
Waii Hui i want both.. a cheaper iphone with a better iOS and a more expensive iphone with a better iOS.
Fernando Ramos Improved iOS for sure
Michal Polak Improved iOS definitely. Cheaper iPhones definitely not.
Dillon Sappingfield OS the prior generation phone already stands as the cheaper model
Paolo Zorilla I got out of iphones and see no reason to go back.. so i dont give a f*ck!
Richard Waring Over priced and needs new iOS to compete
Mauka Side Better iOS
Jason Vargas Us that a serious question
Marlon Milligan Run Android
Mark Belkowski whats with all the iphone questions?
Yongky Siaw Both definetly. Improved UI and cheaper cause in my country, Apple's devices are really expensive.
Eric Magana Yet iPhone still is one of the top selling phones, improve os because android has nothing on their quality
John Resch Phones made in America..
David Nelson I think that Apple has always been on the road to success, but they've been behind in the game with the iPhone as late. I think that an even bigger screen and a completely rehauled iOS would be in their best interest. But going cheaper? I expect the best quality when I buy Apple devices.
Rawad A. Barouki Improved iOS. Because there's some serious improvements that need to be made.
Sam Rick Both..actually a bigger iPhone like 4.8" screen
Daniel Schmitt People would be more opted to give more money for an iPhone with an improved os rather than a cheaper iPhone with the same crapy os thave had for years and calling it new. But than again people would by a brick if it had the apple logo on it.
Wayne Nowacki an improved i can still ignore them over Android
Alex Robledo Revamped iOS would be nice.
Carmen Jessica Improved doubt about it
Rich Field Common we all know the 5s will just be flat and 0.3 inches thinner and in new colors and it's labeled a 'new' phone. The iSheep/lemmings will buy it in droves. How old is iOS now 6 years of the same crap repackaged with fancy marketing?
Chris Graham Improved iOS. Apple isn't a "cheap" company. They should stay the hell out of that market.
Brandon Kilpatrick Improved iOS. Apple should probably consider switching to android. Lol
Tharani Deevan I dream of a future where there are no more iphones lol
Jeff Reineke Love apple unless you have to sell it
Dan Cook 4.8" screen and open source ios
Edward Gonse Cheaper iPhones. iOS has just a shade under 50% of the total market share. Look at how many Android phones it took to get their share. Apple did all of this with just one phone. That being said, the iOS in its current state just works. I personally don't need all of those bells and whistles that Android has that makes people go Ooohhh and Aaahhh. iPhone is also fun on its own right and it knows how to get things done smoothly.
Spencer Tillman You know what's funny? They talk about iphones here and the post an ipod touch photo. Odd
Spencer Tillman Improved IOS with new features and no problems with each update!
Randy B Hoopes Improved iOS!
David Smith Cheaper all the way
Joshua Feld Improved iOS without question.
Malcom Buckhannon Cheaper iphones.
Nick Chimento Improved iOS
Jake Troy Definitely iOS refresh. I find myself longing for an updated look and feature set almost several times during routine use.
Jim Cosenza Last year I would have said Cheaper Iphone but I have switched to a Galaxy Note 2 and WHAT A DIFFERENCE!! Apple needs to step it up a bit to even get close!!
Dominic Jessup Reid Something different from both aspects.
Jonathan Ng Improved iOS
Oscar Ricalde A total revamp IOS. Apple needs to step up their game against Google.
Charlie Piotrowski Improved iOS, if not I'm abandoning to Windows Phone
Rick Conrad A different phone lol if you have the 3g you have the 5.
Howie Eastin Improved ios
Anthony P. Schulz Improved OS just because IOS is dull now. Android feels fresh, but thats because I've barely used it.
David Tambascio Major UI overhaul, widgets, app drawer.. basically like Android.
Arash Negari Improved iOS all the way, if people can't afford it's not our fault we already bought it we need a improved iOS
Brain Roopull There's already a cheaper iPhone... the outgoing model! Currently, of course, that's the 4S, which is still a respectable device. That being said, obviously iOS is in dire need of a remodel.
Nathan B Cromwell Cheaper iPhone
Susan Tussing Improved IOS
Nic Gruwell Total revamp of user interface. It's so boring
Michael Pitts they need to improve the OS, by jailbreaking you iphone and ipod you can tell there is alot more things that your phone can do but its very limited due to Apple restrictions :(
Nathan Campbell Seeing as iPhone 4 is free at Verizon with a 2 yr upgrade last I checked...I'd say improved iOS but I've never used the iOS except to borrow my girlfriend's iPod so I can't even say anything bad (or good for that matter) about the current iOS. I simply chose from the options given.
Robert Wellington Clubine III Cheaper iPhone but with no plastic and a upgrade to the iOS but keeping it simple.
John Begay improved iOS
Fernando Xelo iOS or GTFO!
Charlie Ebner Apple should go back to the drawing board. I have a feeling that if Apple did that, they would develop something that we didn't even think we needed. Until the iPhone first came out, we didn't think we would need what it offered, now, it's become a way of life.
Cornelius Hardy Just retire it. It's overpriced, hyped and sucks.
Lawrence Lepes Neither! I have the Galaxy Note 2, and it puts any and every Iphone to shame.
Michael Hercliff Improved iOS as well as a bigger screen.
Michael Wilds Steve jobs is dead
Senara De Silva Cheaper iPhne
Willie Ward newer ios!
Charlie Ebner Improved iOS, duh.
Alex Krueger improved ios
Gilbert King I would like to see both. There needs to be a cheaper iphone option for the no contract cell phone market. IOS is long over due for a major facelift.
Stewart Tan Cheaper iPhone? Now that is just wrong for the word CHEAP for apple. How bad could it get? Steve jobs is gonna be mad about the condition of apple now.
Stephen Isaaks you forgot "you"~ "what would you rather..."
Jessy Diamba Improved iOS for sure!
Anthony Lasam Bring back the Newton!
Andrew Hennessey Improved iOS
Tom Ketterman There really isn't anything wrong with the price... I would say improve the IOS a bit. Not really sure what they can do though... it's already pretty top notch lol... way more than I personally use on a given day :P
Jesus E. Garcia Improved iOS 100% and lower prices!!!
Joseph Salvagna I would say both cheaper iPhones prices and improving ios systems
Rani Hinnawi While it's as pricy as the most expensive of Androids, the OS may as well improve as well so people can actually get what they pay for
Steven Walker Improved iOS
Harold Hidalgo why not both? -mexican music-
Al Le Apple has to find another Steve Job!!! I would not buy an Iphone!!! sticking w/my Android! The next best thing is not in the Apple future line up! ;)
Jennifer DeAlmeida Who needs a cheaper iPhone? They aren't much more than the latest and greatest Android. There are a few things I'd like to see in the iOS, including better photo albums.
Reese Woodson I want to see a bigger screen (at least "4.3") and a revamped iOS. My iPhone 5 is getting a bit boring........
Dakota Skye Breeden I would rather then stop making phones because they suck at it.
Tyler Saddington An improved iOS :P
Lori Fredericks I think these are likely two different markets entirely. There will always be the "i just want the cheapest thing possible as long as it is reasonably functional" crowd and there will always be the "I will pay more for quality and the best possible product" crowd.
Rafael Almonte Much more improved iOs
Andrew Cuevas What kind of question is that?! Improved iOS of course! Thats like asking should apple do something for their loyal customers or screw them and do something for people whove never bought an apple product
Lance Johnson I thought they already were cheap :)) A phone for idiots
Markus Doyal Improved iOS
Michael Basaldúa Why not both, IOS needs to improve as well as their high prices, they gotta realize that android is already there with it in competition and android/google is only going to get better
Frank F. Bona Iphone in android os.
Aaron Yarbrough improved iOS!
Ken Reil Less gayness.
Lessie Hall Nothing
Jose Angel Santiago An improved IOZzzzzzzzzzzz
KJ Thornton ios. more customization. colors. widgets. wider phone.
Imani Kap Pierre Improved iOS hands down
Stephen Wagner you realize if they make an "improved os" they will just steal ideas from everyone else right
Mitchell Plaster Why not both?
Alan George iOS, not even a question
Steve Hartsock But, without letting developers and users customize the way iOS works, it will never truly be the 'best' any more.
Vonda Newton just omit the iphone all together....hahaha
Fahim Ahsan Always Android
Jonathan Coffey Apple is a Billion dollar company they can afford to do both.
Stephen Wagner them not existing anymore
Brandon Thompson IMPROVED iOS!!!!!
Eduardo Ordaz Improved ios and phone.
Steve Hartsock A much more improved iOS.
Tito Cruz not that I'm a fan of Apple or their products, but I definitely feel iOS needs improvement.
Anthony Bourdier Improved ios

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