re: CES 2013: Apple Shadow Looms Large
This isn't entirely true. First if all, a price of $99-$149 isn't possible by merely substituting polycarbonate and some older parts. $350 might be a more attainable goal if performance could remain at older levels.
Secondly, the iPhone has been gaining marketshare around the world. When Apple and China Mobile come to an agreement, then iPhone marketshare will rise more. In the USA, the iPhone is at least half of all smartphone sales, going by the sales from the carriers. Once T-Mobile begins to officially sell them, those numbers will rise too.
But it's true that in third world countries such as India, Indonesia, China, Brazil and others, a cheaper phone is needed. But it shouldn't compete with the cheapest, as that isn't Apple's reputation. If they come up with a medium priced model at that $350 point, it should suffice.