While looking through the iMore Forums today I happened to come across a thread asking whether or not Apple can afford to to stay high-end only. While I don't necessarily agree with that specific comment about them only catering to high end, the conversation quickly changed to how Apple handles emerging markets.

IDC numbers seem to indicate Android in particular and even WP8 are getting headwinds. Can Apple sustain growth without a "real" budget offering?Tre Lawrence, iMore Forums Member

Initially, a lot of folks were under the impression the iPhone 5c would be the device to handle those regions but lo and behold, that c in the didn't actually stand for cheap and Android and Windows Phone 8 continue gaining ground in emerging markets at a fairly steady pace.

It's about to heat up even more as well, with the recently announced Moto G, a $179 no contract device running almost stock Android specifically targeted at emerging markets, although the device will make its way to the U.S. as well.

What everyone is missing is emerging markets. Apple products are not affordable to most people in those areas.Laura Knotek, iMore Forums Member​

There is of course the argument that Apple can't be losing ground in those regions because they never actually tried to gain ground there and the only folks wanting them to enter that market is the Wall Street types with nothing more than dollar signs in their eyes and that's a pretty good argument but there's also the argument that Apple isn't entirely ignoring them, in fact they seem quite pleased with the growth they have seen.

After all, Apple concentrates on delivering the best of hardware and the best of software all in one package and I question whether or not they even want to build a 'cheap' device just to appease the folks who say they should. But those are just my thoughts and some from our forum members.

What do you folks think? Should Apple be building a cost-effective device for emerging markets or should they leave it alone? Feel free to drop by the iMore Forums and let us know your thoughts on it and all.