On the heels of a rumor suggesting that Apple is working on a cheaper iPhone for later in the year comes another report that suggests the same thing, that Apple is prepping a less-expensive iPhone model which could potentially coincide with the launch of a higher-end iPhone 5S or iPhone 6 later in the year.
Earlier today, hit-or-miss technology publication Digitimes reported that Apple was working on a larger, lower cost iPhone model for emerging markets, a device that could accompany a higher-end iPhone device, potentially called the iPhone 5S or the iPhone 6.
Now, another report partially backs that original rumor up as The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple is indeed working on a cheaper iPhone model that might arrive in the latter part of 2013. The report claims that while the idea has been a work in progress, it might finally show up at some point in 2013 to compete with the cheap Android and Windows Phone 8 devices on the market.
Mirroring the earlier report, WSJ says that this cheaper iPhone could feature a new design aimed at keeping the cost of the device down. The iPhone 5 uses a design that’s constructed out of metal, aluminum and glass and sits at a starting price of $199.99. This new low-cost model could be constructed out of polycarbonate plastic, the same type of material that Samsung uses to build its Galaxy Note 2 and Samsung Galaxy S3.
While The Wall Street Journal is a reliable source, the company reported something similar would happen back in 2011 and obviously, nothing materialized. Something else to keep in mind is that Apple often strategically places news during big name events of competitors. CES 2013 is taking place in Las Vegas, an event that Apple hasn’t attended for a several years.
The report claims that this cheaper iPhone could arrive as soon as late 2013. Thus far, Apple has been rumored to be releasing the new iPhone 6 in the summer of this year, a release that would be sooner than the previous two iPhone launches which took place in the fall of 2011 and 2012. Of course, Apple proved that it’s not beyond using two release dates in the same year for its products as it released the iPad third-generation in March of 2012 and the iPad fourth-generation in September of 2012.
Here’s what we know about this rumored cheaper iPhone’s counterpart, so far.
iPhone 6 Release Date
So far, rumors point to the iPhone 6 release date as arriving in the summer and not the fall. Several analysts also believe that Apple will be pushing the iPhone 6 to a month earlier than September and October, which is when the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 arrived respectively.
It could be that Apple is planning on getting the iPhone out earlier to better compete against the Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC M7, both rumored to be coming at Mobile World Congress. It could also be that these rumors have been conveniently planted to keep customers at bay during the launches of these new Android smartphones.
Thus far though, none of the rumors have pointed to an iPhone 6 launch in the fall.
iPhone 6 Features
It’s only about a week into 2013 and already, a number of rumored iPhone 6 features have surfaced. The iPhone 5S or iPhone 6 is rumored to be coming with a similar design to the iPhone 5, unsurprising given that Apple typically keeps a design around for two years.
There are whispers about a brand-new display, potentially using Sharp’s IZGO technology that would allow it to offer improved battery life and more pixel density. Sharp IGZO displays also use a thinner glass edge which would allow for Apple to make an even thinner iPhone 6. The iPhone 5 is currently extremely thin, checking in at 7.1mm in size. It might also help with more accurate touches on the iPhone 6′s touchscreen.
Analysts, in addition to the different sized iPhone, also believe that Apple could offer different colors than the just black and white. Rumored iPhone 6 colors include blue, pink, yellow, white and silver and black and slate.
Apple also typically upgrades the internals of its iPhone so that could mean processor speed and improvements to the rear camera and the next iPhone will almost assuredly have iOS 7, which is reportedly being tested along with the iPhone 6.