Apple’s budget iPhone a mix of iPhone 5, iPod touch, and iPod classic design elements, with 4-inch Retina display, say sources

“Rumors of a budget ‘ready for China’ iPhone have been circulating for some time, but apart from a possible price point (‘low’) and assumptions about its components (‘plastic,’ ‘low-end’), no concrete details as to its look or feel have leaked out,” Jeremy Horwitz reports for iLounge.

“That’s changing today: unless something major changes between now and its release, we know pretty much what the new low-end iPhone will look like, thanks to reliable sources,” Horwitz reports. “Yes, it will be made substantially from plastic. No, it won’t just be a Retina- and Lightning-equipped refresh of the iPhone 3G or 3GS, Apple’s last plastic iPhones, nor will it look just like an all-plastic version of the iPhone 5.”

Horwitz reports, “This new model is actually a cross between the iPhone 5, fifth-generation iPod touch, and… wait for it… the iPod classic. Yes, really. It will have a 4” screen, like the iPhone 5, a bottom like the latest iPod touch, and a shape that’s most similar to the iPod classic… In summary, the budget iPhone will look a lot like an iPhone 5 from the front, an iPod classic from the side, and an iPod touch 5G on the bottom—only made from plastic rather than glass or metal.”

More info and photos in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “Dan K.” for the heads up.]


    1. You’re absolutely right about the odour.

      This is the usual style of set-up for manipulating Apple’s stock price.
      When Apple does not release a cheap, plastic phone (and Apple never will), stock manipulators will decry Apple’s missed Cheap-Phone release. They’ll claim Apple is late with this imaginary phone’s release, there’s a components shortage that Apple should have foreseen, demand was misread by Apple, Tim Cook is to blame, Apple has lost its mojo, Steve Jobs would never have mis-handled the Apple Cheap-Phone like this, and this story of a phone Apple never ever considered, will be labelled Apple’s Cheap-phone-gate, and trumpeted to the world as another Apple failure, in an attempt to hammer Apple’s stock.

  1. There’s no way Apple can put together a “budget” iPhone and include a retina display. Apple is having enough problems getting sufficient yields of Retina displays, so much so that the iPad mini doesn’t have one.

    And now Apple is going to put a Retina display in some discount, budget iPhone? No way.

    1. A budget retina iPhone makes no sense. Just switching to plastic does not make enough of a price difference to make it worth it.

      Apple would have to put less RAM and/or a cheaper processor to make a significant enough price difference. And the only way Apple can do that, without making the phone significantly slower or less stable, is to make it use a lower resolution.

  2. Will we ever learn?


    Will we ever learn?


    Will we ever learn?


    Will we ever learn?


    Will we ever learn?


  3. The design looks to be a thicker, plastic iPod touch with a phone added. This will be less expensive off contract, but not cheap. My guess is it will sell for $329 (perhaps $299) with no contract, be free with a contract, and come with 16 GB of memory, and share the internals with an iPod touch, which is $299 for a 32 GB model. The margins will be similar to an iPod touch.

  4. I just noticed a headline on the Telegraph website that reads,
    “Apple ‘plans cheaper iPhone'”.

    The manipulation works like this;
    Spread a rumour that Apple will “soon” be selling a cheaper iPhone. Thus, freeze the segment of consumers planning to purchase a new iPhone, who would want to wait to get this non-existent, upcoming iPhone deal.

    Maggie: “I’ve decided to get the iPhone.”
    Edna: “Really? An iPhone? You might want to wait. I heard that Apple is coming out with a cheaper iPhone. You wouldn’t want to overpay if you don’t have to.”
    Maggie: “Hmmm, yes, I suppose you’re right.”

  5. This rumor maker perfect sense. It solves a lot of things, not just for developing nations, but the entry level as a whole.
    Firsts it gets rid of the 4/4S at the entry level which is not just made of premium materials, it also has the older connection and older screen size. They need to get rid of it and change everything over. Lastly, it improves margins, which is what all the fuss about with the latest earnings report.

  6. A less expensive iPhone along these lines makes perfect sense, for the reasons points out by RP above. All the naysayers should remember the iPad mini. I would expect this to be announced about the same time as the China Mobile deal. But it would also make a difference in Europe and, to a lesser degree, the U.S. market.

  7. I’d go for a reasonably intelligent iPhone. Not plastic, not too much power, but all the stuff I want (Siri, camera, GPS, sketches, notes, calendar, contacts, etc) no lock, no contract. Paired with an iPad for the big stuff it would suit my needs. This device wouldn’t just go in emerging markets.

    I am one of those waiting to upgrade from iPhone 4. Is the 5S just around the corner or something better?

  8. My first Apple product was a 4S, followed quickly by an iPad 3, both last July. I was very pissed off with Apple,when 2 months later they brought out serious upgrades. I live in Thailand and paid nearly 2,000 US$ for both, 64GB devices. I opened an Apple ID, realised that for some stupid reasoning could not buy, BUY all the content from the Thai Store, so set up a US ID, bought gift cards and proceeded to shop. Soon afterwards , the US account was frozen, with $170 in it ! Apple stole $170 from me. I paid cash for the gift cards, so had no receipt ! I had planned thousands of $ more purchases, but now will not buy for a long time. I will do with what I have.
    The iTunes/ Store, is a pain in the arse. In a country full of copy goods, I am trying to pay for content, but Apples stupid restrictions on customers wishing to hand them money is mind boggling. There are franchised Apple stores here, crap staff, bad attitude and unprofessional advice, but why can’t they sell gift cards? Why can’t I buy apps etc from the US store? I’m sure the developers would have no problem with the cash?
    I expected do much from Apple and their products, which are fine, but feel cheated and let down by the company because of the quick release of products, that came as a shock, being the first wave of 6 month cycles and the theft of my fucking money !
    So instead of buying a MacBook Pro, Time Capsule, AirPort Extreme, Parallels, the iPad Mini when Retina display comes and an IPhone 6 when it also comes, I will keep my cash and make do with what I have. I’ll wait and see what’s the best phone in 2 years, then buy. If that’s an iPhone 8, ok, but that will be all Apple will get out of me, in light of my shitty experiences. Shame. They ducked up and lost a big spending and always loyal customer to those that look after me, which clearly has not happened here !
    My Apple ID is different to this email address.

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