Apple to discontinue iPhone 5 with launch of iPhone 5S and low-cost polycarbonate models, report claims

“Korean site is reporting [Google translation] that Apple will be discontinuing production of the iPhone 5 in the fall, instead putting all of its efforts towards the iPhone 5S and the rumored entry-level plastic iPhone,” Richard Padilla reports for MacRumors.

“Today’s report claims that the in-cell technology used on the iPhone 5’s touchscreen is ‘not suitable for low-volume production,’ contributing to Apple’s decision to stop production on the phone and focus all of its efforts toward producing parts for newer products,” Padilla reports. “The iPhone 5 and 5S are, however, expected to share nearly identical display technology although leaked photos have a shown a change to the orientation of the flex cable connectors on the display assemblies.”

Padilla reports, “The iPhone 5S is reportedly scheduled to begin production later this month, with both that device and the lower cost iPhone rumored for launch in the September-October timeframe.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Lynn Weiler” for the heads up.]


  1. Wow, such insight, such genius, such an inside track on the tech industry! Who would have the genius to make such a bold statement that a tech company might be discontinuing a current product and releasing new ones? Thank the lord for tech and finance journalists. Where would we be without them.

    Shoot me now.

    1. I think claim is that Apple will break its current pattern of continuing to produce and sell previous models at lower entry cost, as they have done with the 3GS, 4 and 4S. The implication is that Apple will produce at least two distinct “current” models: Premium line, and Economy line.

  2. There should be three versions of the iPhone.

    – iPhone 5S: 4″ for those who have girly hands and prefer to put their phones in their back pockets.
    – iPhone 5SM (M standing for “Men Only”): 4.7″ for those who have manly hands and prefer to put their phones, along with their cojones, in their front pockets.
    – iPhone 5SP (P standing for plastic): 4″ of plastic for those who prefer a lower cost smartphone and can’t be bothered to pay $650 for an aluminium backed iPhone.

    All bases covered.

    1. All Apple needs to do for the “manly hands” iPhone is put built-in voice calling capability into iPads with cellular. Use it with bluetooth or wired headphones, or in speakerphone mode.

      Is 7.9 or 9.7 inches “manly” enough for you?

        1. Hey little chicky (“cheap cheap cheap!”). You take things too seriously…

          The current iPhone size is quite ideal. You can easily use it with one hand when held vertically, and the extra size comes in handy when held horizontally for two-handed use.

          When the rumors were flying before the iPhone 4S about the tapered body iPhone with a 4:3 aspect ratio 4-inch screen, I said that would never happen, even as third-party cases were being produced for it. I speculated that to go to an iPhone with a 4-inch screen, Apple should maintain the same screen width and make the screen “taller.” Guess what happened…

  3. It’s an obvious move and one I have been saying would happen for a while. It NEVER made sense to keep the previous model and sell them at low margins. Profits are down on margins and it’s way past time they made a dedicated lower cost model.

      1. I agree. I see the plastic one as the new iphone 5 with a plastic case. I even predict they will call it the “new” colorful iphone 5

        Calling it anything else kinda diminishes in my opinion. Especially if it is just the same quality high end iPhone 5 in a colorful plastic case.

  4. I don’t like this low cost iPhone

    It means poor people will have access to apple gear.

    I don’t like that.

    Is apple going to start taking foodstamps and welfare checks next?

  5. Pretty clear that the new radios and new ac wifi chips will require new hardware. And most likely, for the first time, the outgoing models (4, 4s, and particularly the 5) won’t be worth retaining, even for their lower margins (which may not be as low as the new ‘plastic’ models).

  6. It make sense as Apple will migrate to lightning and abandon the old connector entirely. It will also migrate to 4″ plus or minus a larger one and discontinue the 3.5″ I suspect the larger one if any will have the same pixel count as the 4″ in order to make the developer easy.

  7. Only new models because Apple’s using LiquidMetal body parts for both — the plastic you see is test parts to see if molds fit.
    Too expensive to run two different production lines, Aluminium and “glass”.
    The “cheap” one is only cheap besause it uses old CPU etc.

  8. Duh Discontinuing the old. Thank god. The choice of new (-ish now) 2012′, old and older is really not that cool. Just not feeling it. Where is the iPhone pro??? Am I the only one who easily maxed out 64 gb and would kill for something way bigger with 48 hr battery minimal? What – ever. Not into the cloud idea. Apple needs the massive storage device that is inflatable.

  9. If true, I think the main motivation for the switch would be the economies of scale shifting. In the past, it may have been cheaper to keep making the older models as lower end phones. The investment had already been made in design and tooling and the components became cheaper as they aged. The economies may have shifted, though, to where new manufacturing techniques and technologies have been developed/refined to the point where it becomes cheaper to build newer phones than older ones. I’m sure Tim constantly has his finger on this pulse, with his operations background, and as soon as the economics shifted, he would make the switch.

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