Is this Apple’s ‘cheap’ iPhone?

Apple’s ‘cheap’ iPhone with Plastic caseIt doesn’t look very colourful, having only been glimpsed in white so far but images of Apple’s so-called rainbow phone have been leaked online.

Apple is thought to be busy manufacturing its newest handset, which is being made with a plastic case rather than premium aluminium like the current Apple iPhone, in a bid to keep production costs down.

Rumours have been rife for a while now that Apple is getting ready to launch a low-cost model to secure further market share.

The new device is widely expected to come in a choice of five colours, to cost around £200 and to be available from October this year.

Now the accessories site Tactus.com has published images on its blog it says are of the new Apple gizmo. “It’s been whispered about for a while now,” says the site, “but the image shows the never before seen rear shell of the rumoured budget iPhone.”

Apple’s ‘cheap’ iPhone features

The cheap iphone, which has not yet been named, is also thought to come with a 3.5-inch retina screen, similar to that found on the 4S. By making the screen smaller than that of the iPhone 5, Apple can save a bit more money, passing on savings to consumers.

With the expected range of vibrant hues, it looks like Apple is targeting a more youthful market, with a choice of black, white, blue, red or yellow.

Predictions are also that the new cheaper iPhone will come with an A5 processor similar to that of the iPad Mini and with a 5-megapixel camera like that of the iPhone 4.

The latest leak comes just a few days after the release of a new research report from KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo which said a new iPhone 5S, budget iPhone model and the latest iPad Mini would all begin shipping later than previously thought.

Apple loses market value

Apple will be hoping the new gizmo will help turnaround the bleak situation it has faced in recent days.

The leak comes after a mammoth $22bn was wiped off Apple’s market value, meaning Apple lost its position as the world’s most valuable publicly traded company to Exxon Mobil.

The falling value was caused by hints from a supplier that Apple is currently slowing down production of both the iPad and iPhone.

Cirrus Logic, which supplies chips for both devices to Apple, let slip that sales of one of the chips it makes were slowing down because one of its customers was busy moving to a newer component.

And, while Cirrus did not name the customer, it did not take much for analysts to join the dots as Apple accounts for around 90 per cent of its business.

Apple refused to comment on any speculation but analysts, including Peter Misek from Jeffries & Co, said the news indicated a hefty fall in Apple sales.

It looks like we’ll have to wait until autumn to find out if the sort of excitement, and the big queues, that usually surrounds the launch of a new regular iPhone will be apparent for a budget version.

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