Following on from the report yesterday that Apple was looking to release a less-expensive iPhone with a larger screen, the WSJ has released a report suggesting that this is, in fact, accurate and that the device could even launch as early as this year. The report has also been echoed by Bloomberg who, sourcing people familiar with the plans, say that the release of a cheaper iPhone is part of a strategy to gain a greater customer foothold in developing nations.
The reports suggest that the new iPhone could potentially retail for somewhere between $99 and $149 and that it could be introduced near the end of 2013. There’s no specifics on what the device would actually look like, but the reports suggest that the new device could use cheaper parts and could be smaller in size than the current models, conflicting with earlier reports suggesting a larger screen. The materials being considered are polycarbonate in place of aluminum and even recycled parts from older iPhone models.
The launch of the device would not necessarily be restricted to developing nations, however, as Apple is also apparently interested in launching the USA, and has spoken to one of the major wireless providers in the USA about the potential launch.
Of course, one would assume that an iPhone 3GS or iPhone 4 with a Lightning connector would be enough to satisfy most people who were in the market for a budget smartphone, but these reports collectively suggest that something bigger (or indeed smaller) is planned.