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Jul 25, 2013

Apple’s new budget iPhone: Everything you need to know

by Freddie Harrison

Photos and videos of Apple’s budget iPhone have been making their way into the wild. Here’s everything you need to know about the low-cost, plastic-backed device

Tactus Budget iPhone

Rumours of Apple’s budget iPhone have been doing the rounds since the beginning of this year, but as Apple’s teased “end of the year” period for new product announcements draws closer, leaked parts, imaged and videos have started to surface. Here’s our guide to everything you need to know about the iPhone that everyone’s talking about…

What will it look like?

Thanks to a number of leaks, we’ve got a good idea of what the budget iPhone will look like. The device itself will feature a four-inch display, putting it in the same ballpark as the current iPhone 5 as far as dimensions go. It will, however, be a little thicker, owing to that plastic casing that’s designed to keep the cost down. So far, leaked parts only seem to have appeared in white, although there’s plenty of rumour to suggest that Apple will offer a range of colours for the casing, not unlike the current iPod touch.

Case manufacturers Tactus, who’ve got a bit of a history with getting hold of leaked parts, posted a fully formed model on their blog. Interestingly, none of the photos show the device powered up and, as Cult of Mac have speculated, the weight of the font on the back seems a little too heavy to be an official Apple part. That’s not to say that this leak is completely fake, this case could well be one made by those looking to clone the upcoming device. Either way, it’s the closest we’ve seen to a fully assembled leak and a great place to start if you’re wondering what this device might look like alongside the iPhone 5.

Tactus - Budget iPhone leak
See below for a full gallery of Tactus’ budget iPhone images

Hot on the heels of Tactus’ post, YouTube user DetroitBORG uploaded a video that appears to show the fully-assembled rear plastic casing in far more detail. Unlike Tactus’ video, the front weight for iPhone seems a little more on par with existing iPhones (although all regulation marks are notably missing) and the inner parts seem to look primed and ready for assembly.

What specs will it have?

While these leaks don’t give us any solid indication of internal specs, they’re the best idea we’ve had yet of what Apple’s budget iPhone would look like. That said, the obvious here is that the budget iPhone will feature a four-inch display, akin to that on the iPhone 5 and new iPod touch. We can also gleam from the leaked images that the device will feature both a rear and front-facing camera along with an LED flash for the former. Current speculation also suggests that the device will feature an A5 processor, the same used in the iPad mini, although further details on specs are scarce at best.

When can I buy one?

Apple’s budget iPhone is expected to be announced, along with the iPhone 5S and iOS 7, at an event hosted by Apple later this year. According to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the device will launch officially in early-September. There’s no particularly coherent word on pricing either, although Kuo expects the device to sit somewhere within the $450-$550 bracket, which would mean that Apple wouldn’t exactly be competing with the budget Android devices that have found favour in developing markets. That said, with the only real compromise on specifications looking to be the plastic casing, this doesn’t come as a huge surprise.

Check out a full gallery of Tactus’ budget iPhone images below:

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