The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple will release a low-cost iPhone this year, possibly sporting a polycarbonate body to help keep costs down. The report echoes Digitimes’ story earlier this week which claims that a cheaper iPhone would be released, “for China and other emerging markets”.
Both stories cite supply chain sources, some of which claim they’ve seen the samples of the low-cost iPhone in production. The model is rumoured to adopt a 5-inch screen, larger than the iPhone 5′s current 4-inch display, and a polycarbonate body, thought to be much cheaper than the current iPhone’s aluminium housing. Other parts are said to be sources from previous generation iPhones, but a general overhaul of the traditional iPhone design is expected.
While rumours of a low-cost iPhone are appearing more and more often, it does seem unlikely that Apple would opt to compromise its usual combination of aluminium and glass in favour of a cheaper model. The Wall Street Journal also points out that such a model could draw away buyers who would otherwise be happy to pay for a more expensive iPhone.