Barclays: budget iPhone and China Mobile-compatible iPhone 5S due in August

By , Mar 1, 2013

iPhone 5S concept (Alexander Kormishin 003)

Per a rumor out of China, Apple won’t release a new iPhone at its upcoming summer developer conference. Instead, Tim Cook & Co. are thought to be targeting an August 2013 launch for both the iPhone 5S, a specs upgrade, and an inexpensive iPhone model, aimed at emerging markets that sell mostly unsubsidized handsets. And for the first time, the next iPhone will be Apple’s first truly world phone capable of supporting a bunch of flavors of fourth-generation Long-Term Evolution (LTE) radio technology, including China Mobile-compatible TD-SCDMA network…

Chinese web site EMSOne on Friday (machine-translated via Google Translate) cited Barclays Capital analyst who claimed a “cheap edition” of the iPhone as well as the iPhone 5S are both up for an introduction later this year.

The August 2013 launch would seemingly contradict both Piper Jaffray, which called for a September iPhone mini launch, and yesterday’s story by the Japanese blog Macotakara that claimed knowledge of a 2014 introduction. Analysts previously reported the iPhone 5S manufacturing would start this month so Apple could start selling the device in time for the summer.

According to Barclays, both the inexpensive iPhone model and the iPhone 5S will be built this year by Apple’s favorite contract manufacturer, Foxconn, as well as Pegatron.

While the iPhone 5S will be a world phone, the budget iPhone will not, claims the report. Instead, Barclays claims, the iPhone mini will only support the frequency division duplex (FDD) flavor of LTE.

That’s a rather surprising prediction to make given the inexpensive iPhone should become Apple’s response to a plethora of inexpensive handsets that have become all the rage in emerging markets like Brazil, India and China.

China Mobile, the world’s leading wireless carrier with more than 700 million subscribers, uses time division duplexing (TDD).

Morgan Stanley (radio technologies in China)

Maybe the less-pricey iPhone will only work on China Mobile’s 3G network?

Be that as it may, Qualcomm last month announced a new wireless chip that makes so-called world devices possible with support for 40 different bands, including all existing LTE networks.

Rumor mills are adamant that the budget iPhone, basically a $330 off-contract iPhone, has a polycarbonate body akin to what Apple used for the discontinued white plastic MacBook models.

As for the iPhone 5S, it should re-use the two-tone Unibody aluminum design of the current iPhone 5 while improving upon specs with a larger 4.5-inch display, a speedier A7 CPU/GPU and an all-new 13-megapixel camera.

Also cool: the iPhone 5S could be provided in a bunch of different colors.

AnoStyle teaser
The AnoStyle color mods for the iPhone 5.

Coincidentally or not, an Apple job post published today is seeking an Anodizing Engineer to “help create the next generation of the world’s finest electronic devices.”

iPods come in colors so this could be nothing, though “the world’s finest electronic devices” has the iPhone written all over it.

Maybe – just maybe – Apple is indeed looking to colorize the iPhone 5S?

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  • Jimothy

    Just as long as they don’t use aluminum again. It chipped before it even got to me. :(

    • http://www.facebook.com/joe.jonsen Joe Jonsen

      umm you mean “painted aluminum” the silver/white iphone5 is fine .. its the black one that chips cause they used cheap spray paint on it ..lol

      • http://www.facebook.com/barz91 Alpay Barz Ozalper

        They actually anodise it using a laser but long story short it was shit

      • Jimothy

        Regardless, I really liked the “glass and steel” look of the iPhone 4/s.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.jonsen Joe Jonsen

    yup here comes the budget iphone story again..lololololoolloloolo

  • http://www.facebook.com/Makavelli.1 Joseph A. Ahmad

    As long as they release iOS 7 at the WWDC, seriously. I’m not so sure about that now unless they release the iPad 5 with in June/July. I haven’t been hearing much of an iPad 5 March release.