iPhone6-004

If the latest chatter coming out of Apple’s Asian supply chain is to be trusted, Taiwanese contract electronics manufacturer Pegatron – which produces some Apple products alongside primary gadget builder Foxconn – has been commissioned to build a rumored less-pricey iPhone that the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Reuters and other high-profile publications previously reported on as a done deal.

It’s been thought the device has a hybrid plastic/metal design, with the polycarbonate part of its body being similar to what Apple used on the now discontinued white plastic MacBook. And now, latest reports add colors to the mix…

According to the Taiwan-based newspaper Commercial Times (subscription required), the so-called budget iPhone – or iPhone mini, if you will – sports a plastic case “in several colors”, with Hi-P and Green Point Enterprises under Jabil Circuit being named as suppliers of the polycarbonate body.

Pegatron has apparently become Apple’s joint design manufacturer and has landed orders for the budget iPhone, with shipments expected to reach 40 million units in this year alone. The newspaper report also has it the unlocked, contract-free device will cost approximately $350, a data point which jives well with previous reports.

Last week, the fairly accurate Japanese blog Macotakara claimed the iPhone mini would also include a 4.5-inch display, which is significantly larger than the iPhone 5′s display, but still smaller than the rumored 4.8-inch iPhone.

Today, a French blog commissioned graphics designer Martin Hajek to depict a next-generation iPhone featuring a 4.6-inch edge-to-edge screen and no home button, here are two renderings:

iPhone 6 mockup (Martin Hajek 000)

iPhone 6 mockup (Martin Hajek 008)

Interestingly enough, Topeka Capital Markets analyst Brian White in January 2013 claimed the iPhone 5 – a specs update likely to be released around this coming summer – will also be colorized.

He also thinks Apple will add new screen sizes which, in conjunction with colors, will give people “greater choices” when considering an Apple handset.

Such a move wouldn’t be out of character for Apple.

Last September, the company refreshed the iPhone touch media player, adding a bunch of colorized anodized aluminum backs to the mix. And previously, Apple prominently advertised colorized iPods. That being said, there really is no reason to argue that Apple is married to the current iPhone black & slate and white & silver variants.

iPhone 5S colors (teaser 001)

Colors make even more sense for the budget iPhone, which is expected to open up the vastly untapped emerging markets, where most handsets are sold for the full price and contract-free.

People like choices and colors add a fashion statement so I think this year will mark the arrival of colorized iPhones.

If you could choose, which color would you go with?