iPhone 5 mini (Martin uit Utrecht 001)

Apple’s budget iPhone, a rumored all-new design targeted at emerging markets where carriers rarely subsidize cell phones, will be offered in a range of colors and have a “super-thin plastic casing mixed with glass fiber”, one reliable analyst wrote in a Friday note to clients. The specs for the device were apparently decided on back in 2011 and call for a four-inch screen resembling the iPhone 5.

Dismissing talk of a 4.5-inch entry-level iPhone, the report argues Apple is “unlikely to abruptly change” its stance on screen size just because Android makers are increasingly building phablets. Jump past the fold for more tidbits…

According to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (via AppleInsider), the plastic body will be between 0.4 and 0.6 millimeters thick compared to the average plastic casing at between 0.7 and 1 millimeter. The mix of glass fiber and plastic will result in a stronger, thinner and lighter appearance compared to other plasticky casings.

Budget iPhone (KGI Securities iPhones chart)

As for the colors, Apple will offer the rumored entry-level iPhone in between four and six different colors, with Green Point of the Jabil group being tapped for the casing. Foxconn will assemble the majority of the units, with Pegatron taking care of the rest.

He expects both the budget iPhone and the iPhone 5S to come in FDD-LTE and TDD-LTE variants, like Samsung’s new Galaxy S4 which supports both radio technologies.

Kuo also said earlier this month that the iPhone 5S will include a fingerprint sensor (here’s how Apple might implement it) located under the Home button, possibly replacing passwords as the means of authenticating users and enabling new features in Apple’s Passbook app.

Budget iPhone (KGI Securities suppliers chart)

Kuo’s points can be easily corroborated by other sources.

China Times claimed earlier this week that the next iPhone will have both NFC and fingerprint sensor and we previously heard the budget iPhone will have a polycarbonate body similar to what Apple used on the discontinued white plastic MacBook models.

Additionally, Taiwan-based newspaper Commercial Times cited supply chain sources who speak of a colorized budget iPhone. Like Kup, these sources named Green Point Enterprises under Jabil Circuit, as well as Hi-P, as the suppliers of the plastic body.

BTIG’s Walter Piecyk yesterday said Apple would be “stupid” to ignore the more than 70 percent of global wireless unsubsidized subscribers, forecasting 36.5 million budget iPhones sales in Apple’s fiscal 2014 for an additional $11 billion in revenue.

Apple’s cheapest contract-free device is the $450 iPhone 4, which in countries like Brazil and India costs about $700 due to taxes, putting it out of reach of cash-strapped buyers.

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    • Kurt

      Excellent imput

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    • Yup, Apple, the people you love coming out with a POS phone. Sounds about right.

  • Oh ok now I get it… This budget iPhone is going to be intended for those of us who aren’t on contracted cell phone plans. With a 2 year contract, an iPhone 4 is less than a dollar, but without its 450. So if this budget model is also sold in the states it would be a good solution for those on Straight Talk or Net10 or other similar gsm “bring your own phone” services. I wonder how much better than the original iPhone 4 16gb this phone would be… Not too thrilled about it being plastic. Might be better to just save your pennies and ebay an iPhone 5/5S

  • Boss

    iPhone is already budget Apple just charge a bomb for it

  • wonderboydave

    so just take the 3GS, put a better processor, change dock connector change some colors and wallah budget iphone.

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  • i am also a analyst and i predict that the budget iphone will have the same look like the old 3g because of their patent and a small about 5cm antenna.touch two devices with the antenna and NFC will turn on.Display will not be needed because there is a scart adapter in the package to connect to your old Tv.The plastic will be about 0,1 millimeters thin because of the antenna gate and you can choose the color of your iphone.Brown,bright or not so bright,56kb modem included.1year warranty excluded because of plastic.but plastic is ok if it is an iphone,but if a samsung phone uses plastic then it is cheap plastic said the apple followers .i like Apple but take plastic???The mac is very expensive.why didnt they make a cheap imac?there is no need to make a budget phone…they have so much money…rather innovate with new software and technology like samsung.if a budget phone comes out, then its a really big step backwards.i dont see a reason why apple would be “stupid” to not release an budget phone…For all who dont know what a budget phone is:It is an iphone with preinstalled jailbreak with some additional sources in a store called Cydia and tweaks in it to save money for Apps… 😐

    • apple ordered retinas from lg for macs to save money…the retinas have a burn in on the displays…the samsung havent….so much about low budget…