New report claims budget iPhone production begins soon, 5S has dual LED flash

By , May 23, 2013

Budget iPhone (Martin Hajek 001)

Say what you want about the idea of a ‘budget’ iPhone, but industry insiders seem to be extremely confident that the handset is coming. We’ve heard a number of reports over the past few months regarding Apple’s efforts to create a sub-$300 smartphone.

In fact, another report has surfaced this afternoon claiming that the cheaper iPhone is on the way. This one comes from the folks over at Macotakara, a Japanese blog with a fair track record in Apple intel, who allege to have new details about the device…

The site reports (via 9to5Mac) that the low-cost iPhone is going into production this summer, starting in early July. Apple is apparently testing several colors in the initial run, including Navy, Gold-orange, White, Pink, Green, Blue and gulp Yellow-orange.

Obviously, some of (or most of) these colors might not make it to market, but it’s interesting to hear that Apple is actually toying around with colors like Gold-orange. It’s also interesting that Black is missing here. Could it be keeping that a 5S exclusive?

Budget iPhone (Martin Hajek 002)

Additionally, the report says that Apple will begin field testing the device in June—about 1,000 test units are being produced—with full production of the handset ramping up during the July-September period. That timeline lines up nicely with the rumored fall launch.

The budget iPhone is expected to cost somewhere in the $300 range, made up of plastic and metal components. Apple is believed to be making the handset to up its marketshare in countries like India and China, which are dominated by prepaid customers.

Macotakara’s report shares some details about the upcoming iPhone 5S as well. It says the flagship smartphone will also come in a variety of colors, and it will feature a dual-LED flash and redesigned rear mic. Again, all of this jibes nicely with previous chatter.

We’re almost halfway through the year and Apple has yet to unveil a new product, suggesting that it’s prepping for another big holiday quarter. In addition to the budget iPhone and the iPhone 5S, it’s also believed to have a new iPad, iPad mini and radio service on the way.

Photos by Martin Hajek

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  • http://twitter.com/erny_c Erny Carrillo

    Quality, Not Quantity!!! Sorry gonna have to vote against a budget iphone.

    • Boss

      Yes if they do make one it should only be available in countries like India / China

      • http://twitter.com/erny_c Erny Carrillo

        Correct! USA is considered “rich” as crazy as it sounds. So leave the budget iphone for lower economy countries.

      • observer1959

        That makes perfect sense, since China only sells their cr@ppy stuff in the US.

      • http://twitter.com/MohamadAmin4 Mohamad Al-Amin

        It does that everywhere, mate…

    • Lordthree

      They should be able to make a lot of them very quickly (compared to iPhone 5) and move them even quicker. Mac rumors says that the budget iphone won’t be available in black either.

    • http://twitter.com/aidanharris1 ✪ aidan harris ✪

      “Quality, Not Quantity” is one way of looking at it but another way of looking at it is “iOS not Android”. With Apple making a budget smart phone it will allow them to be competitive with the lower end and higher end of the smart phone market which should in theory increase their profits which can then be spent on either research & development, innovating more or just being a patent troll…

      • http://twitter.com/erny_c Erny Carrillo

        Do you think that was Steve Jobs vision? A budget iphone! REALLY?

      • observer1959

        Unfortunately Steve told Tim to not copy him.

      • http://twitter.com/aidanharris1 ✪ aidan harris ✪

        It depends! Steve said to go thermonuclear on Android. If making a budget iPhone is what it takes to overcome Android then I’m pretty sure he’d be looking down at Tim Cook from iHeaven with a smile on his face…

      • Kurt

        iOS isn’t a great OS. Very mediocre. They won’t be the ones to overtake Android. I think Windows phone will, but it will take some time.

      • Cameron Chao

        Im sure a smart guy like you would know why iOS limits itself to just launching apps from the homepage. Not simply assuming Android is better because it does more than iOS.

      • http://twitter.com/aidanharris1 ✪ aidan harris ✪

        Are you a fortune teller? If so please tell me what else your crystal ball possesses…

  • rockdude094

    I think its not a budget iPhone, but rather a continuation of the 3.7inch display screen of the previous generation iPhones, which will be cheaper than the 4inch version

    • Kurt

      3.5inch

      • rockdude094

        Yup, sorry for the mistake

      • Kurt

        no problem

  • Dave Rogers

    dont they already have a budget iphone in the iphone 4???? and when the 5s comes out then the iphone 4s will be cheaper too!!! …..that would mean they have 5 phones in production… the 4, 4s, 5, 5s, and a budget??

    • observer1959

      That could be what they are doing, taking the guts of these older models and trhowing them into a cheaper container. Then market them only in these low income foreign countries.

    • MrM0N0P0LY

      The 4 is cheap only when you have an upgrade. If you bought a new 4, it would cost about $450. In places like china people buy cell phones new, so the budget iphone would only cost around $300 or less

    • Kurt

      iPhone 4 is too slow, and laggy. That will be dropped this year most likely.

  • @dongiuj

    I already have 3 budget iPhones. My 3G, 4 and 4S. My 5 will join that list soon.

  • http://twitter.com/ZacHack Zac Ramirez

    I like my iphone 5

  • mrloko

    i wont be surprised to see samsung galaxy and note in different colors in future…lol

  • Kurt

    iPlastic

    • Cameron Chao

      iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS were plastic. By the way.

      • Ahmadjoon

        But not like S-Plastic

      • Cameron Chao

        yes, thats why im betting the budget iPhone wont have the cheap ugly plastic Samsung uses.

  • yahmed

    Please someone find out what’s going on with clumsy ninja

  • Dixon

    Is it just me ( could be I need glasses ;) ) or do the 3 iPhones on the one picture having different sizes !?

  • http://fearless-assassins.com/forum BBL

    Just add a 3G chips (4G if it’s not expensive) to the last generation of iPod touch, keep the same price and it will be the best iPhone ever for budget iPhone especially with all the colors ;-)

  • Diego Suanco

    Rolex doesnt make “budget” watches. wtf are you doing to your company apple. tss.

    • http://twitter.com/aidanharris1 ✪ aidan harris ✪

      Sounds to me like Rolex is losing a big slice of the budget watch market then…

    • Cside Wolf

      Maybe you’ve not heard of “Tudor” Watches, as per the Wiki entry for Rolex…….

      Montres Tudor SA has designed, manufactured and marketed Tudor brand watches since March 6, 1946. Rolex founder Hans Wildorf conceived of the Tudor Watch Company to create a product for authorized Rolex dealers to sell that offered the reliability and dependability of a Rolex, but at a lower price.

  • Gorgonphone

    great dual LED flash so at least we can easily tell the 5 form the 5s..lol