Reuters: Apple considering phablets, $99 colorized budget iPhone

By , Jun 13, 2013

Budget iPhone concept (iOS 7, Martin Hajek, teaser)

According to a Reuters report Thursday, Apple is talking to its suppliers and manufacturing partners about producing multiple iPhone models in the next year or so, including a long-rumored less expensive iPhone in a range of color choices and two larger-screen models. The report asserts Tim Cook & Co. are adamant to iPod-ize the iPhone by offering more screen and color choices in order to appease to those smartphone buyers who are increasingly considering larger form-factor devices to enjoy their media, surf the web and enjoy their content on a bigger screen…

Reuters writes that Apple is considering launching 4.7-inch and 5.7-inch iPhone models in six different colors next year. In addition, the story goes, Apple has floated the budget iPhone price of just $99 althought “it’s not yet clear what the final price would be”.

“They constantly change product specifications almost to the final moment, so you’re not really sure whether this is the final prototype,” said one person involved in the matter.

Apple’s plans are still “under discussion” and nothing has been set in stone yet.

The news organization claims Apple is on track to release both the iPhone 5S with fingerprint scanning and cheaper iPhone models. Test production of both models will start next month, with mass production ramping up in August to meet a September launch target, according to sources.

Sharp, Japan Display and LG Display are said to supply screens for both iPhone models. Foxconn should build the high-end iPhone and Pegatron is said to make the low-end plastic model. All told, Apple is expected to ship 20 million budget iPhones in the October-December quarter.

“The mixing of colors is taking longer than expected as Apple has very high and idealistic standards,” according to one supplier.

Tim Cook during his D11 talk said Apple at the moment isn’t interested in blowing up the iPhone’s screen due to trade-offs that include screen resolution and brightness concerns, as well as battery life.

“That doesn’t shut off the future,” Cook said.

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  • matt yo

    i want to buy the THE iphone. not AN iphone.

    • Sentry

      Well said.

  • Mohammed Sahib

    So Cook and Co are now androidizing the iPhone. Sad.

    • Dan

      God forbid people have choices huh?

      • http://klikkit.co.uk/ Jake – Klikkit

        There is a choice, quality or android

      • Dan

        That’s just stupid, why shouldn’t Apple users have a choice between a small screen and a big screen? The demande is there.

      • http://klikkit.co.uk/ Jake – Klikkit

        No, that’s just stupid. Why would Apple invest in something only a small minority of users want?

        99% of these tech bloggers are blinded by their profession, the average user doesn’t want/need a phablet, they don’t even need more than 3.5″

        Like I said, tech bloggers/anyone in the tech industry – “geeks” will usually want a bigger screen for a variety of reasons.

      • Dan

        Looking at the sales (Samsung selling 8 million in the last quarter of 2012 and 150 million projected in 2013), I wouldn’t call the demand for phablets that small. And that’s Samsung. Can you imagine if Apple came out with such a product? The sales would be even higher. I seriously doubt Apple would lose on this.

        Anyway, opinions are like @ss holes, everybody’s got them. Lets agree to disagree and see what Apple comes out with, our opinions don’t matter.

      • Guest

        And again, I hope you are not being blinded by Fanboyism. If you want a small phone, just go back to your flip-phone, taking up very minimal pocket space.

        Think about it like this, Apple created the iPad mini because they knew that the 7-inch market was growing, and decided to cannibalize their own sales than having their competitors do it. Now try to imply that with a phablet. If they believe that they can actually gain a profit by creating a 4.5+ iPhone while still keeping the same form factor, why not?? It gives the people a choice. They may still win a profit from both size iPhones, and may possibly cannibalize competitors profits in the process.

        BTW – why the F*** are you using the term geek when you may not be far from one. You are on a tech blog for the love of god. Being here makes you a geek itself.

      • http://klikkit.co.uk/ Jake – Klikkit

        Geek isn’t an insult… Yes I’m a geek, yes everyone on this blog is a geek.

        Geeks are interested in technology, more interested than the average consumer…

        Phablets are adopted more by geeks than regular users.

        Is it really that difficult for your minuscule brain to comprehend?

      • bw00ds

        That statement shows how solidly you are behind Apple products, and that’s fine to have such an opinion, obviously, and many share your viewpoint.

        However, I disagree with you in that I think there are some really high quality Android phones on the market. As for me, today I’m just ticked off that my 1 month old
        iPhone 5 has problems with overheating as in really hot and there seems to be no solution, just various work-arounds that are hit and miss. And to top it off, my headphone jack suddenly quit working. This is my first
        cell phone. I’m questioning your “quality” statement, especially considering how much I paid for this thing.

      • http://klikkit.co.uk/ Jake – Klikkit

        I was joking, the HTC is a quality phone, as for your iPhone are you running iOS 7?

      • bw00ds

        No, I’m running 6.1.2.

    • felixtaf

      There is nothing wrong to have a big screen iPhone, the regular iPhone and a cheaper iPhone. Not everyone likes small screens – 1st one s for them, Not everyone likes bigger screen and they want the flagship Apple iPhone – 2nd one, Not everyone can afford iPhone – 3rd one s for them… Choice within Apple is better than choice between Apple and competitors…

      • http://klikkit.co.uk/ Jake – Klikkit

        Large display phones are a niche market, it wouldn’t make sense for Apple to invest in such a small minority and get bad press for it

      • felixtaf

        Small Niche market? I wast talking about Monster phablets. Galaxy S3 – 4.8″, S4 – 4.99″, HTC one – 4.7″ and they are all bigger screen phones (not phablets). Look how much they have sold so far? Millions… Even the Note and Note 2 phablets were sold in millions.. So its Not a niche market…
        Many people switched to these devices from iPhone partly because of screen size…
        I would never want more than 4″ in my iPhone 5, but one more option is always good for consumers who likes to have bigger screen and like to use their phone with two hands…

      • Dan

        Well said, some people will always think they know best and only their opinion matters. Imo, if Apple came out with a 5”-5.5” phone, a lot of people would jump on board.

      • bw00ds

        “niche market?” The numbers do not match that statement. And if you check out the reviews on Amazon of large display phones, the owners certainly love them.

  • Jaye

    Apple, please don’t start making grips of different iPhone handsets.

  • iOops

    I just vomited in my mouth a little reading this article.

  • Pranav Shankar

    5.7? I doubt it.

  • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

    Lol, it will probably be missing LTE and Retina Display (probably made by Low Grade), have a lower quality processor (A4 perhaps) and camera (3 MP perhaps), lack several key software features (like the iPhone 4 miss outs in iOS 7) and be made of plastic.

    That way it can still run the major iOS version that it was released with and small incremental updates to it. Then, it gets discontinued after 1 year (along with the iPhone 4) and the next budget iPhone increments those components for the next major iOS release….sounds pretty budgetty.

    • Roland Adi Nugraha

      I dont think Apple will go with A4 and 3MP… at least they will go with A5 which currently ipad 2 has , and 512RAM.

  • Ricky

    Can you inagine how appstore will looklike,” supported with iphone(5,4S,4,) ipad mini(1,2)Cheap iphone, iPad(,3,4) iPod touch (,4,5)

    • brooks whiffen seale

      Considering there only 4 different screen types you listed, not very different.

    • bw00ds

      lol, good one. It will be a mess.

  • Dan

    I for one am happy that Apple will be offering more options. The deciding factor for me when I made the change to android was the bigger screen of the Note 2 since it is more suited to my needs. If Apple brings a ‘phablet’ to the table, I will consider coming back to the fold.

  • batongxue

    5+ inches is ridiculous!
    With a little bezel, the 4.7″ screen on HTC One is the biggest I can handle with one hand on most occasions.
    If there are no bezels in the future, 5″ screens should be the max size.

    • Dan

      You certainly have a right to your opinion. Personally, I like my 5.5” screen.

  • Tim

    We want a 4.7 to 5 inch high end spec’d iPhone not this budget ish unless if the flagship goes bigger too. I for one is fed up of these small iPhones. My girl has been using the Galaxy line for quite some time now, i occasionally help her setup stuff on her phone and it just feels wrong to hold an iPhone after an s3/s4 experience. It now feels like a lil boy’s toy. Next WWDC i wanna hear “One handed use, my ass”

    • http://klikkit.co.uk/ Jake – Klikkit

      “we”? no sorry, you.

      I don’t want a bigger iPhone, if I wanted a bigger phone, I’d get a Galaxy and more features.

      I like a small phone, if you want a big phone, buy one, why are you buying iPhones?

      • Tim

        I like the OS, smoothness of the apps and the ecosystem as a whole. Plus all the other features that jailbreak offers. It’s a lil more nicer watching a movie on a bigger screen.

      • Blip dude

        Actually, the correct term here is “we.” You just somehow happen to know what people think they want, pff how typical. Also, we are entilted to buy iPhones just like you, big or small (no pun intended).

        While I do agree that phablets are stupid, a 4.5 inch phone makes sense, because it is considered the sweet spot, in my opinion. You can say people want smaller phones, but the fact that millions are starting to get bigger screen phones, I think you are being blind-sighted.

      • http://klikkit.co.uk/ Jake – Klikkit

        No the correct term is not ‘we’. Once you’ve had a career and forged a business as a result of technology market research, then I’d possibly consider your argument, until then, don’t question me when I state a fact.

  • felixtaf

    99$ phone from Apple? Ha ha… Even the new iPod nano is listed for 149$…

    • Hello

      The iPod Shuffle was $49 dollars, and it didn’t have a screen. Apple making a $99 product with a touch screen? Give me a break!

  • G Mohal

    Who’s copying who now?

  • G Mohal

    If you thought their regular phones were already overpriced, get ready for $1,000+ phablets.

  • brooks whiffen seale

    That was obvious. I mean, do you really think that apple has had their playing field leveled and they haven’t experimented?

  • Justin jacob

    we can always trust apple because of their quality