Budget iPhone design to be a mix of iPhone 5, iPod touch and iPod classic

budget iphone 3 5x

The so-called budget iPhone rumors have been really heating up over the past month. And today, more fuel is added to the fire. Following up their report last week regarding next-gen iPhones and iPads, iLounge is back with some new details on the low-end device.

Citing ‘reliable sources,’ the site says that the handset will be “substantially made from plastic,” and design-wise, it will look like a cross between the iPhone 5, the fifth generation iPod touch and the iPod classic…

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That’s right. While the phone will most resemble the iPhone 5, particularly from the front view, it will be a mix of all three devices. It will have a 4-inch Retina screen like the iPhone 5, a bottom like the latest iPod touch, and a shape that’s most similar to the iPod classic.

Its dimensions will be just a bit larger than Apple’s current smartphone. It’s around a half-millimeter taller and a half-millimeter wider, as well as almost a millimeter thicker. And beyond the move from metal to plastic, its curves will be its most significant identifier.

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From iLounge’s Jeremy Horwitz:

“Apple’s budget housing looks closest to the iPod classic in shape, though not in materials. Unlike the plastic iPhone 3G/3GS, which featured soft curves on all sides, the budget iPhone’s curves start and end at flat surfaces, so each side and the back are flat. This seems like a trivial change, until you realize that it allows Apple to use flat rather than curve-matched parts: the right side has a flat, centered SIM card tray just like the iPhone 5’s, while all of the buttons and ports are on flat rather than curved surfaces. A flat-backed iPhone won’t rock on a flat surface when it vibrates, either.”

On the back of the phone are a camera, microphone and a rear flash. On the bottom you’ll find a headphone jack, a Lightning port, another microphone and a speaker. And they are all in roughly the same places as they are on the bottom of the iPhone 5.

Apple has long been rumored to be working on a low-end iPhone for emerging markets—particularly China—but it’s looking more and more likely that the device is finally going to materialize. Recent reports say that we should see it before the end of 2013.

It’s also worth noting that Horwitz has a fairly accurate track record with predicting Apple products. And given the specific detail he goes into here, it sounds like he’s pretty confident in his sources’ access and information. We’ll see.

What do you think of the budget iPhone thus far?