Analyst: budget iPhone won’t have Retina display

Budget iPhone (Martin Hajek 002)

Apple’s rumored less-expensive iPhone aimed at emerging markets won’t just shave costs by having a polycarbonate body instead of Unibody aluminum design, it is bound to have a standard-resolution screen rather than Apple’s Retina display, like other iDevices. That’s at least what one analyst wrote in a note to clients Friday, based on the often unreliable supply chain checks.

He’s also calling for a June or July launch for both the budget iPhone and the iPhone 5S (a specs upgrade to the iPhone 5), which is the time frame that was mentioned previously in a few other recent reports…

A note by RBC Capital Markets analyst Amit Daryanani (via AppleInsider) reads:

Our supply-chain checks indicate that AAPL is working to launch multiple new phones in the June/July time-frame this year. Specifically, AAPL will launch the iPhone5s and a more affordable but lower-end iPhone at the same time, in either late CYQ2 or early Q3.

The low-end iPhone will have the same 4″ form factor as the iPhone5 but will have plastic casing and no retina display. With a lower price-point, AAPL will be able to target a growing and important part of the Smartphone market (sub-$400 price-band).

Other analysts are not so sure about a non-Retina budget iPhone.

Budget iPhone (Martin Hajek 001)

For example, KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo – who has a decent track record reporting on Apple – recently said that the rumored device will incorporate the same four-inch Retina display as Apple’s existing iPhone 5.

According to Kuo, the specs for the device were apparently decided on back in 2011 and include a Retina display, a “super-thin plastic casing mixed with glass fiber” and a bunch of colors, a first for the iPhone.

And in another report issued to clients, Kuo wrote he expected both the iPhone 5S and a low-cost model to support FDD networking and launch in July alongside iOS 7.

“The new iPhones this year are mainly designed on the basis of the current iPhone 5, which suggests development time could be reduced,” he said.

Gee, summer can’t come soon enough!

Budget iPhone renderings by 3D artist Martin Hajek.