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

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