Production of the newest version of the iPhone will begin this quarter, at the same time that Apple designers are at work on a lower-cost iPhone model, unnamed sources are telling The Wall Street Journal.
When it comes to the next version of the iPhone, production in this quarter means the phone could be released as early as this summer, with the cheaper version of the iPhone likely to be released in the second half of 2013. (In time for Christmas, perhaps?)
The Wall Street Journal writes:
“Apple continues to work with its manufacturing partners in Asia on a less expensive iPhone that could be launched as soon as the second half of this year, these people said. The four-inch device likely will use a different casing from the higher-end iPhone.”
This is the second time The Wall Street Journal has reported on this cheaper iPhone in the works, with the first report coming in January 2013. That report said that Apple could also decide to scrap the cheaper iPhone plan altogether.
Renewed rumours of a cheaper iPhone come as Apple faces increased competition from other smartphone makers at a variety of price points. Notably, the Samsung Galaxy S4 — with its giant screen and multiple features — may be making Apple a little uncomfortable.
The rumours also come as Apple stock is taking a hit. While it still closed at $429.79 per share Tuesday, Apple stock remains well short of its record high of $705.07 on the day the iPhone 5 was released in September. On Tuesday, Goldman Sachs Group removed Apple Inc. from its list of most highly recommended stocks, reports The Associated Press, and analysts just won’t stop reminding investors that Apple hasn’t done anything truly revolutionary since it released the iPad in 2010.