Rumors have been swirling regarding Apple’s desire to create a new low-cost iPhone that would enable them to compete with cheap Android phones, most notably China with it’s large wireless subscriber base. This past weekend, iLounge provided information on what their sources claim will be a completely redesigned iPad 5, an updated iPhone 5 (iPhone 5S) and this new cheap iPhone. Today they bring details on what to expect.
The budget friendly iPhone will lose the high end aluminum for plastic chassis, which is not surprising. It will take design cues from an assortment of Apple products, including the iPod touch 5th generation, iPhone 5 and *gasp* the iPod classic. While it will have the new 4-inch retina display, constructed from Gorilla Glass, the dimensions will be different from the iPhone 5. They will borrow from the iPod touch 5th generation, where the screen is actually above the enclosure. The lightning dock returns with the layout of the bottom mirroring the iPod touch.
So what makes its design inspired by the iPod classic. Apparently the shape is closest to the eldest iPod, instead of going in the direction of the iPhone 3G/3GS. There are slight curves at the edges, with the side and back flat. The circular buttons of the iPhone 4,4S, iPhone 5 are not present. Apple has gone the pill-shaped buttons of the iPod touch.
The biggest detail is price and that’s still an unknown. Storage space would be an easy area to cut costs, so it’ll be interesting to see if they ship this in an 8GB model. One would think it be priced in the area of $99 on contract, providing Apple with a sub-$100 option and perhaps further discounting brings this to free. When you view these details, it doesn’t sound so great, but I’d reserve judgement until we see the real deal. Apple is not going to build a cheap iPhone. They will build a low-cost iPhone and it will look much better than the Franken-iPhone we’ve described above.