Apple could very well be building a cheaper, 8GB version of the iPhone 4 to launch alongside the next-generation iPhone. The latest from the perpetual rumor mill suggests that both devices could arrive in late September, ahead of the commonly accepted October date most have settled on.
Reuters spoke with two people familiar with the matter who claim that an unnamed Korean company is providing the flash drive for a cheaper iPhone 4. Japan-based Toshiba and South Korean's Samsung Electronics currently manufacture these components for Apple.
Some analysts believe that a cheaper iPhone 4 could help Apple gain ground in emerging markets and further compete with lower-priced Android devices.
"Apple may want to push into the emerging market segment where customers want to switch to low- to mid-end smartphones from high-end feature phones, which usually cost $150-200," said Yuanta Securities analyst Bonnie Chang.
"But I think for an 8GB iPhone 4 the price is hard to go below $200, so Apple will still need a completely new phone with low specifications for the emerging markets."
As for the iPhone 5, this latest rumor indicates a late-September launch which lines up with previous leaks. The Reuters source says the new iPhone will have a bigger screen, better antenna and an 8MP camera. The phone is rumored to be made by Hon Hai and Pegatron, the source added.
This isn't the first time we have heard of such a rumor. A tip from April also suggested that the iPhone 5 would go into production in September and that Apple may be developing a cheaper iPhone model with lower specifications.
Particularly interesting is the thought of a cloud-based iPhone which could very well become a reality after Apple announced iCloud at WWDC in June. All we know for sure at this point is that a new iPhone will be lauching very soon as evident by daily rumors of its existance and arrival.