iOS 7 has been introduced, new MacBook Airs are on the market, and early summer is settling in. Now it’s time to get back to the real matter at hand… iPhone rumors! Reuters today claims Apple is looking into a variety of possibilities to expand its iPhone lineup in the near future. They include, cheaper pricing, larger screens, and colors… So many colors!
According to Reuters, four people with knowledge of Apple’s plans say the company is investigating a number of iPhone models for 2014, such as a $99 version, 4.7-inch and 5.7 iterations and models with color options other than black and white.
Reuters sources appear to be replaying rumors we’ve already been hearing for months now, but they claim to have “direct knowledge of the situation,” direct form suppliers in Asia that are “fielding inquiries from Apple regarding iPhones with larger displays.” Those “people” say the company has narrowed down the possible screen dimensions to 4.7 and 5.7 inches.
The rumored iPhones are reported to be in direct response to how well Samsung is performing in the smartphone market. Of course, all this information is subject to the ever popular “change,” as the sources note that Apple “constantly change[s] product specifications almost to the final moment, so you’re not really sure whether this is the final prototype.” (And did that cover our asses enough?)
While hedging a bit on the “iPad mini mini” rumors about the iPhone, the report also carries a few interesting tidbits about the rumored “low cost” iPhone. It repeats previous speculation that the handset will be made in an array of colors, and will be made of plastic to keep costs at a minimum.
Reuters sources can’t agree on the release date for the el cheapo iPhone however, with one source saying 2014, while a more optimistic source says test runs are scheduled for July, with mass production kicking off in August.
“Trial production was originally planned to start in June, but the mixing of colours is taking longer than expected as Apple has very high and idealistic standards,” reported one source, who added that 20 million of the budget devices are expected to ship in Q4.
The Verge reports today that an “iPhone 5S” is still planned for release alongside the budget handset, and will include the fingerprint sensor. Apple is reported to be set to use Foxconn to assemble the iPhone 5S, while Pegatron will be tasked with piecing together the cheaper model.
Tim Cook attempted to put rumors of a larger iPhone to rest in April, when he said that the company would not consider releasing an iPhone with a larger screen at present due to perceived tradeoffs in image quality and battery life, among other issues. Nice try, Tim.