A new report published on Thursday by Japanese blog Macotakara (via AppleInsider), claims that Apple (AAPL) is developing two distinct forthcoming iPhone models: an iPhone 5 follow-up measuring 4.5″ against 4″ now, and a less-expensive version made with a polycarbonate body similar to the discontinued base MacBook model. Citing ‘informed sources,’ Macotakara mentions a $330 price point for the new entry-level iPhone, matching what the company charges for the iPad mini.
As for its design, the cheaper iPhone model is reportedly expected to look very similar to the iPhone 5 with the exception of being somewhat thicker than current models, thanks to the use of a polycarbonate body rather than aluminum and glass.
The publication also noted, that plans for a next-gen iPhone that is said to employ a 4.5-inch display have been pushed back to 2014.
Regarding Apple’s 2013 plans, Macotakara indicates that Apple may be looking to add a dual-flash LED module on the back of the next iPhone, sometimes referred to as “iPhone 5S” (the version is widely expected to drop in June of this year) to aid in picture taking. The two flash exposures would reportedly be stacked on top of each other, to the right of the camera lens.
Over the past few weeks we’ve heard rumors of Apple working to develop both larger and cheaper iPhone models. Digitimes last month was the first publication to claim that the lower-cost iPhone would carry a larger screen and that the components for the entry-level iPhone are already undergoing validation with the final product likely to hit the market in the second half of FY2013. The publication however, later backtracked from those claims, saying that a larger screen iPhone would not launch this year.
It’s worth noting that today’s rumor is unconfirmed and as such it should be taken with a grain of salt.