It is widely speculated that Apple will launch a cheaper or budget iPhone alongside the iPhone 5S later this year.
We’ve been assuming that Apple will price it in the $250 – $350 price range to reduce the entry barrier of owning an iPhone.
We also expected Apple to discontinue iPhone 4 with the launch of the iPhone 5S, but continue offering the iPhone 5 and possibly even the iPhone 4S. However, Korean site ETNews.com claims that Apple is planning to discontinue production of iPhone 5 when it launches the iPhone 5S.
The report claims that the in-cell technology used in iPhone 5’s touchscreen is not suitable for low-volume production, which is the reason for discontinuing it. Apple started using in-cell display technology with the launch of the iPhone 5.
The technology integrates touch sensors into the LCD, which eliminates the need of a separate touch screen layer. The absence of a separate touch screen layer not only helps to make the screen thinner, but it also improves the quality of displayed images. Colors get a boost, too, with color saturation that’s 44 percent greater than before.
There have been some speculations that Apple will discontinue the iPhone 4S as it will be the only device in Apple’s iPhone lineup to come with a 3.5-inch display and the older 30-pin connector. But, it is difficult to believe that Apple will discontinue the iPhone 5 as well, especially since its strategy of offering older generation iPhones has done so well. The reason also doesn’t make sense as Apple is likely to use the in-cell display technology in the iPhone 5S as well.
If Apple does end up discontinuing the iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S then it would mean the budget iPhone will be priced in the $350 – $450 range.
Apple is expected to unveil the budget iPhone alongside iPhone 5S in September.