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Apple at work on two 4-inch iPhones for 2013, sources claim

updated 11:10 am EST, Tue January 22, 2013

Site dismisses chances of bigger phone this year

Apple is working on two phones for 2013 that should both have 4-inch displays with in-cell touchscreen technology, like the iPhone 5, say industry sources for DigiTimes. The site previously claimed that one phone would be a cheaper version that nevertheless had a bigger screen. Now though sources suggest that while Apple is developing an iPhone with a larger screen, it won't be ready this year.

One of the new 2013 phones is expected to target a midrange market. The sources say, however, that it's still uncertain if Apple will have enough in-cell panels for a lower-cost iPhone, since suppliers ran into production issues in 2012. That may have actually hampered sales at the time, but production yields are thought to be improving.

In recent weeks numerous reports of a low-cost iPhone have surfaced, including one from the Wall Street Journal. Such stories have emerged in previous years as well though, and the most Apple has done so far is keep older iPhones on sale at lower prices. Increasing competition from Android devices could be putting pressure on Apple to offer cheap newer hardware.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. SockRolid

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 01-21-10

    Let's see now... Two 2013 iPhones with the same sized screen, one of them for the "midrange market." And there are concerns that there may not be enough in-cell touch panels for such a lower-cost model.

    If this is all true, then maybe Apple could use the current iPhone 5 screen in the 2013 "high end" iPhone and a non-Retina screen in the 2013 "midrange" iPhone. The high end iPhone could use this year's A7-based electronics and the midrange iPhone could use the A6-based electronics of the iPhone 5 (with slight modifications for the non-Retina screen.)

    The lower-resolution midrange screen would be cheaper, and should require less power than the latest Retina screen (given the same technology in both, except for the pixel density.) This would allow the use of a smaller battery. A smaller battery would create more space in the enclosure, which could be the same size as the iPhone 5. And because there's more internal space, there would be more margin for error during assembly. Assembly would be easier and faster than for the eternally interior-space-challenged high end iPhone.

    So what about the iPhone 5? Would Apple continue to sell it alongside both 2013 iPhone models? Probably not. By introducing a new midrange iPhone, Apple could hit the same (or lower) price point as the year-old model because of the midrange iPhone's lower component and assembly costs. People looking for a lower-cost iPhone wouldn't have to "settle" for a year-old model. But maybe the iPhone 4S could be kept around, if its production costs are low enough now. Especially for emerging markets.

    Of course, all of this speculation is based on a DigiTimes article. So all bets are off, as usual.

  1. blahblahbber


    Joined: 02-01-05

    contracts suck.... cryPhones true price sucks.... financing a phone has always been stupid. Next is financing your box of beer....

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