updated 02:32 pm EDT, Tue April 2, 2013
Low-cost model expected to use 4-inch screen, different casing
Apple is starting production of a new iPhone "similar in size and shape to its current one" sometime during the current quarter, according to the Wall Street Journal. The paper cites "people familiar with the device's production," and suggests that the new phone could ship as soon as this summer. The iPhone 5 and 4S both launched in fall windows, but every other iPhone has shipped in June or July.
The Journal adds that Apple is also working with Asian manufacturers on a low-cost iPhone, which could be shipped as soon as the second half of 2013. The device is said to use a 4-inch screen, and may use a different casing. Apple has reportedly been working on shells in different colors, but the company's plans "remain unclear," according to the Journal.
The paper's claims may add more credibility to reports about Apple's 2013 product line. A cheap iPhone has been rumored for years, however, and to date the closest Apple has come is keeping older models on sale at a discount. At the same time, producing a new yet inexpensive model could let the company better compete in markets like India and China, and globally against Android devices.