Image gallery – Is this the new, cheaper plastic iPhone? And is it a shot in the arm or branding suicide for Apple?

apple iPhone cheap

A brand-new set of images of the Apple's much-rumoured new, cheaper iPhone have surfaced today on the web, and if they are to be believed, then the plastic-clad cousin of the original iPhone looks pretty slick.

apple iPhone cheap

Although there's no word on whether the images are legitimate (they appear on an Australian website named Sonny Dickson) the distinctly non-blurred, detailed snaps make them some of the most believable yet.

Naturally, Apple will neither confirm or deny if there is a budget iPhone on the way and if so, if these pictures represent it, preferring instead to condense press hysteria around one of its famous keynote "events".

Does Apple need a cheap iPhone?

New figures from research firm IDC released on Wednesday revealed that Apple's share of the global market had slid to 13.2 per cent in the second quarter from 16.6 percent in first.

Android, on the other hand, has steamrolled ahead to 79.3 percent, due to a massive array of handsets on the market, plus a business model that allows Google to give away its software for free, monetising by associated mobile ad revenue.

Apple's much more seldom product releases means that it relies on a cyclical pattern, but September should see a brand-new iPhone 5S released, as well as a new Apple iOS, plus, if these images are to be believed, a cheaper version of the once game-changing handset.

But is this a smart move for a company that has always traded so heavily on its exclusivity? Will veering away from innovation at any price and entering into the nitty gritty of the mid-price phone market make the firm lose some of the cool factor that has historically defined it and its consumers?

Well, times are tough – both for Apple and the average tech consumer – so perhaps even the most strident hipster is happy to forgo a little glass and aluminium in order to get a cheaper smartphone. Lord knows, it worked for Android.


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