Digitimes cites ”sources from the upstream supply chain”, who claim that Apple will use plastic instead of the traditional glass or aluminium in order to cut costs and sell the entry-level iPhone for less.
The report says that the cheaper iPhone’s plastic body could be made by a US-based electronic manufacturing service provider.
Alternatively, Apple could combine plastic and metal in order to make its low-cost iPhone, with the internal metal parts visible through the plastic, the sources said.
According to the report, Apple is currently testing components for the cheaper iPhone ahead of a possible launch in the second half of 2013.
Digitimes’ report follows last week’s influx of iPhone mini speculation that ended with an interview published by the Shanghai Evening News and reported on by Reuters, in which Apple’s Phil Schiller allegedly dismissed the idea of a cheaper iPhone, saying that it’s not Apple’s “product development plan”.
However, Reuters later retracted its report following “substantial changes” that were made to the original report, reigniting the chatter about the possibility of a cheaper iPhone again.