Cheaper iPhone rumors flare afresh, said to have 4.5-inch display

iPhone 4
Clues to the budget iPhone keep emerging

Fresh budget iPhone speculation is afoot, with a rumor coming from a Japanese blog of a fairly reliable reputation about such an entry-level hitting the market in 2014.

Macotakara (via AppleInsider) reported Thursday that Apple is developing a polycarbonate iPhone measuring 4.5-inches, a few stitches more than the 4-inch iPhone 5. Despite the bigger screen, the phone is said to largely take after the rest of the iPhone family - home button under LCD display and all.

With nary a mention of sources, the blog reported that the material used to make the new phone's body will be similar to the glossy shell of the discontinued white plastic MacBook.

Because of the material, it's likely this iPhone (iPhone plastic?) will be thicker than current models, though it should pick up some extra durability.

Apple is said to be targeting a price of US$330 for the device, though it's unclear if that is an unsubsidized price for the phone or not.

Hope you're thirsty...

Like the rim of a margarita glass, take this info down with a few grains of salt.

As we said, no sources were named whatsoever, so the validity of this info is questionable.

However, it does raise some interesting ideas about what Apple has planned next.

There have been disparaging reports about the size of the "cheap" iPhone's screen, with rumors pegging it as similar to the iPhone 4S' display, the iPhone 5's and even larger, at 5 inches.

The most recent report had it copying the iPhone 5's 4-inch form, but today's rumor places it closer to the trend we're picking up that a polycarbonate iPhone will have a screen larger than previous models.

We won't know size details for sure until (and if) Apple ever introduces this device. However, where things stand we wouldn't be surprised at all if a lower-priced iPhone housed a bigger screen.

The idea that this iDevice will be made with cheaper materials and priced at such a dramatic drop from the unsubsidized iPhone 5 plays into Apple's move into emerging markets like China and Brazil.

What's more, as Android continues its stomp across the globe and starts to saturate the U.S. market more thoroughly, Apple likely feels the pressure to hit more price points in order to compete.

For the right phone, US$330 could strike the sweet spot for customers in every country who've always been interested in an iPhone yet were turned away by price constraints.

iPhone 5S snippet

Though most of the report focused on this entry-level iPhone, there was a takeaway related to Apple's rumored iPhone 5 follow-up, the iPhone 5S.

According to the report, the 5S will include a dual-flash LED module on the rear of the device. Stacked atop one another and to the right of the camera, the two flash ports will aid in, you guessed it, picture taking.

It's not the biggest piece of news, but we'll take it.

Michelle Fitzsimmons

Michelle was previously a news editor at TechRadar, leading consumer tech news and reviews. Michelle is now a Content Strategist at Facebook.  A versatile, highly effective content writer and skilled editor with a keen eye for detail, Michelle is a collaborative problem solver and covered everything from smartwatches and microprocessors to VR and self-driving cars.