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Rumour: Apple to launch cheaper iPhone late 2013 using mostly plastic materials

Whispers of a cheaper, middle of the road iPhone to go on sale alongside a new flagship model aren’t anything new. We’ve heard the rumours before and recently they’ve surfaced again, with reports suggesting that Apple will launch a cut-price iPhone using cheaper materials in order to rival the hordes of cheap Android phones out there.

Apple’s marketing guru Phil Schiller recently refuted claims that the Cupertino Company was working on a cheaper iPhone, telling a Chinese publication that; “Despite the popularity of cheap smartphones, this will never be the future of Apple’s products.”

The future it may not be, but that’s not to say that Apple won’t dabble in it. Frequent Apple rumour makers DigiTimes claim to have word from supply chain sources in the Far East that a cheaper iPhone is in the works. The publication believes that Apple will ditch the classy glass and aluminium found in its recent iPhone 5 for a plastic chassis.

While we’re sure the most hardened Apple fans will turn their nose up at a plastic iPhone, we have to remember that Apple used a plastic body very well with the iPhone 3G and 3GS, so it’s certainly a possibility. Perhaps the most intriguing part of the report mentions some sort of see-through design;

“[the cheaper iPhone will have a] chassis mixed with plastic and metal, with the internal metal parts being able to be seen from outside through special design”.

While it sounds fantastic and reminds us of the brightly coloured and clear bodied iMacs of yesteryear, we’re not sure just how likely such a design would be on a mid-range phone, if Apple were to ever even launch such a product.

Recent reports have suggested that Apple’s fortunes are falling to Android in the smartphone market, so perhaps the company will finally cave and launch something more affordable to rival Google’s platform.

According to DigiTimes Apple is current vetting components for its product, with a public launch likely for the second half of this year.