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New iPhone release date lands in August: report

New iPhone release date? Look to early fall, according to one source.

By Matthew Shaer / March 4, 2013

The Apple logo hangs in a glass enclosure above the Fifth Avenue Apple Store in New York in this Sept. 20, 2012 file photo.

Reuters

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Wondering about the new iPhone release date? The Chinese tech site EMSOne is reporting that Apple will release two new iPhone devices in August of this year. 

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The first device, likely titled the iPhone 5S, will be the next flagship Apple smart phone, replacing the iPhone 5, EMSOne says. The second device would be a budget handset, designed to appeal to price-conscious consumers. As Apple Insider notes, at least one Japanese news source has speculated that the cheaper iPhone would be crafted out of polycarbonate, instead of the bezeled glass and aluminum build of the iPhone 5. 

It's worth noting, of course, that Apple has not yet confirmed the existence of a new iPhone, let alone the validity of the above reports. Moreover, we're months off from the launch of the next iPhone, and things can still change pretty drastically between now and August or September. (When it comes to predicting the specs on the next iPhone, professional pundits often get things hilariously wrong.) 

Still, the August unveiling date makes sense, as does an early September launch. So does the iPhone 5S branding. After all, the iPhone 3G gave way to the iPhone 3GS, while the iPhone 4 gave way to the iPhone 4S. Every other year, Apple does a full refresh of its smartphone line; in the years in-between, it tends to tinker with the iPhone design without overhauling it. 

And what about the rumors of a budget iPhone? Well, we've heard those before. But Darrell Etherington of TechCrunch says this time, the rumors may be for real. 

"A cheap iPhone is a tantalizing story because it’s a tantalizing product for investors, for consumers and for Apple itself. But Apple’s concern isn’t beating competitors on price, as it has said time and time again; it’s about delivering a no-compromise experience. So long as it can do that at a price point that makes more sense for the prepaid market, it would be happy to field such a device," he writes.

There's even an analogue for Apple, Mr. Etherington suggests: The iPad Mini. The Mini, he writes, "is another example of Apple waiting to build a product people clamored for until it could get the experience up to its standards, and waiting has proven the right strategy there." 

For more tech news, follow us on Twitter @venturenaut.

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