iPhone 5C: Is Apple prepping a budget smartphone for a fall launch?

Apple iPhone 5C rumors seems to have reached a critical mass. Several analysts now predict the unveiling of a $300 (or less) iPhone 5C on Sept. 10. But Apple has not confirmed.

A man is silhouetted against a video screen with an Apple logo as he poses with an Apple iPhone 4 smartphone in this file photo illustration.

Apple is reportedly working on a budget handset called the iPhone 5C, which will retail for far less than the flagship device. 

Before we go any further, it may be worth noting that these kinds of rumors have been swirling for years, with little result. (Consider that way back in the fall of 2011, analysts were eagerly hashing over the impact a cheaper iPhone might have on the China market.) The reason is simple: the iPhone has always been positioned as a luxury device, and Apple has historically seemed unwilling to dilute the brand with a stripped-down smartphone. 

But the Cupertino company may finally have changed its mind. According to Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray, this fall Apple will release the much-anticipated Apple iPhone 5S, as well as the Apple iPhone 5C, a device that would "exclude some software features, such as Siri" in an effort to keep down costs. Munster puts the unsubsidized price of the iPhone 5C at $300 – so perhaps as little as $100 with a two-year contract. 

Apple isn't commenting, and again, take a look at the monster caveat above: We've heard these rumors before. 

Not deterred? Then you may be interested in some speculation on the iPhone 5C spec list. Will it run the same hardware as the iPhone 4S? The iPhone 4? Well, over at Gizmodo, Eric Limer has a couple guesses

"Chances are iPhone 5c will be filled with repurposed guts from the iPhone 4S," Limer writes. "That should mean 8MP cameras and the same Samsung-made A5 chips that live inside the similarly colorful iPod touches. And, of course, a fancy new lightning port. It's probably not much different than how the iPad mini brought new use to aging iPad 2 innards." 

of stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Unlimited digital access $11/month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.