More analysts think Apple will introduce an affordable, lightweight iPhone

iOS 6 Google Maps iPhone 5Apple likes to claim that it doesn’t make budget devices, but after the iPod Nano, iPad Mini, and Macbook Air, we know better. Rumor has it that the company is working on a cheaper, more lightweight version of the iPhone, maybe calling it an iPhone Mini or iPhone Air.

The concept, according to investment firm Topeka Capital, will likely be much like Apple’s Macbook Air, which offers much of the same functionality as a normal Macbook, at a fraction of the weight and a cheaper cost. We’re not sure if it will be thinner or smaller, but the firm expects the new, lightweight iPhone will retail for as little as $250 to $300, a far cry from the $600-plus price point current models cost.

And how does Apple plan to offer such low-priced phones without taking a hit? For starters, it will likely cut some corners by introducing more cost-affordable everything: from the case to the screen to the camera. So yes, some of the quality that comes hand-in-hand with the current models will likely be sacrificed, but, knowing Apple’s eye for impeccable design and craftsmanship, these slighter models will still likely be top notch, particularly for the cost.

The other advantage of using cheaper materials? The case would likely be made of plastic, in lieu of the aluminum Apple has been fond of using. With this material exchange, it means that Apple could also introduce an array of color options. Remember: it was Apple’s introduction of the colorful iMac that first paved the way for the company’s major comeback more than a decade ago.