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Double rumor: Apple to fit Snapdragon processor into cheap iPhone

apple iphone 5 4GThere’s nothing like a double-stacked Apple rumor to finish off the week, so here’s the latest on the rumored cheap iPhone, which may not use one of Apple’s own A series processors. Instead, Apple could use a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor manufactured by Taiwanese firm TSMC, at least according to a report by the China Times.

Details of which processor Apple has supposedly chosen aren’t provided, but it’s said it’ll be built using a 28nm process, which does cut down the field enough for us to speculate. Many of Qualcomm’s dual-core and quad-core Snapdragon S4 chips fall into this category, as does its new Snapdragon 200, 400, 600 and 800 series processors. A mid-range phone would probably make best use of a dual-core Krait or the Snapdragon 400, as the quad-core and Snapdragon 600 chips are better suited to more expensive devices. Whichever chip it turns out to be, production is said to begin at the end of the month.

The rumor continues with the possibility the cheap iPhone will only offer 3G connectivity, which while unusual for a high-end device in the U.S., is only logical for low-to-mid range hardware destined for developing markets, where 3G is still the emerging technology.

It’s strange to discuss an Apple phone with anything less than high-end specifications, but for an iPhone to be affordable, sacrifices will have to be made. Replacing the processor with an easily sourced, but still powerful, model would be a sensible step in that direction, as is cutting out unnecessary 4G LTE connectivity. This latest rumor joins talk of a plastic body for the cheaper model, which would also be slightly thicker and heavier than the iPhone 5. However, the analyst source of that rumor also speculated Apple would retain its A6 processor for the budget model.

So, just to reiterate, the rumored cheap iPhone is rumored to be getting a Snapdragon processor. All this budget iPhone model gossip is giving us flashbacks to the endless stream of iPad Mini talk, just before it was made official.

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Andy Boxall
Senior Mobile Writer
Andy is a Senior Writer at Digital Trends, where he concentrates on mobile technology, a subject he has written about for…
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