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Budget iPhone design to be a mix of iPhone 5, iPod Touch and iPod Classic, report claims

Another day, another budget-iPhone rumor. With so many coming to the fore recently, you can’t help but think Apple has something up its secretive sleeve.

We’re hearing now that the design of the budget iPhone, which the Cupertino company may or may not be working on, will be a pick ‘n’ mix of other Apple devices, featuring the iPhone 5’s 4-inch Retina display, the latest iPod Touch’s bottom edge and, get this, a shape not unlike that of the iPod Classic.

The device, aimed to take on rival handsets from the likes of Samsung in developing markets such as China and Brazil, will reportedly look very much like the current iPhone from the front.

The report, from the editor of iLounge, gives a hat tip to “reliable sources”, though of course their names and location(s) remain as mysterious as the supposed budget iPhone they speak of.

Mostly plastic

Other tidbits of information suggest the casing will be made mostly of plastic, with dimensions that make it a shade larger than the iPhone 5, “around a half-millimeter taller and a half-millimeter wider—nearly imperceptible differences — as well as almost a millimeter thicker,” iLounge says in its report.

Also, the screen will likely be ever-so-slightly raised up from the casing, as it is with the iPhone 5 and latest iPod Touch. iLounge notes, “Despite the shift to plastic for the rest of the enclosure, our sources believe that Apple will continue to use Gorilla Glass for this model’s screen.”

As with the iPod Classic, the budget handset will apparently have curved edges and a flat back, preventing rocking when it vibrates on a flat surface. The back will feature a mic, camera lens and LED flash.

The bottom of the device looks very much like that of the latest iPod Touch, with one speaker, a centered Lightning port and a headphone port. A photo (below) also shows another mic, this one positioned beside the headphone port.

Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of product marketing, earlier this month said that a cheap iPhone “will never be the future of Apple products”, though his words failed to completely rule out the idea.

With the market for such a phone likely to be as big as the rumor mill that currently swirls around this budget handset, it’s easy to believe the folks in Cupertino are already well on the way to planning a launch event for some time later in the year.

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