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Report: Apple building cheaper, 8GB iPhone 4; iPhone 5 due late-September

Apple is building a cheaper, 8GB iPhone 4, according to two unnamed sources who spoke with Reuters. The new version of the iPhone 4 is currently in production at a Korean manufacturer, the sources say.

The current iPhone 4, which was revealed during the 2010 Worldwide Developers Conference in June, only comes in 16GB and 32GB models.

So, is this the second, less-expensive iPhone we’ve all been hearing so much about since early this year? At least one analyst doesn’t think so.

“Apple may want to push into the emerging market segment where customers want to switch to low- to mid-end smartphones from high-end feature phones, which usually cost $150-200,” said Bonnie Chang, a Yuanta Securities analyst, who spoke with Reuters. “But I think for an 8GB iPhone 4 the price is hard to go below $200, so Apple will still need a completely new phone with low specifications for the emerging markets.”

Still, it seems unlikely — but not impossible, of course — that Apple would have up to three new handsets ready for release this year. And considering the iPhone 3GS — which is estimated to be the second most popular smartphone on the market, after the iPhone 4 — is available for next to nothing these days, there seems little impetus for Apple to design an entirely new device that would essentially serve the same purpose.

In addition to spilling the beans on the 8GB iPhone 4, Reuters’ sources also say the iPhone 5 will arrive in late-September — something we’ve heard repeatedly in the past, and which is only slightly off from the early-October release that’s become popular in the past couple of weeks.

The sources did seem to clear one thing up, however; apparently the “iPhone 4S” name that many have thought Apple would call its next-generation device (or, at least, one of its next devices) is simply what people have been calling the iPhone 5 “because of its largely identical appearance to the existing iPhone 4,” says Reuters. In other words, the iPhone 4S name is just a joke among insiders, but has nothing to do with an official moniker.

Reuters’ sources also backed up claims that the iPhone 5 will have a larger screen, 8-megapixel camera and a better antenna. It’s also possible that the next iPhone will have 4G LTE connectability, as well as dual-mode GSM/CDMA radios.

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Andrew Couts
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Features Editor for Digital Trends, Andrew Couts covers a wide swath of consumer technology topics, with particular focus on…
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