Rumors about a low cost iPhone have been on the web for the past several months, with some reports suggesting that the device would offer a plastic chassis. KGI Securities analyst MIng-Chi Kuo also reported that the low cost iPhone would have a 4-inch screen, a plastic casing, and would even be available in a range of colors similar to the iPod lineup.
On Friday, Kuo released new details about some of the previously reported materials in the iPhone to AppleInsider, adding that it would have a ‘super-thin’ plastic and fiberglass shell, which would likely reduce costs, weight, and increase strength. He again reiterated the possibility that it would be available in 4-6 colors, likely the same as the iPod lineup. Currently, Apple only offers the iPhone in Black/Slate and White/Silver combinations.
The new, less expensive iPhone model is said to have a “super-thin plastic casing mixed with glass fiber.” The material will make it stronger, thinner and lighter than typical smartphone plastic casings, Kuo said.
He expects the thickness to be between 0.4 and 0.6 millimeters, which is thinner than the average plastic casing at between 0.7 and 1 millimeter.
The phone will also reportedly come in a range of colors, much like Apple’s iPod lineup. According to Kuo, there will be between four and six options, expanding from the black and white choices currently available on existing iPhone models.
Apple is also reportedly working with Foxconn as well as Green Point of the Jabil group in order to manufacture the shells for the low cost iPhone. Hon Hai, which trades as Foxconn will manufacture the casings and assemble the phones, while Green Point will provide casings to Pegatron. Pegatron will then finish the remaining iPhones left for manufacturing.
Apple is beginning to develop iPhones with a range of different screen sizes and materials, particularly because its competitors such as Samsung have gotten a leg up in the market using this method. Samsung offers a range of low cost smartphones running Android software which has also been serious competition for Apple’s iOS.