Apple working on cheap 8GB iPhone 4 alongside worldmode iPhone 5

The latest iPhone rumors point to Apple releasing a cheap 8GB version of the iPhone 4 alongside a worldmode iPhone 5 with a larger edge to edge screen

It's that time of year, folks. With Apple expected to release a new iPhone in about 6 weeks or so, the rumor mill is in full effect.

Over the past few weeks, there have been an avalanche of contradictory iPhone rumors. Whereas some reports claimed that Apple's next-gen iPhone would be a simple spec upgrade that would be called the iPhone 4S, others pointed to an iPhone 5 with a completely re-designed form factor.

While only Apple at this point knows what it has in the pipeline, a new report from Reuters fleshes out some of the murkier iPhone rumors that've been floating around.

Citing people familiar with Apple's plans, Reuters relays that Apple's Asian suppliers are already busy manufacturing a cheaper iPhone 4 with 8GB of memory alongside a more advanced iPhone 5.

That's right, 8 GB. The original iPhone 4 was available in 16GB and 32GB varieties so why go backwards?

Clearly, and if the report is in fact accurate, Apple is intent on releasing an iPhone that appeals to the low-end to mid-range part of the market. There's no denying that Android devices are shipping like hot cakes, and while one can debate if Google is really activating 500,000 new Android devices every day, the fact remains that Android poses a significant threat to the iPhone.

Consequently, it makes sense for Apple to take a page out of its iPod-strategy book and begin offering different models of the iPhone at the same time.

That said, a lower-cost iPhone 4 coupled with a next-gen iPhone 5 really makes a lot business sense. Indeed, if you look back at the iPod lineup before the iPod Touch came along, it was always the cheaper iPods like the iPod Mini that sold more than any other model.

As for the iPhone 5, Reuters' sources corroborate that Apple's next-gen iPhone will sport a larger edge-to-edge screen. But contrary to all of those case schematics and case moldings that made the rounds a few weeks ago, the iPhone 5 will reportedly retain the same form factor as the iPhone 4. These sources also noted that Apple's manufacturers are prepared to produce upwards of 45 million units.

As for the iPhone 5's features, in addition to the larger screen, the device will come with an 8 megapixel camera and will feature the same A5 dual core processor found in the iPad 2. Moreover, TechCrunch today corroborated earlier rumors claiming that the iPhone 5 will be a worldmode phone that will work on both GSM and CDMA networks thanks to a new chipset from Qualcomm and 3-4 internal antennas.

Lastly, there have also been some recent rumors alleging that Apple is working on an LTE compatible iPhone 5. While that's certainly on Apple's radar, Tim Cook said recently that current LTE chipsets don't mesh well with Apple's design goals to the extent that they would force Apple to adjust the design of the iPhone and negatively affect battery life.

Regarding a release date, it's largely believed that Apple's new iPhone lineup will launch on October 7th.

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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