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Cut-price iPhone planned for 2013 [rumour]

Sources. You just gotta love the mysterious entities that thrive off the good nature of tech journalists. The latest rumour from Apple supply chain sources is that a low-cost iPhone is planned for the latter half of 2013. Low cost and Apple in the same sentence? We thought the apocalypse was supposed to happen last year?

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Please be cheaper

Here’s the skinny: sources say that they’ve seen the low-cost iPhone and it’s going to have a five-inch screen and a new exterior. This is almost too much to bear. Not only will Apple smash out a pocket-friendly iPhone, but it’s going to look different. And different is good, hell, it’s great. So why an iPhone 5 and a half (we coined it first folks)? For that, we can thank the iPad Mini.

Sales have been “booming”, says Apple Insider and this might have pulled the shelved idea of an affordable iPhone (Jobs was not a charitable man) back into reality. While we wouldn’t call the US$329 iPad Mini affordable, it’s certainly within reach for most tech diehards. And at US$649 for the cheapest iPhone 5, Apple needs to look at selling the budget iPhone for under US$250 to make it truly worth of the emerging markets moniker.

There’s another piece of the puzzle, care of the same sources who broke the story. Qualcomm’s just launched a new range of low-cost Snapdragon processors, specifically aimed at the myriad emerging market devices. The sources say that this has “paved the way” for Apple’s budget iPhone plans.

Apple has also been in talks with China Mobile to release a TD version of the iPhone to compete in the bustling Chinese smartphone market. This is a lot to take in, so sit back, digest and dream of a budget iPhone hitting the stores in the second half of 2013.