As we steadily march into late August, the iPhone rumor mill is in full swing. Lending a bit of credence to a number of tenuous reports surrounding Apple's fall 2013 iPhone plans, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple has asked Foxconn to begin shipping both high-end and low-end iPhone models in early September.
Recall that a number of sources, including the well-connected Jim Dalrymple, have indicated that Apple will be holding a special iPhone media event come September 10. Of course, it's always important to keep in mind that nothing is ever official until invites from Apple are sent out, but if Dalrymple is on board, it's always wise to mark your calendar.
As for Apple's plans regarding two iPhone models, the Journal relays that mass production on the iPhone models began in June, with the higher-end model "featuring a metal casing" and the lower-end model purportedly being comprised of lower-cost plastic materials. In doing so, Apple will be able to offer a low-cost iPhone model while keeping its margins relatively healthy.
Analysts say a low-cost iPhone could help to boost Apple's sales, particularly in emerging countries such as China and India. The company appears to be moving to capitalize on that theory, as people familiar with the matter said component orders for the low-cost iPhone are much higher in the third calendar quarter than for the high-end iPhone. But they added that component orders for the high-end metal casing iPhone will go up in the fourth quarter.
Previously, the WSJ relayed that Apple will offer a lower-cost iPhone in a number of colors, mimicking a strategy Apple previously used to great success with the iPod.
As for the iPhone 5S, which, if history is any indication, will be what Apple will name its next-gen smartphone, there are a number of unsubstantiated rumors floating around detailing what hardware enhancements the device will include. Reports detailing a fingerprint-authorization sensor and a 12 megapixel camera seem to be the most prevalent and interesting at this point.
What we do know with absolute certainty, however, is that the software that will power Apple's next-gen iPhone -- iOS 7 -- marks the biggest change to Apple's mobile OS since the iPhone was first introduced over six years ago.
It will be interesting to see if the masses embrace Apple's upcoming software upgrade or if they'll be left pining for iOS 6.
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