News from Reuters journalists in Taipei and Hong Kong suggests that Asian suppliers to Apple are now manufacturing a lower-priced 8 GB version of the iPhone 4. The journalists are basing their assertion on word from two sources "with knowledge of the matter."
According to the sources, a Korean firm is supplying the 8 GB flash drive for the low-end iPhone 4, which suggest that Samsung -- the source of flash drives for many other iPhone models -- could be the manufacturer. Unsurprisingly, both Apple and Samsung declined to comment about the rumor.
While a less expensive iPhone 4 could help Apple's sales in emerging markets, Yuanta Securities analyst Bonnie Chang was quoted as saying that "Apple will still need a completely new phone with low specifications for the emerging markets." Chang also noted that it would be difficult to bring the price of an 8 GB iPhone 4 down into the $150 - $200 range needed to compete with high-end feature phones.
The Reuters post also noted that one source confirmed a late-September launch for the iPhone 5, with production of the phones coming from Hon Hai and Pegatron. The source notes that an initial order of 45 million of the new phones, which sport an 8-megapixel camera, has been made.