Ever caught wind of the possible “budget” version of the iPhone 5? Rumors are quickly spreading around the web about the possible release of a downgraded version of the latest Apple smartphone, scaling down on some of its components while retaining the performance.

This is apart from the next iPhone iteration due this year, and is possibly an answer to the affordable but nonetheless capable Androids out in the market today. Following Apple’s line of thinking, if they can come up with a 7-inch iPad to compete with cheaper tablets, it’s highly likely that they’ll release a budget version of their flagship smartphone. Indeed, the iPhone is their bread and butter, but with the pressure coming from more affordable smartphones from their competitors, Apple could certainly use a low-end phone to reclaim their market share.

How it stacks up against the actual iPhone 5

Adjectives like cheap or low-end doesn’t really go well with any Apple products, but the rumoured release of the iPhone 5 will certainly shatter that notion. The alleged handset’s most notable distinction from the original would be the plastic body, which was last seen in an iPhone two generations ago. The iPhone 5 is clad in brushed aluminium and glass, and this had been the gold standard in mobile phones today. Going back to plastic chassis definitely gives off a cheaper vibe, even though it will still look like the iPhone we’ve come to know and love (or hate). The size remains the same, although the budget handset will be thicker by a few millimetres, probably to give it a sturdier body, now that it’s made of plastic.

One thing that sounds positive with these rumors is that the performance won’t be compromised. Nothing has been leaked yet about the specs, so there’s no basis for comparisons. The new handset will still retain the Retina display and the Lightning connector, and the screen will still be protected with Gorilla glass.

Will it draw enough attention?

Judging from the performance of the iPhone 5, the future is bright even for a low-end version of the handset. The latest Apple handset sold over five million units in a span of three days, and is currently the fastest selling iPhone ever made. While current iPhone 5 owners would hesitate buying a budget version of what they have, it could certainly spark the curiosity of those who doesn’t have it yet. If the price of the iPhone 5 is what keeps them from getting it, a cheaper version can coax them into letting go of their hard-earned money. This is also a great opportunity for iPhone 4S owners to “upgrade,” since they’ll still be able to enjoy the iPhone 5 without feeling guilty over dumping their year-old 4S.

The rumoured budget iPhone 5 could also be the key to widening Apple’s reach in the mobile phone market. It is undeniable that there are more Android users primarily because the OS is available on budget handsets made by Apple’s competitors. A budget iPhone 5 allows the Cupertino-based company to roll out “affordable” handsets to cater to a more budget-conscious user base. This would allow Apple to ease into the lives of these customers and somehow influence them with Apple’s brand of performance, functionality, and design sensibilities.

Judging from the rumoured features of the budget iPhone, it’s hard to think that consumers would feel that they’re using an inferior handset. It looks and feels like the iPhone 5; if it is shipped with the same innards as the original, it will surely be a sweet deal for a reliable personal and business phone.

About Henry Conrad

Henry Conrad is a 29-year-old game developer from Albuquerque, New Mexico. Aside from gaming and being a tech junky, he also dabbles in creative writing, which allows him to create great storylines and backgrounds for his characters.