According to Chinese website EMSOne, Apple is readying both the “iPhone 5S” and a budget iPhone for an August release. While orders for the cheaper handset have reportedly been placed with both Foxconn and Pegatron, the next-gen model is said to be assembled exclusively by Foxconn.
In contrast to the iPhone 5, which is available in different versions for carriers using different LTE bands,the “iPhone 5S” will allegedly be compatible with a wider range of frequencies, including those utilized by China Mobile. Apple may secure the universal support by equipping the device with Qualcomm’s new LTE chipset capable of running on all existing LTE networks. China Mobile, which is the world’s largest mobile provider with nearly 700 million subscribers, relies on its own unique TD-SCDMA network incompatible with Apple’s current handset.
For its part, the low-cost iPhone will only run on LTE networks of the FDD (frequency division duplexing) kind. Chine Mobile makes use of TDD (time division duplexing) to provide LTE connectivity.
The news follow another report out of Asia, which claims Apple will make its next iPhone cheaper by switching from the existing glass-and-aluminum design to a less expensive polycarbonate casing, reminiscent of the original MacBook. The baseline model will supposedly retail for $330 off contract.
In addition, Apple is also rumored to be working on a major overhaul sometimes referred to as the ‘iPhone 6’ or ‘iPhone Plus.’ That device is generally believed to boast a larger 5-inch screen, an enhanced camera, a next-gen SoC and possibly a curved glass design. While some industry watchers expect it to hit the market later in the year, others suggest Apple doesn’t need to launch a redesigned model until 2014.