The “cheap” iPhone

Rene Ritchie speculates on how Apple might release a cheaper iPhone.

If Apple sticks to their current pattern, there’ll be an iPhone 5S later this year, and the iPhone 5 will drop to $100 on-contract, the iPhone 4S will drop to free on-contract, and the iPhone 4 will be retired.

But Apple doesn’t always stick to their current patterns.

We’re not the only ones making this point, but on the panel I was on at Macworld Expo, I said the same thing Rene says: Apple isn’t going to do this if it can’t make money doing it.

Meanwhile, Dan Frommer speculates that maybe the cost of miniaturization means the cheap iPhone is a (new) big iPhone, not a small one.

I’m not sure I see Apple releasing a larger, heavier device just to make it cheaper. But, of course, it depends on how much larger and heavier. If I had to place a bet, I’d go with Apple leveraging the designs and components they’ve used to date, possibly mixing it up with an aluminum back on the iPhone 4 (something that was previously rumored) but keeping it 3.5 inches.

Which probably means it’s not going to be that at all.