In a few hours, Apple is expected to flag off the most exciting iPhone event ever. It is for the first time that Apple will unveil two new iPhone models simultaneously. What’s even more exciting is that one of these models is aimed at the budget market. While there is no confirmation from Apple on any such budget iPhone or alleged iPhone 5C, the hordes of rumours and leaks circulating the web tell a different story. It should be noted that Apple will be holding a separate iPhone event in China, where it is expected to unveil the iPhone 5C in partnership with China Mobile. In fact, Chinese knock offs of the device are already up for sale, but they are nothing like what we expect the iPhone 5C to be. Here’s what we know about the iPhone 5C so far.
Design and packaging
We’ve been hearing about the all-plastic budget iPhone for quite some time now. There have been several pictures online that claim to be the 5C, and one such latest alleged iPhone 5C image gives us a clearer view of the plastic build and colourful back panels. Apple has chosen polycarbonate instead of anodised aluminium or metal to cut down the cost of the device. From previous leaks, the 5C is expected to feature plastic volume control buttons, power button and mute button. It may also get the bottom-firing stereo speakers, if the grille placement on some leaked images is to be believed.
This time around, Apple plans to go all colourful. The back panel of the iPhone 5C is likely to be made available in an array of colours. Leaked shots of its retail packaging have shown the 5C packaged just like Apple's iPods with a transparent casing, to show off the vivid colours.
Leaked image showing the all-plastic iPhone 5C
Going by the rumours surfacing online, the iPhone 5C is expected to be made available in at least six colours including red, pink, black, white, yellow and green. However, if the iPhone 5C decides to borrow from iPod's colour palette, then we might see some more vivid options such as blue, purple and orange too. In fact, even the invite for the iPhone event has bright multi-coloured polka dots.
Looks like Apple doesn’t plan to downgrade the screen size for the budget iPhone and it is likely to get a similar 4-inch display as the iPhone 5S. However, the 5S is speculated to get higher-resolution while the 5C may retain the 640 x 1136 pixel resolution seen in the iPhone 5. It could be even lower at 640 x 960 as seen in the iPhone 4S.
Leaked image showing iPhone 5C units in multiple colours (Image credit:iApps.im)
The iPhone 5C may sport the same 8MP sapphire crystal-coated camera as the iPhone 5. Leaks also point at an LED flash. It's unclear whether Apple will include the dual LED flash as expected in the 5S.
The processor is another area where Apple could choose to compromise in order to reduce the cost of the device. Instead of the updated A6X or A7, the iPhone 5C is said to feature the older A5 chipset.
The iPhone 5C, iPhone 5S and the iPhone 5
The iPhone 5C is believed to get iOS 7, but Apple may have to optimise the hardware to work well with the newest version of its operating system. However, the iPhone 5C may not get all the goodies of the iOS 7. Apple may drop features such as AirDrop or photo filters, which are two of the key highlights of iOS 7. The budget iPhone may also not get the full-scale version of the all-new and improved Siri in iOS 7.
It would be interesting to know what budget means to Apple, as the iPhone 5C is rumoured to be priced just $200 less than the iPhone 5S. Not really budget then, we must say. We'll find out the price and all the specs soon enough. Join us for the blow-by-blow coverage of the iPhone event later today.