Cheap iPhone 5 Rumors: Device to Feature Plastic Frame

Recent rumors have pointed to Apple releasing a cheap iPhone 5 sometime this year.

Various publications have reported on this including Reuters and The Wall Street Journal and now DigiTimes claims to have some information on the parts that will be used for the device.

This new cheap iPhone will have a plastic chassis instead of the glass and aluminum ones that normally are used for other versions of the handset.

DigiTimes also cites other circulating rumors that suggest that this cheaper iPhone will offer a "chassis mixed with plastic and metal," with internal metal parts which will be visible from the outside.

The last iPhone to feature a plastic enclosure was the iPhone 3GS, which launched in 2009.

These components for the low-cost iPhone are now going through the process of validation, and the final product is expected to arrive in the second half of this year.

Apple's chief of marketing, Phil Schiller, recently shot down the possibility of a low cost iPhone coming out in a recent interview with a Chinese publication.

"Every product that Apple creates, we consider using only the best technology available. This includes the production pipeline, the Retina display, the unibody design, to provide the best product to the market," he said to Chinese interviewer Huang Yinlong.

"At first, non-smartphones were popular in the Chinese market, now cheap smartphones are more popular and non-smartphones are out," Schiller added. "Despite the popularity of cheap smartphones, this will never be the future of Apple's products. In fact, although Apple's market share of smartphones is just about 20 percent, we own 75 percent of the profit."

Schiller's comments basically state that Apple will not sacrifice quality in order to make a profit. Apple also likes to create its own lanes in the market. One example of this would be the iPad Mini.

Throughout the course of 2012, various companies such as Samsung, Google, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble released low-cost, low-end 7-inch tablets with prices in between $199-$249. Apple saw potential in this market and began crafting the iPad Mini.

However, when the smaller iPad finally saw the light of day towards the end of 2012, its price was significantly higher than the competition at $329 and it came with a screen that was slightly bigger than 7 inches.