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The Next iPhone 5? Has Apple Inc.'s Low-Cost Alternative Surfaced?

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A leaked photo, posted on the Chinese Web forum WeiPhone, shows a pile of plastic casings for something called "iPhone 5C."

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Rumors about new Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) products are constantly surfacing, fed by the tech company's dogmatic secrecy and consumers' passion for its products. This morning, an image appeared on Chinese Web forum WeiPhone that may be verification of one of the most talked about Apple rumors of the last few months: the lower-cost iPhone.



The image depicts several white plastic cases atop one another in a disorganized pile. On the side of the cases, "iPhone 5C" is clearly printed. Rumor has had it that the next generation iPhone would be called the iPhone 5S. Given the new image, speculation is rife that the premium phone will be sold alongside this budget device, whose titular C may stand for color.

Like the iPod before it, the iPhone 5C, if it is indeed real, may come in a variety of bright colors. In fact, the plastic cases shown in the leaked photo are very similar to those of the fifth generation iPod touch.

It is rumored that such a budget iPhone would have a plastic body instead of the iPhone 5's aluminum chassis, as well as lowered specs to keep production costs down. That would allow Apple to compete more effectively in the lower end of the smartphone market, and go toe-to-toe with several devices running on the Android (NASDAQ:GOOG) operating system.

Additionally, the iPhone 5S, and now, the iPhone 5C, are rumored to be debuting in September.

Follow me on Twitter: @JoshWolonick and @Minyanville
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