Apple prepping budget-friendly, 8GB iPhone 4?

Reuters says that the device will launch within the next few weeks, paving the way for the iPhone 5 to hit store shelves at the end of September.

Is another iPhone 4 model set to launch?
Is another iPhone 4 model set to launch? Apple

All the talk surrounding an imminent iPhone 5 hasn't caused Apple to forget about the iPhone 4, a new report claims.

Citing anonymous sources, Reuters is reporting this morning that Apple is planning to launch an 8GB iPhone 4 model "within weeks." According to the news service, Apple wants to offer the 8GB model to folks in emerging markets and those who want to get their hands on the latest device from the company at a more affordable price.

The exact price of the new model hasn't been disclosed, but Reuters is reporting that it will be cheaper than the current models.

Apple launched its iPhone 4 in June 2010 . The device was the first from the company to come with the Retina Display, delivering higher-quality visuals than iPhone owners had been accustomed to seeing. At launch, the company offered 16GB and 32GB models priced at $199 and $299 with a two-year agreement with AT&T. Earlier this year, Apple launched CDMA versions capable of running on Verizon Wireless' network . It followed that up with the launch of a white version a couple months later .

All along, Apple has offered a cheaper iPhone for those on a budget: the iPhone 3GS. Priced at $99 last year and then slashed down to $49 earlier this year, the iPhone 4's predecessor is designed to appeal to those looking to save a few bucks--a role the rumored 8GB iPhone 4 would ostensibly take on, as well.

Related stories:
• CNET's review of the iPhone 4
• iPhone 5: 20 most-wanted features
• iPhone 5 rumor roundup

Even with all those smartphones available now, much of the talk across the iPhone ecosystem has surrounded the long-awaited iPhone 5 . In recent years, Apple has announced new versions of its iPhone at the Worldwide Developers Conference in June. However, this year, the company didn't do so, prompting some to wonder if it actually has a device planned for this year.

Rumors are cropping up on a nearly daily basis about the eventual launch of the iPhone 5. Some reports claim the device will launch in September, while others say Apple will wait until October to release its new smartphone. Other reports even suggest that Apple won't be offering an iPhone 5 this year, and instead will be delivering a new and improved version of the iPhone 4.

At this point, there's no telling what Apple has planned.

But that hasn't stopped Reuters' sources from speculating. The news service said today that Apple is readying the new iPhone for a late-September launch. The device, a Reuters source claims, will come with a larger touch screen, improved antenna, and an 8-megapixel camera. Apple has requested production capacity of 45 million units, Reuters says.

Apple did not immediately respond to CNET's request for comment.

 

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