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iPhone 5C gets colourful rubber buttons in new leaked pics

The images purportedly show the squishy volume, lock and mute buttons that will adorn Apple's rumoured cheap iPhone.

Apple's rumoured cheap iPhone is leakier than a catamaran made of colanders, with new pictures purportedly showing the colourful rubber keys that will adorn the wallet-friendly mobile.

The images above, which surfaced on the site of serial leakster Sonny Dickson, purportedly show the rainbow-hued lock, mute and volume buttons that will handle the physical controls of the so-called iPhone 5C.

As if seeing the ruthlessly minimalist iPhone rendered in cheery colourful plastic wasn't shock enough, the buttons appear to be made of squishy rubber, rather than the cold, unfeeling metal Apple usually opts for.

Although nothing is yet certain, all signs currently point to Apple building this mystery mobile using low-cost materials -- a saving that's nigh-on certain to result in a lower price tag on the finished product.

Apple's iPhone is already a popular gadget, but as it stands, those with only a few hundred quid to spare are likely to opt for one of the many decent Android devices that are available for less cash. It's this market Apple will be trying to steal if it does produce a budget mobile. 

A question on my mind is whether a less expensive iPhone, built from low-cost materials, could still offer the fancy finish and sturdy construction that's associated with Apple's pricier products.

We may not have long to find out, as rumours tip the new iPhone to make its debut on 10 September. As well as the exciting cheap model, we'll likely also get a glimpse at a revamped version of the iPhone 5, for those with cash to burn.

What are you hoping to see? Would you buy a mid-range iPhone? How cheap would it need to be? Let me know in the comments, or on our bargain-basement Facebook page.