Apple’s secrecy has its advantages. One of the biggest is the endless stream of rumors and speculation that keep the company in the spotlight year-round. In addition to the iWatch and the iTV, one of the trendiest Apple rumors right now is the fabled budget iPhone. A recent report out of Japan claims to have some new details about the alleged product.

According to Macotakara, Apple is working on an iPhone with a 4.5-inch display and a polycarbonate build. The handset would supposedly have a build similar to the old white MacBook (which Apple put to rest in 2011, cannibalized by the MacBook Air).

The polycarbonate iPhone is said to have a thicker build than the iPhone 5, but would otherwise retain standard iPhone features like a home button below the screen.

The report also claims to know Apple’s targeted pricing for the iPhone, saying its off-contract price will match the iPad mini’s US$330. This would place it squarely in “budget iPhone” territory, and could help Apple to fare better in China and prepaid markets.

Many grains of salt

As with all Apple rumors, you’ll want to take this with many grains of salt. Apple’s supply chain produces its share of leaks, but there’s at least as much nonsense floating around as there is legit information. You often don’t know which is which until Tim Cook and company take the stage to announce the product.

We’re especially skeptical of the bit about the budget iPhone’s expected pricing. Even if Apple were preparing prototypes of the iPhone, how would the suppliers know pricing a year in advance? Suppliers aren't going to get anything but absolutely essential information from a secretive company like Apple.

Source: Macotakara via Apple Insider