Apple could be returning to the multicoloured designs of its eMac computers for its widely expected lower-cost iPhone smartphone.
Citing sources within the supply chain, Reuters reported that the cheaper model would come with a lower cost plastic case, and could be sold in a range of colours in order to create a visible differentiation from the austere black or white colours of the high-end models.
That would leave Apple slightly returning to how it segregated its computers in 2002-5, when it had a ranged of coloured eMac computers aimed at the lower end of the market, alongside its premium models, which were only sold in plain white.
Such a comparison should spark speculation that the cheaper smartphone could be sold under an ePhone brand, although within Apple that letter was traditionally used to denote products for the education sector. Most of the public at the time though saw it as a price differentiator.
Apple has discussed a price of $99 for the cheaper phone, the timing of which could slip to next year, one of the sources told Reuters.
In related news, looking to the middle or late next year, Apple is expected to release a much wider range of devices with different screen sizes and specifications to cater to a wider audience and shore up its shrinking market share compared to Samsung and the Android OS.