Apple iPhone 5C: Rumours, release dates and everything you need to know
It's that time of year again when Apple is expected to launch its latest addition to the iPhone family. This year is on par with previous years as a 10 September event has been confirmed and even though the focus is still a mystery, the next iPhone is expected. But something is different this time around. Not one, but two additions are expected, the iPhone 5S and a budget model, the iPhone 5C.
The iPhone 5S is near enough a certainty at the this evening's event, seeing as it follows the trend of previous device launches. But a budget model would certainly go against the norm for the company. There has always been a rumour of a cheaper iPhone model - mostly to combat the high price point of the regular iPhone - but there's never really been the flood of excitement that we're seeing in 2013.
Rumours and leaked images are definitely pointing towards it becoming a reality. Read on for a round-up of what is flying around from the crazy to the plausible and what we think has credibility.
iPhone 5C release date
If the addition of a budget iPhone is on the cards, then it will almost certainly be announced at the same time as the iPhone 5S. An independent source has confirmed to us that 10 September will be the launch date of the iPhone 5S, but the iPhone 5C was not mentioned.
There have been a number of casing leaks, as well as an image showing a pile of iPhone 5Cs charging at Pegatron so if it does join the iPhone 5S, you could expect to see the cheaper version available across the US, UK and main European territories by 20 September, along with the iPhone 5S as Apple usually marks the release date close to the launch announcement.
More recently, China Telecom posted a message to consumers on the microblogging website Weibo to announce that it would carry Apple's upcoming iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C from 20 September, indicating the new smartphones will be available to purchase within 10 days of their unveiling.
Apple may choose to stagger the iPhone 5C availability as that would make sense and perhaps encourage early adopters to take the premium model over the more affordable.
iPhone 5C name
Why the "C"? A number of sources predict the "C" will stand for colours, expecting the new budget iPhone to be available in multiple colours including yellow, red, green, blue and white with a plastic body expected. Leakster Sonny Dickson and BestTechInfo have each published photos and a video that allegedly reveal all the upcoming iPhone 5C colours. Although a black model is missing from each of these sites, BGR posted images recently of a black iPhone 5C.
Chinese website iapps.im also added to speculation recently, publishing pictures showing packaging very similar to that featured in previously leaked photos. They showed the new phones complete and ready for shipping, and the wallpaper of each phone matching the colour of its rear shell. However the picture on the front of each handset is more than likely a vinyl sticker or card sheet to give the impression that it is on, and the photos have since been taken down.
This would fit in with the iOS 7 colour scheme and there have been a range of leaked images claiming to be iPhone 5C cases, as well as components including volume and power buttons, all in a variety of colours. It would certainly bring a welcomed change from the predictable black and white versions of the previous iPhone models.
iPhone 5C design
Should this model see the light of day, it is likely to be plastic. Numerous claims say the body will be made from polycarbonate plastic, with others suggesting the iPhone 5C will be a cross between the iPhone 5, fifth-generation iPod touch and the iPod classic.
ILounge expects the iPhone 5C to feature a similar back to the fifth-generation iPod touch, with a shape reminiscent of the iPod classic, which appears to be the case from the leaked body parts. It also suggests a 4-inch screen in-line with the iPhone 5, with Gorilla Glass and the Lightning connector for the power source.
The Lightning connector is a certainty, as it wouldn't make sense for Apple to change this or revert to the previous version, a recent video comparing iPhones purports to show what the difference is between the iPhone 5C and previous iPhone models.
Plastic is likely as this would differentiate it from the iPhone 5 and rumoured iPhone 5S, making for a distinctly different device in the hand and justifying a cheaper price point.
iPhone 5C features
It's almost guaranteed iOS 7 will be the software to ship with the iPhone 5C. Following its launch the WWDC conference in June, we know that the iOS 7 software is due to make an appearance in September. The new software is currently in beta testing.
iOS 7 is said to be the most simplified iOS since its first launch, with Jonathan Ive, Apple's new senior vice-president of industrial design, describing it as "black, white and flat all over".
Other features rumours hitting the mill include no Siri for the iPhone 5C. This came from Piper Jaffray, who also expected the camera, processor and memory to be lower end than the iPhone 5 and speculated iPhone 5S.
We think it would be a strange move for Apple to remove Siri, given the promotion that went behind it in the first place but a lower spec processor, suggested as the A5, would be more plausible.
When it comes to the camera, we think the camera and majority of the other attributes of the iPhone 5 will remain for the iPhone 5C.
iPhone 5C price
As far as pricing is concerned, there are rumours hitting the walls left, right and centre.
It is a great possibility that a budget iPhone will greet us sooner or later, and with all the leaked images and rumours this year, the momentum is building substantially. With only an event date confirmed from Apple however, we can only wait and see if it uses 10 September to announce the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C.
We will bring you all the news of any iPhone developments from the event, which kicks off at 6pm (BST) so keep an eye on our Apple hub for all the latest.