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(Pocket-lint) - Apple could finally be set to launch a cheaper iPhone using tech from the iPhone 8.

It's rumoured to be called the iPhone XE - however the 'X' moniker would imply it has Face ID and no home button. That's contradictory to this latest report which suggests it will really just be an iPhone 8 inside a different shell.   

According to the Chinese Economic Daily News, the 4.7-inch model could be released this time next year (though why not this September?). The report also claims that Pegatron will make the device, with 20 million units ordered. 

A $649 price point is also mentioned, although that seems steep to us given the market context and the reason for Apple doing a device like this in the first place. 

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The new device would be a good move for Apple given its clear need to increase options for would-be iPhone customers.

Apple has already launched the iPhone XR to battle premium handsets from other vendors. And it's been successful - XR was the top-seller during the first quarter of the year in the UK. 

According to data analysts Kantar, "iPhone XR was a strong performer for Apple this quarter, outselling the combined iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max in Europe and claiming the title of the best-selling model in Great Britain". 

Writing by Dan Grabham. Originally published on 18 April 2019.