The Wall Street Journal is once again reporting that Apple is working on a lower cost iPhone that could arrive in 2013, the exact same rumor that the paper first reported in January. Apple must really want us to know that this thing is on its way, because the leaks keep on coming, perhaps because of competition that is both looming (in the form of Facebook this week) and that's already arrived (hello again, Samsung!). The Galaxy SIV hitting stores this month will certainly win over some Apple fans — unless Apple can convince us otherwise. Or maybe the cheap iPhone leak had something to do with Jim Cramer's "J.C. Penney of tech" comment on CNBC this morning: "Whatever product that is coming out in September is a clear loser. We haven't seen it yet, but it is a loser," he said. So perhaps Apple, feeding "a possible summer launch" to the Journal while having their spokespeople conveniently "declining to comment," is reassuring us — anonymously, of course... or at least "according to people familiar with the device's production." (Perhaps with 24 hours we'll get another rumor of sub-$100 pricing from another source, like we did the last time around.)
Anyway, in case you haven't heard, sources say Apple's working with manufacturing partners in China to get a "less expensive" iPhone made with a different, cheaper casing, and production is set to being this summer. Again, that sounds a lot like what its sources said in January. "The cheaper phone could resemble the standard iPhone, with a different, less-expensive body, one of the people said," the Journal wrote back then, albeit with a "later this year" launch table as opposed to, you know, maybe possibly this summer. Since then, Apple said it would not pursue a cheaper phone just for market share, which still left room for the low-cost gadget — just not for market share, but for... other reasons. Apple has also indicated that it "wants to provide the best products," which again leaves room for the best cheapish smartphone out there. Tuesday's leak once again confirms all of that, without confirming much of anything.
In addition, these mysterious Apple whisperers say the company will start making a "a refreshed iPhone similar in size and shape to its current one" (that storied iPhone 5S), readying it for that potential summer launch. Again: We've heard this one before. It aligns with the previous rumor reports and analyst tea-leaf reading, which again means that maybe possibly this thing will end up happening. So, in conclusion: The Wall Street Journal knows everything you already knew about the iPhone. Although, the Journal does have one new-ish bit of info: "Apple has been working on different color shells for the phone but its plans remain unclear." (That would seem to "confirm" what still other rumorers have "reported.") Of course, there are many other iPhone rumors that the Journal has not reported — and, we can pretty much assume, that Apple has not yet chosen to leak: a super fast "A7" chip, a 13 megapixel camera, and a finger print sensor with NFC capabilities to go along with it, all presumably arriving in the iPhone 5S, possibly later this summer, maybe now along with the cheap iPhone.
So, it's all old rumor news here, suggesting that Apple just felt that now was a good time for a trusty ole Journal leak to get the word out about its upcoming products. Apple stock certainly hasn't had the best few months; in the past, a little rumor talk has gotten investors excited. And maybe if the Apple leakers remind consumers that a 5S is around the corner, they won't all bail before the big actual reveal.