New iPhone Might Come This Summer, Report Says

Image credit: Associated Press

It's that time again, the time of the year when rumors of the next iPhone start to swirl. The first set of reports comes from The Wall Street Journal, which writes that Apple is set to begin production on the next iPhone this quarter (or spring). The new phone, which is "similar in size and shape to the its current one," could be on track for a summer launch, the report says.

Apple is also working on a "less expensive" iPhone that might be launched in the second half of the year, according to the same report. The cheaper phone is said to have the same size 4-inch screen as the iPhone 5, but a different casing that could come in a number of colors.

Apple has been rumored to have been working on an affordable version of its iPhone for a number of months now. Apple declined to comment on its plans when reached by ABC News.

Apple CEO Tim Cook addressed the idea of a cheaper iPhone while speaking at the Goldman Sachs conference in February.

"When you look at what we've done for people who are more price sensitive, we've lowered the price of iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S, and in the December quarter, we didn't have enough supply of iPhone 4 after we cut the price," Cook said. "It surprised us, as to the level of demand we had for it."

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The iPhone 5 was released in September 2012 along with iOS 6, the latest version of Apple's software for its phone and iPad. Samsung recently announced its Galaxy S4, the leading Android smartphone competitor to the iPhone 5. Apple responded to the launch with a new online marketing campaign on why people love their iPhone 5. Apple Senior Vice President of Marketing Phil Schiller also criticized Android in an interview with The Wall Street Journal.

"Android is often given as a free replacement for a feature phone and the experience isn't as good as an iPhone," Schiller said.

Many expect the next version of the iPhone to be called the iPhone 5S, following the naming structure Apple has historically used for its phones. Apple is expected to hold its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June; it has typically previewed the next version of its iOS software at that event and announced some new products.