While Apple has explored such a device for years, the plan has been progressing and a less expensive version of its flagship device could launch as soon as later this year, one of the people said. The cheaper phone could resemble the standard iPhone, with a different, less-expensive body, one of the people said. One possibility Apple has considered is lowering the cost of the device by using a different shell made of polycarbonate plastic; in contrast, the iPhone 5 currently has an aluminum housing. Many other parts could remain the same or be recycled from older iPhone models.
This is very similar to a DigiTimes report today that said the new low-cost device would launch in the second half of this year featuring a brand new exterior design and possibly a larger screen.