The latest Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone rumor involved the purported low-cost iPhone. A new image of the supposed smartphone has surfaced on the internet today and it shows what looks like a polycarbonate shell that measures somewhere between 0.4 mm to 0.6mm thick in size. Unlike the iPhone 3GS, which was also made from plastic, this purported model is not so round. The photo comes from the case making company Tactus.

plastic iphone image

Since Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) never discloses information about future products before the official announcement, there is no way to confirm whether this rumor is true or not. Although it is likely the tech giant will introduce a lower-end budget phone in the near future, we will have to wait to hear it straight from the source.

The budget iPhone reportedly will feature an A5 processor, 3.5 inch Retina screen,  and a 5 megapixel camera. It will be the lower end of the high end phone, and possibly a replacement for the iPhone 3GS.

If Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) really wants to maintain their place as a leader in smartphones, a budget phone may be just the thing to help them remain in their position in the top spot.  The Cupertino-based company is facing a lot of competition from Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930), which even offers a low-end smartphone.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) fans have a lot to expect and there might be some major disappointment if Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) doesn’t release a budget phone as rumors indicate. Fortunately, thanks to the persistent rumors and the somewhat believable image, it’s likely that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will introduce a budget phone in the near future.

Although there is no word yet on when Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will introduce the highly anticipated iPhone 5S or the budget iPhone, there have been rumors that it would debut sometime this summer. Given Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s history, it’s much more likely to arrive later in the fall.