The long-awaited, long-talked about budget iPhone is apparently set to launch, in a bid to knock Samsung off the top of the smartphone ladder.
After months of speculation and rumour talk, the 'will they, won't they' debate continues as strongly as before - with supply chain sources offering insight into Apple's future plans.
Speaking with world electronics distributor ETrade Supply, the unnamed sources have claimed Apple is set to release the cheaper device later this year.
After allegedly confirming the existence of budget parts, ETrade said:
There have been many rumours lately about Apple possibly releasing lower end models," the blog read.
"Well we just heard “on the wind” confirmation that Apple will in fact be releasing these lower end models. And we are not the first.
"This is not the game changing move that we are used to from Apple which had kept them on top for so many years.
"But after disappointing sales figures from the iPhone 5, and not much being expected form the iPhone 5S, Apple needs a new strategy.
"So it has been suspected for a while that they may eventually release low to mid-range models to make up for lost market share until they can come up with a new innovative idea."
Taking a slice of Samsung's share?
With ETrade Supply believing Apple needs to generate cash from somewhere to keep the brand alive until a bigger, better idea comes along - they see the budget smartphone as a way of appeasing investors.
"By releasing lower end models they plan to recapture market share, hold interest in their OS and keep investors happy," the blog read.
"We all know what happens if you are off in the woods picking blackberries instead of doing something innovative or profitable.
"So Apple probably won’t find another Steve Jobs like mind anytime soon, but this may keep them in the race for market share.
"Will Apple take command of their destiny, and Global Market Share, once again? Will Apple invent and be first to market with the next generation Consumer Electronics Game Changer?
"Or is it too late and history will note the impending low end release as an MBA spreadsheet contrived “A race to the bottom”.
"How the mighty have fallen in the midst of the battle…"
The claims follows news last week that Apple’s manufacturer share has decreased in New Zealand for the first time, allowing industry rival Samsung to narrow the market gap.
Figures released by mobile advertising network InMobi said between January and March this year, Apple’s manufacturer share of impressions on the InMobi network dropped 2.4%, attributed to a decrease in iPhone impressions.
Is now the time for Apple to act? But does a budget Apple iPhone appeal to you? Is it enough to win back a market share? Tell us your thoughts below