According to a Bloomberg report, Apple may be giving hesitant iPhone buyers a cheaper option "as early as March," with production set to begin a month earlier by the company's suppliers. Bloomberg adds that the idea behind the phone is to appeal to a larger range of people, especially in international markets where cheaper Androids remain more popular, before releasing 5G handsets later in 2020.
Current rumors have this smaller device looking like a 2017 iPhone 8, with a 4.7 inch screen and Touch ID built into the home button. It'll also have a processor comparable to the iPhone 11's, and a price that could be in line with other smartphones.
It also won't have Face ID.
If/when this phone comes out it'll be Apple's first lower-cost model since the iPhone SE came out and retailed for $399 in 2016. Two years later that model was discontinued. But previous reports would have this new release's starting price at that same figure.
The more affordable iPhone models have been popular with customers seeking new phones as proven by sales of the iPhone 11, which was $50 cheaper than Apple's normal pricing. A separate report from Bloomberg says Apple asked partners to increase output of the processing chips used in iPhone 11s due to "higher than anticipated demand."
In addition to marketing to the more budget-conscious, Apple has plans to put out a number of new high-end iPhones later on this year. Those will include devices with faster processors, new 3D cameras, and 5G connectivity.