By Jim Karpen on Mon, 03/18/2013
Rumors of a "budget" iPhone continue to gain credence. The latest prediction from a market analyst with a solid track record corroborates earlier reports that Apple is creating a low-cost iPhone for emerging markets with a 4-inch screen and less-expensive materials.
The report, on AppleInsider, says it will come in a range of colors and will have an extremely thin plastic casing mixed with glass fiber. Apparently Apple has contracted with Foxconn, Jabil, and Pegatron for the casing and assembly. In addition, a rumor last week indicated the phone would have Qualcomm's Snapdragon processor, which offers a "system on a chip." Such a chip would save money on the cost of components.
Also, a report on CNET says we can expect an iPad mini with a Retina display, but not until late summer or fall, according to estimates based on information from Apple's supply chain. The word is it would have a resolution of 2,048 x 1,536 pixels, for a pixel density of 324. By way of comparison, the current iPad mini has a 1,024 x 768 display and a pixel density of 163.
Speaking of the iPad mini, Apple began selling refurbished iPad minis and fourth-generation iPads in its online store Friday. You can save $30 on a mini and $50 on the fourth generation iPad. While that doesn't sound like a lot, keep in mind that most of these units are essentially brand new. Sometimes people return the device thinking something’s wrong when they simply don't know how to use it. In other instances, people decide they don't want it, and Apple repackages and sells them as refurbs. However, on occasion a refurb will have obvious cosmetic wear, so you can never be sure exactly what you'll get.
And speaking of iPads, check out this article on TUAW about some hackers who've rigged up an iPad to control an otherwise driverless car. You can get an idea of how it works by watching this video.