Apple's low-cost iPhone, the rumoured project which Apple watchers predict will launch alongside the iPhone 5S or iPhone 6 release, could be available with vibrant red, green and yellow backplates, if supposedly leaked photos prove genuine.

Photos of the new low-cost budget iPhone (allegedly) have been spotted on a French website, but have watermarks indicating that their origin is Weiphone.com, a Chinese gaming site.

Low cost budget iPhone

The 'budget iPhones' in the pictures are oddly garish, which ordinarily wouldn't be plausible for an Apple release; the iPhone 5, for instance, is only available in white and black. Apple has traditionally kept its iPod lines, aimed at a younger and more consumer audience and available in a variety of bright colours, separate from its more sombre iPhone line.

However, the vibrant colour scheme seen in the iOS 7 beta version has made some pundits wonder if Apple is contemplating a more general strategic shift towards a younger audience - or simply a visual change. The colours of the low-cost iPhones in the photos do somewhat echo the colours of iOS 7, so perhaps they are genuine.

We'd take them with a pinch of salt, however.

Low cost budget iPhone

Low cost budget iPhone

One theory is that Apple's follow-up to the iPhone 5 will split into two products: a full-on iPhone 6 (or iPhone 5S) and a budget model, which could simply be a low-cost iPhone, or a smaller iPhone mini. Others even think the cheaper budget iPhone will be bigger than the iPhone 5.

The demand for a cheaper iPhone mini is high. The iPhone is a fantastic piece of kit, but it's fairly expensive; a cheaper iPhone mini would be fantastically popular with people who want to buy into the iPhone experience, but don't feel they can afford or justify a full iPhone.

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