Unlike with previous iPhone launches, the rumoured introduction of two new iPhone models this year - the iPhone 5S and iPhone Lite - could mean the end of Apple's current flagship smartphone: the iPhone 5.

That's according to a report from ETNews, which claims Apple is preparing to discontinue the iPhone 5 in order to make way for its upcoming iPhone 5S and cheaper iPhone, dubbed iPhone Lite.

See: Should I buy an iPhone 5 or wait for iPhone 5S, iPhone 6?

Typically, when Apple launches a new iPhone, it continues to sell two previous generations of its iPhone at a lower price. Currently, Apple sells its iPhone 5 starting at £529, alongside the 16GB iPhone 4S for £449 and the 8GB iPhone 4 for £319.

With a cheaper iPhone Lite expected to launch alongside Apple's next-generation iPhone this year, the company would already be addressing emerging markets and offering a low-cost option to customers with smaller budgets. Therefore, the company may decide not to sell its older generation models too.

ETNews' report highlights the in-cell technology in the iPhone 5's touchscreen as another reason behind the decision to stop production of the smartphone, because it is "not suitable for low-volume production."

Rumours about the iPhone Lite have picked up recently, particularly since a detailed video of an allegedly leaked plastic casing said to belong to the cheaper iPhone was posted online.

The iPhone Lite is expected to have a plastic chassis, with rounded edges reminiscent of the iPhone 3GS.

The iPhone Lite and iPhone 5S could both be launched in September, although KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has suggested that the iPhone 5S may be facing production challenges that could cause a delay.

In a very precise prediction, Wells Fargo analyst Maynard Um says that the new iPhone will launch on 27 September.

See also:

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