This looks like way off the mark but rumors from ET News appear to be hinting at something strange. It states that Apple might discontinue the iPhone 5 in favor of “iPhone 5S” and theĀ budget iPhone (which is supposedly coming in a plastic shell).

The rumors do sound way out of place but Apple has one particularly strange history of discontinuing an iPad in favor of the lightning-dock iPad 4. Does this mean that Apple could actually pull off such a move?

The iPhone 5 has been hailed as one of the top-selling devices for Apple all these quarters. A large chunk of the iPhones sold has been the iPhone 5 and the CEO has been quite pleased with the numbers.

Budget iPhone Rumors

At first and second glance, it doesn’t look like the rumors about iPhone 5 being dropped can ever be true. Here’s why:

  • First off, the iPhone 5S isn’t vastly different from the iPhone 5 to warrant a dropping off the shelves. At best, the iPhone 5S is rumored to have a better camera, an upgraded processor and battery.
  • Secondly, no iPhone has been dropped out of sequence. The iPhone 2G and 3G went out of business after the third successor in each case was released. The iPhone 3GS went out with iPhone 5 and the iPhone 4 would possibly go out with the iPhone 5S. Why would Apple want to drop iPhone 5 just to promote the iPhone 5S and the iPhone lite?

Internal debates here do point out some interesting things that might hold water for the ET News claim:

  • Apple’s possibly looking at a massive market penetration for both its iPhone versions releasing this late September/early October. In order to do that, they might drop the iPhone 5 to pave way for new customers and upgraders to buy either of the new iPhones.
  • ET News also reports that Apple is pushing in-cell touch via iPhone 5S and that the iPhone 5’s touch display tech would be discontinued by the Cupertino giant. This sounds far-fetched, as we’ve not seen anything different in the display segment of iPhone 5S from iPhone 5. But just possibly, this could be a reason.

But the bottom-line is somewhat clear: it doesn’t look like Apple will be discontinuing iPhone 5 anytime soon. Upgraders would be looking for prices slashed and that would push iPhone 5 sales up at least for a quarter after September.

For folks who’re planning to upgrade to iPhone 5, I think it’s safe to discard the rumor and wait for the slashing of prices.