New photos have appeared of a smartphone that looks an awful lot like the low-cost iPhone, as Apple’s first-ever budget effort edges ever closer to reality.

Snared from a Chinese site by French Apple acolytes, which was behind last week’s leak of snaps of a very similar-looking handset, the photos once again show the shell of the smartphone, which is clearly fashioned from polycarbonate.

iphone 5s iphone 6 plastic blue

But while the latest image features the same pink, yellow, green and white colourways that featured previously, this time around there’s a blue model too.

Other than that it’s hard to make out much that we hadn’t discerned previously, with the photos corroborating the impression that the plastic iPhone will stick fairly closely to the design that Apple has favoured since the iPhone 4.

Variously dubbed the ‘iPhone 5S’ or ‘iPhone 6’ by tech sites in recent months after initially being titled the ‘iPhone mini’, the cheaper Apple smartphone is expected to recycle parts from earlier models to keep costs down and might feature a smaller 3.5-inch display.

Analysts have forecast price points ranging from £99 to £249 for the phone, which is expected to be sold on pay as you go and is intended to helpi Apple boost its marketshare in the developing world.

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The new edition of the iOS operating system that powers the next-generation Apple kit surfaced last month.

The first version of the software to be helmed by design guru Jonathan Ive, iOS 7 features a flatter look and ditches the skeuomorphic touches that so irked design purists.


By Jonathan Leggett