I’ll admit this is a hard report to take at face value. Reuters is reporting that Apple has plans to release a $99 iPhone in a variety of colors later this year. While we’ve heard the plastic/color option on many occasions from analysts, leakers, and reports, it would seem impossible for Apple to reach the $99 price point without subsidizing the phone somehow. All but the very cheapest Android phones even cost above $100. Apple recently introduced an iPod touch without a rear camera for $229.

The iPhone 5S with fingerprint technology has been reported before and seems on track for later this year. We’ll have something more on that shortly.

The U.S. firm has discussed a price of $99 for the cheaper phone, the timing of which could slip to next year, one of the people said.

“Trial production was originally planned to start in June, but the mixing of colours is taking longer than expected as Apple has very high and idealistic standards,” said one source in Asia, adding 20 million plastic iPhones are expected to ship in the October-December quarter.

But next year gets even crazier if the Reuters report is to be believed. 

Supposedly in reaction to Samsung’s success with the phablet form factor, Apple is working with manufacturers to build iPhones or micro iPads with 4.7 and 5.3-inch displays.

Credit: Ferry Passchier

It is useful here to remember Tim Cook’s words on displays.

Sharp and LG wll make this year’s new iPhone displays and Foxconn with manufacture the high end phone while Pegatron will make the low end plastic iPhone according to the report.

…That’s the only religion that we have, is that we must do something great. We want to enrich people’s lives. We sweat the details on those.