Report: Apple to relaunch the iPhone 4

Report: Apple to relaunch the iPhone 4

According to the Economic Times, which quotes unnamed sources at a number of Apple's India-based trade partners, the company is to resurrect the 8GB version of the handset and offer it at a price of 15,000 rupees ($245) to aspirational consumers. What's more, the sales could begin as early as next week.

Rumors purporting to have the inside track on what Apple has planned are two a penny, but what lends weight to these particular claims is that Apple has been trying hard to make its products more affordable to Indian technophiles without resorting to discounts.

Through its retail partners, Apple already offers buy-back and trade-in schemes and allows customers to pay for iPhones in installments.

Also adding substance to the claims is new research from Mediacells which forecasts the size, shape and direction of the smartphone market over the next 12 months. In-depth analysis, which the company shared exclusively with the Guardian on Monday, highlights that India is set to overtake the US in terms of smartphone sales in 2014 to become second only to China in terms of size.

It claims that in all, 225 million handsets will be sold in India this year, compared with just 89 million in the US in third place. But, more importantly, India will be the biggest single market for first-time buyers -- 92 percent of sales will be to smartphone virgins. In other words, consumers who are yet to commit or find themselves locked into an ecosystem, be it Android, Apple or even BlackBerry.

What's more, one of the newer entrants, such as FireFox or Tizen could see this new, untainted market as the perfect place to launch their competing, affordable operating systems. All of which puts Apple's purported plans into a very clear context.

Despite approaching its fourth birthday (it was launched in June 2010) the iPhone 4 is still a very able and well-designed handset. Its manufacture was only discontinued in September 2013 and although it only has an A4 chip and 512MB of RAM, it is capable of running iOS7, the company's latest smartphone and tablet operating system.