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iPhone 5 rumour: budget handset to launch

Apple's iPhone 5 is expected to launch tomorrow at a special briefing at the company's Cupertino headquarters on Tuesday - but if rumours are correct, the event could be a double announcement, with the IT giant outing its first ever budget smartphone handset.

Photos have emerged on the web over recent weeks showing an iPhone 4 chassis containing some upgraded parts - chief among them a dual-core Cortex A5 processor, similar to the one expected in the iPhone 5 - leading to speculation that a second handset, the iPhone 4S, could be announced tomorrow.

Rumours have circulated previously about Apple producing a cut-price version of its iconic iPhone - frequently denied by the company itself, which has been careful to maintain its image as a premium brand - but never before has the rumour mill had quite so much impetus.

Perhaps the penny has dropped, and Apple is facing up to the fact that offering a lower-end handset may be the only way to counter the onslaught of increasingly stylish, sophisticated - and, in many cases, significantly cheaper - handsets based on Google Android OS. IT news site The Next Web also suggests that a budget iPhone 4S may be Apple's attempt to gain a foothold in difficult Asian markets.

With Apple's announcement due tomorrow, we won't have long to wait to see if this rumour pans out. monitors all leading technology stories and rounds them up to help you save time hunting them down.