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I think Apple rumors are fun. Not because I think Apple's the greatest company ever, or that they make the best products ever, but simply because they're always so persistent, and sometimes off-the-wall. Sure, other companies have their fair share of rumors and speculation churned out of the Rumor Mill on a pretty regular basis, but with Apple it's different for some reason. We just keep hearing the same things, over and over (and over…) again, until eventually maybe it happens.

It's not just Apple these days, though. Samsung has definitely climbed up the ladder of notoriety, because the rumors that find their way onto the Internet regarding that company's upcoming slate of devices is usually pretty awesome. We can hear stories on a wide range of display sizes, to processors, to whatever else someone out there can think of.

Rumors may not get us very far in a news cycle, at least not for any pertinent, factual information, but they sure are a lot of fun. And now, more than ever before, those rumors seem to be panning out, at least in some version or another. It's almost like the information just gets pumped out there enough, that just by default it has to happen eventually.

Maybe that's why analysts just keep on swinging. So, with that in mind, next up for Apple is surely a big ol' HD TV with an Apple logo, and that little set-top box of theirs baked in. Right? I mean, how long have we been hearing about that now? Seems like forever, to be honest. And it doesn't look like we're any closer to it.

Though, based on the fact that we do seem closer to a "cheap iPhone," maybe that Apple TV thing really is right around the corner.

The cheap iPhone has been a rumor for a long time. Every year, with the upcoming release of a brand new Apple-branded phone, the rumors would start swirling that the Cupertino-based company was bringing to market a cheap, plastic-backed version. Maybe it was for developing markets. Maybe it would be for everywhere, and just fill another slot within the iDevice family. Whatever the case, the cheap iPhone has been coming for a long time. And now, we're beginning to see it everywhere we look.

It's being called the iPhone 5C right now, based on the rumors and speculation. Now, before you start yelling, "iPhone Cheap!" and laughing maniacally, it's supposedly meant to stand for "Color." That should give you some indication that the cheap iPhone will follow in the footsteps of the iPod Touch, and show a wide range of color options when it finally lands on store shelves. If it does, mind you.

Actually, that's why I'm so interested in the cheap iPhone right now. One, because it's apparently actually coming. I think that says quite a bit about Apple. The fact that they seem to actually be paying attention to the rest of the world these days is a change of pace. I'm not going to say whether that's good or bad, because I think it all comes down to the products they release, and not so much the perception of the company. We'll see what the iPhone 5S and the iPhone 5C look like when they're finally here, especially coupled with the final version of iOS 7.

No, I'm most interested in the iPhone 5C and its placement within the iDevice family. Right now, Apple has a wide range of devices, all falling along a pretty unexpected pricing spectrum. They've got small gadgets (the iPod shuffle), and ones that sit at the other end of the size comparison chart (the iPad with Retina Display). In between, there are iPod touches, iPhones, and even a smaller iPad. They come in different variations, whether it's color or memory capacity. And, as it stands right now, I don't think any of those devices necessarily cannibalize another.

I see that changing with the iPhone 5C, though. Right now, based on the rumors, the iPhone 5C is, basically, just an iPod touch. There are some out there who think that it will even be priced the same, just by the fact that it will have to be priced lower than what Apple will price the iPhone 5, and iPhone 4S, when their price tags drop with the launch of a new iPhone. So, the iPhone 5C will have to find its place in an already crowded family space, without much wriggle room.

So, is the iPhone 5C the device that will ultimately phase out the iPod touch? I doubt it. I think that cellular-connectivity, along with whatever other features that they throw in there, will be the reason why the iPod touch still needs to exist. There's nothing else that anyone needs to own an iPod touch, not counting a WiFi connection. With an iPhone 5C, though, you'll need some kind of plan to access a data network, whether that be from a large wireless carrier, or from one of the smaller prepaid networks. So, more money a month.

I believe it's going to be pretty dang interesting to see how Apple prices the iPhone 5C, especially if the cheap device is meant to launch here in the United States, and not solely in developing markets.

However, we can't forget the 128GB iPad with Retina Display. Why? Because it could still be a sign that Apple will phase out the 16GB iPhone, and make the 32GB variation the base model. That would mean we'd see a 32-, 64-, and 128GB model of the next iPhone. Which would mean the 16GB iPhone 5C would automatically stand out as a "cheaper" model, especially if those higher memory models keep the current pricing model for the iPhone. (So, essentially: 32GB iPhone 5S for $199; 64GB iPhone 5S for $299; and the 128GB iPhone 5S for $399.)

I'm interested to see how the iPhone 5C, if it's real, is marketed and priced. I think Apple has been waiting a long time to release a device like this, so I'm hoping they've managed to create a device that's cheap, but that will still offer plenty under the hood -- as we've seen from devices like the new Nexus 7, and even the Nexus 4. I don't think it's going to phase out the iPod touch, simply because I don't think Apple wants to jump out of that niche market. But anything is possible, right? And this could all ultimately be a moot point because the iPhone 5C could just be another rumor that doesn't pan out. It's all up in the air, right now, but at least it's fun to talk about.

Do you think Apple is going to launch an iPhone 5C, or do you believe all these rumors and speculation are just another bunch of nonsense, like they have been in the past? And, if Apple does launch a "cheap iPhone," do you think it will catch on here in the United States, and possibly phase out the iPod touch? Let me know what you think.


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