ETrade Supply is definitely in the know when it comes to rumored Apple products. The electronics supply company was the first to show real images of the iPhone 5, and more recently has managed to get its hands on some iPhone 5S parts, like the FaceTime camera and the front and back panels. Now ETrade Supply is “confirming” that the lower-cost iPhone model does exist and Apple will be releasing it this year.

And, that’s it. Unfortunately, ETrade Supply hasn’t managed to actually get its hands on any parts or release any photos to really solidify this confirmation.

We already know what the lower-cost iPhone could look like anyway, with a plastic shell similar in shape to the iPad mini, thanks to alleged images that were previously leaked. It’s also expected to come in different colors and feature an A5 processor and 4-inch Retina display.

ETrade Supply sums up nicely just what a lower-cost iPhone could do for Apple. With analysts and investors often disappointed with Apple’s earnings, “by releasing lower end models [Apple] plan[s] to recapture market share, hold interest in their OS and keep investors happy.”

The picture is starting to become a little more clear when it comes to a lower-cost iPhone model, but it’s still not really evident just what a lower-cost iPhone actually means for the smartphone wars. Will it be close to the price of an iPad mini, or, even better, like the iPod touch? Only time will tell at this point.

Image Credit: ETrade Supply