The Commercial Times has thrown us a curve: they're now saying that the next-gen iPhone will have three models, one of which could be a budget, EDGE-only throwback.
Expected in June, the models are said to line up as follows: a 2.75G (which Slashgear interprets as EDGE) version, an upgraded 3G version and a China-oriented model, possibly to support a Chinese CDMA carrier. The mention of EDGE would seem to indicate that one of these models will be a budget version, but not necessarily a smaller one—the report makes sure to say that there won't be an iPhone Nano. It goes on to say that component suppliers are reporting a first run of four million for the combined handsets, which is a lot, but not out of the question.
The obvious surprise here, though, is that EDGE phone. To revert to a waning network standard a full year after consciously switching from it doesn't seem very Apple. That said, a fully subsidized iPhone paired with a cheaper data plan could tap an entirely new market for the company, drawing millions more users to the lucrative App Store/iTunes fold. Strange, yeah, but this shouldn't be ruled out—the Commercial Times has a solid record on Apple hardware rumors. [Commercial Times via Slashphone]