WSJ: Less Expensive iPhone Could Come as Soon as This Year
While Apple has explored such a device for years, the plan has been progressing and a less expensive version of the flagship device could launch as soon as later this year, one of the people said.The WSJ reported that Apple was working on a cheaper, smaller iPhone two years ago, which the paper does note. Of course, Apple already does offer cheaper models than the flagship iPhone -- currently the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 4S.
The cheaper phone could resemble the standard iPhone, with a different, less-expensive body, one of the people said. One possibility Apple has considered is lowering the cost of the device by using a different shell made of polycarbonate plastic. Many other parts could remain the same or be recycled from older iPhone models.
The device could be aimed at emerging markets like India where postpaid plans are scarce, and users typically pay in full for their phones up front.
Update: Bloomberg echoes the WSJ, saying Apple "plans to sell a smaller, cheaper version of the iPhone as soon as this year" and the device will be aimed at customers in developing countries. Bloomberg says that the device could sell for $99 or $149.