(By Balaseshan) Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) is rumored to work on a smaller and cheaper version of the iPhone, dubbed as iPhone 5S, which is expected to debut in late 2013 and priced between $99 and $149.
The cheaper phone might be adorned with a last-generation processor, less memory, a lower-quality display and a plastic casing rather than the glass or aluminium.
The launch of cheaper version of iPhone, which may be smaller than current models, is part of a push to gain customers in developing nations, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the situation. Apple has spoken to at least a U.S. wireless carrier about its plans.
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Apple was also considering a more versatile version that would work on multiple wireless networks, the Bloomberg reported citing the people.
"One possibility under consideration is lowering the cost of the device by using a different shell made of polycarbonate plastic; in contrast, the iPhone 5 currently has an aluminum housing. Many other parts could remain the same or be recycled from older iPhone models," the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
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In addition, fresh speculation has surfaced that Apple is also working on another next-generation iPhone, dubbed as iPhone 6, which is likely to hit the market along with the cheaper version of the smartphone.
Apple iPhone 6 is rumored to sport 4.0 to 4.5 inches LED-backlit IPS TFT capacitive display, a 1.2-to-1.5 GHz dual or quad-core A7 chip with 1.5GB or more of RAM, iOS 7, 12 megapixel dual-LED flash 3D camera and a 2 megapixel front-facing camera for video chat.
iPhone 6 will likely feature scratch-resistant Corning Gorilla glass, aluminum plate casing, oleophobic coating, accelerometer, gyroscope, and proximity sensor.
Apple smartphone is expected to come with 16/32/64 GB internal storage and an external microSD card support. iPhone 6 is reportedly expected to have a better battery when compared to the Li-Po 1440 mAh battery in iPhone 5.
It is also anticipated that the next-generation iPhone will have Apple's recent victory of patents including patents for iPhone 3D modeling application, iChat video-conferencing, LTE, Cover Flow, multi-touch, iDevice camera face detection, and a patent relating to voice commands that has likely been rolled into Siri architecture.
AAPL is trading down 0.64% at $521.97 on Wednesday. The stock has been trading between $418.66 and $705.07 for the past 52 weeks.