(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.
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.
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.