Report: Apple Working on Cheaper iPhone

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Jan. 8 2013 6:17 PM

Report: Apple Working on Cheaper iPhone Model

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A cheaper iPhone model could help Apple attract new customers

Photo by JEAN-SEBASTIEN EVRARD/AFP/Getty Images

The Wall Street Journal hears word that Apple is working on developing a cheaper iPhone model, which would imply a significant shift in strategy for a company that has long focused on squeezing lots of profit from higher-end products. But now it’s reconsidering the strategy as it faces a barrage of cheaper smartphones in the market powered by Google’s Android operating system. It isn’t the first time Apple considers the possibility but “the plan has been progressing” and the cheaper device could be in the market later this year, says the paper.

It’s far from clear what the device would look like, although it’s likely the phone would have a similar appearance to the traditional iPhone but with a cheaper shell. It could also contain recycled parts from older iPhone models. At the end of 2011 Apple held 23 percent of the global smartphone shipments, a number that slipped to less than 15 percent by the third quarter of last year.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.