updated 11:30 am EDT, Mon April 23, 2012
Could be needed to compete against Android phones
Apple is working on a low-cost iPhone model for release later this year, according to supply chain sources in touch with the China Times. The new hardware may allegedly ship around the same time as a sixth-generation high-end iPhone. The main incentive is said to be getting a better foothold in the low-end smartphone market, since even the iPhone 3GS is $375 unlocked, making it far more expensive than competing Android devices.
A low-end iPhone model has been rumored for years, but Apple has consistently gone in a different direction. To appease demand for cheaper phones the company has instead decided to keep selling iPhones from previous years, going back to the iPhone 3GS, which first shipped in 2009. Apple could attempt the same strategy again this year, but may be feeling more pressure than in the past as Android gains marketshare.