Apple to release budget iPhone for mid-level market?

11 Feb 2011

Apple is reportedly working on a budget iPhone, which could be less expensive and one-third smaller than the iPhone 4.

According to Bloomberg, Apple is thinking about launching a less expensive smartphone to access the mid-level market Android phones are growing in. It could also be aimed at countries such as China and India, where lower-end devices are more popular.

A source who claimed to see a prototype said it would cost less and one-third smaller than the iPhone 4. It also doesn’t have a home button.

It could sell for US$200 without a two-year contract in America. Apple may reveal the device in the middle of this year.

The low price will be due to Apple using a processor, display and other components similar to the iPhone 4, as opposed to newer ones designed for the next model.

However, there is still a question as to if this is going to happen or not. Even though there is apparently a prototype of the device, the source said few Apple employees know it exists and that the company often works on products that don’t get released.

If it does happen, it could see Apple gain dominance in all sectors of the smartphone industry, as opposed to the higher end.

Apple is also reportedly working on technology to make it easier to use the iPhone on multiple wireless networks. It is working on a “universal SIM” to let iPhone users pick from a number of GSM networks without having to switch SIM cards which associate them with a network.