Apple rumoured to be working on smaller, $200 iPhone to stave off Android attack
But cheaper device could just be prototype
Given Android has – according to most assessments, at least – slipped ahead of iPhone in the US, the suggestion that Apple might be considering its position in reply is hardly surprising.
Launching an entirely new model of iPhone specifically to deal with the Android threat, however, is likely to raise a few more eyebrows.
That's exactly what the firm is currently working on, according to unnamed sources reporting to Bloomberg.
The site claims a smaller, cheaper device could well be in development at Apple, with the company looking to sell the handset for $200, without forcing consumers to sign a two year contract.
"Instead of targeting 25 percent of the global mobile- phone market, Apple would be going after 100 percent," said Needham & Co. analyst Charlie Wolf in response to the rumours.
Far from a done deal
Said sources suggest Apple is looking to launch the device – which is apparently one third smaller than the existing iPhone 4 - towards the middle of 2011.
Significantly, there are also rumours it could be SIM-free, something already practised by US operator Verizon to better lock in customers.
However, it's already known Apple is in the habit of developing products that never actually make it to market, with Bloomberg claiming cancellation is already a possibility.
Questions would also be raised as to how apps – many of which already rely on finite touchscreen controls – would cope on an even smaller screen.
Likewise, a device that couldn't run the hundreds of thousands of existing iPhone apps would likely be dead on arrival.
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