According to the The Wall Street Journal, Apple Inc. is working on a less-expensive version of the current iPhone that could launch later this year.
The lower-end model would most likely look like an iPhone but would have a cheaper body. Possible differences between the current iPhone 5 and the newer, lower-end iPhone include replacing the current aluminum casing with a polycarbonate plastic shell. Other parts of the iPhone might be recycled from older iPhone models.
Why is Apple doing this now? The company is facing more intense competition from more affordable rivals that run on Google’s Android operating system. In the third quarter of 2012, Apple’s percentage of worldwide smartphone shipments decreased by 6.6 percent since 2011 while competitors like Samsung have increased its percentage by 22.5 percent since 2010.
Apple does face some possible risks if they launch a cheaper model of the iPhone, after a few executives raised the concern that a second iPhone might throw off its manufacturing process.
It was reported that in quarter ending with September, that 48 percent of Apple, Inc’s revenue came from its iPhones.