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iPhone 5: Multiple Versions, Bigger Screens, Slide-Out Keyboards?

Rumors are flying everywhere that Apple is working on new versions of its iPhone in order to broaden its appeal and stave off competition from devices that feature Googles Android operating system.

In the latest rumor, citing upstream component suppliers,” Taiwan-based paper DigiTimes reported that Apple plans to change the screen size of its iPhone to four inches in order to compete with the Google Android platform in the four-inch to seven-inch smartphone market.

The iPhone 4 features a 3.5-inch widescreen Multi-Touch display.

Meanwhile, citing a Taiwanese Mac news site, TUAW reports that Apple is testing three different prototypes of the next iPhone, including a version that features a slide-out physical keyboard.

The rumors come on the heels of U.S. media reports that Apple is working to develop less expensive iPhones. 

Bloomberg reported Friday that Apple is working on new versions of the iPhone that would be cheaper and make it easier to run on multiple wireless networks. 

The financial site said Apple would use the less-expensive devices to widen its appeal and prevent the company from losing further ground to devices that feature Googles Android software.  A source told Bloomberg that Apple is considering selling the new iPhone for $200 without requiring users to sign a two-year contract. 

The Wall Street Journal later followed up with a report that Apple is working on a new line of less expensive iPhones and an overhaul of software services for the devices.

The Journal said the new device would be roughly half the size of the iPhone 4 and would be available at approximately half the price of the current devices.

All the reports cited unnamed sources and not Apple directly.


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