Apple Said To Be Working on Smaller, Cheaper iPhone

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

Quoting a person who saw a prototype, Bloomberg reported that Apple is working on one version that would be less expensive and smaller than the most recent device. Two individuals also told Bloomberg that Apple is developing technology that makes it easier to use the iPhone on multiple wireless networks.

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

Based on operating systems, Googles worldwide share in the smartphone market has climbed to the No. 2 spot behind Nokia from 3.9 percent in 2009 to 22.7 percent last year, according to research firm Gartner. 

Apple holds 15.7 percent market share and is ranked fourth slightly behind BlackBerry maker Research in Motion (16 percent). Last year Apple sold 46.6 million mobile devices around the world, reflecting 87.2 percent growth over 2009, according to Gartner.

This growth is largely due to expansion into new countries and the ending of exclusivity deals, which has made the iPhone available through 185 communication service providers around the world,” the research firm stated.

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