Affordable iPhone 5 May Be In The Pipeline

A few words uttered by Apple COO, Tim Cook, were enough to open the door to the speculation that the company might be interested to offer a cheaper iPhone, potentially starting with the iPhone 5 itself.

Bernstein Research analyst Toni Sacconaghi chatted with Tim Cook, Cook, Apple Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer, and Vice President of Online Services Eddy Cue.

He told Forbes that Apple was "likely to develop lower priced offerings", planning "clever things", "not ceding any market" and wants to provide products that are not "just for the rich".

Apple is rumoured to be launching a cheaper version of the iPhone 5 soon with a smaller $200 version a likely candidate (ed : that would be around £200-£250 for UK customers.

This would allow it to step up its effort to compete more effectively with the three-pronged attack of Google's Android platform, Windows Phone 7 and a resurgent Blackberry.

The NYTimes said that the cheaper iPhone 5 may not necessarily be smaller because it would be more difficult to operate and the bill of materials might not be significant enough to warrant the shrink.

Another rumour highlighted the fact that the more affordable version of the iPhone 5 might be a streaming model only, one that has just enough memory to buffer media streamed from the cloud.