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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 (opens in new tab) 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.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.