SAN FRANCISCO — Apple is trying to decide whether it makes sense to offer a cheaper iPhone as it tries to boost sales in less-affluent countries and reclaim some of the market share lost to cheaper phones running Google’s Android software, according to a published report.
Wednesday’s report in The Wall Street Journal speculated that Apple could lower the iPhone’s price by equipping the device with an exterior that costs less than the aluminum housing on current models.
A cheaper iPhone could come out as early as this year, or the idea could be tabled for future consideration. Citing unnamed people familiar with the matter, the Journal said Apple began assessing the pros and cons of making a cheaper iPhone in 2009. Apple Inc. declined to comment.
In an attempt to appeal to more budget-conscious consumers, Apple has been selling older models of the iPhone at discounts before phasing them out.
The latest iPhones start at $199 in the United States, but those prices are subsidized by wireless carriers.
The unsubsidized prices start at $649.