Apple considering iPhone Mini to combat low-cost Android phones

Taking a bite out of margins?

According to sources close to the matter, Apple is working on a lower-end iPhone as it looks to regain the top spot in global smartphone sales. One of the sources said that Apple has been looking at the option for a few years and that a less expensive version of the iPhone could launch later this year.

It would like look similar to a standard iPhone with a less-expensive body, which could be made of plastic as opposed to aluminum, according to the sources.

Some executives are reportedly concerned that a new model could complicate its manufacturing process, resulting in previous decisions to keep older model iPhones for sale at lower prices. However, the increasing presence of lower cost Android phones on the market is putting pressure on Apple to make the iPhone more affordable.

By the third quarter of 2012, Apple’s share of the worldwide smartphone market had slid to 14.6% from a peak of 23% a year earlier. Meanwhile, rival Samsung saw its share increase from under 10% to 31.3% by the third quarter of 2012.

Apple (AAPL : NASDAQ : US$517.10), Net Change: -8.21, % Change: -1.56%, Volume: 14,476,472

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