Apple is developing a cheaper version of its iPhone, as it looks to expand its share of the smartphone market, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal,
The WSJ said Apple could release this lower-end iPhone at some point in 2013.
The report suggested that the device would resemble the standard iPhone but with a less expensive body made from polycarbonate plastic as opposed to the aluminium housing that the iPhone 5 has. Other parts could be recycled from older iPhone models.
Apple is said to have explored the option of introducing this type of device for years, and the report said that it could still decide to scrap the plan.
CNET called the rumour "silly", pointing to the fact that the WSJ had reported a similar story two years ago.
However, as Apple's market share in smartphones declines from its 23 per cent peak in the first quarter of 2012 to only 14.6 per cent worldwide in the third quarter of 2012, the firm is anxious to regain momentum against phones manufactured to use Google's Android operating system, and may well believe that one way of doing so is by releasing a cheaper device.