Apple planning iPhone Mini to fight mid-market Android phones?

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Apple’s iPhone 4 may be the high-end, expensive smartphone of choice, but could the Cupertino giant’s be preparing a budget, minature handset to suit more modest pockets?

That’s the news coming out of a Bloomberg report this morning that suggests Apple are now setting their sights towards the mid-level smartphone handset market, currently dominated by Android devices.

“Instead of targeting 25 percent of the global mobile- phone market, Apple would be going after 100 percent,” said Needham & Co. analyst Charlie Wolf.

One source even claims to have seen the iPhone Mini in prototype form, stating it to be around a third smaller in size and lacking the customary home hardware button. A sub-$200 price tag is suggested, with internal hardware and display said to be comparitive to the iPhone 4, rather than whatever iPhone 5 plans the company may have.

That seems mighty cheap for a handset using components cribbed from the stellar iPhone 4 (too cheap to be true, in our opinion). With Apple apparently planning a big fall-season surprise however, they wouldn’t come much bigger than a cut-price Jesus Phone.

Another interesting point of the report suggests Apple are working on a technology that would make it easier for an iPhone to work on multiple cellular networks. A “universal SIM” that would let users pick up multiple GSM networks could be particularly useful if Apple are truly setting their sights on the low and mid range devices that dominatesales in emerging territories.

Gerald Lynch

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