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Apple Inc. is working on a lower-end iPhone, according to people briefed on the matter, a big shift in its corporate strategy as its supremacy in smartphones has slipped.
While Apple has explored such a device for years, the plan has been progressing and a less expensive version of its flagship device could launch as soon as later this year, one of the people said.
The cheaper phone could resemble the standard iPhone, with a different, less-expensive body, one of the people said. One possibility Apple has considered is lowering the cost of the device by using a different shell made of polycarbonate plastic; in contrast, the iPhone 5 currently has an aluminum housing. Many other parts could remain the same or be recycled from older iPhone models.
Apple could decide not to move forward with the device. A spokeswoman for the Cupertino, Calif., company declined to comment.
The move towards multiple iPhone models is new territory for Apple. Under former Chief Executive Steve Jobs, Apple historically prided itself on prioritizing profits over scale and offered a relatively small number of products targeted at the high end.
知情人士说，苹果公司正在开发一款低端iPhone。近年来，特别是库克(Tim Cook)于2011年8月接过CEO一职之后，情况开始发生变化。2012年10月，苹果推出名为“iPad Mini”的小尺寸iPad，跟尺寸更大的iPad一起出售。
In more recent years─and especially since Tim Cook took the reins as CEO in August 2011─that has started to change. In October, Apple unveiled a smaller iPad, dubbed the iPad Mini, to go alongside its bigger iPad tablets.