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Apple thinking cheaper iPhone?

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NEW YORK (AP) - A published report says Apple may introduce a cheaper iPhone in an effort to reclaim some of the sales that the company has been losing to less expensive handsets running on Google's Android software.

Wednesday's story in The Wall Street Journal speculates that Apple could lower the iPhone's price by equipping the device with an exterior that costs less the aluminum housing on current models.

The cheaper iPhone could come out as early as this year, or the idea could be scrapped, as has previously happened. The Journal cites unnamed people briefed on the matter.

Apple Inc., which is based in Cupertino, Calif., declined to comment.

Prices for the latest iPhones without a wireless contract currently start at $649. Apple, though, already sells older models at discounts.

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