Apple's iPhone 5 could be cheaper

The web is full of rumours of a smaller iPhone, but according to the New York Times, that's likely to be false trail. The real story could be a cheaper iPhone, specifically when the iPhone 5 lands.

According to the newspaper, quoting 'people briefed on Apple’s plans', Apple’s engineers are currently focused on finishing the next version of the iPhone, which is likely to be similar in size to the current iPhone 4. There was no mention of any smaller-sized smartphone and no word on one 'any time soon'. The reason? Well, according to another Apple-related source, a smaller device would not necessarily be much cheaper and a smaller screen would force many developers to rewrite their apps, which Apple wants to avoid.

However, Apple is looking to develop its customer base with the next-generation iPhone. The company is planning to make it easier to operate the device through voice commands, removing an obstacle for people who do not like using a virtual keyboard, with the company also considering changing internal components of the device to bring costs down.

'Although the innards of the phone, including memory size or camera quality, could change to offer a less expensive model, the size of the device would not vary,' said the person, who has worked on multiple versions of the device.

Apple is also said to be working on a more versatile version of its MobileMe service, which allows users to store music, photos and files online and have them accessible on all their devices. The current paid version of MobileMe has failed to catch on with consumers, especially while rivals like Google and others offer similar services free. A new version of MobileMe is expected to be free and would allow users to synch their files without using a cable.

'The goal is that your photos and other media content will eventually just sync across all your Apple devices without people having to do anything,' the source said. If more iPhone users stored files online, Apple could make cheaper devices with less storage. Flash storage is one of the iPhone’s most expensive components, so cloud storage could be key to the arrival of a cheap handset. All should be revealed in early summer, if the upgrade cycle remains consistent from Apple.

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