Apple hints at budget iPhone

Let's be honest, the iPhone has always been a high-end affair. It's an Apple product, that's pretty much their market after all. So it's interesting to hear Apple COO Tim Cook talking up something a little cheaper. At least, that's what it sounds like.

According to TechRadar and Forbes, Tim Cook has dropped a hint that the company is considering releasing a lower level iPhone that's likely to be pitched at the pre-pay market, backing up a story we ran last month, which referred to something similar, referred to as an iPhone Mini.

Apparently, the Apple COO met with industry analyst Toni Sacconaghi last week, who claims that to have been told by Cook that he doesn't want Apple goods to be 'just for the rich'. With regard to that, Apple is planning something 'very clever' to get a piece of the pay-as-you-go market. Coming so soon after Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal claimed that Apple was plotting the launch of a contract-free, sub-$200 (£120) smartphone, you get the feeling that pieces are falling into place.

The iPhone Mini rumour was centred on a device said to be two-thirds the size of the current iPhone, with a single home button for a flat, full-touch front. It would also feature a 'universal' SIM card, which would allow you to switch between networks without having to insert a new SIM card. It's unlikely to be here as soon as tomorrow, which is certain to be iPad 2 launch. But with an iPhone 5 around the corner, it could be coming soon.

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