Apple is set for a possible summer launch of the next iPhone rather than a fall launch like the last two models, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Apple is also working on a cheaper iPhone model that could win it some market share in developing countries, the paper says. It cited unnamed people “familiar with the device’s production.”
The report is in line with the expectations of company watchers and Wall Street analysts. The iPhone 5 costs around US$600, and while Apple maintains older iPhones in production, even those aren’t cheap enough to compete effectively against low-end smartphones running Google Inc.’s Android software.
Apple doesn’t comment on future products before its launch events.
The report comes the day before Facebook is rumoured to announce its own foray into the world of telecommunications.
The media has been summoned to an event at Facebook's headquarters in California on Thursday with teaser invitations bearing the words "Come See Our New Home on Android".
The world's largest social networking site is giving no further clues, and the announcement could be nothing more than a new service or application.
But detailed leaks suggest the company is about to release the fruits of a long-rumoured collaboration with Taiwanese manufacturer HTC - a smartphone whose software is a customised version of Google's Android operating system.