Apple May Build Low Cost iPhone to Compete with Android

Apple might be looking to reclaim a bit of lost smartphone market share by introducing a lower end (and less expensive) iPhone model to compete with the zillion different Android phones in the wild. Word on the web is that such a device could launch sometime this year.

Citing "people briefed on the matter," The Wall Street Journal says the lower end iPhone model would look similar to the iPhone 5, but with a "different, less expensive body." That could mean the use of polycarbonate plastic instead of aluminum that Apple is so found of.

Apple iPhone 5

It's not clear if the model in question is the same as the iPhone mini that was floating around the rumor mill last week. In both cases, there's wasn't much talk about the hardware, though we can surmise that the parts will likely be based around older iPhone models rather than the iPhone 5.

Apple's main competitor in the smartphone space is Samsung. According to recent data released by comScore, Samsung claims a 26.9 percent share of the smartphone market in the U.S., ahead of Apple in second place at 18.5 percent. Apple also trails Android as a whole, with iOS accounting for 35 percent of all smartphones in the U.S., compared to Android's 53.7 percent.