Apple has asked its supplier to begin shipping two new iPhone models in early September: a new high-end version of its standard device, as well as a totally new, cheaper, low-end version, The Wall Street Journal reports
The company's Asian-based supplier, Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., has been producing the components for the two different models since June, according to Journal sources.
The new standard iPhone version with metal casing is expected to be launched on Sept. 10, in keeping with Apple's annual autumn unveiling of new models. The low-end version is thought to have nonmetal casing. Both models are expected to come in a range of colors.
Apple has declined to comment on its plans, and it's unclear when the low-end version will be launched.
The move is seen by analysts as an attempt by the company to regain its dominance in the smartphone market, having experienced stiff competition from Samsung's Android software and a beating in the market with its shares plummeting by 40 percent in value in just six months.
Apple's sales of smartphones have slowed this year, a reversal of its dramatic expansion in past years, which saw increases by more than 50 percent year-on-year and in every quarter but one since 2010. In the quarter ending in March, shipments rose by only 7 percent, though in the quarter ending in June they rose by 20 percent.
It is believed that the company's decision to produce a low-cost iPhone is a strategy to help boost sales particularly in emerging countries such as China and India, according to the Journal.
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