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Apple reportedly exploring introducing a smaller, cheaper iPhone model

February 11, 2011 |  4:44 pm

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Apple is in the process of developing smaller and lower-priced models of the iPhone in an effort to garner a larger share of the smart-phone market, according to a report from Bloomberg.

Along with making a phone that could be marketed on the lower-price end of the smart-phone market, Apple is working on technology that would make it easier for such a phone to run on multiple networks, Bloomberg reported, citing unnamed sources.

Splitting the iPhone into a product line of multiple phones, with different features and prices could be a move on Apple's part to further compete with smart phones running Google's Android operating system, which have such diversity, Bloomberg said.

A similar move was made Thursday when Hewlett-Packard introduced new low-end and high-end models to its Palm line of smart phones with the HP Veer and HP Pre3.

The Veer is the size of a credit card and is likely to be the cheapest phone HP offers while the Pre3 will have the largest screen, largest price and features not available on other models in the line, such as a front-facing camera for video chat and the ability to record high-definition video with a rear camera.

Android, which debuted in 2008, has a nearly 33% share of the worldwide smart-phone market -- nearly double Apple's 16% take, according to the research firm Canalys.

Aside from HP's smart phones running the HP WebOS operating system, Nokia is looking to take on Android and Apple too, and on Friday announced that it will do so with new higher-end smart phones running Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 software.

Nokia accounted for about 28% of the global smart-phone market last quarter, largely on sales of phones running its Symbian OS.

RELATED:

Nokia to use Microsoft's Windows Phone in taking on Android, BlackBerry, iPhone

HP announces TouchPad tablet, and Veer and Pre3 smart phones -- all running WebOS

-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Twitter.com/nateog

Photo: Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs as he introduces the iPhone 4 on June 7, 2010. Credit: Ryan Anson / AFP/Getty Images

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