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Nation & World

Lower-priced iPhone could be in works

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Apple’s much-anticipated update to its lineup of iPhones may leave the impression that the technology pioneer’s focus has shifted to making more affordable products than engineering innovative breakthroughs.

In keeping with its tight-lipped ways, Apple Inc. hasn’t disclosed what’s on the agenda for the coming-out party scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. today at its Cupertino, Calif., headquarters.

But this is the time of year that Apple typically shows off the latest generation of its iPhone.

This year’s refresh of the iPhone line may address the growing popularity of cheaper Android phones. Based on leaks from suppliers, it appears Apple is poised to release a less elaborate and less expensive version of the iPhone in an attempt to appeal to consumers too frugal or too poor to pay for the high-end model that sells for more than $600 without a wireless contract.

If reports published in technology blogs and newspapers pan out, the stripped-down iPhone will be called the “5C” and be housed in plastic casing that will be offered in a variety of colors instead of an aluminum casing.

Apple declined to comment, but an invitation for Tuesday’s event fed the multi-hued speculation swirling around the less expensive iPhone. The invitation was filled with colored bubbles and predicted, “This should brighten everyone’s day.”

If it introduces a cheaper iPhone, Apple might end production of the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S that were released in 2010 and 2011, respectively. Those models have been sold at a discount to the iPhone 5, a factor that has lowered the average price Apple has fetched for its phones.

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