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Bloomberg is backing up reports that Apple will release a cheaper iPhone this year. Both DigiTimes and the WSJ have heard that the new device could be available by year's end.

Apple, which had been working on a more affordable smartphone since at least February 2011, is weighing retail prices of $99 to $149 for a device that would debut in late 2013, at the earliest, according to the person, who asked not to be named because the negotiations are private. Apple has spoken to at least one of the top U.S. wireless carriers about its plans, the person said yesterday.

Apple will reportedly target the new device at emerging markets where the $649 (off contract) starting price is too high to afford.

Bloomberg didn't comment on the device's appearance; however, DigiTimes said it would feature a new external design and possibly a larger screen.

via Bloomberg

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