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Cheaper iPhone Rumored To Cost Between $99 and $149

Longtime rumors about a cheaper iPhone now have a potential price tag attached for the first time: $99 to $149.

Bloomberg quotes the figure from a person involved in negotiations for the phone. The reported price point follows an earlier report in the Wall Street Journal that said Apple was seriously considering a new, cheaper iPhone to be released in late 2013.

In the past, Apple has avoided discount electronics in favor of top-of-the-line models with premium margins. But less expensive phones running on Google’s Android operating system have made major gains in the last year. Apple once commanded 23 percent of the worldwide smartphone market, but that share has fallen below 15 percent in recent quarters.

Apple already offers discounted versions of the earlier-generation iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S. The new phone would likely retain the latest features but come with less expensive parts.