Apple plans to release a less-expensive iPhone scheduled for late 2013, according to a new report from the Wall Street Journal.

The company has used its last-gen handset as the less-expensive model for customers looking to save money, priced significantly lower than the new iPhone 5.

The report offers no specifics on pricing or availability, but the rumours come nicely timed to disrupt the start of CES, the world's largest consumer electronics show in Las Vegas. Apple isn't at the show.

The hit-or-miss Digitimes reported similar news this morning, saying the low-cost version will feature a larger display and brand new exterior design.

Additionally, this morning's report brings more news that Apple has been meeting with China Mobile, the world's largest carrier, to launch a TD-version of the iPhone. Apple CEO Tim Cook has reiterated the importance of China before.

Of course we have to advise to take rumours with a grain of salt, but the Wall Street Journal has been on-target in the past, most recently with the iPad mini.

With so many iPhone users already on board, it could be a sign that Apple is running out of high-earning customers, or that it is worried about feeling the pinch at the lower end by Android and its plethora of cheap handsets.

Stay tuned.

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