Report: Cheaper, 8 GB iPhone in the works

In addition to the new, updated iPhone sure to be announced any day now, there will be a smaller, cheaper model making headlines soon as well.

According to Reuters, which has cited unnamed sources connected to Apple’s manufacturing plans, an 8 GB version of the iPhone 4 is currently in production in Korea.

The idea is that for the first time since the launch of the iPhone brand several years ago, Apple will now be able to cater to the low-end consumers as well as its typical early adopter, high-tech crowd.

The iPhone brand has become so powerful that everyone wants one, even those who don’t have the financial wherewithal to afford it. One part of that strategy has been championed by AT&T, which has worked with Apple to continue selling the iPhone 3GS at very low price points.

But the 3GS is an outdated version of the phone, and doesn’t have the same clout as the iPhone 4. By actively manufacturing a brand new phone that has slightly lesser specs, it will be more attractive to consumers who haven’t jumped on the iPhone bandwagon yet.

It could also help expand Apple’s presence in developing parts of the world, where smartphones are used almost in place of laptops or even desktop computers – that is a large segment of the mobile phone market that Apple has not really tapped into yet.

The same Reuters report also suggests the next high-end iPhone will not be called the iPhone 5. Instead, it will carry the moniker ‘iPhone 4S,’ and could launch around the same time as the cheaper iPhone 4. This would mean there could be three different versions of the iPhone 4 on store shelves by the end of the year.

It sounds pretty complicated – a step away from the iPhone’s original goal of being one standardized piece of equipment. But that goal can only go so far.