Cheaper Apple (AAPL) iPhones coming soon

Don't Waste Your Money

So you want the new iPhone 5 but the cost is too high? Apple, losing market share to cheaper Android phones, plans to offer new options to families on a budget.

The Wall Street Journal reports Apple will soon release a lower-end iPhone , with a plastic shell instead of the current aluminum and glass casing.

It will reportedly have some other budget parts inside to keep the costs down.

The current iPhone 5 retails for $600 without a contract, or $199 with a two-year contract, requiring monthly payments of at least $60 at most carriers.

The Journal says Apple's market share is falling because of the high cost of the iPhone, when many Android phones are $100 or less with a contract.

Prepaid iPhone 5 Coming to Walmart

Meantime, CNET reports that Walmart is about to start selling a prepaid iPhone 5, through its Straight Talk program, for as little as $45 a month.

That's a big discount compared with AT&T, Verizon or Sprint, and best of all is a month-to-month plan with no contract.

Walmart already sells the iPhone 5, but with a contract.

The one catch with this: buyers will have to pay the full $600 cost of the Phone 5. Walmart will also offer a cheaper iPhone 4, at $400 with the prepaid option.

Apple Fighting Off Competition

Just a couple of years ago, discount iPhones would have been unheard of as it sold premium products at a premium price.

But the Journal says Apple's market share of smartphone sales worldwide has now fallen to 15 percent from 23 percent just a couple of years ago, as Samsung and other manufacturers increase their share.

So look for more discounts in the future, so you don't waste your money.

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