Apple Considering Pre-Paid, Less Expensive iPhones

The tech rumor mill has churned out a major buzz this week on the heels of recent comments by Apple Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook that his company may produce a line of less expensive iPhones.

Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi enjoyed a recent opportunity to speak with Cook, the interim boss at Apple while Steve Jobs continues his medical leave. In a research note shared Tuesday with his clients, Sacconaghi says Cook and other executives at Apple “projected a very confident tone,” with regard to potential plans to “shake up” the mobile world.

According to details that subsequently surfaced in the Wall Street Journal, Apple could very well pursue a lower priced iPhone. This possibility has emerged in light of Cook’s admission that Apple is working hard to “figure out” the prepaid market and that Apple didn’t want its products to be “just for the rich,” but “for everyone.”

Apple’s Chief financial officer Peter Oppenheimer, however, says that a paramount goal for Apple with regard to its iPhone is global carrier expansion. Although the iPhone is available through 175 carriers around the globe today, RIM’s BlackBerry is available through 550 carriers worldwide.

While it now appears inevitable that major iPhone developments loom on the horizon, the biggest buzz surrounding Apple this week relates to the company’s planned introduction of the iPad 2 tomorrow in San Francisco, California.