Could Apple be secretly developing a new smaller cheaper iPhone to compete on the world stage? The rumor mill is churning thanks to a recent study posted by Bloomberg Reports which states Apple may indeed be developing a smaller cheaper iPhone. The new iPhone is rumored to be priced around $200 unlocked and could be released as soon as the middle of 2011.

This would be a drastic move for Apple as they’re marketing strategy has always been to release expensive devices that are only attainable by the richest of folks. Releasing a cheaper iPhone would drastically change their image and long term could hurt their whole brand marketing strategy. We recently released an article title Why Apple should be Afraid of Android in which we stated our opinion that Apple could lose their coveted top position atop the smart phone market place. Apple fans aggressively defended Apple to the death in the comments section ripping apart our author Darcy at every point they could.

The emerging markets demand a more affordable unlocked phone and Apple may now realize this fact and are adjusting to market conditions. I think that Apple will have to release such a phone in order to continue their dominant growth and earnings.

This new model is only in the prototype phase, warns Bloomberg, and it could still be scrapped.

Additionally, Apple is trying to develop technology to allow people to use their iPhones on different carriers, according to Bloomberg. Apple wants to make it so you don’t have to change your SIM card to jump from carrier to carrier. New Apple software would help make switching easier.

What’s your take on this news? Do you think this new iPhone might tarnish Apples high end status symbol? Do you think Apple will actually release such a phone?