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Is the iPhone About to Get Cheaper?

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Amidst the hubbub of new Samsung and Sony mobile devices at the Mobile World Conference, Apple ensured it would still be the most talked-about company at the event -- even if it wasn't in attendance.

Speaking with those unnamed sources again, the Wall Street Journal all but confirmed that Cupertino is working on an overhauled iPhone line which will include a smaller, less-expensive model. Dubbed the N97, this iPhone was making the rounds on Apple's campus late last year and is described as "half the size of the iPhone 4." The N97 is said to feature an edge-to-edge touchscreen, a virtual keyboard, and voice-based recognition.

In addition to size, the N97 will purportedly sell for half the price. According to the source, "That would allow carriers to subsidize most or all of the retail price, putting the iPhone in the same mass-market price range as rival smartphones."

To combat growing music/video libraries and limited memory caps, rumor also has it that Apple will be giving its MobileMe service a makeover. Forgoing the annual fee, Apple will provide online storage for free -- allowing users to store their music, videos, and pictures online rather than rely on local storage. Will this become the streaming iTunes service we've been wishing for? And will it debut before the Google Music service?

As Android's dominance continues to rise, this is prime time for Apple to resort to drastic measures.

(See also: Google, Apple Need to Organize Streaming Music Market)

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