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AAPL has asked assembler Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. to begin shipping both a new high-end and low-end iPhone in early September, people familiar with the matter said.
The shipping plans suggest that two new iPhone models could be launched as soon as next month, pointing to a strategy shift as Apple attempts to regain its momentum in the smartphone market. The company hasn't previously announced different iPhone models around the same time.
Apple's suppliers in Asia started mass-producing components in June for both a standard iPhone featuring a metal casing and a lower-cost version, people who work at those companies said.
An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment.
The Cupertino, Calilf., company has been unveiling new iPhones in the fall since 2011. It is planning a launch event on Sept. 10, according to AllThingsD, a news outlet that, like the Wall Street Journal, is owned by News Corp. It isn't clear whether Apple would launch both iPhones the same day or initially opt to showcase just one device.
New iPhones in the past have become available about a week and a half after their unveiling.