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A mobile industry analyst has predicted that Apple's next iPhone might be much cheaper than many would have assumed.

The iPhone 4G is likely to launch next month and now a Screen Digest analyst is suggesting that Apple will be pricing the phone to compete directly with high end mobiles from Nokia and other major rivals.

Julien Theys of Screen Digest said: "There will be hard choices to make in pricing and operator partnerships - especially in the US - if Apple wants to increase its market share. The biggest surprise of the iPhone's next iteration could very well be its price."

Most experts agree that the smartphone market is too dispersed, with many platforms and manufacturers vying for position.

By 2014 about 30 per cent of mobile phones sold globally will be smartphones, according to Screen Digest's report. The Google Android platform has been the fastest to expand in recent months and now it is being tipped for even bigger things.

"In less than two years Android has managed to mature into a complete and reliable product that positions it as the leading contender for becoming the default smartphone OS for most manufacturers," noted Mr Theys.

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