Apple shares rise after predictions on cheaper iPhone

Shares of Apple hit a new all-time trading high after an analyst speculated that the company would come out with a less expensive, smaller iPhone later this year, an Associated Press report said.

The Associated Press report said investors however also were being cautioned by a separate, more sobering, report from a different analyst at the same securities firm, saying he could not confirm his colleague's assumptions.

He told his clients in a report that a low-end phone from Apple was unlikely in the near term, the report said.

The Associated Press report said Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris declined to comment.

Apple shares traded as high as $134.50, eclipsing a previous 52-week high of $133.34. They closed at $132.35, up $2.02, or 1.5 %, the report said.

The company's stock had already skyrocketed roughly 40% in the months preceding its June 29 release of the iPhone, the report said.

Many analysts have predicted Apple would introduce future versions at lower price points, and a patent filing that was disclosed by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office further fueled the rumor mill, it added.

The patent application, filed in November, describes a multifunctional handheld device with a circular touch pad displaying illuminated symbols that could change depending on the mode in use. Drawings in the filing show an iPod-like device with a scroll wheel resembling a rotary phone dial, the report said.

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