Apple may have plans to launch a cheaper version of the iPhone, with a release scheduled for late 2013, reports the Wall Street Journal.

According to people briefed on the matter, “the cheaper phone could resemble the standard iPhone, with a different, less-expensive body.” Don’t get too excited, however, if your interest is already piqued, as WSJ claims “Apple could decide not to move forward with the device.”

Rumors of low-cost and smaller iPhones have floated around for quite some time — as early as 2011. Even founder Steve Wozniak has gone on record saying that he wishes “the iPhone 5 wasn’t just a taller iPhone 4S,” instead noting that the company should have created a smaller (iPhone 4S and previous) and a larger (not just taller, but wider as well) version of its wildly popular device.

As with all Apple rumors, it’s wise to take news like this with a grain of salt. Apple’s pending (aka possibly never happening) large-scale entry into the TV market is proof of this. That said, it’s rare to see such an unflinching statement without some truth being involved, and we’ll be keeping our eyes out as additional news surfaces.

As of this moment, the rumor is simply starting to gain steam to a point where it’s becoming more believable — the same pattern that was followed when rumors of an Apple tablet first leaked.

More to follow.