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Smaller, cheaper iPhone model would help broaden appeal  (Source: Apple)
Could this finally be the iPhone nano?

Apple has one of the most popular smartphones on the market with the iPhone. The part that is so impressive is that Apple has managed to become one of the largest smartphone makers in the world on the back off relatively few iPhone SKUs whereas other makers like Nokia have hoards of devices to offer.

Apple is looking to broaden its appeal reports BloombergBloomberg cites sources familiar with Apple's plans that claim Apple has a cheaper and smaller smartphone in the works. The device is said to be about one-third smaller than the existing iPhone 4. This could well be the long rumored “iPhone nano”.

The source claims to have seen a prototype of the device last year and notes that the device was a prototype and Apple often develops prototypes that never launch. The source also claims that the smartphone has no Home button like the current iPhone uses and Apple is looking at a sales price of about $200 with no subsidies and no contract needed from carriers.

That would make this phone one seriously popular handset on pay-as-you-go networks.

Bloomberg reports that the smaller and cheaper second iPhone model is a move by Apple to grab more of the market to stave off the growing Android threat. Analyst Charlie Wolf from Needham & Co. in NYC said, "Instead of targeting 25 percent of the global mobile-phone market, Apple would be going after 100 percent."

Apple already owns 32.9% of the smartphone market as of Q4 2010 and a second phone that sells without a contract at a lower price would make that percentage grow. The smaller and cheaper handset would also allow Apple to target countries where consumers buy cheaper devices such as India and China.

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RE: Why?
By CZroe on 2/12/2011 12:17:40 PM , Rating: 2
I predict that the $200 and $300 subsidized price points will see capacity bumps with a much less dramatic feature bump than we got last time (switch to dual-mode phones; bump to 1 or 1.2GHz; perhaps additional RAM, HSPA+, or internal or coated/contact-shielded antenna).

This new,smaller, cheaper model will likely have the same resolution as older iDevices (pre-Retina Display) though smaller and, thus, more dense. The lack of a home button and the need to differentiate it from the expensive models probably means no multitasking and it also helps miniaturize it as well. I'm thinking that it'll have 256MB RAM. The rumored multi-finger Home gesture would be that much harder on a smaller phone, so perhaps there is some bezel function. I have to wonder if it will still have a headphone jack or if they will rely on A2DP/AVRCP, though the current iP4 BT works far worse than the 3G/3GS before it (range, stability, etc). I'm also pretty sure it will only have one camera and it will not be HD (may not even be video-enabled).

RE: Why?
By vol7ron on 2/12/2011 12:39:55 PM , Rating: 2
A lot of predictions.

This is pure speculation, but I think the "multitasking" (in its pubescent limitation) will still be there. The whole reason for going away from the home button is to reduce the cost, since there will be a gesture alternative that is built into the OS. I don't see any need to remove the gesture from a smaller device- the only one is as you say, to create product variance. Removing the home button will automatically make the device smaller.

Headphone jack is questionable depending on how thin they're going to try and make it, I don't see a reason why they'd do away with it, w/o an equivalent alternative.

The thing I like about this article is that Apple is taking the initiative to address cost concerns. A product that can be reasonably replaced at an affordable price w/o another contract. They are realizing the buy-back issue that service providers have. Many customers might lose/break their phone, but can't afford that hefty $6-800 non-contractual price to purchase another one, thus they must buy a feature phone - a market Apple has not be capitalizing on.

All-in-all, I'd like to see the day that I could have multiple phones docked throughout my house under the same plan (no more expensive then needs to be), with one master phone that i keep on me. Using iPv6 it could be multicast for the initial ring until one phone picks up, or the master overrides the call. Basically cell to replace the common house phone.

"Let's face it, we're not changing the world. We're building a product that helps people buy more crap - and watch porn." -- Seagate CEO Bill Watkins
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