Apple iPhone nano? Try iPhone budget

Summary:Remember all that chatter about how Apple was cooking up the iPhone nano as a way to target the masses? The New York Times has thrown ice water on the concept.

Remember all that chatter about how Apple was cooking up the iPhone nano as a way to target the masses? The New York Times has thrown ice water on the concept.

Instead of the iPhone nano it's more like the iPhone budget. The Times reports that Apple is looking to keep the same iPhone form factor, but make a more inexpensive model. The idea is to make something for prepaid plans abroad where phones aren't subsidized.

On Sunday, the Wall Street Journal said Apple has prototypes for a smaller iPhone. I liked the idea given that phones are creeping up to the size of tablets. The Times says the iPhone nano is bunk---at least for now. Among the key points:

  • Apple is focused on the iPhone 5.
  • There are no immediate plans for a smaller iPhone.
  • A smaller phone wouldn't be cheaper to make and could be harder to operate.
  • And developers may have to rewrite apps and Apple wants to avoid that scenario.

That latter point is notable. Notice how the more dominant an ecosystem becomes the more important reverse compatibility becomes.

Also: Could an 'iPhone nano' work?

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes noted on Monday that he had his doubts about whether Apple could make an iPhone nano work. He said:

First off, I’m not convinced that this rumor is anything more than just that - an attention-seeking rumor. I’ve been hearing rumors about an ‘iPhone nano’ for some time now, and after the iPad, a device which is four times as big as the iPhone, there’s a certain poetry to the idea of a device half the size of the iPhone. But we need more than poetry to make this rumor work.

Apple is interested in using voice commands to better operate the phone. Voice control is one area where Android is strong---voice search, texting and navigation works well. Apple is also planning a free version of Mobile Me because consumers haven't shown much interest in paying for it.

Topics: iPhone, Apple, Hardware, Mobility, Smartphones

About

Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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