Apple iPhone nano? Try iPhone budget

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.

SHARE:

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

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

49 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • iPhone5 rumors on real-time

    Perhaps now we can truly appreciate the efficacy of Apple's near-cornering of the smartphone touchscreen and component market, vis-a-vis how quickly its sources can turn a design -- and its many subsequent revisions -- into a finished product that is to be the iPhone 5.

    I wouldn't be surprised to learn that, so late in this stage of development, Apple was still able to react towards what its competitors had to show at this year's CES and WMC, and tweak its product design accordingly.
    Tech watcher
    • Apple will not gain much more market share

      Until if offers better specs and features than Android. For the past two years, it has trailed adoption in favor of Android because it has been unable to provide better hardware innovation.<br><br>Android has quad cores, dual cores, 3d screens, biometrics, laptops, HD, better than HD, qHD you name it, Android has it.<br><br>Apple has been forced to follow Androids lead, examples are:<br><br>- Copy / Paste<br>- Global search<br>- Multitasking<br>- Hot spot<br><br>And many other features that Android has and it has't.<br><br>A nano version of an iPhone will appeal to 25% or less of the market. Verizon iPhone proved this point. And so far, of all persons I've met that have switched between Android to iPhone, half of them have returned their iPhones and gone back to Android. Now its a small sample and wont call it representative. But its a interesting fact.<br><br>iPhone 5 and iPhone Nano, not much more than hot air for me, unless they offer Dual core processor running at 1.5GHz with a 4 inch screen at min. iPhone 5 should have a 3D screen and be able to run at the very least Apple OS. It should support external storage and not charge content providers a 30% tax, 10% would be appropriate. Until then Apple will only have its followers but everyone else will prefer the competition.


      To All of you... Android has 350K daily smartphone activations (based on 2010 Q4 quarter) Apple has 150 daily smartphone activations.

      Android IS OUTSELLING Apple. So my points do matter.

      If you don't believe me, no problem. In two years will see what market share Apple has and what Android does. Like when the G1 came along, I stated it would outpace iPhone and it has. This hurts iPhone fans and Apple pride. They've been trampled on.
      Uralbas
      • RE: Apple iPhone nano? Try iPhone budget

        @Uralbas
        KEEP YOU POS Android OS, I went from iPhone to Android with a Galaxy S device and it was the worst tech purchase mistake/switch I've ever made...
        Hasam1991
      • RE: Apple iPhone nano? Try iPhone budget

        @Uralbas
        Can I ask a silly question? Which Android device is outselling the iPhone? If you re saying that one device is selling fewer than 100 devices, I would agree with you. But what is the percentage of fragmentation on that long list of devices? Who handles the updates? Microsoft claimed that they would take care of the Windows phone 7 series phone updates, then turned around and blamed the carriers for not pushing the update. Granted that Android is forked by each OEM and carrier, so it is not exactly the same on each device.

        Choice can be a good thing, but for an application developer, it must be a nightmare. Which version do you code for? Can you leverage the improvements of the latest version, without cutting off the larger population? Granted that is more a problem of the OEMs and carriers than Google. The end user, just wants to download the application and use it, not have to worry about ?If it will work?.
        Rick_K
      • RE: Apple iPhone nano? Try iPhone budget

        @Uralbas
        Have you ever looked at the original pictures of the Android phone? It was a RIM rip-off, complete with multiple buttons and tiny screen. Then Google watched Apple introduce the iPhone and suddenly the Google concept phone changed completely to look like, guess what, an iPhone.

        Your hardware specs are meaningless, Apple intros one (maybe two this time) phone a year and surpasses most Android phones, then some Google phone comes out a with an extra pixel or cpu cycle or camera or barometer or something. iPhone unit growth hasn't slowed one bit in four years and Apple has two other massive iDevice products (iPod touch and iPad) which still face no serious competition.

        Apple and Android are both feeding off the rotting remains of Nokia, RIM and MS mobile aspirations, but here's the catch. Google is getting rich, Apple is getting very rich but the Android OEMs, not so much. Last quarter, Apple's profits rose 78%. That is astonishing for a >$60 billion dollar company. Meanwhile the Android OEMs are no better off than they were 4 years ago, which is also astonishing given Android's meteoric rise in marketshare--a rising tide is supposed to lift all boats but it is only lifting Google's and Apple's.
        Synthmeister
      • RE: Apple iPhone nano? Try iPhone budget

        @Uralbas You realize that the only android phone that can match the iPhone's screen resolution and pixel density is a low-volume model sold only in Japan, right?
        nix_hed
      • RE: Apple iPhone nano? Try iPhone budget

        @Synthmeister I've always though the iPhone was a copy (and improvement) of my old Siemens SX66.
        Regulator1956
      • RE: Apple iPhone nano? Try iPhone budget

        @Uralbas

        Your experience with phone returns is not a fact, it is anecdotal. You should learn the difference.
        slahr
      • RE: Apple iPhone nano? Try iPhone budget

        @Uralbas which means, using your logic, that Android followed Palm/HP's lead with WebOS

        -Global Search
        - Multitasking
        - Hot Spot.
        - Copy/Paste
        siobhanellis@...
      • RE: Apple iPhone nano? Try iPhone budget

        @Uralbas Which is ironic considering that the Android OS in it's current incarnation very closely followed iOS. Think about it - when Android was first introduced as an alternative OS to WM and was designed to be run on WM devices the GUI very closely resembled RIM's Blackberry OS which at the time was the dominant smartphone OS. Then Apple introduced the iPhone (during the time when Google's Eric Scmidt sat on Apple's board of directors) and changed the smartphone market. Suddenly Android (by then a Google product) underwent a massive GUI change (and likely several under the hood changes) and no longer resembled the Blackberry OS but the Apple iPhone iOS.
        athynz
      • RE: Apple iPhone nano? Try iPhone budget

        @Uralbas

        Lets analyze this real quick:
        Android has quad cores and dual cores: Only the geeks like us would care.
        3d screens: Why the hell would anyone want to be wearing 3D glasses for using their phone. The consumer doesn't care plus it adds to the cost to the device.
        Biometrics: Nice to have, but unless it has good hardware/software its crap at best(again adds to cost.)
        Laptops: Apple has that, are you really that dense? Sure its not an iOS device, but then again iOS wasn't designed for that.
        HD, better than HD, qHD: Does this matter??? Your watching a move on a small freaking screen, its not like its your home theatre system.

        Summary: Most of the features you mentioned are thrown in to /dev/null. You must think on the general consumer level. I don't like any iDevices not will I ever own one. But I do understand what the general populace cares for. What works for them!
        mgaul
      • A nano version of an iPhone will appeal to 25% or less of the market.

        @Uralbas : That is still a heck of a lot of phones! What is 25% of the market, about a billion? Not much of an argument against the Nano, is it? Your other reasons are better, even if specialized.
        levinson
      • RE: Apple iPhone nano? Try iPhone budget

        @Uralbas
        Spec sheets and feature checklists are nothing more than geekspeak. The broader market doesn't care about that stuff. When you have the carriers influencing the market, there's a lot more at play than just the device itself.

        If Apple releases a budget phone, and makes it contract free and transportable between different carriers, then the potential market is much bigger than 25%. Right now, the prepaid/contract-free segment is the fastest growing mobile market worldwide. And 80% of mobile subscribers remain on feature phones.

        Those groups care much more about price and value, than they do about dual cores and 3D screens.
        Those features that you list apply only to the high end of the smartphone market, and that segment is much smaller than 25%.
        Woochifer
      • RE: Apple iPhone nano? Try iPhone budget

        I'm convinced that I must be going doo-lally....
        Is it just me, or did PocketPC and indeed Windows Mobile sport the above features since day 1????

        The underlying tech may have moved on, but Windows Mobile had it all to begin with and everyone just --- forgot????

        iPhone set us back 10 years.....
        12312332123
      • RE: Apple iPhone nano? Try iPhone budget

        @Uralbas

        "To All of you... Android has 350K daily smartphone activations (based on 2010 Q4 quarter) Apple has 150 daily smartphone activations."

        This is a slight misquote, in the 4th Qtr of 2010, Apple was activating 150K per day, not 150.

        Next, its now 2011 and the iPhone on Verizon has taken that number higher, at the expense of Android and BB market share.

        Don't get me wrong ... Android is good, so is Apple, so is WebOS for that matter .... the BIG losers are Nokia, WinMo and Palm/HP.
        padapa
    • RE: Apple iPhone nano? Try iPhone budget

      @Tech watcher "Apple is also planning a free version of Mobile Me because consumers haven?t shown much interest in paying for it." It should be free as they have been making a lot of profit from us.
      Greenocean
      • RE: Apple iPhone nano? Try iPhone budget

        @Greenocean They are making a profit so they should give it away for free? Really, that's your argument for why something should be free?
        non-biased
  • Maybe...

    They should look for a 3rd party solution. Android would run nicely on one of those iPhone devices... or maybe they could pull a Nokia and run Windows Phone 7 on one?

    If they go Android, they could lower the R&D costs...and add that all important Speech recognition feature, along with better multi tasking, support for Flash..etc.
    condelirios
    • RE: Apple iPhone nano? Try iPhone budget

      @condelirios <br>Why downgrade the user experience? Plus I am certain Apple would never sign the non-assertion of patents. So that would mean no windows phone 7 series phones from Apple. I am also expecting they (Apple) don?t want to be part of the fragmented Windows phone 7 series phone OS ecosystem.
      Rick_K
  • Apple

    Apple will win, they have the iTunes advantage...
    Hasam1991