Apple plots iPhone nano: In praise of smaller devices

Apple plots iPhone nano: In praise of smaller devices

Summary: Here's to hoping Apple inspires rivals to chase smaller form factors for mobile devices. If not we're going to start looking like Gordon Gekko yapping on his DynaTAC.

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Apple is reportedly working on a smaller, less expensive iPhone that will ride shotgun with a revamped MobileMe service.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple has prototypes for a phone that's half the size of the iPhone 4. In other words, these new Apple phones would be the iPhone nano.

Let's hope Apple inspires rivals to follow suit. Why? If you've shopped around even a little for phones you have probably noticed that these devices are getting bigger by the day.

I was seriously pondering a device like the HTC Evo, Motorola Droid X or one of those 4.3-inch screen gems. The rub: They're huge. These phones are the Hummers of mobile devices. They're big. The mileage (battery in this case) sucks. And they're just a bit gaudy.

Cars are getting smaller. Package sizes are going small. Yet phones are bulking up.

Now all of this bulking up for a mobile device is just swell---until the summer. Handling these large phones immediately fast forwarded me to the hot season. I just couldn't imagine lugging these monstrous phones in a shorts pocket. If you were biking somewhere you'd fall over---these bricks are chunky. You might as well tape a cinder block to your leg.

Here's to hoping Apple is going to start pushing smaller phones. Something has to reverse the penchant for not-so-pleasantly plump smartphones. If not, we're going to all be going retro with phones the size of Gordon Gekko's DynaTAC.

Topics: Telcos, Apple, iPhone, Mobility

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73 comments
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  • Apple innovates (again)

    Apple is covering all the bases and unlike the idiots at Google, Apple is doing it right.<br><br>Now that people can buy an affordable iPhone there's no need to get a cheap and crappy Android. Of course Google will try to fight back and offer free JC Penny coupons with a purchase of Android but that will result in another Google failure.
    iPad-awan
    • Apple will hardly do it before it will implement its patent on detecting ..

      ... finger/hand <b>approaching</b> the screen, not touching it yet. This technology would allow to dynamically up-scale the GUI right in the needed place so the controls would come out as of the same size as in the actual iPhone.

      Otherwise Jobs would not want to neither compromise user experience by shrinking the GUI without a change, nor will allow fragmentation of the platform before two existing format sizes (3.5" and 9.7").

      The same technology would also allow not only to make "iPhone mini", but also "iPad mini" (7" screen). But if this technology is not yet ready, then Apple will hardly release mini versions of it's devices.
      DDERSSS
      • RE: Apple plots iPhone nano: In praise of smaller devices

        @denisrs I can see it now: Apple patents Jedi mind tricks.
        spstanley
    • iPhone 3gs might well be &quot;affordable iPhone&quot; after iPhone 5 release

      @iPad-awan: I mean that "iPhone 3gs" is becoming really, really cheap to produce, so it is practical to continue to produce it, but sell it much cheaper than even now (no subsidies).
      DDERSSS
    • RE: Apple plots iPhone nano: In praise of smaller devices

      iphones are affordable your talking 199.00 for 16 gb and 300.00 for 32 you can get a decent android that gives you 32 gb for half of the price you pay for the iphone believe i had the 4gs 32 gb and it was a good ohone but just a phone.@iPad-awan
      toberapture
      • RE: Apple plots iPhone nano: In praise of smaller devices

        @toberapture

        A 32GB iPhone costs you something like $800-$900. Just because you can't decipher your bill(it's not your fault, AT&T does it that way on purpose), doesn't mean you aren't paying it.
        tkejlboom
      • RE: Apple plots iPhone nano: In praise of smaller devices

        @toberapture

        ...and it's still an inferior android...
        McMocaChocolate
      • RE: Apple plots iPhone nano: In praise of smaller devices

        @tkejlboom His whole point was the cost of an iPhone compared to an Android phone (which I don't agree with the comparable for half the price). So does the carrier not do the same thing for Android phones? What was your point exactly?
        non-biased
    • Okay but...

      @iPad-awan what about the good android devices? They do exiat you know contrary to what you might believe.
      slickjim
    • RE: Apple plots iPhone nano: In praise of smaller devices

      @iPad-awan

      Hey, I'll admit I love Apple products because of the value they give me, but please don't deride someone's choice if they see value. Plenty of people love Android for what's good. Same with any number of solutions providers' efforts.

      While I agree in theory on your points around "mindless loyalty" (where philosophy becomes religion), there are more effective ways to try to enlighten people. Explaining a better solution and sharing joy goes much further than telling someone what a freetard etc. they are. Why throw stones? Competition does not need to be the enemy. Ignorance and hate does need to be intolerable.

      On your points on Apple, I agree there really is nothing better. Wish there were more like them. Microsoft is showing some promise and wish they would let their talent blossom. They have brilliant people there, but are governed by such bad ideas. Android serves a need and offers a good product. Same with RIM. Same with HP. But when comparing to today's direction at Apple, hard to see where the other offerings add great value. ...yet.
      ShamooToo
      • RE: Apple plots iPhone nano: In praise of smaller devices

        @Angrypug

        OK, we don't allow rational, well thought out, and polite posts on ZDNet anymore.

        Please delete everything except the "freetard" word.

        Thank you. :-)
        babyboomer57
      • RE: Apple plots iPhone nano: In praise of smaller devices

        @Angrypug
        Apple users have nothing against 'android' or users thereof.
        Except that without Apple there would be no 'android'.

        What they have is a copycat, not a product of pure innovation. Anybody can do a tear-down-and-mimic job, it's how Kia and Hyundai have pulled past Chrysler in their bid to catch Honda and Toyota.
        I respect companies that innovate, not copy.
        Neil2112
    • Some feel the trade off of servitude to others

      is worth going with some trade offs associated with freedom.
      Ron Bergundy
    • RE: Apple plots iPhone nano: In praise of smaller devices

      @iPad-awan - only if Apple makes a new voice-activated UI. Touch screens need to be usable. Not a cute novelty.
      HypnoToad72
    • RE: Apple plots iPhone nano: In praise of smaller devices

      @iPad-awan
      Gee, an Apple posting that turned into a pissing match against Android.

      How original...
      tech_monster
    • RE: Apple plots iPhone nano: In praise of smaller devices

      @iPad-awan What bases? Small phones? For what? Tell me what will you use a small phone with a 2.5" screen? For voice only? What's the point of that? To further justify your iPad purchase? C'mon, less and less users use a phone for voice. 2.5" screen will not do data/internet very well at all. As it stands, Apple already has one of the smallest screens on the market.

      The Gordon Gekko was only for voice. That's not why we need phones with screens larger than 3.5". Phones are getter larger because they are much more than phones now. Actually, it's really a misnomer to call them phones or even smartphones anymore. They are multi-modal portable communication devices. Small phones are dead.
      mrxxxman
      • RE: Apple plots iPhone nano: In praise of smaller devices

        @mrxxxman Yet if an iPhone drops a call you bash it up one side and down the other for not first being a phone.
        non-biased
    • RE: Apple plots iPhone nano: In praise of smaller devices

      @iPad-awan I guess it wont be easy for Apple.

      1. Even we find difficulties when we use touch screen to type our message. I can't imagine if it gets even smaller.
      2. Full market coverage strategy has never been easy. If only they can mimic Nokia's strategy in the past, then they will excel.
      3. It will be successful if it is supported by applications and games and depends on how cheap it is.
      Greenocean
  • I was met so badly that Verizon had the best sales weekend of their history

    NT.
    wackoae
    • not saying much. if verizon sold 1000 iphones in one day

      compared to the previous record of 500 droids then they can claim their best sales day ever

      but last time i checked 1000 iphones is nothing apple would dance about!!!
      Ron Bergundy