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Apple plots iPhone nano: In praise of smaller devices

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.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

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.

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