The tech news sphere was set alight earlier on this week after rumours surfaced from the business paper, Bloomberg BusinessWeek that Apple could be working on creating an iPhone 'nano' in an attempt to capture the lucrative budget mobile phone sector. The paper claims that after years of speculation, Apple is still working on a budget version of its flagship consumer device.
A source from the publication stated its source came from 'people who had been briefed on the plans' and that at least one other source had seen a working prototype that was at least a third smaller than the current iPhone 4 and uses existing components from the current generation to cut on production costs whilst the more pricey premium components are held back for its yet to be launched iPhone 5.
Further interest into the 'nano' iPhone was raised after the Wall Street Journal backed up the previous claims of a budget offering being lined up from Apple. Also rumoured was a revamp of its MobileMe service due to flagging sales and low subscription numbers, with a possibility of announcing that the service will be free to iPhone users and will be changed from a synchronised offering of mail, contacts and calendar to a digital content platform where users could back data up to. It could also include the long rumoured streaming service for iTunes after Apple's acquisition of the streaming based website Lala.
Unfortunately this news, whilst backed up by 'sources' can't be taken as confirmation, as throughout the iPhone's history there have been constant rumours of a smaller budget model mobile phone offering from Apple throughout the years.
The rumoured sources also leaked information that Apple might intend to make the forthcoming iPhone 5 a 'world phone' by including GSM and CDMA technology, as it had to launch a CDMA iPhone 4 variant in its home market to please American consumers. A teardown of the CDMA device found that the technologies and hardware were in place for a 'world phone' version, but the lack of a SIM card slot was the only thing from stopping the company from launching it, preferring to release two separate devices.
The iPhone 'Nano' will also have competition from the newly released, and formerly Palm, HP Veer smartphone. Launched at the beginning of February, the Veer is an evolution of Palm's Pre line of phones, with models being offered in small, medium, and large sizes. The Veer being the smallest, the Pre3 being the medium sized device and a new web OS powered tablet, the TouchPad, completing the large offering.
Only time shall tell whether these rumours prove to be true as having a budget device in a manufacture's line up can prove to be a killer option as seen with HTC's Wildfire handset which provides premium looks at an affordable price.
It would allow networks to offer the phone on competitively priced pay as you go plans that cater to the consumer's needs.
Pandora Devine is a freelance journalist and is raising her profile in the field of mobile technology. She wrote this article originally for Orange UK.
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