Rumours abound of cheaper iPhone
Fans of the iPhone may soon have an even wider choice, if rumours that Apple is planning a smaller capacity handset are to be believed.
Word on the grapevine is that Apple is considering a Nano-based iPhone, which will also be cheaper than the current model -- up to 50 percent cheaper, according to reports. The iPhone, which has only just hit the shelves in the US and won't appear in Ireland until towards the end of the year, currently carries a price tag of USD499 and USD599 with a two-year contract.
The frenzy of speculation was stirred by a patent Apple filed in the US, and a report from JPMorgan analyst Kevin Chang. According to Chang, the patent filing, plus information he had gleaned from suppliers, pointed towards a new Nano iPhone in the offing.
Apple shares traded as high as USD134.50 Tuesday morning on Chang's predictions, eclipsing a previous 52-week high of USD133.34 set last Friday.
A new Nano phone/music player hybrid could oust the Nano music player from the market, according to reports, as the low price could simply split the device's current market.
However, don't expect to see a new Nano-based iPhone any time soon. Despite the initial excitement Chang caused, a second JP Morgan analyst, Bill Shope, rubbished any rumours that the slimmed down iPhone would be available before the end of the year and warned that the patent filings did not necessarily confirm that a new iPhone was on the way. Apple, as usual, is staying quiet on the matter.
The company is reportedly only going for a small percentage of the global mobile market with its new mobile/MP3 player hybrid device. Experts have suggested that it could sell up to 12 million iPhones in a full calendar year. The Nano phone, on the other hand, could ship 30 to 40 million units in the year after its launch, Chang had predicted.
Regardless of whether Apple plans to release a Nano-based version of its new pet project, the hype over the iPhone continues. However, speculation about the device's possible limitations have prompted caution in some quarters. Apple's previous collaborations for music phones, including the Motorola Rokr phone which contained iTunes software, were greeted with similar enthusiasm to begin with but failed to live up to expectations.