Are Smaller, Cheaper iPhone’s in the Horizon?

In 2007, Apple released the first version of the Apple iPhone, and while the device was relatively basic at the time the iPhone line has quickly developed to become somewhat legendary.  Less than a year ago Steve Jobs and Apple announced the iPhone 4 under the tagline “This changes everything.  Again.”; a promise that Apple definitely stayed true to.  With the iPhone 4 nearing its one-year birthday this coming June, many people are already beginning to speculate – yet again – on what innovations and industry game-changers the device will bring to the table.

With Verizon having finally attained the iPhone and Apple apparently in the midst of big things for the now prestige device, it is only natural for us as consumers and connoisseurs of technology to wonder what exactly Apple will unveil in the coming months.  While no one knows for sure what we’ll see, one of the more recently developed ideas seems like a very promising idea; one that can potentially be of benefit to consumers and turn a great deal of profit for Apple.

DigitalTrends is now citing the Wall Street Journal in stating that the next big thing for the Apple iPhone will be…small.  You see,  recent rumors are suggesting that Apple is planning to release a miniature iPhone – dubbed the “iPhone Nano” – that would offer many of the features of the Apple iPhone in a smaller device; only about half the size and weighing in significantly lighter.  While the smaller device would definitely have a niche market with consumers, I honestly feel that it would do wonders for Apple in the long run.

Having said this, the rumors that I have read on this issue thus far have all fathered the idea that the “iPhone Nano” would not only be smaller in size, but would carry a significantly smaller price-tag.  With a lower price-point option available in the iPhone product line, Apple would be able to – in theory – compete with the growing number of “feature phones”; many of which are beginning to sport Google’s Android operating system.

While it’s not entirely certain what we would see feature-wise in the iPhone Nano, I honestly think that the device is going to have to be more or less on par with the current – if not future – generation of the iPhone in order to be competitive.  With this in mind, the lower pricing would surely make end-users more willing to go without minor features, but I still believe that consumers would expect most of the iPhone’s capabilities and features to be available in the “Nano.”  Very few people, I believe, would settle for a device that they felt to be too dummied down.

This is a similar concept that we saw when Apple first announced the iPod Nano several years ago.  While the price and size were big selling points, the device only took off because of the fact that it retained the utmost core features of the “classic” iPod.

In speaking of the iPod Nano, it is important for us to evaluate the (somewhat) recent implementation of the Nano’s new multi-touch display which greatly resembles that seen in the iPhone and iPod Touch.  To me, Apple’s implementation of this technology in the nano suggests that they are trying to bridge the gap between the iPod Nano and Touch products.  If that is indeed their overall goal, it would make perfect sense for them to create an equivalent to the iPod Nano in the iPhone line; giving a great deal of validity and substance to this rumor.

What do you think?  Will we see an iPhone Nano?  If so, will it compete with the array of Android-based products that are already on the market?  Let us know in the comments!

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