Is an Apple iPhone Nano on the Way?
The VAR Guy always has his ear to the ground, but call him skeptical for the latest Apple-related rumblings. Bloomberg is reporting that Apple is going to launch a smaller version of the iPhone that’s also cheaper in an effort to compete with Android offerings. The rumors about the new phone may be true, but The VAR Guy doesn’t think Android competition is the reason behind the new phone. Here’s why:
Bloomberg says the impetus behind the new phone is to to slow the “advance of competing handsets” based on Android. It’s true, Android handsets tend to be cheaper and more varied than their iOS counterpart, but Apple has never tried to compare apples to oranges (pardon the pun). The company has always just done its own thing, without having to attack the market directly.
Still, Bloomberg seems convinced (which The VAR Guy finds to be a real head-scratcher). The news outlet is reporting a person who saw the smaller iPhone prototype said the new phone is also being developed with “technology” that makes the iPhone easier to use on other wireless networks. The very same person claimed that Apple wants to position this phone in the $200 price range without a service contract. If that’s true, Apple could be creating a smartphone that customers could buy directly from Apple and take to their carrier of choice.
The VAR Guy believes Apple does indeed have the power to shift the mobile-phone paradigm to a more open plan akin to what consumers enjoy in the United Kingdom. All it takes is one manufacturer to offer a cheap, unlocked phone that runs on multiple networks and soon enough other manufacturers will follow suit. The only question is whether service providers would hop on board.
We don’t know any more of the hardware specs of this mythical $200 iPhone Nano beyond the multiple-carrier chip, but it’s alleged to be about one-third smaller than the existing iPhone. The same person leaking this information said Apple often works on products that never see the light of day, and few people know about the failed prototypes. So even if the rumors are true, the excitement could be all for naught.
Bloomberg also reports that Apple is working on a “universal SIM” that would let iPhone users swap between GSM networks without swapping SIM cards from other carriers. Again, this is far different from what The VAR Guy experiences here in the United States, but isn’t so unusual overseas.
The VAR Guy wonders: Wouldn’t it be ironic if Apple, which is constantly being bashed for having ‘closed’ technology, became the catalyst for a shift by carriers away from subsidized locked-in contract models to a more ‘open’ mobile model?
While The VAR Guy is skeptical of all Apple rumors, he keeps an open mind. If Apple were to release a phone smaller than the iPhone 4, The VAR Guy is sure there will be a user base. But just like Goldilocks, our resident blogger thinks the iPhone 4’s screen size is just right.