Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Apple iPhone Nano: Hoax or Reality?

Theres a lot of storm brewing over whether Apple is bringing out a 'Nano' version of the iPhone.

The thought obviously has followed Apple's trend with the iPod.
In this post I will analyse the fact sheet as stated by several sources.

News reports began appearing yesterday(09/Jul/07) that Apple may be planning to build a cheaper and smaller version of the iPhone, following the slim and sleek modeling design of the iPod nano. According to reports, Apple is silent on the subject.

About two weeks ago (the night before the iPhone was available in stores) David Letterman did a skit on his CBS program which featured an iPhone sneak peek. According to Dave, the nano version would not be cheaper. On his broadcast he stated the nano version would be $1100. You can watch a clip of Letterman's skit on youtube.

Lets build a background about what we are talking about first:

The EETimes Online News Reports:
LONDON — Apple Inc. (Cupertino, Calif.) is working on a second iPhone, based on the form-factor of the iPod Nano music player, according to online reports that reference a note to clients written by J.P. Morgan analyst Kevin Chang.

The iPhone Nano would be much lower cost than the iPhone and come to market in the fourth quarter of 2007, the reports said.

"We believe it's a strong sign that Apple could potentially convert every iPod Nano into a Nano phone," Market Watch quoted Chang as saying. (He obviously meant the market share of iPod Nano, not to really 'convert' every iPod Nano into Nano phone! ;-) )

Chang expects the iPhone Nano to have a scroll wheel interface, limited functionality and be priced at about $300. Chang concluded that Apple could potentially ship 30 million to 40 million units of the iPhone Nano in the 2008 financial year, the report said.

Alright, if there's a fire, there has got to be a spark behind it. This might be it: Apple submitted a patent today that could be direct evidence that a downscaled Nano-like iPhone is in the works. Here is the patent application for you to see.

This patent clearly depicts a rotary-styled keypad that works in conjunction with the already existent scroll wheel in iPods. Not only that, it displays a direct correlation between the numbers being selected and the classic 3 letter to a number layout (i.e abc, def, ghi, etc.)

Here is the reaction it got from online news agencies:

An Apple patent application dated Thursday has sparked speculation among bloggers that the computer maker may be planning an iPhone light that would focus only on voice communications and music.
"The invention pertains to a user interface for controlling an electronic device, particularly a multifunctional device that is capable of operating in multiple modes as for example a phone mode for communications and a media player mode for playing audio files, video files and the like"

My personal Opinion:

I dont really know whether the iPhone Nano is in the works or not, but id definitely say that if it is, this patent application is not the clue to it.
After Having revolutionized the gadget industry with its touch interface, I wouldnt think that the rotary interface would be such a big indication towards iPhone Nano.
Chances are Apple is simply patenting all embodiments of iPhone knockoffs so a few hacks in Japan and China don’t get silly with themselves.

Anyways, If it does come out with an iPhone Nano, these possible models may be just what I expect, given Apple's innovative edge to creating cool gadgets:

Lets wait and see if, when and how Apple chooses to surprise us!

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