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NYT: Apple has no plans for smaller iPhone

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By Charles Starrett

Contributing Editor
Published: Friday, February 18, 2011
News Categories: iPhone

Despite recent reports, Apple is not developing a smaller version of the iPhone, according to a New York Times report. Citing people briefed on Apple’s plans, the report states that Apple is exploring ways of making the device less expensive and allowing users to control the phone with voice commands, but is not working on a smaller version, in part due to fact that it would be more difficult to operate, and would likely not represent much of a cost savings. In addition, a smaller screen might force some developers to modify their apps, something that Apple wants to avoid. The report continues, citing a senior Apple executive as saying during a private meeting that it didn’t make sense for the company to make multiple iPhone models, and that it would continue its practice of dropping the price on older models when it introduces a new one. “Although the innards of the phone, including memory size or camera quality, could change to offer a less expensive model, the size of the device would not vary,” said a person with knowledge of Apple’s plans and who has worked on multiple versions of the device.

A separate person with knowledge of Apple’s plans is cited in the report as saying the company was actively building a more versatile version of its MobileMe service. The new version is expected to be free, according to the report, and would allow users to sync their files without using a cable. “The goal is that your photos and other media content will eventually just sync across all your Apple devices without people having to do anything,” the person said. Interestingly, the report also mentions the “N97” code name that has previously been tied to the project of a cheaper iPhone; according to several of the NYT’s sources, N97 was actually the code name for the Verizon iPhone 4, which launched last week.

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Comments

1

If true, this is bad news. Given the variety and onslaught of Android devices, Apple needs to diversify its mobile phone offerings to better compete. Offering the previous model of iPhone at a discount isn’t enough.

If (re)developing apps for lower-spec hardware is a concern, then perhaps Apple should offer more of a “feature” phone, in line with how an iPod Nano differs from an iPod Touch. Make it a small touchscreen device with full iTunes and MobileMe integration, and include “must have” apps (e.g. Facebook) built-in to its OS.

Posted by Farnsworth on February 18, 2011 at 8:30 AM (PDT)

2

My contract for the iPhone 3Gs is up in June, but I’m upgrading this weekend to an iPhone 4 (both AT&T). I considered waiting for an iPhone 5, but I have a feeling it will be more like an iPhone 4Gs, with marginal improvements. Even if I’m wrong in my thinking, I feel the iPhone 4 has everything I’m looking for in an upgrade.

Posted by KC on February 18, 2011 at 8:35 AM (PDT)

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