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iPhone nano rumors resurface alongside case renderings

post #1 of 47
Thread Starter 
Renderings of a protective case for a device that resembles a smaller iPhone have been published online, rekindling speculation that Apple may be planning to introduce a new low-end handset sometime in the near future.

The images were published by iDealsChina, a publication with a mixed track record that includes accurate leaks of Griffin's iPhone 3G casing design, but inaccurate reports on the design of the fourth-generation iPod nano and plans to include GPS in the second-generation iPod touch.

Its latest report claims the new casing design is for an iPhone nano that will be "targeted at the people who couldnt afford an iPhone" and sold at discount shops such as Wal-Mart.

Pictured to be both shorter (the same height as the 4G iPod nano) and fatter than the iPhone 3G, the handset would reportedly include the same sensors and camera, but feature a smaller touchscreen and lack 3G connectivity.

Naturally, iDealsChina predicts that Apple will formally introduce the device early next month at the Macworld Expo in San Francisco, adding that manufacturing of the handsets will begin on Saturday, December 20th at a daily run rate of 60,000 to 80,000 units.

The publication appears high in its convictions and goes on to say that Apple may also announce a new version of the iPod shuffle at the conference. It encourages visitors to return to its website around the 20th, when it expects that actual photos of the new iPhone and iPod shuffle will be leaked.

Given its mixed track record and a lack of other reports making similar predictions, readers may want to treat the claims from iDealsChina with a degree of skepticism. There are also some uncertainties regarding the affect a smaller iPhone screen would have on a device's ability to run the wealth of existing iPhone applications.



Speaking during a recent conference call, Apple chief executive Steve Jobs said his company's strategy has been to treat the iPhone as a software platform based on a consistent hardware design that does not complicate matters for developers.

"I think that the traditional game in the phone market has been to produce a voice phone in a hundred different varieties," he said. "But as software starts to become the differentiating technology of this product category, I think that people are going to find that a hundred variations presented to a software developer is not very enticing."

Jobs was responding to a questions about why Apple hasn't broadened its iPhone line to include more than one model design and what other opportunities he may see within the market.

"I wasn't alive then, but from everything I've heard, Babe Ruth only had one home run," he quipped. "He just kept hitting it over and over again."



That said, a report from earlier this year noted that Apple was experimenting with smaller iPhone touch-screens, specifically 2.8-inch and 3.2-inch varieties. It's unclear whether the screens were being evaluated for use in an iPod or iPhone, but their design is somewhat consistent with the renderings of the iPhone nano device published this week.
post #2 of 47
We know this is coming, at some stage.

Even I predicted this one, on 4th July '07:

Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #3 of 47
If there is any truth to this I would bet that it will have the same resolution as the bigger iPhone but with a higher density screen (and therefore smaller). It may forgo some features like GPS and camera but otherwise be similar to the iPhone's basic functioning.
post #4 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Outsider View Post

If there is any truth to this I would bet that it will have the same resolution as the bigger iPhone but with a higher density screen (and therefore smaller). It may forgo some features like GPS and camera but otherwise be similar to the iPhone's basic functioning.

And how do you go about keeping the keyboard from becoming more frustrating to use?
post #5 of 47
More affordable but with same camera, wi-fi, touch stuff? iWouldtotallyhavethat.
post #6 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by probably View Post

And how do you go about keeping the keyboard from becoming more frustrating to use?

And that is the million dollar question!
post #7 of 47
The keyboard on this device will NOT be QWERTY.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #8 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by probably View Post

And how do you go about keeping the keyboard from becoming more frustrating to use?

nano fingers

Seriously though, the market for this device is people who want an iphone but balk at the $30 a month for data.
I suspect they will offer this at $99 with a $10-20 data package.
I would think the target market for an iPhone nano would primarily consist of teenagers who are more adaptable than old people(like you)
post #9 of 47
I really don't agree with the stripped iPhon notion. It's just going to get it's own widespread jailbreaking base and illegitimate games. And ever since iPod, they don't seem to do anything without a plan to monetize.

Apple's presence in phones is supposed to imply smartphones and real software. I'm not sure why they would go into dumb phones (they would probably sell a ton of them anyway). Apple has an art for tactfully eating their message, though.

And if it is somehow the same thing but smaller, that's pretty lame for developers. The one-platform-for-all is exciting (and can I think improving the specs over time can be managed if they take it slow).

It's neat (impressive) that shrinking the display on this device would bring with it so many infrastructural decisions/issues.

I say there will be variants but the 3.5" screen is here for a while.
post #10 of 47
why is there no headphone jack hole in the case renderings?
post #11 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by bslaght View Post

why is there no headphone jack hole in the case renderings?

Probably because it's not real. If it *is* a phone, Macworld is a preannouncement ahead of FCC filings isn't it?

I don't think the case makers needed to know about iPhone until Macworld 2007. They had months to put something together before it was actually available in a store.
post #12 of 47
Very dumb. If this rumor does come true, everyone claiming how cool it sounds will immediately complain that it doesn't have 3G, doesn't have a camera, and doesn't have GPS. I don't think they need a smaller iPhone. If it is too small, it will be harder to use. Look what happened to the original Nano. It had a very small screen, difficult to see. Now the Nano has a larger screen. They learned that smaller isn't always better. You'll also lose battery life because it will need a smaller battery. That won't be good either. Also, without 3G, who would waste their time with that phone?
post #13 of 47
I don't believe this is real. That would be too small like other readers have mentioned. A flip phone with two screens and a horizontal view would be neat. One screen for each finger to type on - but what do I know.
post #14 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by hillstones View Post

Very dumb. If this rumor does come true, everyone claiming how cool it sounds will immediately complain that it doesn't have 3G, doesn't have a camera, and doesn't have GPS. I don't think they need a smaller iPhone. If it is too small, it will be harder to use. Look what happened to the original Nano. It had a very small screen, difficult to see. Now the Nano has a larger screen. They learned that smaller isn't always better. You'll also lose battery life because it will need a smaller battery. That won't be good either. Also, without 3G, who would waste their time with that phone?

If they could get this on Verizon, I know of a ton of people that would be all over this. The functionality of the Touch, with regular ol' phone service on Verizon. Everyone I know (stuck with Verizon) would be on it.
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post #15 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

nano fingers

Seriously though, the market for this device is people who want an iphone but balk at the $30 a month for data.
I suspect they will offer this at $99 with a $10-20 data package.
I would think the target market for an iPhone nano would primarily consist of teenagers who are more adaptable than old people(like you)

I've been a big supporter of the nano iPhone in the past, but I am not so sure this makes any sense.

Like most I have to use the $30 data package because it's all that's offered even though I only use the tiniest fraction of the 6GB limit per month. I haven't even got to spending an entire GB of data yet and I've had my iPhone for three months! The point is if a lower rate for data became available a lot of folks on the "regular" iPhone would avail themselves of it. Tying the cost of data to the size of the phone makes no sense and is not a factor in the decision of which phone to get.

The thing I don't quite understand about a proposed nano form factor is that the functionality would have to be limited and exactly where *that* line is drawn, and why is the defining issue IMO. A nano phone (unless it's just smaller all around for small handed people but otherwise identical), would have a hard time even hosting a keyboard which would seem to leave out all of the "smart" applications like email, text, web, etc. It might squeeze a horizontal only keyboard in there or one of those horrible abominations known as the T9 keyboards, but that doesn't sound like anything Apple would do.

If this thing exists at all though, I can only see it with the limited functionality of the average flip phone (aside from a few widgets) and that means it will have to be basically given away with the contract.
In Windows, a window can be a document, it can be an application, or it can be a window that contains other documents or applications. Theres just no consistency. Its just a big grab bag of monkey...
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In Windows, a window can be a document, it can be an application, or it can be a window that contains other documents or applications. Theres just no consistency. Its just a big grab bag of monkey...
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post #16 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by probably View Post

Probably because it's not real. If it *is* a phone, Macworld is a preannouncement ahead of FCC filings isn't it?

I don't think the case makers needed to know about iPhone until Macworld 2007. They had months to put something together before it was actually available in a store.

if you think about it, the jack may be on the bottom like the iPod Touch.
post #17 of 47
If you lower the price of the phone, you have to lower the price of the service plan proportionately to increase sales. The phone companies have no incentive to sell an Apple branded phone that will have a $50/month service plan before subsidies.
post #18 of 47
From the iPhone SDK documentation, it makes it clear (I believe) that the device will scale the app window appropriately so that differing screen sizes and resolutions should not matter.
post #19 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaarrrgggh View Post

If you lower the price of the phone, you have to lower the price of the service plan proportionately to increase sales. The phone companies have no incentive to sell an Apple branded phone that will have a $50/month service plan before subsidies.

That's one of the most wildly inaccurate statements I've read here in a long time.
The true measure of a man is how he treats someone that can do him absolutely no good.
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The true measure of a man is how he treats someone that can do him absolutely no good.
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post #20 of 47
I don't believe it. I just don't see how they could make the touch keyboard work on a smaller screen.
post #21 of 47
OK... no-one has said it yet so


! ! !F A K E! ! !

other than that, ... ummm your all idiots its ACTUALLY an Apple TV remote!


see... now the thread is complete
I don't see how an anti M$ stance can be seen as a bad thing on an Apple forum I really can't!

nagromme - According to Amazon: "SpongBob Typing Tutor" is outselling Windows
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I don't see how an anti M$ stance can be seen as a bad thing on an Apple forum I really can't!

nagromme - According to Amazon: "SpongBob Typing Tutor" is outselling Windows
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post #22 of 47
Oh the joy of rumors is back. I missed it. Apple figured out a way to keep everything even more secret.

I think we gonna be really surprised at Macworld.
Apple had me at scrolling
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Apple had me at scrolling
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post #23 of 47
A new (new hardware) version of iphone is going to come next year though right? I mean what with all that talk of the new CPU ect.....it must come!!!
post #24 of 47
it doesn't matter if they gave the iphone away for free- how the heck can people in this economy afford 100+ a month for at&t service for their iphones?

that's 1200 for a year and with the two year minimum service contract with at&t, it's 2400. i know of no one who is doing well financially right now. am i missing something here?
post #25 of 47
We've been through recessions before. No one suddenly lowers the prices on their premium services because of it. Everyone will ride it out until it gets better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by freethinker View Post

it doesn't matter if they gave the iphone away for free- how the heck can people in this economy afford 100+ a month for at&t service for their iphones?

that's 1200 for a year and with the two year minimum service contract with at&t, it's 2400. i know of no one who is doing well financially right now. am i missing something here?
post #26 of 47
Quote:
That won't be good either. Also, without 3G, who would waste their time with that phone?

Don't worry, few people care about 3G around here. Afterall, the original iPhone didn't have 3G and that was still the 'best phone in the world'.
post #27 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

We've been through recessions before. No one suddenly lowers the prices on their premium services because of it. Everyone will ride it out until it gets better.

I work for the United States Treasury and I can say that this is very near to being disastrous. I am talking about Iceland disastrous.
post #28 of 47
if there is an iphone nano, i don't believe it will replicate the same features as a regular iphone. It will have limited features. No internet/GPS and no installing 3rd party programs.
post #29 of 47
I'm going to assume that these renderings are real because previously the leaked renderings for the 3G cases came out to be real.

The case indicates that the new iPhone nano will have a camera, there are two proximity sensors one to the left and one to the right of the speaker, the headset jack replaces the loudspeaker at the bottom? and the screen is either higher in resolution or the OS's resolution independent GUI will compensate for the smaller screen size on the fly.
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post #30 of 47
If you can subsidize the current phone to $200 -- and it obviates a $100-200 iPod purchase -- is the unit price any sort of -real- barrier? The 'nano' keyboard would suck, most of the apps wouldn't work nearly as well, the app store would fracture, the battery would suffer disproportionally and what's the upside?

They need a 'lite' data plan more than they need to cut $100 off the price or shave size.
(E.g. a plan that only uses cell data for things like A-GPS and makes everything else use wifi)
post #31 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roc Ingersol View Post

If you can subsidize the current phone to $200 -- and it obviates a $100-200 iPod purchase -- is the unit price any sort of -real- barrier? The 'nano' keyboard would suck, most of the apps wouldn't work nearly as well, the app store would fracture, the battery would suffer disproportionally and what's the upside?

They need a 'lite' data plan more than they need to cut $100 off the price or shave size.
(E.g. a plan that only uses cell data for things like A-GPS and makes everything else use wifi)

The keyboard may only view in landscape mode or it would have multiple letters per button and the phone will automatically guess your entry, Blackberry already uses such a feature in their smaller keyboards.
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post #32 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cubert View Post

From the iPhone SDK documentation, it makes it clear (I believe) that the device will scale the app window appropriately so that differing screen sizes and resolutions should not matter.

That is an interesting note.
post #33 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roc Ingersol View Post

....what's the upside?

Well it might be that you get to keep some of your iPod customers who are, increasingly, moving their media to cell phones.
post #34 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cubert View Post

From the iPhone SDK documentation, it makes it clear (I believe) that the device will scale the app window appropriately so that differing screen sizes and resolutions should not matter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by probably View Post

That is an interesting note.

I think that increasing the screen resolution is an obvious future upgrade for the iPhone. That's just future-proofing.
post #35 of 47
Well if that turns out true. AT&T lowering its rates won't do much to help anything.

Quote:
Originally Posted by freethinker View Post

I work for the United States Treasury and I can say that this is very near to being disastrous. I am talking about Iceland disastrous.
post #36 of 47
As I said in the other thread, I don't believe that this is true.

1) I don't see a legitimate argument about needing a lower price device. The regular iPhone is already going to be sold for $99 at Walmart for god sakes. The *real* cost issue is the requirement of a 2-year contract with a mandatory $30/month unlimited (aka 5GB) data package just to own an iPhone. This should never have been required, not only do many people not live in a 3G area, many others are blanketed by WiFi all day.
I think a decent compromise to spur sales would be to create a second data plan, something like 1GB for $10/month in addition to the 5GB for $30/month. Another idea would be for AT&T to offer the iPhone without a mandatory data plan (while still keeping the 2-year contract) for a higher price, say $349. Regardless, they are going to need to do something to keep sales momentum going. I myself could not get by without mobile email and web, but I'm sure there is an enormous number of potential iPhone customers out there who refuse to pay a minimum of $75 a month for one.

2) the current iPhone is already so small that I don't think it's possible to shrink it any further without having a significant impact on functionality. I have averaged sized hands, and I don't see how you could comfortably fit a qwerty keyboard on a 2.5-2.8" screen. I know many middle-aged people who have trouble with the iphone's small text and buttons on the touchscreen as it is now.

additionally, to not have a major impact on the GUI, they would need to keep the resolution the same at 480x320. However, the higher pixel density will mean that the interface elements will shrink, making it even harder to press buttons and controls accurately. And you can't just scale up the text and inteface controls or they will overlap and cause all sorts of display problems. I'm fairly confident a smaller iphone would require a modification of the GUI and just make it more difficult for app developers to maintain their programs.
post #37 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by probably View Post

And how do you go about keeping the keyboard from becoming more frustrating to use?

Use landscape mode.
post #38 of 47
Rendering of applications on a 'smaller' iPhone is no more an issue than rendering of applications on a 24 inch iMac and 13 inch MacBook.
Mac OS X is device and resolution independent.
post #39 of 47
Although some software could cope with a smaller display size, plenty of games would break.

If Apple *do* produce a phone of this size, there'd be no point in changing the pixel resolution of the screen.

Instead you could retain the same pixel-count -(half VGA) and just the physical size would be smaller. There are plenty of suitable display parts.

As described above, it would be the tiny virtual keyboard which would require some new thinking.

C.
post #40 of 47
Some of you need to repeat after me:-

"The USA is not the whole world".

"AT&T is not a worldwide network"

In other countries things are different, mobile data IS important..
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