updated 06:25 pm EDT, Mon July 9, 2007
iPhone nano predicted
JP Morgan analyst Kevin Chang, based in Taiwan and perhaps gaining access to manufacturing channel sources, believes that a recently filed Apple patent indicates that Apple may be planning to build an iPod nano accessory that would allow owners to make phone calls, or build a new phone device around the iPod nano in essence creating an "iPhone nano." The patent, filed July 5th, details telephone and text entry interfaces for a cellular-capable device via a click-wheel. An accompanying patent discusses enabling users to "type" or dial phone numbers with a click-wheel interface and receive suggestions for completing words or phrases to speed typing efforts.
Chang claims Apple may plan to convert the Nano into a phone and price it at $300 or lower. "We believe that iPod Nano will be converted into a phone because it's probably the only way for Apple to launch a lower end phone without severely cannibalizing iPod Nano," he said. The analyst has lofty sales projections for such a device, projecting 2008 unit shipments of 30 million to 40 million -- far above Apple's goal of shipping 10 million iPhones in 2008.
Apple reportedly sold more than 700,000 iPhones its opening weekend, and apparently costs between $200 and $220 to build.