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iPhone nano still enroute, but not for US?

updated 04:40 pm EST, Mon January 12, 2009

iPhone nano Non US Rumor

Apple could be making its rumored iPhone nano primarily for non-US markets, checks by analyst Brian Marshal of AmTech indicate. Despite the absence of the smaller, lower-cost device at Macworld, Marshal believes the device is still on track for an early 2009 release based on investigations but warns that AT&T isn't yet known to be testing the hardware, suggesting that any early release would launch outside of the US.

"The best-case scenario here would be a China launch," he says, referring to the pressure to launch the device in the populous country. "But we have no definitive knowledge of this and are working on identifying the [locale] of launch and other pertinent details."

Such an effort would be uncharacteristic of Apple, which often insists on launching new products and services first in its home country and launching the devices elsewhere later. To date, the company has also reserved its new iPhone introductions for mid-year with a small-scale capacity boost having appeared in early 2008.

However, Apple is potentially under pressure by China Mobile to adapt to the local market, which through the carrier will embrace the locally developed TD-SCDMA standard for 3G instead of HSPA.

The iPhone nano posited by a currently unverified case leak is said to be a shorter but thicker variant of the iPhone 3G's design that may reduce storage or features to reach a lower price point.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Peter Bonte

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Japan first?

  1. idannyb

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Nano for China and ...

    There are many reasons why a “Nano” iPhone does not make any sense … yet there are reasons why it might fly in the Far East . Consider that this could be a “customized” (see link re customization) model designed in concert with China Mobile (no wifi, no app store, no mobile me, no itunes, etc.). This model would be compatible with EDGE 2.5G and TD-SCDMA 3G and would support Monternet (China Mobile’s VAS platform). China Mobile is subsidizing all “TD ready” handsets authorized in China. Of China Mobile’s 400 million users, approximately 290 million are pre-paid users (no contract). Many pre-pay users aspire to iPhone but cannot afford without a price incentive (China Mobile subsidy to go on contract). The Nano iPhone may also be available “unlocked” at a slightly higher price-point. Bottom line … a Nano TD iPhone (locked or unlocked) might be in reach for hundreds of millions of pre-pay users in China.
    While building any customized model for a carrier is totally out of character for Apple, consider that showing support for China’s TD-SCDMA is Apple’s prerequisite entry fee to China’s official telecom market. The Nano may even be pre-sold in quantity to China Mobile for their inventory. Yet I do not believe Apple signed an exclusive with China Mobile. The next deal will be with China Unicom. This will be for a more standard (full size) iPhone 3G supporting W-CDMA 3G.
    More >

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