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Counter-rumor: small iPhone off the cards, cheaper still on

updated 08:40 pm EST, Thu February 17, 2011

New rumor rules out small iPhone

An unusual turn has seen an opposing rumor cast doubt on talk of a miniature iPhone. The company is reportedly too focused on making a direct sequel to its full-size model. A smaller version had so far been ruled out as it would be harder to use and, despite assumptions, wouldn't necessarily be any less expensive, the NYT heard.

A device known as N97 that some had suspected was a future model was just the Verizon iPhone.

The company is also reportedly keen to avoid any further app platform fragmentation, an issue that it has criticized with Android. Apple already has three separate app resolutions and deliberately kept the resolution on the iPhone 4 and fourth-generation iPod touch exactly four times larger than on the older models so that older apps would scale perfectly.

Attempts to lower the price, however, were still active. A long-serving iPhone team member told the newspaper that it would likely focus on familiar techniques to lower the price, such as reducing the capacity or lowering the camera resolution. In the past, Apple has carried over last year's model at a lower price; last year, it also halved the capacity to 8GB, a trick that helped it slash the price down to $49 at the start of this year.

The move would likely be meant to improve Apple's standing in China and other countries where prepaid phones are common. iPhones have been the most successful in North America, Europe and Japan, where customers either get a device on contract or get it subsidized by agreeing to a monthly subscription at a minimum rate.

Few details were gleaned about the new iPhone, but the paper supported the WSJ's earlier claims that Apple would counter Google's voice command support. Likely taking advantage of its Siri deal, it would respond to Voice Actions in Android with much wider support of voice commands. Voice Control has been a feature of the iPhone ever since the 3GS in June 2009, but it has been limited to basic tasks like music playback or phone calls. Android users can not only control more apps but perform web searches and dictate e-mail or text messages.

The same sources likewise supported beliefs that MobileMe would become a free and much more advanced service than it is today. It would sync music, photos and other content online and could be vital to have devices like the iPad work independently of a computer for backup. One of the sources unintentionally likened it to Google's long-term strategy, which would let users have access to all their content in the cloud.

"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 contact said.

Google has made clear its plans to shift media to the Internet but has had mixed performance. Its plans to expand YouTube to become a full-fledged movie service have been publicly confirmed and are nearing fruition, but its Google Music service has been plagued by delays. It may be getting closer as Motorola chief Sanjay Jha inadvertently said the store, which could include its own media locker, might be ready in time with Android 3.0, which ships with the Xoom tablet in just a few weeks.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Inkling

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Synching not storing

    Synching in the cloud is fine. Apple is already far too late to that party. It's dominated by Google and DropBox. But remote storage (other than as backup) is another matter. With tetrabyte drives selling for under $100 and flash prices dropping fast, it makes no sense to depend for work or entertainment on a tenuous connection to storage in far-away rural North Carolina. That's especially true when the weather turns sour.

    And yes, while I like the control that comes from managing my iPhone with my iMac, I'm sure their are people with iPhones and iPads that don't want to even own a computer. For them, having a remote computer running a virtual iTunes would be handy.

  1. samirsshah

    Joined: Dec 1969




  1. sibeale1

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Thoroughly homogenized metaphor

    Off the cards? Perhaps off the table? Or not in the cards?

  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Don't buy a phone unless its for sale

    Apple announces they want you to buy the phones they have for sale, not rumored phones.

    No surprise there. That's how they do business. The iPad didn't exist because - people don't read anymore - and then it was released anyway.

    They will offer a lower priced - no contract phone. Speculation, yes. Obvious, yes.
    The other choice is to give the market away - or make everyone in the world wealthy snobs.

    If the latter - more power too them, I can get behind such an ambitious goal, even if its utterly off the cards - (hahaha, just kidding).

  1. charlituna

    Joined: Dec 1969


    no real surprises here

    Apple is working on ways to reduce the price of the iphone. Well no duh.

    Apple is working on ways to reduce the need for storing things on the iphone, thus letting them keep using the same storage amounts which will become cheaper and cheaper as time goes by. No real surprise there.

    Apple is going to finally use the streaming tech they bought from well again, no real surprise.

    I will say that I agree that full cloud storage is unlikely. Folks are too nervous especially after things like the Sidekick boo boo. But being able to stream your itunes music out of the cloud rather than syncing over what's on your computer -- or a part of it. That I can see happening. Lala was awesome for accessing a huge library

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