Apple iPhone Nano – Cheaper alternative to iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4

by PYB James | Feb 01, 2011

One of the barriers to entry for potential UK iPhone users is the price.  The iPhone 3GS, 8GB version is the cheapest, currently from the Apple Store it is £428, and for the 64GB iPhone 4, this rises to over £600. They only become more affordable when tied in to a 24-month contract with one of the main networks.

With the iPod, Apple have been really clever with price points, giving us cheaper alternatives with the iPod Nano and Shuffle, and a less gadgety iPod Classic with considerably more storage capacity. Is now the time for the introduction of a new IPhone version? Will this year see an iPhone Nano?

There have been many rumours of a smaller, cheaper iPhone for months, but recently, these rumours are increasing in number.

When you consider that a high-end, top-of-the-range Android smart phone is around half the price on an entry-level iPhone, it makes sound business sense for Apple to introduce such a device, there is after all, a certain kudos to owning an iPhone – or indeed any other Apple device. Making the iPhone more accessible – even with a lower specification – would be a smart move.

With a more affordable iPhone available, and heavy subsidies from the networks, it wouldn’t be long before contract or even pay as you go iPhones were given away. After all, the more iPhones out there, the more revenue for Apple via the App Store.

What will be the sacrifice in functionality? Probably very little, apart from the obvious smaller screen, and half as many cameras. It will still need a built-in A-GPS (Assisted GPS), as so many current apps rely on the gadget knowing where it is. Storage capacity will be less, not to save cost, but to allow a higher price tag on the larger capacity iPhones.

So, what will the iPhone Nano look like? Probably around a third the size of the current iPhone 4, and maybe with a front facing camera only. To maximise screen space, there will probably be no bezel, and the glass will cover the whole of the front of the device. The home button may well be absent, a virtual, context-aware button taking its place.

It will, perhaps, be made available in a variety of colours. It will, unquestionably, be popular. It will, undoubtedly, be highly desirable. It will, essentially, be very cool indeed.

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