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That iPhone Nano Rumor ....

Posted by: Olga Kharif on August 4, 2008

That old rumor – that Apple would introduce a stripped-down version of the iPhone – is being floated again. This Sunday, Daily Mail has run a story citing sources close to Apple who claim the company will release iPhone Nano by Christmas. The gadget would allow for listening to music and phone calling, but won’t offer mobile Internet connectivity, according to the report. It’s supposedly destined for the prepaid market.

Do I buy this idea? Well, it is a possibility, though it would be surprising to see Apple step into the prepaid market; such a move could cheapen its brand. On the other hand, such a phone may be exactly what the prepaid market needs to revamp its image. Today’s prepaid phones tend to be un-cool, and there’s a perception that only people with poor credit sign up for prepaid service. Equipped with iPhone nano, prepaid carriers could turn into cool kids on the block, and start making real dent in the postpaid wireless market.

An iPhone Nano also makes sense for another reason: Many people like to carry smaller phones. Though cellular radios aren’t as easy to compress as music players, I have seen several super-small phones, such as the modu device. Apple took four years after the first iPod came out to release a nano version, and three years to introduce iPod mini, the size of a business card. But though it’s only been a year since the first iPhone came out, it is possible the company will roll out its phone versions at a much faster pace. After all, different cell-phone buyers have different preferences. Some crave smaller size. Many want a physical keyboard. If Apple wishes to accommodate everyone, it’s got to roll out a lot more versions of the phone than it did of the music player.

Reader Comments

Tim Flowers

August 4, 2008 3:20 PM

It would be a better idea if it came with internet connectivity.
I use prepaid wireless from Virgin and I love it. I got so tired of being locked into contracts with cellular services that could care less about customer service. I like the freedom of being able to walk away without penalty, if necessary. But I do wish prepaid companies would offer better phones. There is no reason not to. At up to 25 cents per minute for some carriers, they can certainly afford to keep the prepaid line up to par with the monthly plans. Plus, there is no credit risk, no defaulted accounts, with prepaid. Virgin wireless is a joint venture with Sprint. I wonder if some of my airtime charges go to support bad debts at Sprint?


August 4, 2008 4:05 PM

Knowing apple, the internet connectivity will become available in iPhone nano by July 2009 :-)

Michael Molin

August 4, 2008 5:05 PM

Hello Olga,

Don't believe them. First, Motorola Cell PC as original inventors of a cell phone. Next, Microsoft and Apple.



August 4, 2008 5:14 PM

A smaller iPhone seems possible, but when both the BlackBerry Pearl and the Palm Centro offer web browsing and full email access for $99 (with cheap data plans) it just isn't plausible that Apple would launch a web-less iPhone Nano.


August 4, 2008 5:59 PM

That is a great idea.
I am a 14 year old with an iPod touch, unable to support an iPhone plan on a teenage budget, but have a prepaid phone. Having an iPhone nano would be perfect for someone like me. I would wait in line for days to get my hands on one.


August 4, 2008 7:47 PM

I went out and bought my iPhone 1.0 the day after it went on sale. I love it and all but size matters. The iPhone is too bulky to run with. It reminds me of back in the day when I ran with a cassette player. I don't want a prepaid iPhone Nano but a smaller version for those who just don't want the full sized iPhone makes sense. Add in Nike+ ability for us runners and you got my new phone.


August 4, 2008 8:45 PM

iPod mini? There isn't one.

There is a shuffle and that's the size of a box of matches.


August 4, 2008 8:51 PM


after re-reading the article, there was an iPod mini. Apologies.


August 4, 2008 9:17 PM

Apple is leading the industry with their i inventions. I'm sure they will exploit every i option they can. Prepaid phones I'm sure will gain more popularity as more people continue to have credit problems, so why not make them cool!



August 4, 2008 10:13 PM

Not all prepaid cell phone users have bad credit. Some are just thrifty. I am quite happy with my T-Mobile prepaid service and use it only for emergencies. Young people might do better switching to a cheaper cell phone plan and paying off their student loans faster or increasing their 401K plan contributions. I have no plans to buy an iPhone nano or any other iPhone.


August 4, 2008 10:40 PM

I would highly doubt if Apple would release such a low end iPhone so early. As noted, that would weaken its position as a premium phone. Moreover, in terms the current stigma with prepaid, I don't think carrying around the "poor man's iPhone" would help. Lastly, I think it's important to note that prepaid customers, whether credit challenged, or tired of annoying contracts, still wants/demands a great phone and good value just like the postpaid customers.



August 5, 2008 2:27 AM

only reason for a cheap iphone nano is to attack china/india markets


August 5, 2008 3:43 AM

A cheaper, less bulky iphone is a good idea. Put it this way, as good as the current iphone is, if Apple is really serious about becoming competitive in the mobile phone sector it needs more than just one product. Apple will need a range of different handsets (but not too many to cheapen the brand) to compete across the board.

Justine E.

August 5, 2008 2:38 PM

ha ha what a waste of time and money of this idea. Geez Iphone 3G with it's lack of features shows how I will not spend my money on this phone. Go for a real mobile phone that works for personal and business needs and has all the advance important features already. Get a Windows Mobile Smartphone. Look how long it took to have 3G or GPS within the Iphone? Windows Mobile had these 2 important features (3G & GPS) since 2yrs ago. Now which phone is Smarter????? You guess it Windows Mobile Smartphone ;-)

Michael Molin

August 9, 2008 5:47 AM

Hello Olga,

Just a link:

iPhone's First Year and Future -


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Bloomberg Businessweek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, and Douglas MacMillan, dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.



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