Apple Working On 5th-Gen iPhone With Smaller, Larger Screens?
Ever since the arrival of the first generation iPhone, there were rumours about Apple planning a smaller, nano version of the iPhone. These rumours eventually died a silent death after Apple showed no interest in tweaking the iPhone or to make it available in smaller versions. Apple had also clarified back in 2009 that they are least interested in making a nano version of the iPhone. We remember the then acting CEO of Apple, Tim Cook saying:
“You know us, we're not going to play in the low-end voice phone business. That's not who we are. That's not why we're here. We'll let somebody do that, our goal is not to be the unit share leader in the phone industry. It is to build the best phone”
Apple's philosophy was simple. Make one device. Build it so well, most people won't require another version. This strategy seems to have succeeded quite well and Apple did not think of having different versions of the iPhone – until now.
According to Shaw Wu of Kaufman Bros, sources inside Apple's overseas supply chain have hinted that Apple is working on a couple of new iPhone models.
The keyword here is the mention of a “couple” of new iPhones. So, we could well be seeing not just a nano iPhone – but also a device with a larger screen that could take on the likes of HTC's Android based 4-inch plus monsters. Kaufman adds that these products could well be in their advanced stage of development and that these could even be launched before we are through the fist half of 2011.
"Our sources believe these likely represent new high-end and low-end iPhone models to complement its current iPhone 4," Wu noted.
He adds that there is also a possibility of an iPhone “mini” or “nano” in a candybar form factor. These phones would not be locked to AT&T and would be available to other networks in the US.
That said, let us remind you that most of the popularity of the iPhone is seen in countries where they are easily affordable – that too on contract. While it is a compelling device, the iPhone has not seen much success in emerging markets where the price of a device plays much more importance than say in Europe or the US. In India for example, the iPhone (they still sell the iPhone 3GS there) is as expensive as a mid range laptop. It is in such markets that a cheaper, but equally compelling device could work wonders for Apple.
Yes, the iPhone 4 has seen a tremendous reception in China when it was launched – but we would still term it average – considering the sheer size of the Chinese market which has over 700 million mobile subscribers.