February 16, 2011
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Haven’t had enough Apple rumors in the past 24 hours? Here comes another one, Bloomberg is reporting that Apple is working on a smaller, cheaper version of the iPhone. According to sources, Apple was definitely at work on a device that could be thought of as an “iPhone nano”.
LG, Samsung, Sony, and Nokia are pouring their souls out in front of us in device form. So, naturally, the rumors are swirling about… the iPhone nano. The main idea is that the iPhone nano would rely on the cloud to such an extent that the device wouldn’t really have any local storage to speak of, outside of a streaming buffer. This would of course go hand in hand with a MobileMe / Lala-powered streaming music service, and result in significant component cost savings (flash memory is still pretty spendy). While this sounds like a beautiful dream, it doesn’t make much sense in 2011. Streaming all your music and other media over a capped 3G connection doesn’t sound very consumer-friendly, and there are still plenty of situations where having a nice offline stash of music is a lifesaver. But there’s a bigger problem: where do you put your apps without local storage? Android’s historic shortage of app storage really bit it in the ass, and we doubt Apple wants to go down that route. Sure, we can see a 4GB or so ultracheap device, with a heavy reliance on streaming media (many people get most of their music from Pandora these days, anyways), but a memory-free iPhone just doesn’t sound feasible at this point in time.