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Handhelds Communications Hardware

Here Comes iPhone Nano, But Not In the US 177

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the rampant-speculation dept.
jehovajerieh writes to us in the time-honored tradition of rampant Apple speculation, pointing to an article over on IBTimes suggesting that while the iPhone Nano may be on the way, the US might not be the first to experience this gadget bliss. "Despite limited information in the supplier channels and typical secrecy with new Apple products, insiders have confirmed that the iPhone nano is not yet in the testing labs at AT&T, Marshal says, leading him to believe that the launch will most likely be with a non-US carrier. 'Obviously, the best-case scenario here would be a China launch (~600mil+ wireless subscribers total in the country), but we have no definitive knowledge of this and are working on identifying the [locale] of launch and other pertinent details,' he said."
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Here Comes iPhone Nano, But Not In the US

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 12, 2009 @04:20PM (#26422311)

    What'd be the point? iPhone applications aren't coded to run at multiple resolutions (something that will be a problem when/if a hybrid MacOS/iPhone tablet PC comes along), and there's not much to be gained by using a smaller battery or lower-power CPU. I don't understand why everyone expects a smaller, cheaper iPhone to be released. Who'd buy it, and why?

  • Er... what? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Monday January 12, 2009 @04:20PM (#26422321) Homepage

    So this guy is insisting that Apple's providing an iPhone Nano in spite of having no evidence other than, "I think it would make sense for them to do it", and when there's evidence that AT&T doesn't know anything about it, he draws the conclusion that they'll launch it in China first?

    Based on what? How many products have Apple launched in countries other than the US in the past few years?

  • Hmm... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ivan256 (17499) on Monday January 12, 2009 @04:21PM (#26422327)

    insiders have confirmed that the iPhone nano is not yet in the testing labs at AT&T, Marshal says, leading him to believe that the launch will most likely be with a non-US carrier.

    Simpler explaination: It doesn't exist.

  • ScuttleMonkey (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Kuj0317 (856656) on Monday January 12, 2009 @04:23PM (#26422361)

    Can we just get rid of him?

  • Who cares? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MikeRT (947531) on Monday January 12, 2009 @04:24PM (#26422369) Homepage

    The iPhone is a different platform from the original iPod. The nano worked there because there were no third part applications that depended on screen size assumptions and things like that. I would be surprise if a lot of the software written for the iPhone would work as well on the nano because it's going to be a smaller device, and that means that the user interface will be harder to deal with. Safari is just barely usable comfortably, for example. I can't imagine using it if it were even smaller.

  • Smaller? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by A. B3ttik (1344591) on Monday January 12, 2009 @04:24PM (#26422381)
    How much smaller can they make the iPhone while still retaining the trademark touchscreen applications?

    The appeal of the iPhone is that you can do anything with it... it's an iPod, a phone, a browser, a gameboy, a GPS, etc. Making it even half as small is going to severely hamper a lot of this functionality. Who wants a browser with even less screen size than the current iPhone? What games could you play on a screen that small? How would you be able to use it as a TomTom when the screen size is no larger than a pack of matches?

    This is to say nothing of how difficult it would be to control such a tiny interface with the already inaccurate touchscreen.
  • Hmm... (Score:0, Insightful)

    by XPeter (1429763) on Monday January 12, 2009 @04:27PM (#26422435) Homepage

    I think we can all agree that if the iPhone was on Verizon instead of AT&T, it would be even more popular then it is now. Verizon's network is far superior to AT&T's in terms of speed, reliability and coverage.

    *sigh* I guess I will have to wait for Verizon to get a decent touch-screen phone. T Mobile has the G1...AT&AT has the iPhone...and Verizon has the drizzle. Oh, I mean the Storm*

  • by whisper_jeff (680366) on Monday January 12, 2009 @04:31PM (#26422477)
    "Looks like they're just trying to attract click revenue."

    Agreed but I did my part to foil their plans - Firefox with AdBlock for the win. :)

    Seriously though, fluff pieces like this shouldn't appear on Slashdot. They're nothing more than attempts to inflate ad revenue. They have absolutely nothing of substance. That "article" didn't tell me a single thing. Complete waste of thee minutes of my life.
  • by BRSloth (578824) * <julio@@@juliobiason...net> on Monday January 12, 2009 @04:34PM (#26422547) Homepage Journal

    As someone who worked with the iPhone SDK, I can say that iPhone Nano is not going to happen anytime soon. Reason: There is no layout managers in the SDK so, if you want your button to be in the right side, you have to provide a position in pixels from the left side. If Apple build a smaller version of the screen, about 90% of all AppStore applications would not work properly. Either that or you'd have very small buttons all over the place and it'd be really hard to read anything in the screen ('cause you need to keep same aspect ratio of the "normal" iPhone.)

  • Re:Smaller? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by hack slash (1064002) on Monday January 12, 2009 @04:35PM (#26422563)
    "The appeal of the iPhone is that you can do anything with it... "

    uh, MMS?
  • by plasmacutter (901737) on Monday January 12, 2009 @04:46PM (#26422723)

    What'd be the point? iPhone applications aren't coded to run at multiple resolutions (something that will be a problem when/if a hybrid MacOS/iPhone tablet PC comes along), and there's not much to be gained by using a smaller battery or lower-power CPU. I don't understand why everyone expects a smaller, cheaper iPhone to be released. Who'd buy it, and why?

    replace all instances of "iphone nano" with "iphone"
    replace all instances of "iphone" with "blackberry"
    replace macos/iphone tablet pc with VOIP over mobile broadband
    now you have the same scenario from years ago.

    Apple's iphone platform (unlike their professional computer line) serves no use, but they made a market for it anyway as a fashion accessory.

    Fashion is not subject to the laws of usability, interface design, or return on income.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 12, 2009 @04:49PM (#26422779)

    I can say that iPhone Nano is not going to happen anytime soon. Reason: There is no layout managers in the SDK so, if you want your button to be in the right side, you have to provide a position in pixels from the left side.

    Unless the number of pixels in the screen stay the same.

  • by John Bayko (632961) on Monday January 12, 2009 @04:52PM (#26422823)
    Isn't it more likely that the manufacturing drawings, supplier rumours, etc. are for a "iPod Touch Nano" rather than a nano iPhone? That would explain the lack of reported phone testing.
  • Re:Er... what? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Macrat (638047) on Monday January 12, 2009 @04:57PM (#26422895)
    That's all it takes to make money off the web ads on the page.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 12, 2009 @04:59PM (#26422915)

    It seems a little counter-intuitive to launch any new product that is painfully bound to be popular in any country other than the one that goes through consumer goods like it's toilet paper. Forced obsolescence is just magical in how much it wastes, like, everything in the name of fashion.

    China is likely to reverse engineer the product and sell knock-offs to the US before they're even knock-offs. People tend to believe in what they know first, at least they do in the US.

  • by javacowboy (222023) on Monday January 12, 2009 @05:21PM (#26423219)

    The reasoning that the iPhone Nano can't exist is that iPhone apps rely on a certain screen size and resolution.

    Well, who says the iPhone Nano won't be a device that lacks the functionality to run custom apps?

    There's a great demand by people like me who carry an iPod and cell phone who would rather carry a single device. This device would have simple requirements:

    1) Music player
    2) View and Edit Contacts
    3) View and Edit Calendars
    4) No contract
    5) No data plan/ voice plan only
    6) Sync with iTunes/Addressbook/iCal
    7) Calculator and other simple apps

    Essentially, it would be an iPod Nano would a phone attached, and it would sell like hotcakes. Apple could charge a premium over other "dumbphones" because it would be an Apple phone. It wouldn't need anymore than simple first party apps. Later on, the iPhone SDK would be updated so that third party developers could port their existing apps to it.

    The only reason Apple wouldn't do this is if, despite the flood of volume, it simply wouldn't be profitable enough.

  • Despite limited information in the supplier channels and typical secrecy with new Apple products, insiders have confirmed that the iPhone nano is not yet in the testing labs at AT&T, Marshal says, leading him to believe that the launch will most likely be with a non-US carrier.

    Either that, or it's not on the way at all. :)

  • by cinderblock (1102693) on Monday January 12, 2009 @05:36PM (#26423399)
    This will be a completely different class of iPhone. They don't want to make a small iPhone, they want a cheap iPhone. That means say goodbye to all the fun UI stuff that has made the iPhone so good because they'll probably make it an iPhone wheel (think MacBook wheel).
  • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Monday January 12, 2009 @05:40PM (#26423479)
    Yes if that was the case, Apple would be launching it on another GSM network like T-Mobile if Apple decided to go that route. But using another network would require some work by the network. Remember Apple got AT&T to implement a number of network features like visual voicemail. As for launching first in China, that's pure speculation considering the iPhone isn't in China now and there are no immediate plans so far. The analyst justifies this with saying China is a large market, but that's virtually true of any product but you don't see every company launching their gadgets in China.
  • Re:Hmm... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by slimjim8094 (941042) <slashdot3@justconnected . n et> on Monday January 12, 2009 @05:43PM (#26423517)

    Except Verizon sucks and probably would *never* agree to the kind of unlimited bandwidth you get through the iPhone. Especially not for $30/mo (which incidentally existed for their smartphones for years)

    And even *if* they did all that, they'd be a lot more restrictive about the functionality allowed because it's Verizon.

    I think the iPhone is plenty popular enough for AT&T. Literally more than half the people I know with an iPhone switched off Verizon to get one.

  • by Carewolf (581105) on Monday January 12, 2009 @05:46PM (#26423557) Homepage

    Because the classic iPhone is huge heavy brick that many potential customers would be embarresed lugging around. By going down a size the new iPhone nano might be the size of a mobile phone.

  • by GizmoToy (450886) on Monday January 12, 2009 @05:52PM (#26423655) Homepage

    I think the most compelling argument for the iPhone Nano is "Who said it would provide App Store support?" A cheap iPhone Nano that is merely a cellphone + iPod would make a killing. Then there's a clear upgrade path: Get hooked on the iPod and phone integration, then step up to the full iPhone with application support when your contract's up. I don't think it would be unusual to have a basic phone (iPhone Nano) and a smartphone (iPhone) in the Apple lineup.

    Also, the official SDK specifically warns against using hard-coded pixel values to place items on the screen. They are supposed to be in relation to the actual pixel edges, for which an easy access method is provided. I doubt many people design this way, which will undoubtedly create a nightmare when the resolution is inevitably changed, but Apple did warn everyone.

  • by SeaFox (739806) on Monday January 12, 2009 @06:00PM (#26423801)

    No, it doesn't make any sense. Because it would be much cheaper to make the original iPhone with a few features disabled or components not included than do an entire new design, testing, RF certification, ect of a new model for a single market.

  • And? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Flere Imsaho (786612) on Monday January 12, 2009 @06:04PM (#26423855)
    I don't know if it's just me, but who gives a fuck? It's a phone, people. Get a life. Not trolling, just saying...
  • by Kalewa (561267) on Monday January 12, 2009 @06:07PM (#26423911)
    Do you honestly think Apple would give more than a passing thought to inconveniencing programmers?

    Here's how it would go.

    Launch Day: Programmers are notified that they will have to rewrite their programs to work on the Nano. Everyone whines, bitches, moans, and claims that the Nano will fail within weeks without programmer support. A lot of them vow not to buy it or program for it.

    Fifteen minutes later: The first fart app for the Nano is ported.

    A week after launch day: Programmers of apps that make obscene amounts of money grudgingly announce that they're working on porting their apps.

    Six months after launch day: The Nano 2nd generation is announced. All apps have either been ported, or portable equivalents have been written.

    You know that's how it'll go down.

  • by Valdrax (32670) on Monday January 12, 2009 @06:27PM (#26424263)

    Because the classic iPhone is huge heavy brick that many potential customers would be embarresed lugging around. By going down a size the new iPhone nano might be the size of a mobile phone.

    I kind of stunned by this. What is the standard size for phones nowadays? My iPhone is a heck of a lot slimmer than the Nokia candy bar phone I was using up until now, and it's not much bigger than the RAZRs my family uses. I don't think I could actually reliably hit the buttons on a phone smaller than the iPhone, especially if a smaller phone were a touch screen.

  • by sjbe (173966) on Monday January 12, 2009 @08:12PM (#26425239)

    Because the classic iPhone is huge heavy brick that many potential customers would be embarresed lugging around.

    Yes there are smaller phones available but I've yet to meet ANYONE who objected to the iPhone by calling it a "huge heavy brick" or that they would be embarrassed by it. Quite the opposite actually - it's something of a status symbol if anything. ANY form factor will have tradeoffs. If you don't like the ones Apple chose then shut up and buy a different phone.

    The iPhone isn't for everyone and it is ok if you don't want one. I carry a different phone myself because I travel places for work where flashing a several hundred dollar phone is a bad idea. But if you are going to object to criticize the iPhone you can find far better arguments than to call it a "huge heavy brick" which it very clearly is not. The virtual keyboard, the so-so camera, the API, the lack of a removable battery, the lack of removable storage, etc are all perfectly valid criticisms depending on what you expect out of a phone. But a "brick"? Pul-eeeze.

  • by cgenman (325138) on Monday January 12, 2009 @09:22PM (#26426041) Homepage

    Apple's iphone platform (unlike their professional computer line) serves no use, but they made a market for it anyway as a fashion accessory.

    My iPhone lets me edit online shared documents through Evernote, access shared google calendars, send / recieve e-mail in a halfway descent interface, check my balances, log work times and bill clients directly from my phone, find myself when lost driving to said clients, and plays a mean game of Sim City.

    And as far as I can tell the iPhone has become a symbol of uncoolness, an anti-fashion accessory, simply by being too popular.

    I had a Treo for years, and it didn't have half of the functionality of the iPhone. On the flip side, I've used Linux phones with ostensibly as much functionality as the iPhone, but I never got the damned applications to work right without spending hours online.

    It is powerful and usable. Don't let your chosen phone cloud the fact that the iPhone is being purchased en masse because it actually is pretty good.

  • Re:Smaller? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mini me (132455) on Tuesday January 13, 2009 @12:40PM (#26434861)

    Many providers provide an email to MMS gateway.

    But more importantly, I'm not sure when you'd want to use MMS. If I take a cool photo I want to show my friends, I will send it to Facebook. That is where photo sharing happens these days. I can always follow it up with a text message if I feel they need to have people at it right now .

    Adding MMS to the iPhone would not be a bad thing when there is nothing left to do with the platform. But there are so many other features that are much more important: Push, for example, that it is not a feature the iPhone should care about right now.

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