The rumor mills are in full swing now that the subject of free MobileMe and the “iPhone Nano” have hit the mainstream press (again). Particularly because of hints appearing in the Wall Street Journal; as that is considered one of the conduits that Apple uses to feed reliable teaser information to the public.
Briefly, it seems that a reliable set of sources have leaked the information that Apple is working on at least one idea for a smaller iPhone; the “iPhone Nano”. The “Nano” will either look like a screen from the current iPhone 4, but with the top and bottom surround cut down like an iPad, so that the entire device just looks like an iPhone screen – or small iPad. Or it will be tapered like the MacBook Air, but the same height as the iPhone 4. This is all depending on which rumour site you believe, or mockup you have seen. Nothing is confirmed yet.
Since that rumour hit the internet, and percolated around for a while, a few other ideas and rumours have popped up. One is the recurring rumour that MobileMe will become free. Remember that one?
Another is that the “iPhone Nano” will come without RAM! Which is patently stupid as any device must have some RAM. But the idea here is that MobileMe and Apple’s server farm will stream content to these devices real time; hence they won’t require much on board storage. And most likely not be able to install apps? That seems an unlikely strategic decision from a company like Apple.
Apple is certainly planning something big with its server complex in the US. But there are now so many projects attributed to it, it seems that it might be overworked already from day one. It is likely that Apple is simply preparing for more and more digital downloads to always-on internet mobile devices, and all the content they hope we’d like to buy in the future. And perhaps, just perhaps they might start throwing “MobileMe Lite” packages our way for those that want to drop one or two features for a free taste of some of MobileMe.
Whilst it’s likely that Apple are working on a smaller, cheaper phone to rival the smaller, cheaper Android handsets out there. It is still anybodies guess if Apple will actually release one. But if the WSJ’s source is correct then it is going to hit this year alongside the iPhone 5. I know my wife would quite like one if they do.
As for the rest of the stuff about less RAM, and free MobileMe. Well, anything is possible. But what is less RAM these days? 16GB thumb drives are around $16.00 at retail today. And Apple has the best terms available to it for buying Flash storage. It seems very unlikely that the “iPhone Nano” will come with a crippling small memory capacity – and without the ability to store at least some content of its own.
MobileMe being free is a favourite rumour. But all that has been said about MobileMe this year so far is that “it’s going to get much better”. And that is in an email from Steve Jobs himself.
So what do you think? “iPhone Nano”, never gonna happen? Or have you ordered yours already? Have your say in the comments…