iPhone nano for Spring 2009?

Barclays Capital analyst Ben Reitzes this week re-launched speculation concerning Apple’s plans to diversify its iPhone line with the introduction of a less well-featured ‘iPhone nano’, but not until Q3 2009 at the earliest.

In a note to clients despatched this week Reitzes cut his earnings projections on Apple to reflect the globally-depressed market – but insists there’s plenty of vim and vigour left to Cupertino in the months to come.

The analyst also speculated Apple may plan to introduce a cheaper entry-level iPhone to widen its addressable market. The speculation suggests the new device will be like an iPod, but won’t have the capacity to download and use App Store applications.

There’s been a few rumours claiming Apple’s iPhone nano plans in the past, with one UK newspaper speculating the company’s intent to release the device in time for this year’s Christmas market, a claim we think unlikely.

Responding to that claim a Lehman Brothers analyst said, ““While we believe Apple is working on a lower-end iPhone form factor, we do not think one will come until Spring 2009.” (We think Spring is more likely).

Speculation that Apple plans to diversify its iPhone product range has been ongoing since April 2008.

Moving to the future of the Mac, Reitzes also expects Apple will live up to the many claims it plans to introduce a touch-capable ultra-portable device of some kind, not a netbook but a hybrid between a MacBook and an iPhone. We’re hearing the device seems set to include an ARM processor, and the Mac rumour machine anticipates the release of such a device next year.

However, speculation of an Apple sub-notebook has been ongoing for over three years now, with strong rumours to that effect repeatedly proving false.

“We believe an ultra-portable can be done right… Apple, in our view, would only introduce a premium product that doesn’t dilute its brand,” Reitzes notes.

14 thoughts on “iPhone nano for Spring 2009?

  1. William Hightower

    The product is definitely in the works. But there are issues of product confusion and App store application viability. And even many of the Apple employees working on it don’t know the launch date.

    And the pictures are far off according to my source. It won’t look like a miniaturized iPhone.

    There is also talk of the iPhone MB (An internal only name) or Touch MB. These are basically game machines and geared for the teen age market. They would be white plastic and cheaper than the Touch. The phone version would be free with contract of course.

    Any idea what MB stands for?


  2. Grammar Sheriff

    Grammar Sheriff here,

    “and the Mac rumour machine anticipates the release of such a device net year.”

    I know that the priests of yore mangled a perfectly good lunar calendar to accommodate their own ends, but please, let’s do just a little copy editing.

    Are you in such a hurry to hit the post button that you can’t prop up your credibility (and your high school diploma?) by giving your copy a once-over before it’s published?

    It’s a chronic problem on the web these days, especially on blogs and news sites. Poor spelling, grammar and frequent typos are the marks of carelessness at the keyboard, which begs the question, “If they are consistently careless with grammar, what does that say about the news they are posting?”

    C’mon guys, it’s not that hard. It’s worth the extra 2 minutes it takes to have someone else review your copy.

  3. Jonny Post author

    HI Grammar Sheriff,

    Funnily enough I was just reading another story and attempting to fix its grammar when your message came through. At that time I was wishing I had someone to help by reading my stuff, a sub, if you will.

    Unfortunately, there’s only me working on my blog – I’m a writer I suppose, but I recently had to take a sabbatical from my paid jobs as I’ve developed very bad RSI, which helps me make lots of errors.

    I’m keeping this site going just to keep my brain alive while I get better, but if you ever should happen by here and do spot a grammatical error, I’d be ever so grateful if you let me know as I know I do make them, but sometimes I just don’t see them, other eyes really help for copy-checking.

  4. Jonny Post author

    William Hightower
    What you are telling me is very illuminating. I’m interested to hear more. MB eludes me though, I’m afraid.

  5. william

    A cheaper iPhone that doesn’t use the appstore is such a stupid idea that you should all be ashamed of yourselves for being so gullible. The appstore is not only a source of revenue and part of the Apple “lock in,” it is also what makes the iPhone OS valuable and not just another cell phone OS. Apple is not going to make a phone that sucks so bad and would infuriate users who thought they were getting all that stuff they’ve been seeing in commercials. Apple didn’t get into the phone business because they want to make phones, they want to make phones that are the perfect companion to all the other products they want you to buy. All the Apple products are designed to make you buy other Apple products. MB stands for “make believe.”

    Apple will obviously come out with other iPhone models and probably before Q3 2009, and prices may also come down. If history is any guide, Apple will add memory, speed up, or otherwise enhance the current model, and current “high end” features will move down the product line.

  6. Jonny Post author

    So here we go:

    First, I’m not saying it, an analyst is suggesting it. He could be right, he could be wrong, but it is at least a starting point for discussion.

    Second, Believe it or not, for a lot of mobile phone users, an iPhone is still too expensive! I know, I know, it is hard to think that not everyone earns enough to fully buy into the Apple lifestyle, but just because they don’t have the cash doesn’t mean they lack the desire.

    Third, Introducing a lower=priced, less well-featured iPhone absolutely matches Apple’s previous tried and tested strategy with the iPod – nano, shuffle, mini, right? It worked then, why not now.

    Fourth, Apple needs to be increasingly careful at the degree of lock in it effects on customers, particularly as market share grows. A desire to openness is an emerging force in the wider industry, and while Apple on the face of it seems to resist it (though lets face it, that resistance i mostly reported by PC trolls and lazier than I am journalists), the company has a lot of experience with openness and transparancy. Erm, in OS X.

    Fifth: Facing competitors who offer families of devices – Nokia or Samsung, for example, Apple could expand its relative market share through introduction of a lower priced lower specced device – after all, what really is wrong with an iPod that’s also a phone, and maybe has a few other features.

    Sixth: In terms of application development Apple already has a road map to expand the third party market – do you think recent patent filings for a WIi like remote and constant rumours of small form factor devices set to slip inside the gap between iPhone and Mac will be confined in implementation to existing Mac apps? All those games are an inducement to sales, also, (Course those rumours may not be true).

    Seventh, should a smaller type device debut, who is to say it won’t run some iPhone applications? After all, the only demand on developers is likely to be to change the UI to fit the smaller screen. not all apps will fit, but some will. Email, SMS, for example.

    Eigth: Why be so resistant to the notion? Surely Apple could use the iPhone momentum to broaden its market with a smaller device that gets people locked into iTunes for media management initially, then they can grade up to a full iPhone at a later juncture, as prices for those decline (though TBH its carrier network prices and the premium on pay as you go that need to fall).

    Ninth: There is no ninth. I’m not saying it’s GOING to happen, just speculating why it might. One thing’s for sure, though, despite the loss of Fadell, Apple’s no way going to let its iPod/iPhone ranges go stale through lack of improvement or update.

    After all – we know iPhone is good, but just how much better is that processor inside it going to grow?

    That we’ll potentially learn at WWDC next year, when Snow Leopard ships and APple potentially lets developers know a few bits and pieces concerning the work of its PA Semi team.

    All this could be wrong, I accept that, but your criticism caller – you don’t seem to accept there could be any path but your own. And the truth is there’s as many pathways for anything humanity can dream of as there are humans currently in the race. And that’s a lot of different opportunities.

    I’m certain Apple management have considered this. Given a recession, next year may be a good time to introduce the concept.

  7. Grammar Sheriff, RSI advisor


    I know way too much about RSI.

    This is what’s worked for me:

    – Get a Wacom tablet, the little one is fine. No more mouse clicking, and far less stress on that hand. I can’t use a computer any other way for any length of time. It’s faster and more accurate too.

    – It’s all in the neck and shoulders. Stretch early and often, do Yoga religiously. Don’t lean on the arms of your chair. And slow down a little. You’ll make fewer typos that way. No, it won’t help with your grammar!

    – Learn where the “shoulder well” point is. Get someone to press gently and firmly there, both sides, one at a time is ok. You may feel the energy moving in your feet. I’m serious.

    – If you have so-called “Carpal Tunnel Syndrome”, reject any dr.’s suggestion of expensive and worthless wrist splints. I wore them for 2 months, and my wrists lost over 1/4″ in circumference (muscle mass) which I have never regained.

    There is a point on the inner corner of the scapula that will relieve carpal tunnel pain within a minute or two. After that, it’s up to you to change your diet, and your ways to avoid more pain and damage.

    – alternating hot and cold water is good for temp pain relief. So is acupuncture.

  8. Jonny Post author

    Hey – thank you very much. There’s tons of useful stuff in there. What caused this problem mainly was writing news for a website for a decade, lots of stories and writing over that time. What hurts of course is that after spending that long transforming said site into one of the big players, as soon as I got to unwell to do it, they dropped me off of the site ‘for my own good’, but neglected to offer even a small good luck gesture of cash in recognition for service done or to help get through this patch, ‘because you are a freelance, we are not responsible’.
    They may be right, legally, but ethically I thought it particularly poor.

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