The main news over the weekend was the suggestion from multiple sources that Apple has been working on a smaller version of the iPhone, which has been termed by the Tech press as the ‘iPhone nano’. The sources of the story are all heavyweights; TechCrunch, WSJ and Bloomberg which lends credence to the rumors. However, an interesting report has appeared at CultofMac this morning, claiming to have spoken to a source with some more detailed knowledge of the ‘iPhone nano’.
Apparently, the ‘iPhone nano’ will be physically be a lot smaller and, as a result, Apple has had to strip away many of the internal components of the original iPhone in order to engineer the device in a reduced size. Apparently the main component to go has been the onboard memory, due to the fact that the ‘iPhone nano’ will apparently pull most of its content from the cloud via MobileMe integration. Obviously there would have to be some onboard memory in order the media can be buffered, so this probably refers to a lack of long term flash memory storage, rather than a lack of RAM.
This rumor is actually pretty interesting given that we had predicted the same cloud-based features in the iPhone 5 at the end of last month and had talked about the feasibility of a close integration of MobileMe and mobile devices last year. Of course, the main question when anybody talks about cloud storage is, what happens when the device does not have an internet connection? Would you be unable to use it because the majority of the information is stored online or will there be some offline features that you would be able to use which would allow syncing of data at a later stage?
The ‘iPhone nano’ is still in the very early rumor stage so it is difficult to judge the veracity of this report although it should be noted that CultofMac does have a very good record for breaking news. We are still remaining skeptical that such a device would be released at all and whether or not it is indeed a new iPhone or an iPod that has been mistaken for an iPhone. From the reports today, one could also speculate that the ‘iPhone nano’ is simply a new class of device that can essentially be used for browsing data on MobileMe, which would make sense given that MobileMe is expected to gain massive improvements this year.