China Times claims that according to their unnamed source, a cheaper entry-level iPhone will be released this year alongside the next generation iPhone.
Apple is looking to expand expand its position in the low-end smartphone market according to China Times, and its $375 iPhone 3GS is too pricey to compete with entry-level Android smartphones.
The purported iPhone Nano would simply be a smaller version of its current counterpart, denoted by the latter part of the name that coordinates with Apple’s small iPod Nano. It would be priced accordingly without the need for a contract with any provider. Currently, the entry-level unlocked iPhone 3GS is available for $375.
Speculation about a smaller iPhone has been existent since the launch of the iPhone all the way back in 2007, but they started to ramp up last year with rumors leading all the way up to the launch of the iPhone 4S last October. We have a whole page dedicated to the iPhone Nano, and various rumors/mockups have surfaced. Past rumors include an edge-to-edge display (possibly to keep up the current aspect ratio/ppi/resolution of the screen), lower internal memory to keep costs down.
A smaller successor to Apple’s current successful iOS devices isn’t only limited to the iPhone, though. Rumors have claimed that Apple will launch a smaller iPad with a 7.85-inch screen dubbed the iPad Mini.