Take this one with a big grain of salt, but Kaufman Bros. analyst Shaw Wu writes, after checking with sources in Apple’s supply chain, that Apple is busy developing iPhones with varying screen sizes. According to Wu, Apple is working on 2 new iPhone models, with one sporting a bigger screen than the iPhone 4’s current 3.5-inch screen and the other sporting a smaller screen. Wu speculates Apple is trying to diversify its iPhone lineup to better compete with the varied offerings of Android.
Not only that, but Wu opines that these supposed new iPhone models may ship sooner than the summer of 2011 when Apple traditionally releases a new iPhone. Moreover, Wu writes that these new iPhones may run on carriers aside from AT&T.
Now that’s all very intriguing, but sorry folks, we’re gonna have to call BS on this one.
Wu writes that Apple is looking to mimic its iPod strategy where they enveloped the market with entry-level, mid-range, and high-end options for users. The problem with Wu’s analogy, however, is that Apple has already implemented that gameplan. You can currently purchase an 8GB iPhone 3GS for just $99. When it comes to smartphones, you’re not going to find a cheaper buy-in point than that, and remember, the iPhone 3GS was the leading smartphone on the market just one year ago. So from the iPhone 3GS to the low level iPhone 4, and all the way up to the highest-capacity iPhone 4 at $299, Apple already provides a slew of pricepoints for interested smartphone consumers.
Ridiculously, Wu writes, “One possibility we are picking up is a “mini” or “nano” iPhone with a smaller candybar form factor leveraging technology in its new mini touchscreen iPod nano.”
Gimme a break. Rumors of an iPhone mini or nano have been making the rounds for over 2 years now, and the current iPod Nano UI would not translate well at all for a smartphone.
While it’s true that Apple needs to do something to combat the tremendous growth and popularity of Android, making the iPhone available on other carriers would be much more productive than tinkering with the iPhone’s form factor. There are presumably millions of consumers who would otherwise purchase an iPhone but for the fact that they don’t want to deal with AT8T. We sincerely doubt that there is anyone sitting around thinking, “Gee, I’d really like to get an iPhone, but the darn screen is too big.”