The Apple iPhone has only been out for a week and a half, but already the rumor mill is grinding on about future versions of the device. Reuters quotes a report by financial services firm JP Morgan that says Apple is prepping a smaller derivative of the iPhone for a launch as early as the fourth quarter of this year. Evidence for the so-called “iPhone nano” originates from anonymous sources in the Taiwanese supply chain as well as a patent application filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark office on July 5.
The patent application refers to a “multufunctional handheld device” with a “single input arrangement that provides inputs for each mode of the . . . device.” Said input arrangement could include a circular touch pad “that displays graphical elements to indicate input areas of the touch pad, each input area representing a different functionality, the input areas and graphical elements changing in accordance with different input modes.”
According to the JP Morgan analyst who wrote the report, the “iPhone nano” could be priced under the $300 mark—$200-300 less than the regular iPhone. The analyst believes Apple will simply convert the iPod nano into a phone because “it’s probably the only way for Apple to launch a lower end phone without severely cannibalizing iPod Nano.”