The iPhone Nano rumors came and went over the past year, really picking up steam leading up to Macworld 2009. More and more “evidence” seemed to surface every day as new rumors sprang up incessantly. MacWorld is now behind us and still no iPhone Nano revelation, surely breaking the hearts of many. And recently, a fatal blow for all the iPhone Nano hopefuls has come straight from Apple. Acting CEO Tim Cook recently debunked the iPhone Nano in their recent conference call saying:
“we’re not going to play in the low-end voice phone business. That’s not who we are. That’s not why we’re here. We’ll let somebody do that, our goal is not to be the unit share leader in the phone industry. It is to build the best phone.”
Cook’s declaration seems to fly in the face of analysts, who “predicted” Apple’s need for an iPhone Nano. As soon as the first iPhone Nano rumor came to life, various analysts claimed that to stay competitive in the mobile phone market Apple needed a lower end version of their popular iPhone to appeal to the masses.
But does Apple really need to release an iPhone Nano? These same analysts cited that the dire economic climate will force Apple to lower the price point of their products and start to make budget models that more people can afford. Well, take a look at Apple’s current sales figures and you wouldn’t know that the economy is in the toilet.
While many of Apple’s competitors are hurting Apple has been growing, reporting record sales of their iPhones and iPods. While the Mac vs PC debate is still a hotly contested issue, there is no debate when it comes to who rules the smartphone market. What once was the BlackBerry’s crown now belongs to the iPhone 3G, and there are no signs of anyone overtaking Apple just yet.
If millions are willing to pay the $199 to $299 price plus sign a contract for the iPhone 3G, and millions more are willing to pay even higher prices in other markets around the world, why should Apple release a low price alternative which could potentially take sales away from its more expensive big brother?
Besides taking away iPhone 3G sales, what does it do their App Store market? How feasible is it to deliver an App Store to an iPhone Nano? The smaller screen would mean developers would have to rewrite their software to support the new dimensions, if the screen is even big enough to handle their app. Apple clearly defines how many pixels each hit target should be in their Human Interface Guidelines and while these can be rewritten, it is unlikely the 15,000+ apps would be. So if the Nano cuts into iPhone sales and doesn’t sport an App Store, it also cuts into Apple’s App Store profits.
Analysts claim that an iPhone Nano with less features yet still sporting a touch screen and the much desired good looks of the iPhone would make a killing in the lower end mobile phone market. So what about those who can’t afford the $199 price tag for the lower 8GB iPhone 3G? Apple has addressed this issue without a Nano version and without jeopardizing App Store sales. Both Apple and AT&T recently started selling refurbished iPhone 3Gs. Now you can pick up a reconditioned 8GB iPhone 3G for $99. So why would anyone want to buy an iPhone Nano at the same price minus the 3G service, App Store and many of the other features that make the iPhone 3G such a great smartphone? Sorry to burst the bubbles of all the “analysts” out there but it looks like Apple knows what they are doing.