There has been a war of unconfirmed reports this week. According to some sources, Apple is going to release an iPhone this summer that's half the size of the current one. According to another source, the company has no plans to reduce the size of its smartphone.
Part of what makes this disagreement so interesting are the players involved: the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg agree that a miniature version of the iPhone is in development, while the New York Times reported today that this is not the case.
The NYT article cites "people briefed on Apple’s plans who requested anonymity", who say that Apple isn't interested in a smaller version of the iPhone because such a device would be difficult to use while not being much less expensive to produce than the current version.
And that's the point that all of these sources agree on: Apple is attempting to make a less-expensive version of its smartphone. They just disagree on how.
Cheaper But Not Smaller
According to the NYT, a source inside of Apple says that the discount version of the iPhone might have less storage capacity or a lower-resolution camera, but not a smaller screen.
Part of this initiative will supposedly be making the MobileMe online service free, and including the ability to store music and images in the cloud. This would enable Apple to release an entry-level smartphone with little on-board storage, as users would instead access all their files over the Internet.
As it stands now, the latest version of the iPhone starts at $200 with contract, whether its bought from AT&T or Verizon. That makes it one of the most expensive smartphones available. Still, AT&T does offer a version of last year's model for just $50 with contract.
Possibly Going Larger?
These have been some of the unconfirmed reports on the next-generation iPhone circulating on the Web this week. According to another, Apple is considering releasing its first smartphone with a sliding keyboard.
And yet another indicates that the company might increase the size of the screen on the future iPhone, moving to a 4-inch display instead of the 3.5-inch one that has been on all previous versions.
Whatever its design turns out to be, Apple is widely expected to release the iPhone 5 this summer, a year after the launch of the current model.
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