A Cheaper, Smaller iPhone: Ready for the Nano?

Linda Sharps

When their hapless employees aren't accidentally losing iPhone prototypes in Silicon Valley drinking establishments, Apple is famously tight-lipped about upcoming product releases. As usual, they're not saying whether the latest rumor is true, but it's picking up steam—and it's good news for those who might be holding out on buying an iPhone because of cost.

Coming soon, possibly this summer, to an Apple Store near you: a smaller, less-expensive iPhone. No contract required.

This is all according to sources and speculation, but reports say it's between 2/3 and about half the current iPhone size. The "Home" button is apparently gone, and there's a new edge-to-edge screen that could be manipulated by touch, as well as a virtual keyboard and voice-based navigation.

Codenamed "N97" or nano, the new iPhone would be available to carriers at about half the price of the main iPhones. That would allow carriers to subsidize most or all of the retail price, putting the iPhone in the same price range as rival smartphones. While you can find good deals on iPhones now, you're typically being offered a promotion from the carrier—in this case, the phone would be affordable without the carrier subsidy.

While no one's sure about the exact size, weight, and many other details, the rumors indicate that the phone would be sold without a mandatory two-year contract.

Interesting, right? A cheap, new, no-contract iPhone that allows you to pick your own wireless service and contract. Imagine, if you will ... a world with no termination fees.

Would you be interested in this new iPhone if it really does come out this summer?

Image via Flickr/Robert Scoble

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