It's been almost 48 hours now since rumours of an iPhone Nano appeared on the internet but there are five very good reasons why Apple will delay the iPhone nano and even possibly can the whole idea.
First, why would Apple release a brand new iPhone barely six months after the previous one? The cow has yet to be properly milked. Launching a new product by Christmas would force Apple to concentrate on more than one product and the company looks happy with focusing on only one product for now to avoid any marketing nightmares.
Secondly going mini would be a few steps backwards. Unlike the iPod, everything is in the screen size; the physical size of the iPod was not a problem since its size was determined by that the controlling appendix, the human thumb (see the Shuffle for example). As for the earphones, they physically stayed the same throughout and became the iPod trademarked accessory.
Now slashing the size of the iPhone by half would certainly bring up a few important issues; would you watch movies on a 2-inch LCD screen? How would you even type on such a small area. Removing features is not something that would not be good for the iPhone.
Making the iPhone appear like an ordinary phone is a no-go for Apple whose iPhone adverts promote the device more like a communication appliance rather than an ordinary phone.
Thirdly, new products are normally launched when sales of the older ones have peaked and are going down; this is definitely not the case for Apple, whose manufacturing capacity is currently quite constrained; adding another product to the range would require additional manufacturing lines and could lead to even more production headaches.
Fourthly, Apple has been one of the first (if not the first) phone manufacturer to go big on the screen with a 3.5-inch touchscreen when almost everyone else stuck to pop-out keyboards and diminutive screens. Why reduce the size of the iPhone now when it could have been done at the beginning?
Lastly and perhaps more convincingly, Apple has never released an iPod or an iPhone during or before Christmas period with the Cupertino-based company having a preference for either September or January.
Oh, and there's also the case of the suggested retail price. At £150, the iPhone nano would be priced well above the £99 cost of the iPhone (on a 18 month contract) and certainly not far from the price of a PAYG iPhone which is set to be released before the end of the year.
So how would Apple solve this problem? How about a frameless, edge to edge iPhone with a slightly smaller screen (3.0-inch) which cut down the size of the iPhone by at least 25 percent.
And rather than selling it as the iPhone nano, why not flog it as the iPhone version 3.0 in January next year?
[Mockups of iPhone nano and iPhone shuffle, courtesy of Informationarchitects.jp]