Thursday, February 10, 2011

Apple: Smaller iPhone, Soft SIM Coming, Says Bloomberg

Bloomberg’s Peter Burrows and Greg Bensinger this afternoon report Apple (AAPL) is developing a cheaper and smaller version of the iPhone – about a third smaller than the iPhone 4 — that may help stem the advances of Google’s (GOOG) Android, citing an anonymous sources who claims to have seen a prototype, apparently sometime last year.

(Story appears not to be linked yet on Bloomberg’s Web site; I’ll post a link as soon as I see it.)

Apple may also be developing a dual-mode model for GSM and CDMA network capabilities from the same handset, the authors write, citing two anonymous sources briefed on Apple’s plans. One source tells the writers that Apple had planned a mid-year release of the new, smaller iPhone, but “The introduction may be delayed or scrapped.”

Apple is also developing a “universal SIM” card, Burrows and Bensinger write, to allow GSM users to “toggle” between different carriers’ networks — something that has been rumored previously as a “soft SIM.” The idea is that a cheaper iPhone could hop from network to network because it would not be constricted by the carrier subsidy, the authors write.

I would note that rumors of a smaller iPhone, sometimes dubbed an iPhone Nano, have also been circulating for at least a year or more, with many analysts predicting such a thing around this time last year.

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