Rumor: iPhone Nano and a major MobileMe overhaul in June? (new details)

As rumors go, this is a pretty tasty one that should whet your appetites. At the end of last week there was speculation regarding a smaller iPhone, that could be released this year. To be honest, I’m not surprised that this rumor has surfaced. But that’s mostly because we hear the exact same thing every year before the next iPhone is released, we are yet to see anything other than the traditional 3.5″ screen.

The most recent information states that not only should we expect to see a smaller, cheaper iPhone, but that it will have virtually no onboard storage memory. Also, we may see the disappearance of the home key, in favor of a wider selection of touch screen gestures. The mockup concept image above shows what it could look like. Potentially the screen would stay the same size – we all know Steve Jobs is not keen on fragmentation – and a smaller screen kinda goes against his biggest issue with Android.

“Virtually no storage” on board? Yep, well at least that’s what the rumor is. This would see the media content on the smaller iPhone handled in the same way as Apple TV, in the way that you stream it. This is where the reshaped MobileMe service will come in. You’ll store all your videos, music, and images on one big virtual hard disk in the sky, and you can access it from anywhere you have an internet connection. Apple TV has, currently, 8GB of storage space, for caching/operating system etc. The source, apparently in the know, states he is unsure as to how much memory the iPhone Nano will have, if at all.

There are, as I’m sure you have spotted, some pretty major flaws to this model. Firstly, where will you keep your apps? If there’s no onboard facility to store that amount of data then you’re using an app-less device? If you only have a small amount of memory for apps, will that mean we’ll have to be extra picky about what software we load our iDevices with? Surely that could never happen. Secondly, what about people who want to listen to their music in an area with no data connection? I know plenty of times I’ve used my iPhone as a media player while out walking, or cycling, and let me tell you, network coverage isn’t always perfect where I traverse.

I am of the opinion that this is just rumor, some pipe-dream that someone hasn’t quite figured out properly. Maybe someone found out a couple of random pieces of info from Apple, stuck 2+2 together and got 5. The minimal storage, and purely cloud-based media makes no sense to me. What about you guys? Do you have an opinion on this? Comment below or tweet @TiP_Cam

Via: 9to5 Mac

UPDATE: According to an update to the Wall Street Journal‘s article on the little iPhone that could, this new scaled down model will also be arriving with an edge-to-edge touchscreen plus voice nav for Maps:

The person who saw the prototype of the new iPhone said the device was significantly lighter than the iPhone 4 and had an edge-to-edge screen that could be manipulated by touch, as well as a virtual keyboard and voice-based navigation. The person said Apple, based in Cupertino, Calif., also plans to upgrade the iPhone 4.

Well, it’s definitely one way to go. While everyone else goes bigger, it’s interesting that Apple is boldly going the other way. And an edge-to-edge touchscreen at least will help curb some of the display shrinkage you’d expect from a smaller form factor. But how are people supposed to hold this device without some buffer space around the screen? There could be issues with wayward fingers triggering/launching stuff all the time.

What do you think: Good idea? Or is this “iPhone Nano”/N97/Mini create some annoying usability issues? Weigh in.

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