Apple may be considering the release of a phone based on it’s iPod Nano player according to the press:
“We believe it’s a strong sign that Apple could potentially convert every iPod Nano into a Nano phone,” Chang told clients. The Nano, using flash memory for storage, costs $199 for a 4GB version or $249 for the 8GB model.
A couple of things here come to mind, firstly to take Apple at their word that they are genuinely interested in releasing a lower cost phone albeit with less ‘bells and whistles’ of the iPhone, or they (Apple) may have realized that exclusively jumping into bed with AT&T was not the best idea in the world. This would give them a chance to release the Nano phone that would be possibly available across all wireless networks. There are a lot of upset consumers with Apple’s decision to use AT&T to be the sole supplier of Apple phones through its network. AT&T believe that this will increase their customer base as fans of the iPhone or consumers wishing to purchase it will shift to the network. The problem is like Sony with their ill-fated Betamax that it opened the doors to competing technologies. In this case large networks are already clamoring and planning their versions of the iPhone and I suspect utilizing more popular formats than just simply iTunes.
Apple may have heard alarm bells here and the consideration of releasing a Nano styled phone across all networks would be their saving grace. (If they do decide to make it cross network available). In the UK consumers have been speculating which network will the Apple iPhone will be tied too. While some argue that ‘3’ would be a logical choice because of their reasonable success with music downloads and media, others feel O2 would be more appropriate. Everyone I have spoken too will not switch networks over this phone and feel it is not enough to move to a new network carrier especially if the iPhone has limited functionality like what usually happens when a multifunction phone hits the UK market.
Apple would be best to consider when coming into Europe to open the doors to more than one carrier and not limit themselves or the functionality of their phone.