WSJ: Apple working on smaller iPhone, major MobileMe overhaul

Recently, Neowin reported on a rumor from Bloomberg that stated Apple is working on a new model of their iPhone that would be smaller and cheaper than the iPhone 4, somewhat like the dubbed iPhone Nano. Now The Wall Street Journal is getting behind what Bloomberg has already reported while also raising awareness of a potential major MobileMe change.

According to The Wall Street Journal, who cited "people familiar with the matter," Apple is working on an iPhone model that is "half the size" of the current iPhone 4 and will be sold alongside the current line of iPhones; one of its codenames is N97. They state that the smaller iPhone will have an "edge-to-edge screen that can be manipulated by touch, as well as a virtual keyboard, and voice-based navigation," all of which sounds similar to the current iPhone. Though, they did mention that the iPhone 4 is expecting an update as well, so it's not certain if that update is just the evident iOS 5 that will be released or if "voice-based navigation" is different than the current voice control feature.

They also confirmed that it will be sold to mobile carriers at half the price of the current iPhone, which would lead us to believe that it would, in fact, cost consumers a considerable less amount of money. WSJ says that it would allow carriers to subsidize most, if not all, of the cost of the phone.

Apart from the iPhone Nano, WSJ says that Apple is working on an overhaul of MobileMe; they hope to remove the $99 a year pricetag and make it free while also converting it into more than just a cloud storage service. MobileMe would allow users to access their music, photos, and videos remotely from their iOS devices through the Internet so that the devices would not need to come with much storage. 

WSJ expects the smaller iPhone and the new MobileMe to be released as soon as this June, when Apple usually refreshes the iPhone line, but it depends on how well Apple's licensing issues are dealt with as the company wanted to release the service last year.

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The really insteresting news if the free MobileMe. Especially considering that anyone half tech-savvy can configure 2 Gmail accounts to do everything MobileMe does for $100, for free.

Lazlo said,
The really insteresting news if the free MobileMe. Especially considering that anyone half tech-savvy can configure 2 Gmail accounts to do everything MobileMe does for $100, for free.

Google doesn't give away 20GB of do whatever you want with storage. I think you're thinking of Microsoft (SkyDrive), not Google.

Lazlo said,
The really insteresting news if the free MobileMe. Especially considering that anyone half tech-savvy can configure 2 Gmail accounts to do everything MobileMe does for $100, for free.

Didn't realise Gmail could do back to my mac.

saxondale. said,

Didn't realise Gmail could do back to my mac.

+alot

Couldn't tell you how many times I've used that. Very valuable.

Lazlo said,
The really insteresting news if the free MobileMe. Especially considering that anyone half tech-savvy can configure 2 Gmail accounts to do everything MobileMe does for $100, for free.

Wrong.

Also the convenience of having everything baked right into your mac is great.

Greatbigdragon said,

So those users buy a regular iPhone.


ehm, he is saying there are iphone users that want a screen larger than 4 inch.
The current iphone doesn't have a screen of that size...

Can you say fragmentation? Jokes aside, I'd be curious as to see if this so-called iPhone Nano will be a success or something bad like the iPod Shuffle. Might be a feature phone like device.

MobileMe still seems pretty lame. Like the worst name Apple has coined for anything. An @me.com address just seems very conceited, from a professional and personal perspective.

Isn't this around the 3rd time MobileMe is supposed to go free?
Also, the "N97" codename made me laugh a little...

I can't see where this would fit in in the range, and I can't see Apple coming out with yet another iOS App platform for developers to rewrite all their Apps for. Highly unlikely to happen IMO, just like the rumours about the iPad 2 having a super hi-res "Retina" display...

J400uk said,
I can't see where this would fit in in the range, and I can't see Apple coming out with yet another iOS App platform for developers to rewrite all their Apps for. Highly unlikely to happen IMO, just like the rumours about the iPad 2 having a super hi-res "Retina" display...

Well, if the aspect ration is the same they can downscale retina iphone apps... They could also one that doesn't do apps, not sure how good that would be though, but there are still people that just want a phone.

I personally like the idea of a iPhone shuffle, shake it and get a random call, heck it migh even call 911 for you randomly!

I had a .mac/mobile me account for 3 years. It was the worst experience of any online service...ever. Hotmail after all of the summer 2010 updates is 100x better.

rrode74 said,
I had a .mac/mobile me account for 3 years. It was the worst experience of any online service...ever. Hotmail after all of the summer 2010 updates is 100x better.

Funny that, I've had 0 problems.

Well, I just don't want them taking away the physical storage on the device. I like to have my entire library physically on my iPhone.

Steve B said,
Well, I just don't want them taking away the physical storage on the device. I like to have my entire library physically on my iPhone.

Agreed.
Data plans also need to be cheaper and more reliable worldwide before you can use cloud services. for example, for 50mb of mobile data, it costs $6 ($4.55USD) in NZ

iascoot said,

Agreed.
Data plans also need to be cheaper and more reliable worldwide before you can use cloud services. for example, for 50mb of mobile data, it costs $6 ($4.55USD) in NZ

Well that's not very much at all. That's a rip.

I don't know honestly the iPhone is great as it is why miniture it? I would highly doubt if this is going to be true. Since we are talking about apple.

thnok said,
I don't know honestly the iPhone is great as it is why miniture it? I would highly doubt if this is going to be true. Since we are talking about apple.

It's not really about going miniature. It's just a bit smaller, probably about the screen size of an HTC Hero. It's about making a fully-featured, less expensive iPhone that phone companies can easily subsidize and average consumers can more reasonably be expected to pay for. We are talking about Apple here; they want their phone in every pocket.

Im not keen on the whole "cloud storage" idea either. If one is having to access their music library through a cloud service, that means a crap load of data usage. With the trend of the cell phone companies removing unlimited data, one could easily surpass their monthly allotment if they are streaming their personally owned music library, accessing their pictures, etc. Not too mention if you get in an area that has crappy 3G/Horrible EDGE/Lord forbid a GPRS area (yes, I have hit a couple spots of GPRS here in Oklahoma), then you basically lost access to your data.

This smells really fishy and seems to be playing into the hands of the cell phones companies that want to make more money by charging exuberant data plans.

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