Is iPhone Mini on the Way?

While rumors that iPhone 6 is being actively tested spread through the app developers’ communities like so much celebrity gossip, news has emerged that many iPhone fans may find just as exciting: the iPhone could be getting even smaller. Of course, there some potential catches involved.

Appropriately dubbed the “iPhone Mini,” the alleged product, said to be targeted for release next year, will indeed be smaller and perhaps less expensive.  But it will apparently be targeted to those who want a “lower-end” smartphone.  For example: those who pursue– for whatever reason — a prepaid phone.

If it’s true that an iPhone Mini would target the financially challenged, that would go hand in hand with what Apple CEO Tim Cook said a year ago about Apple’s products, namely that they don’t want them to be “just for the rich.”

That’s an understandable goal, but Apple has given us many products that are already reasonably-priced and well within the financial reach of anyone who wants one.

This interesting story is just starting to grow legs, and Apple fan sites are just starting to report on rumors, and that’s just what they are at this point: rumors. But rumors are fun, and as long as we remember that– just as with prototype screenshots — we must take these with a grain of salt, here’s what we’ve learned may be in store for the iPhone Mini:

  • The cost could be as little as $350
  • Apps would run from “the cloud,” which begs the question of data usage, which in turn could circle back to the question of affordability for those seeking prepaid phones, given the virtual death of unlimited data plans
  • It will almost certainly be 4G/LTE

Those are all interesting features, to be sure, but whether or not they come to pass remains to be seen.

Perhaps the biggest question on peoples’ minds is: what would an iPhone Mini look like?

Macworld UK has posted a graphic which seems to show what an iPhone Mini could look like, though it doesn’t appear to be from an official Apple source.  Even so, there are images all over the Internet which show much the same thing, giving cause for pause. True to the name, it could be a smaller, square-shaped device.

Some iPhone fans could find the notion of an iPhone Mini intriguing and heartbreaking at the same time.

Although it’s understandable that Apple would want its products to be for everyone– it is a business, after all– the iPhone has sort of been like a special club.

Could the advent of an iPhone Mini cause adverse affects for the “classic” iPhone? Could an iPhone Mini lower the resale value of a full-featured iPhone, much like a run-down home could affect a well-kept neighboring home’s property values?

Not only that, but the original price points have never been so bad that a “lower end” model would have been expected. A $599 iPhone, for example, is easily within the reach of most anyone who truly wants an iPhone and everything that comes with it.

But Apple surely has their reasons for making a low-end iPhone, and it will be interesting to see what comes of all these rumors and reports.  If an iPhone Mini does come to pass, will you buy one?


[via: Mac World UK]

Photo credit: Mac World UK/Zeki Ozek