Just as analysts and pundits were certain that Apple would release a redesigned iPhone 5 last year, they also believed we’d see an “iPhone Nano.” The smaller, cheaper handset would’ve allowed the Cupertino company to make inroads into the prepaid market.

But as we all know, neither device ever materialized. Instead of an all-new iPhone, we got the familiar-looking iPhone 4S. And instead of an iPhone Nano, we got a cheaper, retooled iPhone 4. But according to a new report, Apple is still considering the latter…

China Times is out with a new report today claiming that Apple is looking to expand its position in the low-end smartphone market this year. Citing supply chain sources and the belief that Apple’s $375 iPhone 3GS isn’t enough to compete with budget-priced Android devices, the site says that Apple has plans to release a new low-end handset sometime later this year.

This takes us back to the age-old question of: does Apple really need to release an iPhone Nano? And the answer is still no. The company sold close to 40 million iPhones over the 2011 holiday quarter. And it’s expected to have sold 30+ million during the latest three-month period.

But just because it doesn’t need to, doesn’t mean it won’t. Remember, Apple’s worldwide smartphone marketshare is still extremely low compared to other platforms. Android, for example, accounts for close to 50% of all smartphones.

And to gain marketshare, Apple has to either increase the iPhone’s availability and/or lower its entry-level price point. Well, it’s already working on availability — the iPhone 4S recently launched on 5 new carriers here in the US. So we wouldn’t be surprised to see it lower its entry-level price at some point — although it’d more than likely happen with an existing handset, rather than an all-new one.

What do you think?

[BGR]

  • i think the low end iphone will be the 4S, with the smaller screen.. iPhone 5 will have a bigger screen so obviously thats the higher end one

  • Anonymous

    An iPhone nano would suck, I want the iPhone 5!

  • Anonymous

    I agree with Brandon. An iPhone 5 with a bigger screen to compete with the Androids (not the Note though, please) and make the iPhone 4s cheaper. You probably won’t ever see an iPhone as cheap as an Android phone because, after all, you get what you pay for and Apple is selling all it can make even at its current price point. Why mess with a winner?

  • As time goes on the cost of producing the 3GS goes down. Just cut the margins on it and make it up in volume. As long as it can still run the software updates no reason not to. Only thing they would have to change is make it work on more than just gsm.

  • When the i5 comes out the 3GS will be dropped and the i4 will take its place . The i4s will then be the next one down and will be in 8gig flavour .. This is Apples way of going for the lower end of the market..
    Why would Apple make a all new iPhone just for the lower end market when all they have to do is replace the top one with a new model and then step the older ones down in the chain… It will cost them less because the work on the lower end of the iPhone has all ready been done when that iPhone was the top end iPhone..

  • As hard as it may be to believe, there is always a foundational reason behind a reason. The market for the iPhone is expanding, but how long will it continue to expand before apple have to venture into a new market or recreate the present mobile market with something astounding? Forget the rumour. I don’t think anything such as a iPhone nano will materialise. But, the fact is sooner or later, apple will have to look into other options

  • As hard as it may be to believe, there is always a foundational reason behind a reason. The market for the iPhone is expanding, but how long will it continue to expand before apple have to venture into a new market or recreate the present mobile market with something astounding? Forget the rumour. I don’t think anything such as a iPhone nano will materialise. But, the fact is sooner or later, apple will have to look into other options

  • Just stop with the repeat rumors, alright? Same bs, different year.

  • Stop with the rumors… there almost always wrong

  • Guys always remember, the rumors are 99.999999999999999% wrong. An iPhone won’t have a bigger screen. There won’t be a iPhone Nano.

    Really? An iPhone Nano? For low end people? Apple is going to do what they’re doing which is release a new phone and drop the price of the oldest version until te next oldest takes its place.

    An iPhone Nano is the same thing as the iPad and iPod. Different screen, different apps. Some apps won’t work with the iPhone Nano. The video playback will be bad. Also think about it, a nano is like 2 1/2 inches… Who wants a phone that small… Plus it won’t be as wide.