updated 05:00 pm EST, Wed December 31, 2008
Analyst on iPhone nano
Apple will likely offer a new iPhone in the first half of 2009, with a lower price-point and new baseband processor, according to analyst Craig Berger of Friedman, Billings, Ramsey & Co. The forecast adds more fuel to the speculation of an iPhone "nano", to which Berger noted that "we believe this device is on its way." He expects the new phone to be preceded by a smaller version of the iPod shuffle that could be launched sometime in the first quarter of the year.
The iPhone nano rumors have increased recently, driven by several case-makers that have already created products for the yet-unannounced handsets. The device is said to have a smaller form-factor than the current iPhone 3G, possibly with slightly reduced functionality. Berger expects the new model to use a Qualcomm baseband processor instead of the current Infineon chip.
A recent rumor claimed that Walmart would begin selling a $99 iPhone, possibly with a 4GB capacity, but the suggestion appears unfounded for now. The retailer initially will offer the current 8GB and 16GB models, each carrying discounts of only a few dollars.
Berger also predicts the launch of a new notebook computer by Apple, but supposedly not a device that could qualify as a netbook. The rumor differs slightly from another report this week that claims Quanta will be contracted to produce netbooks for the Mac-maker. Other sources claim the company is in the process of choosing a manufacturer for an iPod touch variant with a seven to nine inch screen.
The current rumors for unannounced Apple products include an iPhone nano, smaller iPod shuffle, large-screen iPod touch, new notebook and a netbook. Other reports, with seemingly better evidence, suggest that the company will unveil new iMac and Mac Mini desktops at the Macworld conference in January. Which of the reports are true, if any, still remains unclear.