With the iPhone not even fully digested by the gadget market's unquenchable pie-hole, many are already eagerly eying what Apple will serve up for its next course.
Financial services firm JP Morgan, for one, released a report today claiming Jobs and company plan to launch a cheaper version of the iPhone based on the ultra-slim iPod Nano.
According to Taiwan-based JP Morgan analyst Kevin Chang, customers will be wondering where the #$@% they lost this new teensy-weensy, itty-bitty phone as early as the fourth quarter. Chang bases his claim on an application with the US Patent and Trademark office and unnamed sources in the supply channel.
Reuters reports that according to the patent application, the device is a multifunctional handheld device that uses a circular touch pad control, similar to the Nano's scroll wheel.
“We believe that iPod Nano will be converted into a phone because it’s probably the only way for Apple to launch a lower end phone without severely cannibalizing iPod Nano,” Chang said.
He continued that the device would feature “rather limited functionality.” Like, you know, getting rid of dialing mechanisms altogether.
Despite the iPhone's touch screen being a major draw to the device, JP Morgan theorizes that a relatively low-priced nano-phone could draw sales of 30 to 40 million units in 2008.
The report joins the gathering storm of second-gen iPhone speculation and persiflage that's sure to keep Apple fans talking until the very moment Steve Jobs pulls the second coming of the Jesus Phone out of his pocket at a press event. And lo, the prophesy shall be fulfilled! ®