There’s no doubt that the iPhone had an incredibly successful launch, and that Apple seems to be on the wayto another winner. But, according to Kevin Chang, an analyst at JPMorgan, Apple might be on the way to introducing a cheaper phone with similarities to itsiPod nano. He’s drawn his conclusions from a patent filed by Apple last week that refers to a handheld device that’s multifunctional with a circular touch pad control, sounding verysimilar to the Nano. Chang has speculated that this may mean a cheaper version of the iPhone, possibly retailing for around $300, rather than the current $500 or $600, depending on storage. “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,” saidChang, although he noted that the functionality of the new phone could be limited. Another analyst has speculated that the new phone could be in stores as early as later this year. According to Chang, a lower-priced version of the iPhone would mean Apple would possibly be able to achieve sales in 2008 of 30-40 million units; that far exceeds the 10 million unit projection Applehas given for the original iPhone. To add credence to the speculation, Chang also revealed that the new phone’s metal casing would be made by CatcherTechnology in Taiwan, citing an unnamed source.
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