WSJ: New smaller iPhone real, MobileMe may become free, iTunes music streaming coming soon

Call it the “iPhone Mini,” the “iPhone Nano,” or just another cheap smartphone, a smaller version of Apple’s flagship product is on its way, the Wall Street Journal reports.

tiny iphone

The rumors of a new, less expensive iPhone are true, reports the Wall Street Journal. The device — which is codenamed “N97″ — will be roughly half the size of the iPhone 4, weigh “significantly” less, and sport an “edge-to-edge” screen. The smaller iPhone will also include voice-based navigation, a virtual keyboard and cost roughly half the price of the current iPhone.

Apple currently sells the iPhone to carriers for an average of $625 per phone. With carrier subsidies, customers can get the iPhone 4 for as little as $199. Because of the low cost of the smaller iPhone, says the WSJ, the carrier subsidies would allow users to get the phone for very little, or possibly for free.

A free, or at least less-expensive, iPhone would allow Apple to compete with the swarm of “mass-market” (i.e. Android) handsets that have come to dominate the smartphone industry. In fact, it’s curious — and not at all surprising — that this news of a new, more competitively-priced iPhone arrived just after Samsung’s Sunday announcement of the Android-based Galaxy S II smartphone at Mobile World Congress 2011.

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