Apple will release a fewer-frills, cheaper counterpart to its wildly successful iPhone by the end of the year, a JP Morgan report claims. A Taiwan-based analyst cites an unnamed source in the supply chain and a patent application for a multifunctional handheld device with a circular touch pad, which Apple submitted last week.
The phone would be an analog to the scaled-down iPod nano. The whopping $600 price tag on the 8G iPhone has alienated many consumers, but a more affordable mash-up between a cell phone and an iPod could sell 30 to 40 million units in 2008, compared to its bigger brother's 10 million target, JP Morgan estimates, and stretch Apple's share of the mobile market. Apple isn't commenting. (Read more iPod stories.)