Feb. 14, 2011 at 12:30 PM ET
The excitement surrounding the launch of the Verizon iPhone hasn't even worn off, yet there's already talk of a shiny new Apple toy: A smaller, less expensive iPhone. And for those who don't want new hardware, but are itching for a new Apple product? They'll be happy to hear that there are reports that the MobileMe online storage service may be getting a huge revamp.
The Wall Street Journal reports that "a source familiar with the matter" has shared details of Apple's plan to create a new line of less expensive iPhones which will be sold alongside Apple's existing line:
The new phone—one of its code names is N97—would be available to carriers at about half the price of the main iPhones. That would allow carriers to subsidize most or all of the retail price, putting the iPhone in the same mass-market price range as rival smartphones, the person said.
The report continues to explain that Apple also has intentions to rework MobileMe, its popular online storage service, in order to dive further into the world of cloud computing:
Apple also is exploring a major revamp of its MobileMe online storage service, the people familiar with the matter said. The service, which lets users store data in a central location and synchronize their calendars and contacts among computers and other devices, currently has an individual annual subscription fee of $99. Apple is considering making MobileMe a free service that would serve as a "locker" for personal memorabilia such as photos, music and videos, eliminating the need for devices to carry a lot of memory, the people familiar with the situation said.
It's worth noting that such a revamp of MobileMe would not only fit in with the idea of smaller iPhones — which could potentially offer less built-in memory — but also with reports that Apple's considering creating a cloud-based music streaming service.