iPhone 5 AND Mini iPhone Nano (N97) in Summer? Rumors Grow

We’ve finally seen the release of the Verizon iPhone 4 and now our attention is firmly focused on the iPhone 5. We’ve already written many posts on the next-generation iPhone and if you want to catch up a little some of our recent posts include a look at the impressive Samsung Galaxy S2 vs. the iPhone 5, a rumor about the notification system being improved, and an iPhone 5 features roundup.

We also told recently about rumors of a cheaper version of the Apple iPhone on the way, a sort of mini iPhone, and we have news today on further developments and speculation surrounding that. A report today on The Wall Street Journal by Yukari Iwatani Kane and Ethan Smith reports that Apple is indeed working on the first in a range of cheaper iPhones. A prototype, which has already been seen, is apparently around half the size of the current iPhone and the mini iPhone would cost carriers around half the price of the standard iPhone models. This would bring it into line, price-wise, with competing smartphones.

The MobileMe online storage system is also being overhauled and could become a free service and this cloud-based system would mean that less memory for the handset would be needed. The WSJ reports that one of the top priorities for Apple’s Steve Jobs, currently on medical leave, is the development of a range of new iPhones that could possibly be released as early as this summer.

The prototype for the smaller iPhone is said to be “significantly lighter” than the current iPhone 4 and has an edge-to-edge screen, virtual keyboard and also voice-based navigation. One of the code names for the mini version of the iPhone is N97 according to WSJ although we have also seen reports referring to it as an iPhone Nano, such as that of Jacob Palmer on Gizmo Crunch and also Charlie White on Mashable.

It’s all looking set to be an extremely interesting summer with an iPhone 5 as well as this mini iPhone on the way and we’ll be keeping our ears open for more information. What are your thoughts on a smaller version of the iPhone and would you be interested in one? Please let us have your comments about this.