According to a U.S. patent application published on July 5, 2007, Apple is attempting to patent an iPod-like device with a clickwheel that displays numbers. According to a Reuters report, an analyst at JP Morgan believes that the device will be a smaller, and likely less expensive, derivative of the iPhone.
The device described in the application has a touch pad that may be divided into one or more input areas, much like a rotary phone. The application also discloses a hand-held device with multiple functions including music player and cell phone functionality. The drawings in the application disclose a circular touch pad divided into the common elements of a phone interface.
Apple already offers both a high-end and low-end iPod, and a low-end companion to the iPhone will mirror Apple’s iPod sales approach. The Reuters report predicts that Apple will price an “iPhone nano” at approximately $200-$300 less than the iPhone, which is currently $500 for a 4-gigabyte model and $600 for an 8-gigabyte model.