Apple shrinks its Android attack

A mini-iPhone may be in the works as Apple combats Google's growing share of the smart-phone market.

By TheStreet Staff Feb 14, 2011 12:37PM

Steve Jobs (©Paul Sakuma/AP)By Scott Moritz, TheStreet

 

Apple (AAPL) is gearing up a mini-iPhone and free network storage service for the next stage of the Google (GOOG) Android war.

 

A smaller, cheaper, all-screen iPhone is in the works, according to The Wall Street Journal. If the report is true, the move would imitate Apple's expansion of the iPod by shrinking new iPhones.

 

The plan also calls for the $99 MobileMe service, a cloud-based media syncing system, to be offered for free.

 

Apple is expected to use the new MobileMe as a storage and delivery mechanism for songs, videos, photos and other user content that has typically been stored on computers and Apple devices. Apple watchers would call this the long-anticipated arrival of an iTunes streaming service that could be announced with the iPhone 5 this summer.

The moves come as Android phones spread across the market via 4G offerings like the Motorola (MMI) Atrix and HTC Thunderbolt at the high end, to low-cost touchscreens made by Chinese outfits like Huawei and ZTE.

 

Apple and Verizon (VZ) launched sales of the iPhone 4 last week, but demand for the Verizon iPhone has been less than phenomenal for the 3G device.

 

The upshot: With no Verizon iPhone sellouts to announce and industry attention shifting to Barcelona this week for the Mobile World Congress event, Apple is probably unwilling to watch its iPhone momentum cool off. The company -- or select insiders -- have offered its minions a little peek ahead at what may be in store later this year.

 

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