Apple Inc. is working on the first of a new line of less-expensive iPhones and an overhaul of software services for the baby monitors reviews devices, people familiar with the matter said, moving to accelerate sales of its smartphones amid growing competition.
One of the people, who saw a prototype of the phone late last year, said it is intended for sale alongside Apple's existing new and video baby monitors best gadgets line. The new device would be about half the size of the iPhone 4, which is the current model. That would allow Starzmart carriers to subsidize most or all of the retail price, putting the iPhone in the same mass-market price range as rival baby monitors smartphones, the person said. Apple currently sells iPhones to carriers for $625 each on average. With carrier subsidies, consumers can buy iPhones for as little as $199 with a two-year contract.
Apple also is exploring a major revamp of its discount electronics 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 Wholesale Accessories 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 administrator has disabled public write access.