iTunes-500 Million Apps DLed; iPhone Nano?

Updated

When it comes to Apple, there is never a dull moment. While the rumor mill does produce many a false product (Apple netbooks and touch screen laptops, anyone?), sometimes it can strike gold. That may not necessarily be the case with the latest iPhone rumors, but for the last several months, speculation that Apple is working on an iPhone Nano has run rampant.

According to the Chinese newspaper Economic Daily News, sources indicate that the Cupertino, CA-based computer maker is close to finalizing deals with iPhone Nano manufacturers. More specifically, chip manufacturers Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) and United Microelectronics Corporation (UMC) are likely to be the companies behind the new phone's insides, according to Digitimes.

For both the iPhone and iPhone 3G, Apple has used its June Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) as a staging platform, with the phones following several months later. For the Nano and the undoubted fervor that would follow, we could see the handset announced at WWDC with a launch date in the same season. While the launch date would likely fall somewhere between June and September, one analyst believes the device will initially be China-only, leaving the U.S. and Europe for a later date.

Brian Marshal, an analyst with American Technology Research, points to contacts within AT&T for this conclusion. However, like everything else about the rumored device, that's all it is...a rumor. "The best-case scenario here would be a China launch," said Marshal about the iPhone Nano. "But we have no definitive knowledge of this and are working on identifying the [locale] of launch and other pertinent details."

In "real" news, the "real" iPhone celebrated a milestone today. The App Store, which supplies iPhone users with over 15,000 free and pay-to-use applications, had its 500 millionth download. While many of the applications available are free, the number is astounding nonetheless. Launched in July of last year, the number was hit in less than six months. In a somewhat arbitrary comparison, the iTunes store (on which nearly everything costs money), hit the 500 million mark in about two years. Thank you, Apple, for supplying the public with a neverending supply of Bejeweled, tip calculators, and a plethora of other cool (and sometimes useless) applications.