On the eve of the start of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona today, the Wall Street Journal online tech section ran a short post discussing a new, less-expensive iPhone that is apparently in the works (and all but confirmed by the Wall Street Journal). The timing of the post was impeccable -- by "leaking" this information on Sunday, the WSJ and Apple ensured that the iPhone will be the major topic of discussion at MWC without Apple having to exhibit or even attend the conference.
In order to achieve a low price point that would make iPhones even more ubiquitous than they already are, the post speculated that MobileMe would become a free service that purchasers could use to contain their music, photos, and videos. The result? The new iPhone wouldn't need as much storage to hold all of those memories and tunes, so the price would drop.
According to sources who spoke to the Wall Street Journal, the new MobileMe service could make it to iOS devices by June depending on the outcome of licensing talks. WIth the new service, your iPhone or iPad would have access to your iTunes library wirelessly. No syncing to your Mac or PC would be required, nor would you need to have massive amounts of memory to store the music and video files locally. To paraphrase the Microsoft ads that are currently making the rounds, "To the cloud!"
The Journal went on to say that the service would probably be backwards-compatible with the iPhone 4. As with all rumors, remember that despite the source, this may be well-meaning fiction. We'll see for sure as 2011 progresses. In the meantime, what do you think about a free MobileMe? Do you think it will happen this year? Leave a comment below.