With rumors of a Switch revision floating around for next year, one idea many have suggested, was a small, cheap, handheld only model that has no detachable Joy-Con, or dock, and was just a generic handheld device. Anytime this idea is suggested, I have to facepalm in disappointment. In truth, such a device is not only a bad idea, but would also completely defeat the point of the Switch. As the Joy-Con actually make it a better system. Here's why.
Software compatibility - Problem #1 with this concept is that you automatically kill support for any game that relies on them to work. Sure, a lot of Switch games offer button based controls as alternatives. But then you have games like 1-2 Switch, Just Dance, Nintendo Labo, Super Mario Party, etc. that forgo handheld mode support, so that the game can be designed completely around the Joy-Con. So now this handheld only Switch isn't guaranteed to play all Switch games.
Discourages use of the Joy-Con - Another issue is that just the mere existence of such a device will automatically scare developers away from doing anything cool with these controllers. Now they have to consider not everyone has these controllers to play, so they have to dumb the game down just to function on buttons. While some people may like that, it kills a ton of creativity that could be had on Switch, and can even make several games worse to play as a result. This isn't like 3D where it was explicitly mandated to be optional, Nintendo allows developers to design games exclusively around the Joy-Con, so making a handheld only Switch tosses all of that out the window for no reason.
It makes the Switch more generic - The biggest problem I have with the proposal of this idea, is that it demonstrates a clear misunderstanding of why the Switch is so successful. It's easy to say the Switch is selling well because it's a Nintendo handheld. And while it's true portability is a big part of it's success, it's far from the only reason. I think the bigger reason why the Switch is a success is because it's a way more original concept than "Just another great Nintendo handheld". In a day and age where conventional handhelds are dead due to the ubiquity of smartphones, the Switch offers features and play-styles that instantly distinguish itself from your typical mobile device. It's a home console, you can play on the TV as well. You can also play with a friend by sharing a Joy-Con, pop up the kick-stand and play motion control games anywhere. Have Jean Sebastian Joust Nonsense with 1-2 Switch at a coffee shop, build cardboard toys out of it with Nintendo Labo, turn dual screen gaming on its head with Super Mario Party. And a host of other ways to play. A large part of the Switch's appeal, lies in the seemingly endless play-styles you can mine from it, and that's thanks almost entirely to the Joy-Con. There's a reason they're the Switch's logo, because the focus isn't the console or its play-styles, rather it's the controllers that help enable those play-styles. The Joy-Con help give the Switch something to stand on its own with. Take them away, you take away everything that makes the Switch interesting, and turn it into the very thing it was designed NOT to be. Just another generic, run-of-the-mill gaming handheld, in a day and age where those devices are practically extinct.
This is why I believe Nintendo shouldn't entertain the thought of such a device. It's an unnecessary product that would have no real market and would defeat the entire point of the Switch. Besides, whatever problem it could solve, can already be addressed by time and a dock-less bundle. A Switch bundle without a dock honestly, does a much better job at appealing to the more price conscious side of the mobile market, while still retaining the core concept of the Switch.