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Apple working on a smaller, contract-free iPhone to combat Android - report - Page 3

post #81 of 133
For a retail price of US$200 outright it would be difficult to deliver a handset with enough compelling features without cannibalising their own price points.

I'd say it's unlikely unless it's part of a bold move by Apple to have everyone using a near field chip connected to an iTunes account to make purchases, instead of their credit card. I wouldn't put it past Apple, but it would take a bold, and well coordinated, move.
post #82 of 133
Do I need to file down my finger by a third to use this phone? \
post #83 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheWatchfulOne View Post

Fixed that for you. Check out my previous post.

All you're doing is quoting what they reserve the right to do. They also reserve the right to shut off abusers of the 3G data. They don't do it. You're wrong, sorry.
post #84 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by noirdesir View Post

And what if you get a pre-paid SIM card? How can they add to that?
The point is, do they in the pre-paid SIM card contracts have a clause that it prevents you from using the SIM card in an iPhone?
And if they are as anal about this, just go to a different carrier. Even in the US, you must have virtual network providers.

They can't. The OP doesn't know what he's talking about.
post #85 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by peterliaw@yahoo.com View Post

Do I need to file down my finger by a third to use this phone? \

I doubt this will be a down-sized iPhone. It will be a different device with different capabilities. Yes, it will fragment the market but, if sold in conjunction with an Apple MVNO service plan, it could make solid continuing contributions to the bottom line that would make the extra effort to support it worthwhile.
post #86 of 133
In related news, Apple portables to be offered in tin enclosures.
post #87 of 133
Power to the People!
post #88 of 133
This is the price that Chinese iPhone rip offs are selling.
post #89 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by aross99 View Post

Does the price of the handset really matter anymore? I see the cost of the data plans being the thing that is holding the mainstream buyer back. Apple needs an iPhone you can purchase without a data plan, for the huge number of people who won't pay for data and would be happy to use the phone in WiFi.

I know alot of people will say this is crazy and "who would buy an iPhone without data?", but I think we are in the minority. Compare the number of people who have text plans and the number who have data - huge difference.

I know there is a $15 option at AT&T for a small amount of data, but they need a $0 option - just like the quick messaging phones.

Don't get me wrong, we need our regular iPhone plans too (I have had one since they came out), but I know ALOT of people who just wont pay for the plans.

I agree

AND

Apple needs an iPhone you can purchase without a VOICE plan, for the number of people who don't need voice and want to access the internet anywhere. (Like a small iPad)

I use my iPad like the above, but I don't take the iPad everywhere. Right now I'm paying for voice minutes that I barely use (5 minutes last month) and that don't rollover.
post #90 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by ltcompuser View Post

I agree

AND

Apple needs an iPhone you can purchase without a VOICE plan, for the number of people who don't need voice and want to access the internet anywhere. (Like a small iPad)

I use my iPad like the above, but I don't take the iPad everywhere. Right now I'm paying for voice minutes that I barely use (5 minutes last month) and that don't rollover.

So you want a ipod touch 3g?? I guess I can see some people wanting that.

The problem is the amount of people is probably too small for apple to want to cut into there cash cow, the iphone
post #91 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by tzeshan View Post

This is the price that Chinese iPhone rip offs are selling.

It's more effective if you post the exact same thing to Macrumors forum at the exact same time. Oh wait, you already did that.
post #92 of 133
Steve just wants to punish Google. That's all! And google is going to get it good!
post #93 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by kriskkalu View Post

Steve just wants to punish Google. That's all! And google is going to get it good!

I think he does want to outsell Android, or at least be the platform of first choice for devs.
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post #94 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wurm5150 View Post

So Apple wants to be a volume manufacturer now like Nokia, Samsung, Motorola, etc. for the sake of marketshare? Jeez Apple you rake in 51% of all mobile phone profits despite a 4% marketshare. I thought you'd rather take that stats over marketshare.

Apple cannot ignore marketshare while secretly chuckling 'but we make the profits'

Marketshare is key for developers. They may prefer iOS, even with a slightly smaller marketshare because of less piracy, single App store, well off user-base prepared to pay for Apps, etc. But there comes a point where shear numbers of Android users will make it a better platform to develop for.

Once they have lost pre-eminence amongst developers, they have lost it altogether. It will be WIndows v Mac all over again.

The smartphone market is expanding - and it is expanding downwards. Typical feature-phone users are aspiring to a phone which offers more, but are going for the cheaper end. Android is best placed to take the market from the bottom - of course they are, Apple is not currently competing there!

I don't know whether these rumo(u)rs have substance, or if a 'Nano' would be a good move. But some way Apple needs to find a way to compete in the at lower price points in the smartphone market.
post #95 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by c-ray View Post

$45/mo for a Straight Talk phone at wally world. Unlimited voice, txt and data (with the usual caveats about what unlimited means now). And that phone is running on the same network that wants to charge you $90/mo for limited voice, unlimited txt and data. VZW likes their profit margins.

If the phone described here actually exists, I would expect it may be destined for the MVNO market (not necessarily Apple being a MVNO). 75% of the people I know are on either Straight Talk or Boost. Sooner or later Apple must penetrate the cost conscious end of the phone market.

Straight talk means crippled phones, unusable data and browser (probably on purpose) and more voice and texts than 99% of users need or want, creating a perceived value until you start using the phone and realize that it's a marketing gimmick. And tech support...nobody speaks English.

I just don't think apple is interested in that model and besides, it's on the verizon network. Do you think verizon would unleash millions and millions of new iphone users on their network at a reduced price and no contract when they have new users lining up to pay full price for a contract plan? No chance.
post #96 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2 cents View Post

I just don't think apple is interested in that model and besides, it's on the verizon network. Do you think verizon would unleash millions and millions of new iphone users on their network at a reduced price and no contract when they have new users lining up to pay full price for a contract plan? No chance.

You don't think Apple is interested in becoming an MVNO? I think it may make more sense that they use their money to build their own wireless service than any large acquisition they could make. They can't just keep accumulating cash.

As far as what Verizon thinks, it's the same dilemma they (or any carrier) has now. Someone approaches you about buying a few million minutes in bulk at a discounted price that is prepaid. You don't want the business, someone else will. And I think this may explain why Apple is optiong to use the MDM6600 which supports both CDMA and GSM/UMTS - they have even more potential carriers to shop.
post #97 of 133
Just sell the previous version for that price. It's already at $99, why not make it $199 off contract. Here is a customer profile for such a phone: College student / Early professional who wants to use iPhone and has access to WiFi at home, work and school. This person does not want to / can't afford to pay for data or unlimited talk, but is OK with just voice and WiFi.

End result - more iphones out there, less strain on data networks and no need to mess with exclusivity since this is an older version and thereby should not disrupt any agreements. Plus you get to get rid of unsold inventory at fairly reasonable price.
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post #98 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by aross99 View Post

Does the price of the handset really matter anymore? I see the cost of the data plans being the thing that is holding the mainstream buyer back. Apple needs an iPhone you can purchase without a data plan, for the huge number of people who won't pay for data and would be happy to use the phone in WiFi.

I know alot of people will say this is crazy and "who would buy an iPhone without data?", but I think we are in the minority. Compare the number of people who have text plans and the number who have data - huge difference.

I know there is a $15 option at AT&T for a small amount of data, but they need a $0 option - just like the quick messaging phones.

Don't get me wrong, we need our regular iPhone plans too (I have had one since they came out), but I know ALOT of people who just wont pay for the plans.



Walmart has straight talk $45 / AND NO FEES
Unlimited data text voice and u buy the phone
Month to month keep your old number and
NO FEES many do these contract phones to keep a budge
They have for 30$ 1000 texts 1000 min a bit of data
On VZ network that's the best deal going unless
Net10 for infrequent users
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post #99 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by penchanted View Post

You don't think Apple is interested in becoming an MVNO? I think it may make more sense that they use their money to build their own wireless service than any large acquisition they could make. They can't just keep accumulating cash.

It's called a dividend. A company doesn't have to just throw their money down a hole if they can't manage to lose it through normal operations. It's the shareholders' money.
post #100 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by bcahill009 View Post

So you want a ipod touch 3g?? I guess I can see some people wanting that.

The problem is the amount of people is probably too small for apple to want to cut into there cash cow, the iphone

Yes, if the iPod Touch 3G had the same cameras as the iPhone 4.

This would be perfect for my children and myself due the small number of voice minutes I use monthly.

When my plan comes up for renewal, I'll be asking the Retentions department to offer me a data only plan on the iPhone 4. So far, they've been
very accommodating.
post #101 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheff View Post

Just sell the previous version for that price. It's already at $99, why not make it $199 off contract. Here is a customer profile for such a phone: College student / Early professional who wants to use iPhone and has access to WiFi at home, work and school. This person does not want to / can't afford to pay for data or unlimited talk, but is OK with just voice and WiFi.

The previous version is not $99, it's $499. The carrier buys it for $499, then sells it to you for $99 plus your signature on a contract. Selling it for $199 without a contract leaves Apple $300 poorer for each phone sold. Who is going to make that up? You?

Quote:
End result - more iphones out there, less strain on data networks and no need to mess with exclusivity since this is an older version and thereby should not disrupt any agreements. Plus you get to get rid of unsold inventory at fairly reasonable price.

Great, except none of those things benefit Apple to the tune of the $300 that was lost. The first benefits Apple mildly, since they may sell more Apps. But it will clearly push their manufacturing partners very hard to sell a ZERO PROFIT phone, meanwhile eliminating Apple's stream of upgraders. The second only benefits the carriers. The third, again, benefits Apple not at all.

Thank god actual businesspeople run Apple.
post #102 of 133
This phone must be a stripped down version. Its hard to believe that at a price of $200 .How can Apple possibly put out a regular Iphone at $200 without any subsidy from a carrier ????

Something wrong with this story
post #103 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by cameronj View Post

It's called a dividend. A company doesn't have to just throw their money down a hole if they can't manage to lose it through normal operations. It's the shareholders' money.

I understand that but I, like many, am not anxious for a dividend if Apple can put that money to good use with a better return.

I think initially Apple just wanted to make sure they were debt-free and cash-rich. But after they passed the $25-30B mark, I have felt they are planning for something big. I've struggled to imagine what those plans might entail and had come up short but with some of the recent patent announcements and stories like this, I think there is a real possibility that Apple might pursue a move into wireless business (as an MVNO). I don't think this would be too far afield and don't consider it a blackhole. There could be a solid recurring income stream from such a move.
post #104 of 133
Yeah, the rumors of a smaller/cheaper/crappier iPhones have persisted since 2008. Until it ships, it's a worthless rumor. But that day may come. Apple doesn't race to the bottom, but they have in the past gone after broader market segments like they did with the iPod, which started as one expensive model and now has models from $50 to $400. The same may happen with the iPhone. Great, but I'll keep the top-end model in my pocket.

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post #105 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by penchanted View Post

You don't think Apple is interested in becoming an MVNO? I think it may make more sense that they use their money to build their own wireless service than any large acquisition they could make. They can't just keep accumulating cash.

As far as what Verizon thinks, it's the same dilemma they (or any carrier) has now. Someone approaches you about buying a few million minutes in bulk at a discounted price that is prepaid. You don't want the business, someone else will. And I think this may explain why Apple is optiong to use the MDM6600 which supports both CDMA and GSM/UMTS - they have even more potential carriers to shop.

No, I think apple has zero interest in becoming an MVNO and it's the last thing they want to sink their cash into. There are many things they have likely slotted money for and new things will come down the pike that can't be foreseen. And having cash is a great hedge for any company, especially a company like apple that often makes moves that don't fit the conventional business logic.

As for verizon selling the minutes or someone else will, it's not about minutes, it's about data. There is simply not enough bandwidth to unleash cheap iPhones with cheap, no cap, no contract plans by the millions. It will overwhelm the network. It will also cannibalize their contract plans. I am pretty familiar with the straight talk model and the phones and I can't see any way verizon would allow a phone like the iphone on that brand. It's all based on having virtually unusable data and browsers on crippled phones at edge speeds. Most straight talk users don't care about data and the ones that do (like me) just move on to a contract plan.
post #106 of 133
y'know, this makes sense.

it's hard for my wife and i to justify two iphones. if/when she wants to do something iphoneish, she grabs my phone. she is also pretty unwilling to spend such a chunk on data, doesn't want email on her phone, etc. but, because of that, like many people, she is basically stuck with the crappiest phones, with the crappiest software and buttons they stick in places so you'll accidentally jump online or something. the ease of use of the iphone software for basic functions like talk, photo, text, etc. would be awesome.

besides that, at this point apple has done a lot of the heavy lifting and legwork with the iphone. i can't see how other phone manufacturers could compete. talk about market-share!

apple - read my post. DO IT! THIS YEAR!
post #107 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2 cents View Post

No, I think apple has zero interest in becoming an MVNO and it's the last thing they want to sink their cash into. There are many things they have likely slotted money for and new things will come down the pike that can't be foreseen. And having cash is a great hedge for any company, especially a company like apple that often makes moves that don't fit the conventional business logic.

As for verizon selling the minutes or someone else will, it's not about minutes, it's about data. There is simply not enough bandwidth to unleash cheap iPhones with cheap, no cap, no contract plans by the millions. It will overwhelm the network. It will also cannibalize their contract plans. I am pretty familiar with the straight talk model and the phones and I can't see any way verizon would allow a phone like the iphone on that brand. It's all based on having virtually unusable data and browsers on crippled phones at edge speeds. Most straight talk users don't care about data and the ones that do (like me) just move on to a contract plan.

We'll have to agree to disagree.

Verizon would most likely not allow an iPhone on a Straight Talk plan. But I think that is not what Apple intends. I think an MVNO play may be exactly the opportunity that Apple is looking for. And MVNOs also buy bandwidth in bulk just as they do minutes. In fact, there are more providers willing to sell raw bandwidth than there are MNOs selling minutes.

As to their using there money to a better end, please point me in the right direction. They spent $3.9B on prepaid components but that is less than two months current profits. Any small, innovative company they might want to be is pocket change. The cash keeps growing - likely to be near or at $70B by the end of this quarter unless sales suddenly tank.

You are correct that the phone companies don't want (and will resist any efforts) to be turned into "dumb pipes". But, I think that will be the inevitable outcome for them, so the winners will be the ones who figure out how to play that game to their advantage.
post #108 of 133
Here's a pretty good summation of the opportunity and possibilities with such a phone:
http://www.9to5mac.com/51533/what-do...hone-look-like
post #109 of 133
And totally cannabalizing their high end sales. Bye bye profit margins
post #110 of 133
The "rumor" is probably once again coming from Apple turning tech community into a giant focus group.

I think small cheap iPhone could add a few billions while taking out of business other phone manufacturers.

I also see a need for 4.5" iPhone and 7" iPad. I love my 4.3" EVO 4g: screen is so much more usable, besides Android browser running in full-screen mode taking advantage of full 4.3" real estate (iPhone browser has bars on top and on bottom making its browser usable screen size only about 3.2".

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post #111 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by ltcompuser View Post

Apple needs an iPhone you can purchase without a VOICE plan, for the number of people who don't need voice and want to access the internet anywhere.

You mean the US needs a carrier that sells a data-only plan. Apple does not sell plans, the carriers do. In most countries you can already get data-only plans.
And what actually happens when you put the SIM card from a 3G modem or iPad into an iPhone? I'll tell you, it normally just works fine.
post #112 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by penchanted View Post

We'll have to agree to disagree.

Verizon would most likely not allow an iPhone on a Straight Talk plan. But I think that is not what Apple intends. I think an MVNO play may be exactly the opportunity that Apple is looking for. And MVNOs also buy bandwidth in bulk just as they do minutes. In fact, there are more providers willing to sell raw bandwidth than there are MNOs selling minutes.

As to their using there money to a better end, please point me in the right direction. They spent $3.9B on prepaid components but that is less than two months current profits. Any small, innovative company they might want to be is pocket change. The cash keeps growing - likely to be near or at $70B by the end of this quarter unless sales suddenly tank.

You are correct that the phone companies don't want (and will resist any efforts) to be turned into "dumb pipes". But, I think that will be the inevitable outcome for them, so the winners will be the ones who figure out how to play that game to their advantage.

Yes, we'll have to agree to disagree. While I have no idea what apple plans with their many billions, I'm sure they do, and I can't see them sinking it into telecom services. Likely, they are planning things (such media content deals like they did with beattles catalog, more data center investment, shoring up the supply chain, and perhaps even buying some component manufacturers, etc). Hard to guess. If this lower priced iphone with no contract does get out there, I'll be sure to check it out to see if it suits my needs. It's not as if I like having a contract phone.
post #113 of 133
all they need to do is lower the price point of the iPhone 4 significantly when number 5 arrives.. how can an iPhone justifiably cost more than twice as much as an iPod touch when they're such similar devices?

please bring me an iPhone 4ish device with a qwerty keyboard too. They're selling enough of these things to give us two or three options at least!
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post #114 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by cameronj View Post

Great, except none of those things benefit Apple to the tune of the $300 that was lost. The first benefits Apple mildly, since they may sell more Apps. But it will clearly push their manufacturing partners very hard to sell a ZERO PROFIT phone, meanwhile eliminating Apple's stream of upgraders. The second only benefits the carriers. The third, again, benefits Apple not at all.

Thank god actual businesspeople run Apple.

Business people who sell the cheapest iPod touch at $220. Apparently at a profit and not much threat to margins. Which are quite high across the entire iPod line.

As has been pointed out in this thread - iOS is also a platform. Were they a car manufacturer with a huge brand then taking 50% of profits from 4% of all cars sold would be great. However the iOS platform needs developers, and to get developers it needs to be on a certain percentage of devices. In particular iOS is now in the position to be developers first choice ( see Angry Birds) and that makes a difference to people buying phones. If iOS apps are 6 month later than Android apps then you lose custom.

Since Apple have already worked out how to sell a device to undercut the competition in the one market they dominate, it makes sense that they would do it here. Create a device for people who would otherwise go to Android's cheaper phones, but make it somewhat undesirable - not enough RAM or storage so people get lured in but buy the next higher model ( a known economic fact) . I dont care if this is the nano or the 3GS continued after June.

And, when their supply increases as more factories go online in china with this $4B development, they can keep margins high even on lower end machines. Two of the major component costs - screens and processor - will be cheaper to Apple than other competitors ( except Samsung for obvious reasons with processor).

Assuming that the displays are $N cheaper for Apple even in the older devices, then margins stay the same with a $N reduction in price, but margins can - frankly - drop. Make it $N+ cheaper.

Smart phones are becoming commodities -it makes sense for Apple to protect its cheaper end.
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post #115 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by noirdesir View Post

You mean the US needs a carrier that sells a data-only plan. Apple does not sell plans, the carriers do. In most countries you can already get data-only plans.
And what actually happens when you put the SIM card from a 3G modem or iPad into an iPhone? I'll tell you, it normally just works fine.

Yes that's true. I meant to say that one should be able to buy an iPhone without a voice plan.

We don't have data only plans in Canada either.

I was tempted to try my iPad sim in the iPhone, but the results I read about seemed to be hit or miss. I think I'll try again when I reactivate my iPad data plan.
post #116 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by ltcompuser View Post

Yes that's true. I meant to say that one should be able to buy an iPhone without a voice plan.

We don't have data only plans in Canada either.

I was tempted to try my iPad sim in the iPhone, but the results I read about seemed to be hit or miss. I think I'll try again when I reactivate my iPad data plan.

But you can buy an unlocked iPhone from Apple without a voice plan in Canada (as by now in a lot of countries)
I just did a quick check, you can get an unlocked iPhone without any contract from Apple in these countries:
UK, DE, FR, AT, CH, IT, ES, IE, DK, NO, CA

You can only get with from carriers:
NL, BE, PT, LU, SE, FI, US (however in BE it is unlocked nevertheless)
post #117 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by 7600/132 View Post

The cheapest data plan is $15 per month, the cheapest voice plan is $40. Actually, they do have cheaper voice plans, but not for iPhone users. It's hard to see the data plan as the problem when voice is almost three times as expensive.

That's because the subsidy on the phone is so high that users have to pay a huge amount every month to cover it. When the phone costs carriers $600 they can't let you buy a $20/mo voice plan or they'd never get back the cost of the phone.

A $200 iPhone would change everything. People could buy it outright and use $10 pre-paid cards for minutes and $20 pre-paid data for those times when they're away from WiFi. It would allow Apple to take on Samsung, LG, Nokia and even cheap Chinese phones like Huawei.

Economically it would make sense for me to get such a phone instead of a real iPhone, but it would likely be slow and the small screen would be endlessly frustrating. It's even cheaper to just stick with my old flip phone and iPod touch so I'll do that until there's a super-sized iPod touch with more of a Kindle or Nook sized screen and the option of buying no-contract data like the iPad.
post #118 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by noirdesir View Post

But you can buy an unlocked iPhone from Apple without a voice plan in Canada (as by now in a lot of countries)
I

You can buy an unlocked phone, however the carriers don't offer a data only plan. That was something I asked before I bought.

Although they also told me that the iPad sim wouldn't work in an iPhone.

The SIM you may be using in your current, phone, smartphone or iPhone is not compatible with your iPhone 4.

An iPad micro-SIM is not compatible with your iPhone 4. The micro-SIM for iPhone 4 looks like the image below. Note it is different from an iPad micro-SIM in that an iPad micro-SIM states "Pre-activated" on the card, whereas an iPhone 4 does not state "Pre-activated".
post #119 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2 cents View Post

I went the shitty dumb phone (plus iTouch) route for a couple of years. Then I got an iPhone and I realized I was blowing smoke up my own ass. You can't compare so just save yourself the aggravation. First of all, shitty phones are an aggravation onto themselves. The gift that gives on giving.

And think about it. $15/month for 3G everywhere you go is not bad. You don't have wifi in your car, or on a bus, or most places on the street. Even when you do find it, more and more want to charge you than they used to. Also, when you are somewhere without wifi, or your cable internet is down, you have a back up. Comcast has been working in our neighborhood for the last 2 months and our wired internet has been down for hours at a time on quite a few days. It's nice to still be able to get email, check the web, etc. (my wife and I work from home so it's more than a luxury). $15 doesn't buy much nowadays so it works for me. YMMV

No argument other than "shitty phones". After a year of using my 3G I went back to my Razr plus a Touch. If I need a phone, I need a good one. With the Razr I get way more signal drawing power than the iPhone. ATT both ways. Stronger no matter where I go. I is very noticeable. There's a 200 mile trip I take where the iPhone is useless for at least a third of the trip. The Razr is solid the entire way.

Not saying the iPhone is shitty. But as a phone only, it leaves a bit to be desired.
post #120 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by tjw View Post

And totally cannabalizing their high end sales. Bye bye profit margins

It will but some of the competition is getting very good. Look at the Sony XPeria Mini:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5BhB_rhBqyE

It's quite snappy with capacitive touch and is very affordable. It does lack some multi-touch features but offers a decent experience nonetheless.

Those phones may not erode Apple's iPhone sales in any near-term but they have to pull down Apple's prices eventually simply because Apple can't keep making their phone better and better.

They won't add a higher resolution screen, 1080p video is pointless as it uses too much space and you probably couldn't edit it easily on the device, the storage capacity is plenty already. From here on, it's mostly about the software and the prices come down.
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