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Apple to expand reach with new smaller iPhone, enhanced MobileMe - Page 4

post #121 of 159
It's not the cost of the phone that's the problem, it's the high cost of the monthly phone plans.
post #122 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by battlehamster View Post

Forgive my terrible editing skills..


I think something this is more likely.



And no apps (at first) that aren't built-in. Just a feature phone that does phone calls, music and takes pictures. Mass produced, shipped world-wide for under a hundred bucks.

At least that's what I would do if I was Apple (and entered the feature phone market at all).
post #123 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by dualie View Post

It's not the cost of the phone that's the problem, it's the high cost of the monthly phone plans.

They are related.
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post #124 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by dualie View Post

It's not the cost of the phone that's the problem, it's the high cost of the monthly phone plans.


The new phone will not have a cellular radio. It will be IP only used through MobileMe and it won't have a keyboard either. It will be voice recognition and text to voice with translation for email and TXT. The only search will be with maps and it will not have local music or a browser. It will have internet radio, but no video, or camera. $99.

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post #125 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

The new phone will not have a cellular radio. It will be IP only used through MobileMe and it won't have a keyboard either. It will be voice recognition and text to voice with translation for email and TXT. The only search will be with maps and it will not have local music or a browser. It will have internet radio, but no video, or camera. $99.

Gosh, that sounds like the iPod nano without a music library.

If it doesnt have a cellular radio it is not a phone. Not having a keyboard makes no sense, voice is a crap interface ( try correcting it without a keyboard). Why not have music ( streamed), why not have a browser?

Apple just need to reduce their margins at the lower end, the only reason to make it smaller is product differentiation, they can take the hit on margins at $199 ( kicking out the keyboard and browser makes no difference to cost).

. Why you have suggested is not even an iPod, its just a rubbish mobile device for location. Nobody would buy that.
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post #126 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

I think something like this is more likely.


I was thinking something more like this size:

Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #127 of 159
Seems to me that if Apple were going to go the feature phone route, they'd have to reinvent the category in some impressive sense.

As it stands, feature phones are a shrinking market, rapidly being supplanted by smart phones. And why not? You can get them for free on contract, and if all you want to do is email, surf, text and access some media, even the cheapest Android phone is going to be easier to use than the average feature phone, which is typically stuck in the old many buttons and buried menus format.

So how does Apple compete against cheap Android phones by offering less functionality? My guess is they go all in on the rumored cloud services. Make a small phone that pulls most everything off Apple's servers. A cheap streaming iTunes client.

Of course the big problem here is that the real cost of smart phone ownership is in the data plan, and a streaming heavy phone is unlikely to be getting special carrier deals to keep those costs low. That is, in fact, one of the only reasons left to bother with a feature phone, but at least in the US the carriers are typically tacking on data charges even for very modestly capable handsets. Still, consumers seem to respond to low initial handset prices, so a $99 iPhone mini with access to all of your iTunes media without needing much onboard memory might be a winner.
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post #128 of 159
Agreed: The feature phone makes no sense. Feature phones are dead.

There is an Android phone selling for £99 in the UK,with - on paper - impressive specs. Good screen. Looks good. 1GHz processor. Android 2.1. That is PAYG price. No subsidy ( you do have to buy the first months data from Orange at £10 - how bad).

Apple dont need to go that low, as their brand will justify a premium, but that the £99 ZTE proves is this: by 2015 most of the mobile industry, which is 1.5 B units a year ( 15 times PC) will be smart phones. Dumb phones have no future. Remember the price point that ZTE are going to sell for by then is £49, or lower.


Orange PAYG ZTE
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post #129 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by asdasd View Post

Agreed: The feature phone makes no sense. Feature phones are dead.

Mine's been running fine for the past five years.

Having said that, Apple wouldn't make an iPhone that can't run apps. It's pretty simple to get.

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post #130 of 159
Dying, then. Features phones are not going to matter in a few years, not going to win the phone market share war. I cant really see Apple winning either, but it has a chance of coming second. ( And maybe first on app downloads).
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post #131 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by asdasd View Post

Agreed: The feature phone makes no sense. Feature phones are dead.

There is an Android phone selling for £99 in the UK,with - on paper - impressive specs. Good screen. Looks good. 1GHz processor. Android 2.1. That is PAYG price. No subsidy ( you do have to buy the first months data from Orange at £10 - how bad).

Apple dont need to go that low, as their brand will justify a premium, but that the £99 ZTE proves is this: by 2015 most of the mobile industry, which is 1.5 B units a year ( 15 times PC) will be smart phones. Dumb phones have no future. Remember the price point that ZTE are going to sell for by then is £49, or lower. [/URL]

Dumb phones have a future, especially in parts of the world where smart phones are too expensive for most people to own or use, and for pay-go phones everywhere. Not that Apple is likely to be much interested in either of these markets.
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post #132 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

Dumb phones have a future, especially in parts of the world where smart phones are too expensive for most people to own or use, and for pay-go phones everywhere. Not that Apple is likely to be much interested in either of these markets.

I think they are interested in PAYG. Thats some of the reason for this phone.

My last non-smartphone was PAYG. Its not that rare outside the US.
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post #133 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

Seems to me that if Apple were going to go the feature phone route, they'd have to reinvent the category in some impressive sense.

As it stands, feature phones are a shrinking market, rapidly being supplanted by smart phones. And why not? You can get them for free on contract, and if all you want to do is email, surf, text and access some media, even the cheapest Android phone is going to be easier to use than the average feature phone, which is typically stuck in the old many buttons and buried menus format.

So how does Apple compete against cheap Android phones by offering less functionality? My guess is they go all in on the rumored cloud services. Make a small phone that pulls most everything off Apple's servers. A cheap streaming iTunes client.

Of course the big problem here is that the real cost of smart phone ownership is in the data plan, and a streaming heavy phone is unlikely to be getting special carrier deals to keep those costs low. That is, in fact, one of the only reasons left to bother with a feature phone, but at least in the US the carriers are typically tacking on data charges even for very modestly capable handsets. Still, consumers seem to respond to low initial handset prices, so a $99 iPhone mini with access to all of your iTunes media without needing much onboard memory might be a winner.

I am not sure this rumour has any merit at all, but for the sake of speculation... the reason Apple might want to produce a cheaper, less feature rich phone could be as a low cost 'entry' phone to introduce new users to the 'Apple Experience'.

As such I imagine texting and music would be the 'essentials'. A camera is also an 'obvious', so video would also feature though in a much lower res variety. I would also think a nano section in the app store would appear where dedicated apps will replace the functionality of a web browser along with games.

The iTunes cloud service might be an available feature but would hardly be a selling point for a low cost iPhone. imagine the data costs! I imagine 8gb storage, conceivably also expandable through micro sd card, though I wouldn't bet on that one.
post #134 of 159
Look, if it runs Safari its going to be a fairly complex device and fast. Rather than create an iOS team to handle feature phones it makes sense to get iOS running on the device.
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post #135 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by asdasd View Post

I think they are interested in PAYG. Thats some of the reason for this phone.

My last non-smartphone was PAYG. Its not that rare outside the US.

Maybe not outside of the US, but it is here (Apple's primary market). I'd be surprised if Apple made a play in this market, but they might, if they think it can be reinvented.
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post #136 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

Maybe not outside of the US, but it is here (Apple's primary market). I'd be surprised if Apple made a play in this market, but they might, if they think it can be reinvented.

Apple's primary market - are you sure? Apple is on multi-carrier everywhere else. The US is no more Apple's primary market than it is Android's.
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post #137 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by asdasd View Post

Apple's primary market - are you sure? Apple is on multi-carrier everywhere else. The US is no more Apple's primary market than it is Android's.

I think it still is, in terms of revenue, though I know it's getting to be a near thing. The point being, so far I haven't seen Apple design a product with a primary appeal outside the US market. In this market at least, pay-go phones are purchased by people with limited needs and funds. A pay-go phone with a data plan would be an oxymoron in the US market, at least from what I've seen.
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post #138 of 159
I wonder, though, how much longer dumb and feature phones will exist (in any significant way), even in the poorest markets.

My impression is that we're rapidly moving to the point that non-smart phones will have roughly the same relationship to the larger market as those dedicated email terminals that were around for a while-- intended for people that felt they couldn't afford, couldn't figure out or couldn't be bothered with "computers."

The hardware cost is certainly being commodified to the point that there's little reason to not go the full smart phone, Android makes the OS free, and smart phones are actually easier to use (for basic functionality) than the average feature phone. Which leaves only the price of data plans as an obstacle for smart phones taking over entirely.

So why not just sell a basic Paygo smart phone that's somewhat locked down to restrict data use? Enable the same features that that feature phone would have had, save yourself additional inventory and give your customers an easy upgrade path. You don't have to worry about jailbreaking, because the data usage is going to show up on the account and you can charge accordingly. Anyone trying to do an end run around data costs that way would just be shooting themselves in the foot.

I'd bet that that's what's going to start happening-- very basic, somewhat locked-down Android handsets will start to replace feature phones, then dumb phones as the idea of carrying a phone that can't do a basic subset of computing chores becomes quaint and antiquated. There will likely remain certain extremely impoverished markets (like those targeted by the One Laptop Per Child initiative) for which any complex electronic device will remain a luxury, but note how quickly internet access has become an accepted part of life even in the less affluent nations. I think basic smart phones become the computer for those that can't afford more, and dumb and feature phones become pointless.
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post #139 of 159
So let me get this straight. Apple will offer a smaller, lighter iPhone, potentially using and advanced natural voice navigation system, and cloud-based on-demand access of one's content without sacrificing battery life -- cheaper than the full-sized iPhone?

Since when did AI become as ridiculous as the Hollywood tabloids?
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post #140 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rabbit_Coach View Post

...

...
How about this one?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=klOptnFNgQo



Yea but that video shrinks the screen size down about a half an inch, now I'm thinking they'll keep the 3.5in size and shrink everything else... Here's a go at a no-home button look:



Not crazy about it but yea. I don't think they'll fragment iOS further by making a new resolution or implementation of the software. The app store should be a selling point!!!
post #141 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

I wonder, though, how much longer dumb and feature phones will exist (in any significant way), even in the poorest markets.

If you're saying that the providers have a great incentive to sell customers on more data consumption, I'd say yes. But currently at least in the US market, pay-go phones are sold in $39 blister packs at Wal-Mart, so I think it's a reach for this market to be buying into data, even on a metered basis. If Apple dives into this market, I think they're going to have to do it in some different, distinctive, and probably totally unexpected way. Going head-to-head with cheap is not the Apple approach.

Random observation: If we can't seem to keep people from posting huge and mostly irrelevant images to this board, can't we at least stop them from quoting the frigging things back? Hanging would be too good for them.
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post #142 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by franktinsley View Post

I could see this with maybe a non-retina display at the same size but with almost nothing around the screen. Home button would be replaced with a gesture and the voice control would be much more advanced and also available in the iPhone 5.

My sentiments exactly. I think this would go over well with a number of present iPhone users and future users. Especially if they start offering it in different colors to boot.
post #143 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

He didn't remove the speaker of mic, he just has limited PS skills.

Very very limited. I tried content-aware fill and suddenly I was filled with a sense of well-being and the ability to communicate to everyone via a telepathic cloud computing node that sparkled in the air like one million magical rainbows. But then I accidentally clicked undo.

Anyway, I figure if its supposed to be 1/3 the size with no home button, and the two black bars are exactly 1/6 the size of the current width of the iphone 4... carry the 3, divide by zero, factor in the langrangianianianian point expression.. then maybe they could just shrink the guts of a 3GS and keep the same screen size. Jobs probably saw Ironman 2 and said to Ives.. make that happen.
post #144 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by frugality View Post

Technology comes full circle?


Where did you get that picture of me holding my big mobile phone? I still use it my new at&t Samsung the company gave me doesn't work.
post #145 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

If you're saying that the providers have a great incentive to sell customers on more data consumption, I'd say yes. But currently at least in the US market, pay-go phones are sold in $39 blister packs at Wal-Mart, so I think it's a reach for this market to be buying into data, even on a metered basis. If Apple dives into this market, I think they're going to have to do it in some different, distinctive, and probably totally unexpected way. Going head-to-head with cheap is not the Apple approach.

Random observation: If we can't seem to keep people from posting huge and mostly irrelevant images to this board, can't we at least stop them from quoting the frigging things back? Hanging would be too good for them.

Agree with you that Apple has no incentive to make a "feature phone", at least as that category is currently understood.

But what I'm saying about the smart phones is that I suspect that soon enough it won't be much more expensive to manufacture a low end Android handset than it is to make one of those Samsung or LG or Nokia candybars that they sell with the prepaid minutes. So you sell a low end smart phone as your pay-go phone, leaving it to the user to refrain from running up data minutes on the cell network and getting hit with giant overage fees but still free to use WiFi for network access.

If you're getting a pay-go phone in the first place because you don't need anything more than "just a phone", just use the phone app. Still easier to do phone things than a feature or dumb phone, which have notoriously terrible interfaces. If you just want a few feature phone-ish things, just use those features.

I just don't think there will much point in leaving out smart phone functionality as long as you're making a handset, once the entire system is pretty much a single inexpensive chip. The touch screen is certainly an additional expense, but those are only going to get cheaper, whereas there probably isn't much scale or efficiency costs left to wring out of conventional small and low res LCDs. Like I say, it's similar to how there's not much point in making a dedicated email station, no matter if there may be some market for super cheap and super easy, because by the time you make that you really might as well make a computer and let the customer decide if they what to use in a limited way.
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post #146 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

Agree with you that Apple has no incentive to make a "feature phone", at least as that category is currently understood.

But what I'm saying about the smart phones is that I suspect that soon enough it won't be much more expensive to manufacture a low end Android handset than it is to make one of those Samsung or LG or Nokia candybars that they sell with the prepaid minutes. So you sell a low end smart phone as your pay-go phone, leaving it to the user to refrain from running up data minutes on the cell network and getting hit with giant overage fees but still free to use WiFi for network access.

If you're getting a pay-go phone in the first place because you don't need anything more than "just a phone", just use the phone app. Still easier to do phone things than a feature or dumb phone, which have notoriously terrible interfaces. If you just want a few feature phone-ish things, just use those features.

I just don't think there will much point in leaving out smart phone functionality as long as you're making a handset, once the entire system is pretty much a single inexpensive chip. The touch screen is certainly an additional expense, but those are only going to get cheaper, whereas there probably isn't much scale or efficiency costs left to wring out of conventional small and low res LCDs. Like I say, it's similar to how there's not much point in making a dedicated email station, no matter if there may be some market for super cheap and super easy, because by the time you make that you really might as well make a computer and let the customer decide if they what to use in a limited way.

Good points. I believe what you're talking about is essentially an iPod touch with telephony, which isn't quite the same thing as an iPhone. Given their selling prices without telephony, I wonder whether the smartphone economies of scale have brought the costs anywhere close to the virtually-free pay-go phones you can buy now. Someday maybe, but for now I think we're at $300 minimum retail. Then you must have an easy way to toggle cellular data flow on and off, which the iPhone cannot do at all, as nearly as I can tell. On a whole, this seems like a great way to get less affluent customers in over their heads with data charges, which the carriers would like naturally, just as the banks like collecting usurious ATM fees from people who can't get credit cards.
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post #147 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

Maybe not outside of the US, but it is here (Apple's primary market). I'd be surprised if Apple made a play in this market, but they might, if they think it can be reinvented.

This phone would be directed towards emerging nations like China, India and Brazil - these and other countries where Nokia is currently on top. It's a chance to give people their first "bite of the Apple".
post #148 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

I think it still is, in terms of revenue, though I know it's getting to be a near thing. The point being, so far I haven't seen Apple design a product with a primary appeal outside the US market. In this market at least, pay-go phones are purchased by people with limited needs and funds. A pay-go phone with a data plan would be an oxymoron in the US market, at least from what I've seen.

I know people think an Apple MVNO is preposterous but this is an example where they could create something unique. Imagine that instead of buying minutes, Apple exclusively bought data and handled calls through VOIP. Apple could build out an appealing set of data services which are unique to their offering. The only question then is if there is enough margin for Apple in the bandwidth they buy? But that could be where the patent that has carriers bid to provide services come into play.

Once this system is designed, it could easily be rolled out wherever you have carriers anxious to sell unused capacity in bulk. Virgin has partnered with several MNOs around the world to provide Virgin Mobile services.
post #149 of 159
For those hoping that the next iPhone has a bigger display, some hope:
http://www.macrumors.com/2011/02/14/...4-inch-screen/

Quote:
Rumors are flowing fast for the next generation iPhones. Digitimes is now claiming that the next generation iPhone will use a 4-inch screen to better compete with Google Android.
post #150 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by bikertwin View Post

This is the only thing that makes sense.

The other prototypes of an edge-to-edge screen on a phone will never work, because if you hold it in your left hand (if you're a righty) your fingertips will spill over onto the screen and confuse the touch sensors.

they can make a 1/4 inch edge of the screen non-touch sensitive

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post #151 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by penchanted View Post

This phone would be directed towards emerging nations like China, India and Brazil - these and other countries where Nokia is currently on top. It's a chance to give people their first "bite of the Apple".

Could, but again, it would be highly unconventional for Apple to target these markets with a new product.

Quote:
Originally Posted by penchanted View Post

I know people think an Apple MVNO is preposterous but this is an example where they could create something unique. Imagine that instead of buying minutes, Apple exclusively bought data and handled calls through VOIP. Apple could build out an appealing set of data services which are unique to their offering. The only question then is if there is enough margin for Apple in the bandwidth they buy? But that could be where the patent that has carriers bid to provide services come into play.

Once this system is designed, it could easily be rolled out wherever you have carriers anxious to sell unused capacity in bulk. Virgin has partnered with several MNOs around the world to provide Virgin Mobile services.

If I understand the concept you are describing, it potentially puts Apple in direct competition with their wireless partners. If it's strictly a developing world product, then it once again implies an utterly different market strategy than Apple has taken historically.
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post #152 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by penchanted View Post

For those hoping that the next iPhone has a bigger display, some hope:
http://www.macrumors.com/2011/02/14/...4-inch-screen/

I don't believe a word of it.

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post #153 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by mercury99 View Post

they can make a 1/4 inch edge of the screen non-touch sensitive

So what's the point of it being SCREEN, then?

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post #154 of 159
I think the iPod model is misleading-- that is, the idea that Apple inevitably expands the lineup with smaller, less capable devices that cost less. The iPod's interface was and is dead simple-- scrolling lists, left and right. Changing the screen size, or even eliminating the screen entirely, doesn't much get in the way of playing music.

The iPhone and iOS is a platform. The platform UI is predicated on certain touch conventions, and those conventions require a certain amount of real estate. Talk of a iPhone nano started almost as soon as the original iPhone was released, I've always thought that the original iPhone was about as small as Apple could make it and still have provide the user experience they had in mind.

So while I do think it's possible that further refinements of the hardware might result in a case shrink, I don't think they'll make an iPhone with anything less than a 3.5" screen. I also think it's pretty much out of the question for Apple to release a less capable iPhone as a budget model, any more than Apple would make a laptop running some kind of hamstrung OS X. It's just not their style.

The typical Apple response to price cutting would be to sell the iPhone 4 for $99 after the iPhone 5 is introduced. I could see them doing the exact opposite with the iPhone 5-- making the screen larger while keeping the case size about the same. I don't think Apple is interested in competing with the Android screen race to ridiculous. The Android market is such that the only way manufacturers can differentiate their wares is to pile on the gimmicky or goes to 11 features; it would be a mistake to think that Apple worries that the iPhone will look wimpy compared to Android 5" mega-phones, which are actually bordering on stupid.

So I say a 4" iPhone 5 with not much of a case size increase, a possibly case shrunk iPhone 4 for $99 as being the new lineup.
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post #155 of 159
I could see a bigger screen. But a smaller screen? For what purpose. The way phones are heading, the iPhone is quickly falling at the bottom end as far as screen sizes as concerned. Pretty soon, the current screen size will pretty much be what most people would consider a "nano". I can't see value in going smaller. Going larger though, most certainly has value.

And that's assuming Apple would change screen sizes and deal with the mess that entails, something I can't see them doing.
post #156 of 159
I am thinking that Apple is gonna remake SIRI's function.
Right now it is supposedly made to recommend food and stuff.

I am sure that Jobs & Co. said why stop there. Not everyone goes out to eat, and most nowadays will go to McDonalds.

Now Music and General Commands almost all 'i' users will need. Especially if Apple would want to minimize the size of an iPhone for example.

I think this is what will happen. You'll have the 'new SIRI' on at your request. They might offer a different microphone headset. You could request to open 'Locker' and play 'pack 1'.
Or 'I want to see new episode Glee'.

You will not need to see the screen all the time.

That would work for me.
post #157 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post

If I understand the concept you are describing, it potentially puts Apple in direct competition with their wireless partners. If it's strictly a developing world product, then it once again implies an utterly different market strategy than Apple has taken historically.

An MVNO play would put Apple into direct competition with their competitors but would be the culmination of what Apple has been attempting since the iPhone launch - make the customer relationship exclusively between Apple and its iPhone customers. It would not preclude the carriers still offering the iPhone on their own network if there is enough money to be made, however nervous it might make the carriers (Apple would be trying to turn them into "dump pipes").

The consolation prize for the carriers is the prospect of being paid large amounts of cash up-front for providing services. One thing which argues against it is that carriers in general are weaker on their data side than they are on voice (but LTE largely changes that) and may not have the backhaul in place to support another MVNO, especially if Apple decided to do provide all services over data. The idea cannot be total anathema to carriers as some already have such existing arrangements with MVNOs around the world though, to be fair, they typically partner with the MNO in setting up the service.
post #158 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by mercury99 View Post

they can make a 1/4 inch edge of the screen non-touch sensitive

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

So what's the point of it being SCREEN, then?

The main purpose of a screen is to display content. If a narrow edge of the screen is not touch sensitive, you still can pan, zoom and slide content using large middle area of the screen. An elegant compromise IMO, but it will help to get rid of a side basel, achieving larger screen in a smaller form factor. The phone will also look striking cool with no left/right basel.

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post #159 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by mercury99 View Post

The main purpose of a screen is to display content. If a narrow edge of the screen is not touch sensitive, you still can pan, zoom and slide content using large middle area of the screen. An elegant compromise IMO, but it will help to get rid of a side basel, achieving larger screen in a smaller form factor. The phone will also look striking cool with no left/right basel.

I think youve pissed the point of what a touchscreen does. The point is for the input to have direct interaction with what is being outputted visually.

Part of the problem today, even though Apple is better at this than the other OS/driver and HW vendors, is the lack of precise interaction at the edge of the touch panel area. That tells me a slightly larger touch area that is larger than the display size (not smaller than) would help for more precise touch display inputs by allowing more points of reference.

Other things are more intelligent drivers and frameworks and better HW for input points that are closer together so styluses can be used with Wacom precision, but thats something will come in due time.
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