Originally Posted by xsu
Apple is not in the business of selling phones just to sell phones. Their goal is to have their hardware and software tightly coupled with each other, so each will drive the adoption of the other. A feature phone that does not involve itself in Apple's environment will have no place in Apple, because it has little of the Apple magic you talk about.
I can see it not having mobile data, not having a large flash memory capacity, not having a hi-res screen, but processing power will be right up there with last years, or even this year's top model. This baseline phone could very well have similar spec as 3GS does, except with A5 or A6 chip, GSM/CDMA voice only, Wifi data. This should cut about $50-70 off the component price of the top of line model. They could even go with a SD card slot in place of flash memory all together to be even cheaper.
Operational wise, this phone would be little different from iPhone. And the configuration would be cheap enough to allow nearly 50% off the price of top of line model, and still keep close enough profit margine.
I'm not sure why you chose me to reply to. Your assumptions are all the exact opposite of mine and more in line with what the analysts and the author of this article believe, yet you not only don't make a compelling case, you don't really say anything new either.
IMO the basic problem here is that everyone is confabulating two essentially different
goals into one rumour of one product.
Goal 1) reduce the cost of the iPhone if possible.
Goal 2) make a cheap entry-level phone for those that can't afford iPhone.
These are not the same goal. You are making the same mistake as everyone else in thinking that a reduced cost iPhone would achieve "Goal 2." It can't. Unless Apple is about to also reduce it's margins and throw a ton of profit out the door, merely to achieve market penetration.
Whatever they may or may not do to reduce the overall cost of the iPhone, they can't sell it as a separate product because it destroys the brand and eviscerates sales of the "regular" iPhone. The only way it works is if they stop selling the original iPhone and the new cheap crappy-quality one with the low memory etc. becomes "the iPhone," which is just so unlikely it's not worth talking about.
It's most likely that all the rumours we have been hearing are really about "Goal 1." They are probably doing all they can to keep the cost down and *maybe* we will see a price drop in the near future for the iPhone. "Goal 2" may not even exist.
But if they are pursuing "Goal 2" at all, it can't be just a cheaper version of the iPhone
(cheaper parts etc.), it has to be a different phone altogether
, closer to a feature phone.