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Piper: Expect voice recognition in iOS 5, but no low-end iPhone at Oct. 4 event

post #1 of 58
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Apple's "let's talk" invitation to next week's next-generation iPhone unveiling could hint at new voice recognition technology built in to iOS 5, investment firm Piper Jaffray believes, though it does not expect a low-end, contract-free "iPhone 4S" to be unveiled alongside a fifth-generation model.

Analyst Gene Munster issued a note to investors on Tuesday after Apple officially invited members of the press to its media event next Tuesday, Oct. 4. The invitations sent out include the tagline "Let's talk iPhone," which Munster believes could hint at long-rumored voice recognition functionality for iOS 5 that has not yet been announced.

"In the past, Apple has used its invitation to include cryptic hints as to what it will announce," he wrote. "The phrase on this year's invite, 'Let's talk iPhone,' may be a simple play on words, but may also refer to new speech-based features for the iPhone."

Apple obtained voice recognition functionality in its acquisition of Siri in April 2010. The company's mobile personal assistant application for iPhone allows users to dictate commands in natural language, like conducting a search for local Italian food and returning results including reviews and maps, as well as the ability to obtain a reservation.

Prior to the official unveiling of iOS 5 in June, the forthcoming software update for the iPhone was rumored to have "deep" voice integration. However, no such functionality was demonstrated by Apple at this year's Worldwide Developers Conference.

Rumors since then have suggested that the voice command feature was not ready for WWDC, but Apple continued to work on the software to build it in to iOS 5. The secret feature is believed to be possible through both Apple's acquisition of Siri as well as a rumored partnership with Nuance Communications, makers of Dragon NaturallySpeaking.



Beyond the rumored voice command functionality, Munster does not expect that Apple will introduce a low-end iPhone at next week's event. Lately there has been rampant speculation that Apple will introduce a new entry-level handset geared toward developing markets that could be sold without a service contract for as little as $300.

"We expect Apple to continue with a lead device (iPhone 5) that carriers sell subsidized for $199/$299 along with a previous generation device (iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S) for $99," he said.

Munster also sees particularly strong demand for Apple's next-generation iPhone at U.S. carrier Verizon. Customers at Verizon first gained access to the iPhone this February, but that was more than six months after the iPhone 4 had already debuted on rival network AT&T, as well as other carriers around the globe.

Because the iPhone 4 wasn't "new" when it debuted on Verizon, Munster believes that many customers with the nation's largest wireless carrier have been waiting for Apple's true next-generation handset. He cited data from a survey Piper Jaffray released in August which showed that 74 percent of Verizon iPhone buyers are waiting for Apple's next model rather than buying the currently available iPhone 4.

"This pent up demand for the next iPhone at Verizon may drive numbers higher than the 4.4m units we are modeling Apple to sell through Verizon in the Dec. quarter," Munster wrote. "And our overall iPhone unit estimate of 25.0m in the Dec. quarter may prove to be conservative."
post #2 of 58
You may safely disregard this report: it's from the desk of Gene Munster.
post #3 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by cvaldes1831 View Post

You may safely disregard this report: it's from the desk of Gene Munster.

1) I think the "Let's talk iPhone" title makes for a pretty good hypothesis that Nuance-based voice recognition is coming next week.

2) Looking at Apple's increased sales with the iPhone 4 quarter after quarter, their ability to hold their marketshare despite no new device for over a year in a fast growing smartphone space, and their greater than 50% profit from the world's entire handset market I have to agree that Apple doesn't need a low-cost iPhone.
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post #4 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

1) I think the "Let's talk iPhone" title makes for a pretty good hypothesis that Nuance-based voice recognition is coming next week.

2) Looking at Apple's increased sales with the iPhone 4 quarter after quarter, their ability to hold their marketshare despite no new device for over a year in a fast growing smartphone space, and their greater than 50% profit from the world's entire handset market I have to agree that Apple doesn't need a low-cost iPhone.

Agreed. As crazy as their sales are now, I can only imagine what it will be like when iPhone 5 debuts as they continue to sell the 4 for $99. I know my wife is one person that has been waiting for this happen, so she can get a 4 more inexpensively. Can't imagine she's alone.
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post #5 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

1) I think the "Let's talk iPhone" title makes for a pretty good hypothesis that Nuance-based voice recognition is coming next week.

2) Looking at Apple's increased sales with the iPhone 4 quarter after quarter, their ability to hold their marketshare despite no new device for over a year in a fast growing smartphone space, and their greater than 50% profit from the world's entire handset market I have to agree that Apple doesn't need a low-cost iPhone.

How recent are the profit comparisons you're using? The last ones I saw were back in March. I wouldn't expect any big changes, but I think at least Samsung (and probably HTC) is seeing much better profits from their smartphones than they were at the first of the year. Just guessing of course.
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post #6 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

How recent are the profit comparisons you're using? The last ones I saw were back in March. I wouldn't expect any big changes, but I think at least Samsung (and probably HTC) is seeing much better profits from their smartphones than they were at the first of the year. Just guessing of course.

I was too busy watching The View this morning to take Tim Cook's call, but I do have the figures from when he called me yesterday.
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post #7 of 58
Gene Munster isn't bad. His estimates aren't always the most accurate, but I think he generally understands the big picture and makes the case pretty well. Katy Huberty is much worse. For ages she seemed to be the most pessimistic about Apple's prospects, but she has been more positive lately, after years of being wrong.

But not everybody can be Horace Dediu at asymco.com.

I do think they will have a cheaper phone (for sale alongside iP5), but I think it will probably be similar or identical to the iPhone 4, so they won't bother making a big deal about it at the Oct. 4 event.
post #8 of 58
Wrong.
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post #9 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

Agreed. As crazy as their sales are now, I can only imagine what it will be like when iPhone 5 debuts as they continue to sell the 4 for $99. I know my wife is one person that has been waiting for this happen, so she can get a 4 more inexpensively. Can't imagine she's alone.

I dunno. The jump from $99 to $199 isn't that bad when you're paying $90 a month for service for 2 years...

The initial cost of the phone is a fraction of the total cost of ownership.

But yes... I totally know it's a big deal to some people

I'm sure she will enjoy her iPhone 4
post #10 of 58
I think he is just over thinking what the lower end phone will be. An 8GB of flash iPhone 4 with a plastic back instead of glass might well be renamed an iPhone 4s for clarification. It is entirely possible they felt like they could not reach the same price point the 3GS is at now without getting rid of the glass. Even a camera upgrade is not out of the question if they are leveraging a deal for the iPhone 5 camera.
post #11 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wovel View Post

I think he is just over thinking what the lower end phone will be. An 8GB of flash iPhone 4 with a plastic back instead of glass might well be renamed an iPhone 4s for clarification. It is entirely possible they felt like they could not reach the same price point the 3GS is at now without getting rid of the glass. Even a camera upgrade is not out of the question if they are leveraging a deal for the iPhone 5 camera.

I hope they don't return to plastic. This is one of the features of the iPhone that I prefer over the competitors. My alternate phone (Samsung Focus) is nice, but feels so CHEAPLY made due to the plastic body.
post #12 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by cvaldes1831 View Post

You may safely disregard this report: it's from the desk of Gene Munster.

I highly regard him by comparison to most analysts.

He was one of only a small number of analysts that 'got' apple in the bad old days, and he continues to have vision way beyond the rest.

And for me to say something positive about an analyst , its tad shy of a miracle
post #13 of 58
I've got voice integration with my Nexus S and it's great when texting. It's surprisingly accurate. I'm sure Apple will take it to the next level and greatly improve on what Android has so that will be exciting to see.
post #14 of 58
My voice is my passport. Verify me.
post #15 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by lamewing View Post

I hope they don't return to plastic. This is one of the features of the iPhone that I prefer over the competitors. My alternate phone (Samsung Focus) is nice, but feels so CHEAPLY made due to the plastic body.

I don't think the 5 will. Just the new lower end 4.
post #16 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wovel View Post

I don't think the 5 will. Just the new lower end 4.

If they do it even on a single model, they are taking a step backwards and producing a lesser quality phone.
post #17 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by JunkMailfever View Post

I've got voice integration with my Nexus S and it's great when texting. It's surprisingly accurate. I'm sure Apple will take it to the next level and greatly improve on what Android has so that will be exciting to see.

Considering how awful Apple's text input and voice recognition is currently, anything would be an improvement.

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post #18 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

2) Looking at Apple's increased sales with the iPhone 4 quarter after quarter, their ability to hold their marketshare despite no new device for over a year in a fast growing smartphone space, and their greater than 50% profit from the world's entire handset market I have to agree that Apple doesn't need a low-cost iPhone.

Apple doesn't need a low-cost iPhone but at the same time I don't think Apple is satisfied with being #2 in market share. Tim Cook has said that they are looking at ways to enter the prepaid market. I don't think they will attempt prepaid without a sub $400 phone.
post #19 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by lamewing View Post

If they do it even on a single model, they are taking a step backwards and producing a lesser quality phone.

The low end phone today has a plastic back, no reason for it not to be true tomorrow.
post #20 of 58
I talked to my daughter who has iPhone 4. She said in high school MOST ALL students use Android. Probably what their parents picked.

Only 3 or 4 percent in her middle class high school use iPhone.

So, Apple does need cheaper/free phone cheaper plan. Something on par with Android.

I get a 25% discount on my family plan. Otherwise, I would not have iPhone. It's already too expensive with 4 people.

If Apple wants to keep the high end, fine. But Android will flood/bury iPhone if they don't address this market. iPhone will get marginalized.

P
post #21 of 58
At least we have a low-end vision.

J.
post #22 of 58
I'm pretty sure if there was any Voice recognition, we'd have heard or seen evidence of it in some of the developer builds. It would be pretty difficult to get a feature like that working correctly across all apps, etc.
post #23 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Scrip View Post

I dunno. The jump from $99 to $199 isn't that bad when you're paying $90 a month for service for 2 years...

The initial cost of the phone is a fraction of the total cost of ownership.

Wait, really?

Whoa.... Someone should inform the masses!
post #24 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by patrickf View Post

I talked to my daughter who has iPhone 4. She said in high school MOST ALL students use Android. Probably what their parents picked.

Only 3 or 4 percent in her middle class high school use iPhone.

So, Apple does need cheaper/free phone cheaper plan. Something on par with Android.

I get a 25% discount on my family plan. Otherwise, I would not have iPhone. It's already too expensive with 4 people.

If Apple wants to keep the high end, fine. But Android will flood/bury iPhone if they don't address this market. iPhone will get marginalized.

P

Another rumored possibility is that the iPod touch evolves into the prepaid iPhone. There is speculation that the new iPods could have SIM cards for data plans like the iPads. Maybe the subsequent generation becomes a full phone.
post #25 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Considering how awful Apple's text input and voice recognition is currently, anything would be an improvement.

Interestingly, I did notice one thing that has changed for the (vastly) better recently. Used to be, if you didn't make it down to the space bar, and instead hit the N or B or something, the iPhone spell check was totally baffled. IE, you type thisnmonday and it would be soooo confused. Then, out of nowhere, the iPhone now recognizes that that N was probably supposed to be a space. It was a major oversight originally, and I'm super glad they finally fixed it. Also seems like it no longer tries to correct "me" to "mr" one time out of 10. Trust me, I tried all the fixes for that little gem.
post #26 of 58
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Originally Posted by ChristophB View Post

My voice is my passport. Verify me.

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post #27 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by patrickf View Post

I talked to my daughter who has iPhone 4. She said in high school MOST ALL students use Android. Probably what their parents picked.

Only 3 or 4 percent in her middle class high school use iPhone.

Seems legit
post #28 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by patrickf View Post

So, Apple does need cheaper/free phone cheaper plan. Something on par with Android.

I'd love a dataless plan.

Quote:
But Android will flood/bury iPhone if they don't address this market. iPhone will get marginalized.

Completely untrue, though.

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post #29 of 58
The analysts are always "worse" predictors than the bloggers because the analysts actually have paying customers that are relying on the data. They are inherently more conservative (though almost always still bullish). Basically they're setting a base-case scenario and suggesting you buy, rather than setting an aggressive scenario and telling you to buy. Either way, they're saying BUY. I'd rather my investment advisor be somewhat conservative in his predictions than too exuberant. That way, if Apple exceeds their predictions, all the better.
post #30 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by _Rick_V_ View Post

I'm pretty sure if there was any Voice recognition, we'd have heard or seen evidence of it in some of the developer builds. It would be pretty difficult to get a feature like that working correctly across all apps, etc.

This is Apple we are talking about. We don't need no stinkin testing!
Apple loves to keep major features under wraps and then WOW the public.
If Apple previewed it 6 months ago, Google would have started copying it.
While voice recognition isn't new and Apple has some catching up to do, I wholly expect them to leapfrog Google. Particularly in the area of usability.
post #31 of 58
(Originally Posted by patrickf:
I talked to my daughter who has iPhone 4. She said in high school MOST ALL students use Android. Probably what their parents picked. Only 3 or 4 percent in her middle class high school use iPhone.)

I've seen other polls/studies that mention iPhones appeal more to the 35+ group (or thereabouts) while Android is much more popular for those under 35.

FWIW, I have heard two of the high-school kids who hang with my son complain that they wished their parents had let them get *x-phone* rather than an iPhone. One complained that he had to pay for apps my son got for free, and his parents wouldn't let him buy many. Don't recall why the other kid didn't care for his. Sample of two I know, but in line with what I'd read elsewhere.
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post #32 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by _Rick_V_ View Post

I'm pretty sure if there was any Voice recognition, we'd have heard or seen evidence of it in some of the developer builds. It would be pretty difficult to get a feature like that working correctly across all apps, etc.

They did see a microphone icon next to the space bar in one of the early builds which has since gone missing. But I agree seems a bit risky without it being in the dev builds. If they do release it without testing it will need to be fixed immediately I'm sure.

The other thing that is curious is it going to be North American English or are they able to make it work for all the countries in which they sell the iPhone?

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post #33 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristophB View Post

My voice is my passport. Verify me.

Nice

Except voice is even less distinctive than fingerprints, and what CSI never tells you is that there are many people in a given (large) city with essentially the same fingerprints.
post #34 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by patrickf View Post

So, Apple does need cheaper/free phone cheaper plan. Something on par with Android.

From what I know, all cell phone plans cost the same. The carrier sets the rate, not the phone maker.
post #35 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleStud View Post

The analysts are always "worse" predictors than the bloggers because the analysts actually have paying customers that are relying on the data. They are inherently more conservative (though almost always still bullish). Basically they're setting a base-case scenario and suggesting you buy, rather than setting an aggressive scenario and telling you to buy. Either way, they're saying BUY. I'd rather my investment advisor be somewhat conservative in his predictions than too exuberant. That way, if Apple exceeds their predictions, all the better.

Unless his conservative prediction causes you to buy a few shares, while if he told you what he really thought (which you're alleging, right?) you'd buy much more, and you'd have made a lot more money. Money not earned is no different than money lost.
post #36 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by chabig View Post

From what I know, all cell phone plans cost the same. The carrier sets the rate, not the phone maker.

Correct.

As a matter of fact, you can buy a factory-unlocked iPhone at full retail and drop in a prepaid SIM. In some markets, it is illegal to lock a handset to a carrier. Heck, you aren't even required to use the iPhone as a telephone.
post #37 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by cvaldes1831 View Post

As a matter of fact, you can buy a factory-unlocked iPhone at full retail and drop in a prepaid SIM.

Not in the U.S. on AT&T, but yeah, for the most part elsewhere.

Quote:
Heck, you aren't even required to use the iPhone as a telephone.

Don't I know it

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post #38 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

Nice

Except voice is even less distinctive than fingerprints, and what CSI never tells you is that there are many people in a given (large) city with essentially the same fingerprints.

I'd like them to incorporate both so I can unlock my iPhone or activate secure services, VPN connects, locking down some apps and functions using two factors. More useful on an iPad I guess which has a tendency to be passed around. How about two voice passwords combine with a finger print for two levels of access? Letting someone use maps or safari is fine but no ability to lock down mail, contacts, photo albums, etc damages my calm Add a third voice password for duress that pushes your location info to the good guys.

This could go places. But... On the list of last things I need to hear is people voicing in their txt msgs.
post #39 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Not in the U.S. on AT&T, but yeah, for the most part elsewhere.

Actually, you can.

You can walk into any American Apple Retail Store and buy a factory-unlocked iPhone 4 ($649 for the 16GB model, $749 for the 32GB model) and drop in an AT&T GoPhone SIM. The same handset would work on T-Mobile USA's network, minus the 3G data with one of their Pay As You Go SIMs.
post #40 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by cvaldes1831 View Post

Actually, you can.

You can walk into any American Apple Retail Store and buy a factory-unlocked iPhone 4 ($649 for the 16GB model, $749 for the 32GB model) and drop in an AT&T GoPhone SIM. The same handset would work on T-Mobile USA's network, minus the 3G data with one of their Pay As You Go SIMs.

Whoops!
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