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iPhone 4S breakdown estimates same $188 cost as iPhone 4

post #1 of 38
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A new teardown analysis of the iPhone 4S claims that the parts for the 16GB version of Apple's iPhone 4S cost $188, or just 50 cents more than the iPhone 4.

As noted by AllThingsD, IHS iSuppli conducted the breakdown to arrive at this year's numbers. The bill of materials for the 16GB, 32GB and 64GB iPhone 4S models estimates costs of $188, $207 and $245, respectively. iSuppli's estimate for the 16GB iPhone 4 last year was $187.51.

According to the report, the iPhone 4S's dual-core A5 processor costs $15, while the new dual-mode Qualcomm chip brings the cost of the cellular chipset to around $14 to $15.

German chipmaker Infineon, purchased by Intel last year, lost out on the iPhone 4S. Since its baseband processor has been replaced by Qualcomm's offerings, the company now appears to have just one small part in Apple's new handset.

Its almost like Apple threw them a bone with a 50-cent part after they lost a much more high profile chip that cost about $10, said analyst Andrew Rassweiler.



The 8-megapixel camera is believed to cost $17.60, though Rassweiler noted that tracing the part back to its supplier has proved difficult. A previous teardown discovered a Sony sensor, but Largan and Omnivision are also listed as potential suppliers.

The firm also discovered in the course of its breakdown that, at least for the model it had, Apple went with Hynix for its flash memory. It has been speculated that, due to its complicated legal dispute with Samsung, Apple has begun shifting component orders away from the South Korean electronics giant.

However, Samsung appears to continue to be the manufacturer for the A5 processor. The markings are the same as what we saw in the iPad 2, Rassweiler noted. The A5 may have helped Apple to cut down on the number of chips in its new smartphone, as noise-cancellation processing previously handled by a separate chip has been moved to the A5.

It should be noted, however, that Apple itself has derided the credibility of third-party BOMs.

"Let me begin by suggesting that you dont put a lot of credence in these third-party reports that you see. Its always amazing to me the cost categories and the components that never seem to make it into the reports," Apple Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer said last year when asked about the cost structure of the iPhone 4.

Also, iSuppli's estimates don't take into account business costs such as research and development, shipping and marketing.

The iPhone 4S is off to a fantastic start, selling a record 4 million in its first weekend of availability. Apple CEO Tim Cook said on Tuesday that the device's launch was better than the company's "wildest dreams."

In fact, the handset is selling so well that the Cupertino, Calif., company is now requiring that potential in-store buyers make reservations online. Currently, all iPhone 4S models are listed with shipping estimates of 1-2 weeks on Apple's online store.

An earlier teardown of the iPhone 4S revealed a larger battery and the new baseband chip.
post #2 of 38
As we all know R&D is free

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post #3 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aizmov View Post

As we all know R&D is free

Yep, as well as manufacturing, employees, shipping, retail, warranty support....
post #4 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aizmov View Post

As we all know R&D is free

As is software, packaging, shipping, support and advertising.
post #5 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aizmov View Post

As we all know R&D is free

Quote:
Originally Posted by hittrj01 View Post

Yep, as well as manufacturing, employees, shipping, retail, warranty support....

Quote:
Originally Posted by OriginalMacRat View Post

As is software, packaging, shipping, support and advertising.

ITT: People justifying their purchases.

The same goes with every other smart phone. Of course more goes into it than just parts. The overall profit margin for Apple is probably relatively high though

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post #6 of 38
Don't forget all the cell phone patent cost they have to pay other companies.
post #7 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaroonMushroom View Post

ITT: People justifying their purchases.

The same goes with every other smart phone. Of course more goes into it than just parts. The overall profit margin for Apple is probably relatively high though

No where in those posts did I see anyone saying that other phone's don't require any of the things they listed. They are just pointing out that if you are going to estimate the cost of an iPhone, or any other phone for that matter, you need to take into account more than just hardware.
post #8 of 38
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Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



An earlier teardown of the iPhone 4S revealed a larger battery.

Still the battery is worse than the Iphone 4's one.

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post #9 of 38
You guys keep coming up with stuff they have to pay for, but if you're selling 20 million in a quarter and your profit margin was only $100, that is 2 billion dollars. All that stuff is welllllll covered when you multiply that by 4 or 5. The point is they could make a huge profit at $499 for the lower model and then add increments of $50.

But ultimately the higher the price actually makes the item more attractive to a lot of people, as most will then value it more, hence making it more appealing, even if it isn't worth it. Lots and lots of places do this, just no one does it as well in consumer electronics.
post #10 of 38
Just picked up my iPhone 4S from Rogers (carrier in Canada). Was told that demand was half as strong as last year. Shorter lineups at Apple stores too. I guess most of the 4M sold were in the US.
post #11 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by ankleskater View Post

Just picked up my iPhone 4S from Rogers (carrier in Canada). Was told that demand was half as strong as last year. Shorter lineups at Apple stores too. I guess most of the 4M sold were in the US.

If only that were so. I haven't been able to get one (for Sprint) in stores. Verizon seems to have the most availability with AT&T in 2nd place.

I'm sure this varies by market, but I'd suspect Sprint has the biggest stock issue, due to having just added the phone to its lineup.
post #12 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tweak155 View Post

You guys keep coming up with stuff they have to pay for, but if you're selling 20 million in a quarter and your profit margin was only $100, that is 2 billion dollars. All that stuff is welllllll covered when you multiply that by 4 or 5. The point is they could make a huge profit at $499 for the lower model and then add increments of $50.

But ultimately the higher the price actually makes the item more attractive to a lot of people, as most will then value it more, hence making it more appealing, even if it isn't worth it. Lots and lots of places do this, just no one does it as well in consumer electronics.

They're pointing out how absurd it is to price out costs of the internals as if the rest is clean profit by Apple or any other corporation selling a smart phone, computer, etc.
post #13 of 38
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Originally Posted by Aizmov View Post

As we all know R&D is free

Well, Samsung seems to believe that.

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post #14 of 38
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Originally Posted by Aizmov View Post

As we all know R&D is free

Yeah, I wonder how much Siri adds to each iPhone 4S.
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post #15 of 38
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Originally Posted by daylove22 View Post

Still the battery is worse than the Iphone 4's one.

The 4S battery was reported to have a slightly larger capacity than the 4's. The 4S however has shorter battery life because the 4S components use more power.

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post #16 of 38
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Originally Posted by JONOROM View Post

The 4S battery was reported to have a slightly larger capacity than the 4's. The 4S however has shorter battery life because the 4S components use more power.

Though surprisingly lower in WiFi data usage and longer in '3G' talk time usage. I'd have expected those two to be switched.
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post #17 of 38
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Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Yeah, I wonder how much Siri adds to each iPhone 4S.

Interesting question.

Well, it cost Apple $100M to buy Siri, so amortized over 100M phones that would be $1. But considering the continuing R&D by Apple after the acquisition (described as "one of the largest groups at Apple") we can speculate costs to date of X2, or $200M, or $2 per phone. So if iPhones retail for 4X the hardware costs, and the same holds true for software, perhaps we are actually paying $8 for Siri.

Not including a significant fraction of the cost of that NC data center where all the AI processing likely occurs. That could easily add another $200M for a total price to us of $16.

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post #18 of 38
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Originally Posted by JONOROM View Post

Interesting question.

Well, it cost Apple $100M to buy Siri, so amortized over 100M phones that would be $1. But considering the continuing R&D by Apple after the acquisition (described as "one of the largest groups at Apple") we can speculate costs to date of X2, or $200M, or $2 per phone. So if iPhones retail for 4X the hardware costs, and the same holds true for software, perhaps we are actually paying $8 for Siri.

Not including a significant fraction of the cost of that NC data center where all the AI processing likely occurs. That could easily add another $200M for a total price to us of $16.

Speaking of Siri after using it for a day setting up a family member's iPhone 4S (and updating their iPad from iOS 4.0.1, and iMac to Lion from Leopard which was a lot harder than you might image) I found myself using my iPhone 4 to talk to Voice Control in natural language. It's amazing how tech never wanted or seriously thought of outside sci-fi can so quickly feel so natural and even a necessity so quickly. I can't wait to order my iPhone 4S on November 16th. Gonna be a long month.
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post #19 of 38
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Originally Posted by ankleskater View Post

Just picked up my iPhone 4S from Rogers (carrier in Canada). Was told that demand was half as strong as last year. Shorter lineups at Apple stores too. I guess most of the 4M sold were in the US.

"Carly Suppa, a spokesman for Rogers Communications Inc., said Tuesday that some of its stores are out of iPhone 4S handsets. "Customers looking for specific models are best to check with their local store to see what is in stock," she said."

http://www.itworldcanada.com/news/ip...tighten/144150
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post #20 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I found myself using my iPhone 4 to talk to Voice Control in natural language. It's amazing how tech never wanted or seriously thought of outside sci-fi can so quickly feel so natural and even a necessity so quickly.

The natural language aspect is great isn't it? It's rather humorous how it gets derided as "just another implementation" of voice control. Detractors don't seem to appreciate that it's a decidedly different approach to a computer parsing your speech for specific, predetermined phrases.

Siri is here to stay for the simple reason that it is easily the fastest way to input calendar events and set up reminders. I can't wait until the location-based stuff works outside the US though.
post #21 of 38
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Originally Posted by Dunks View Post

The natural language aspect is great isn't it? It's rather humorous how it gets derided as "just another implementation" of voice control. Detractors don't seem to appreciate that it's a decidedly different approach to a computer parsing your speech for specific, predetermined phrases.

Siri is here to stay for the simple reason that it is easily the fastest way to input calendar events and set up reminders. I can't wait until the location-based stuff works outside the US though.

It's great, convenient and much faster than finding apps and typing in data for simple things, but I did find that putting in reminders to pick up certain items when I arrive at the grocery store was ineffective. I'd first have to input the name of the grocer store into contacts. Not a big deal, but I don't want to have to manually input hundreds of business addresses into my Contacts just to make Siri's location-based Reminders more complete. I'd love for it to know where I've been and use that data to make assumptions about what name_of_grocery_store I am referring. It's clever enough in so many areas that I think this type of understanding will eventually arrive.

Oh, another really fast use is as a calculator. it can figure a tip before you could access the Calc app. Just like Google, Bing, even Spotlight in Mac OS X can do, but with voice and a simple statement it's that much easier and more natural.
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post #22 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tweak155 View Post

...snip...But ultimately the higher the price actually makes the item more attractive to a lot of people, as most will then value it more, hence making it more appealing, even if it isn't worth it. Lots and lots of places do this, just no one does it as well in consumer electronics.

The market will bear what it can bear and the people decide that. Esthetics is a part of that value and therefore can make the price worth it in real value not intrinsic value. Apple's products aren't simply jacked up for the sake of psychological marketing. They have a design that to many people easily justify the price tag. Other people don't agree either because they don't care about design or don't like the design. Sales show that they are in the minority and probably not human. Humans like pretty & simple.
post #23 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by daylove22 View Post

Still the battery is worse than the Iphone 4's one.

Am I the only one seeing *better* battery performance on my 4S compared to my 4? My 4 used to be about 20% or less by the end of the day. With the 4S, I'm still around 30%-40% battery when I go to bed at night.

I'm sure it depends on individual uses, but I'm a very heavy user.
post #24 of 38
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Originally Posted by TimUSCA View Post

Am I the only one seeing *better* battery performance on my 4S compared to my 4? My 4 used to be about 20% or less by the end of the day. With the 4S, I'm still around 30%-40% battery when I go to bed at night.

I'm sure it depends on individual uses, but I'm a very heavy user.

The battery shows mostly equal across the board static use battery stats, but there are 3 distinct differences, the standby time is now halved from 400 to 200 hours, the WiFi internet usage is down from 10 hours to 9 hours, and the '3G' talk time is now up from 7 to 8 hours.

I think what you're noticing is the natural wear and tear of your iPhone 4 having been run through 300-400 cycles whereas it's total mAh capacity is now less than by 5-10%, on average, than when you first bought it.
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post #25 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

The battery shows mostly equal across the board static use battery stats, but there are 3 distinct differences, the standby time is now halved from 400 to 200 hours, the WiFi internet usage is down from 10 hours to 9 hours, and the '3G' talk time is now up from 7 to 8 hours.

I think what you're noticing is the natural wear and tear of your iPhone 4 having been run through 300-400 cycles whereas it's total mAh capacity is now less than by 5-10%, on average, than when you first bought it.

You're probably right. But I don't recall the iPhone 4 being this good when I first bought it.
post #26 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by ankleskater View Post

Just picked up my iPhone 4S from Rogers (carrier in Canada). Was told that demand was half as strong as last year. Shorter lineups at Apple stores too. I guess most of the 4M sold were in the US.

Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

"Carly Suppa, a spokesman for Rogers Communications Inc., said Tuesday that some of its stores are out of iPhone 4S handsets. "Customers looking for specific models are best to check with their local store to see what is in stock," she said."

http://www.itworldcanada.com/news/ip...tighten/144150


Last year, all Rogers stores were out of iPhone 4 stock for months. I drove from store to store to store, only to see "no iPhone 4" signs on each window. This was 4 months after the launch. Interestingly, Bell had a sign saying "We have the iPhone 4 in stock". Wonder if Rogers pissed off Apple.

But I also noticed that the Apple store lineups are nothing like last year inside Eaton Centre.
post #27 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

They're pointing out how absurd it is to price out costs of the internals as if the rest is clean profit by Apple or any other corporation selling a smart phone, computer, etc.

I understand and agree. But my point is, when it comes down to it, the added price isn't required to make a good profit. Since people are willing to pay the tag though, it would be stupid of a business not to charge it.
post #28 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by success View Post

The market will bear what it can bear and the people decide that. Esthetics is a part of that value and therefore can make the price worth it in real value not intrinsic value. Apple's products aren't simply jacked up for the sake of psychological marketing. They have a design that to many people easily justify the price tag. Other people don't agree either because they don't care about design or don't like the design. Sales show that they are in the minority and probably not human. Humans like pretty & simple.

But if they set the price tag of the phone at $300 (retail), people would value it less. It is human nature.

This is why clothes / accessory companies like Coach, Burberry, etc all exist. Is their crap really worth all that money compared to other clothes? Not a chance. But the price tag helps them set that standard.
post #29 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harbinger View Post

Last year, all Rogers stores were out of iPhone 4 stock for months. I drove from store to store to store, only to see "no iPhone 4" signs on each window. This was 4 months after the launch. Interestingly, Bell had a sign saying "We have the iPhone 4 in stock". Wonder if Rogers pissed off Apple.

But I also noticed that the Apple store lineups are nothing like last year inside Eaton Centre.

In the long run I don't expect the 4S to sell like the 4. I think we'll see a slow and steady decline and sales as we hit the new year. Don't get me wrong, I think it's a great phone. Nobody integrates hardware and software like Apple. In Canada where 3 year contracts are almost standard you can bet that the 4s can be updated right through to 2014... I doubt very much that an Android phone could be updated easily past the first year.

The 4S, though, just isn't the phone that can keep the volume humming, imo.

If sales do slow then expect it to be totally regained and then some with the introduction of a totally redesigned phone next year.
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post #30 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

In the long run I don't expect the 4S to sell like the 4. I think we'll see a slow and steady decline and sales as we hit the new year. Don't get me wrong, I think it's a great phone. Nobody integrates hardware and software like Apple. In Canada where 3 year contracts are almost standard you can bet that the 4s can be updated right through to 2014... I doubt very much that an Android phone could be updated easily past the first year.

The 4S, though, just isn't the phone that can keep the volume humming, imo.

If sales do slow then expect it to be totally regained and then some with the introduction of a totally redesigned phone next year.

I disagree. I think we'll see the same trend we've seen quarter-after-quarter for the last two iPhone iterations. Increased sales each quarter, even besting the holiday season or coming damn near close to it.

Anecdotally, all but one person I know that have bought the iPhone 4S already were Android users, Blackberry users, older iPhone users, and non-smartphone users. All but one person I know with an iPhone 4 is waiting for their Nov/Dec date in order to get the device for $300 less on contract with AT&T.

But just consider these others buying the ipHone 4S now. Many of these were either ones that would never buy a smartphone or were more than happy with their other smartphone. This market is huge and Apple has the most mindshare. I don't see how they won't keep breaking their own records (and the Kinect record in a couple weeks).
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post #31 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

In the long run I don't expect the 4S to sell like the 4. I think we'll see a slow and steady decline and sales as we hit the new year. Don't get me wrong, I think it's a great phone. Nobody integrates hardware and software like Apple. In Canada where 3 year contracts are almost standard you can bet that the 4s can be updated right through to 2014... I doubt very much that an Android phone could be updated easily past the first year.

The 4S, though, just isn't the phone that can keep the volume humming, imo.

If sales do slow then expect it to be totally regained and then some with the introduction of a totally redesigned phone next year.

Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I disagree. I think we'll see the same trend we've seen quarter-after-quarter for the last two iPhone iterations. Increased sales each quarter, even besting the holiday season or coming damn near close to it.

Anecdotally, all but one person I know that have bought the iPhone 4S already were Android users, Blackberry users, older iPhone users, and non-smartphone users. All but one person I know with an iPhone 4 is waiting for their Nov/Dec date in order to get the device for $300 less on contract with AT&T.

But just consider these others buying the ipHone 4S now. Many of these were either ones that would never buy a smartphone or were more than happy with their other smartphone. This market is huge and Apple has the most mindshare. I don't see how they won't keep breaking their own records (and the Kinect record in a couple weeks).

There is now probably a better thread to carry on this discussion - I apologize but there wasn't one yesterday when I first commented.

WSJ is reporting that Samsung sold 20M smartphones last quarter, beating Apple by a meaningful margin. So they picked up strength during a quarter when the iPhone 4 was in a bit of limbo. But, at the same time, the Galaxy S2 wasn't available for the whole quarter in all countries. In this current quarter, I think the Samsung-Apple race is more interesting than the Android-iOS war, particularly given the accompanying patent fight.
post #32 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I disagree. I think we'll see the same trend we've seen quarter-after-quarter for the last two iPhone iterations. Increased sales each quarter, even besting the holiday season or coming damn near close to it.

Anecdotally, all but one person I know that have bought the iPhone 4S already were Android users, Blackberry users, older iPhone users, and non-smartphone users. All but one person I know with an iPhone 4 is waiting for their Nov/Dec date in order to get the device for $300 less on contract with AT&T.

But just consider these others buying the ipHone 4S now. Many of these were either ones that would never buy a smartphone or were more than happy with their other smartphone. This market is huge and Apple has the most mindshare. I don't see how they won't keep breaking their own records (and the Kinect record in a couple weeks).

I am estimating 24 million phones in this quarter, 19 million in the next and 17 million in the next.

The Asian market could adjust all of those figures upward but this is generally the trend I see.

Just my opinion.

*Anecdotally... we just bought our first iPhone, for my Wife... a LG flip phone user prior to this purchase. I've got a company Blackberry that I'd like to ditch asap.
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post #33 of 38
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Originally Posted by ankleskater View Post

WSJ is reporting that Samsung sold 20M smartphones last quarter, beating Apple by a meaningful margin. So they picked up strength during a quarter when the iPhone 4 was in a bit of limbo. But, at the same time, the Galaxy S2 wasn't available for the whole quarter in all countries. In this current quarter, I think the Samsung-Apple race is more interesting than the Android-iOS war, particularly given the accompanying patent fight.

Apple sold 17.07 million iPhones for this 3rd calander quarter. Has Samsung announced numbers for the same time frame? I can only find data from the previous quarter where Apple also sold 20M units. [edit: I see that they sold 20M units in this past quarter.]

But that's all beside the point since Apple sells one band of smartphone, not dozens. They sell one brand of OS, not two (or it three?). Apple also appears to be making more profit per quarter while Samsung is losing profit.

So far, I've seen no single Android-based phone sell in numbers that rival the iPhone for any given time frame. I looks to me that Apple is still leading the way by a very large margin and the iPhone 4S will continue to push them farther ahead in the game to take the most profit.
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post #34 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

I am estimating 24 million phones in this quarter, 19 million in the next and 17 million in the next.

The Asian market could adjust all of those figures upward but this is generally the trend I see.

Just my opinion.

*Anecdotally... we just bought our first iPhone, for my Wife... a LG flip phone user prior to this purchase. I've got a company Blackberry that I'd like to ditch asap.

When is China getting the iPhone 4S. If it's past the holiday quarter then I'd retool your estimates to make the next quarter slightly higher than the holiday quarter in unit sales.
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post #35 of 38
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Originally Posted by ankleskater View Post

There is now probably a better thread to carry on this discussion - I apologize but there wasn't one yesterday when I first commented.

WSJ is reporting that Samsung sold 20M smartphones last quarter, beating Apple by a meaningful margin. So they picked up strength during a quarter when the iPhone 4 was in a bit of limbo. But, at the same time, the Galaxy S2 wasn't available for the whole quarter in all countries. In this current quarter, I think the Samsung-Apple race is more interesting than the Android-iOS war, particularly given the accompanying patent fight.

Not meaning to create a war but so many Android phones remind me of events that happened in our business. We were the old, very conservative company in our business line (not to be too closely tied to the iPhone as an analogy). New competitors came along and offered better pricing, a few extra services and a few other knick-knacks. We lost a bit of business over the intervening 3 or 4 years... but over the next few years we regained those same clients and more... because the new guys might have been flashier with better pricing but we stood behind our product and we gave excellent service; during that time our prices actually went up and our margins increased slightly.

I'll leave it to you to decide who is Android and who is Apple in my analogy.

Just saying.
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post #36 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

When is China getting the iPhone 4S. If it's past the holiday quarter then I'd retool your estimates to make the next quarter slightly higher than the holiday quarter in unit sales.

Apple usually has its timing down perfect... allowing for new entries into the market during the year to boost its bottom line, quarter after quarter. Apple fiscal Q2 will see the iPad 3... and the entry of the 4S into Asian markets. that is a real question for me... how will the 4s sell in that market.

... and I've led this thread way off topic...
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post #37 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Speaking of Siri after using it for a day setting up a family member's iPhone 4S (and updating their iPad from iOS 4.0.1, and iMac to Lion from Leopard which was a lot harder than you might image) I found myself using my iPhone 4 to talk to Voice Control in natural language. It's amazing how tech never wanted or seriously thought of outside sci-fi can so quickly feel so natural and even a necessity so quickly. I can't wait to order my iPhone 4S on November 16th. Gonna be a long month.

My suggestion is to go to the store to get it, because I'm still waiting for mine to ship, after ordering it early in the morning of Oct 7th at the local ATT store. Just missed the first 200,000 shipment. Who knows how long I'll have to wait, but it's been two weeks, and folks are walking into the ATT store and walking out with them immedately.

So - the folks who ordered, after the intitial allotment was gone, are penalized until ATT gets as many phones shipped to their stores as they want, they could care less now that they have your money - only until then will they "deign to ship" out to the folks who ordered online. I even tried to cancel my online order and pick one up from ATT, but they refused, saying they couldn't cancel online (BS).

Update: Mine just shipped today, for delivery, so it took two weeks for my 32gb phone, but my son's 16gb phone (also ordered at the same time on Oct 7th) has yet to be shipped.
post #38 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Oh, another really fast use is as a calculator. it can figure a tip before you could access the Calc app. Just like Google, Bing, even Spotlight in Mac OS X can do, but with voice and a simple statement it's that much easier and more natural.

I've been using command+spacebar for basic calculaions since Leopard.

In Australia the service charge is built into the cost of the purchase so us Aussies rarely get much practice tipping. When I travelled in the US last year I found Tipulator quite helpful. Its particularly good that you can round the tip to the nearest palindrome so that when you review your bank statement it is blatantly obvious if someone took a larger tip from your card than you had signed for.
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