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Apple smart phone project rests on Mac OS X tie-ins

post #1 of 97
Thread Starter 
For several years now, an elite squad of engineers at Apple Computer have been working diligently to perfect an intuitive smart phone concept that would both conform to the company's integrated model and oblige chief executive Steve Jobs.

As AppleInsider has been told, it's the latter of those two feats that has thus far presented the utmost of challenges, largely preserving the project and its many facets behind the fortified walls of the company's Cupertino, Calif. home base.

It's believed that the initiative, which is different and slightly more ambitious than the company's "iPhone" project, truly gained momentum about three years ago alongside the development of Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger. Some of the device's original features, such as Bluetooth remote control of certain Mac OS X functions, were meant to coincide with those that would have subsequently appeared in the final version of the Tiger operating system.

But as the story goes, Apple took the latest iteration of its proprietary smart phone hardware and software in the early summer of 2005, slapped it together inside an enclosure reminiscent of a fourth-gen iPod, and hit the road.

The objective at the time was to showcase the device's software to potential wireless partners and then appoint contractors to assess network requirements and the feasibility of certain features. Per Jobs' request, the phone's software interface was to be a carbon copy of Front Row -- Apple's one-touch media experience application. "He wanted every feature no more than one click away," a source told AppleInsider.

People familiar with ensuing talks say the "real push" behind the device was its extensive integration with Mac OS X and the Macintosh platform. Apple is said to have demonstrated several features that called upon a still unreleased version of the company's .Mac internet services that would allow users to control certain Mac functions remotely. These included beaming contacts, tasks and calendar appointments to Address Book and iCal from remote locations. However, the Mac maker remained mum on whether it planned to release Windows compatible versions of those desktop applications.

Locally, the conceptual device called for syncing and management through the company's ubiquitous iTunes digital jukebox software -- similar to the first Motorola ROKR phones. According to a source, video-based ringback tones could be designated through Address Book and synced through iTunes. Similarly, a "call ahead" feature would allow users of the phone to pre-record a video clip that could then be transmitted to mobile phone at the receiving end, where it would play before the call was answered.

Full integration with iChat -- Apple's proprietary messaging and video conferencing software -- was also said to be a work-in-progress. A source familiar with the development efforts said Apple had tapped third parties to lend a hand with certain protocols that would allow for iChat video conferencing between the handset and desktop Macs. The source, however, never saw a fully functional demonstration of this capability.

During its consultations with various agencies and potential partners, there were rumors that Google had expressed interest in developing specific applications for the phone that would be made available for purchase and download on an individual basis through Apple's iTunes Store, similar to the way the company handles game downloads for fifth-generation iPods.

At the service level, the iPod maker was said to be in serious talks with wireless carrier T-Mobile, but had separately commissioned a thorough analysis of data center requirements in both Europe and the Americas in the event that it chose to go the MVNO route.

Within months of those talks, however, Apple broke off all contact with T-Mobile and its outside contractors. Word spread that Jobs at the highest executive level was genuinely unhappy with some of the phone's hardware specifications, which he believed hampered the overall aesthetic of the device.

According to a source, the Apple cofounder insisted the phone return to the design phase where it was to be restructured from the ground up in order to meet the requirements of a strict 10-point list he had compiled.

At this point in time, Apple had not yet inked a deal with T-Mobile, but people familiar with the matter said the two companies had become "very good friends."

If recent analyst reports are accurate, the Apple smart phone project -- now several years in the making -- is once again approaching the final development stages.

In a research note released to clients last month, American Technology Research analyst Shaw Wu said Apple, in addition to its more rudimentary iPhone device, has been working on a second cell phone model that will incorporate messaging capabilities.

"From our understanding, it will leverage off existing iChat software that runs on Macs," he wrote. "We believe it will focus initially on mobile IM as opposed to e-mail."

While Wu remained uncertain on when Apple planned to deliver the second phone to market, he said the device likely represents the company's "smart phone" and could be branded as "iChat mobile."

Along the same lines, Prudential analyst Jesse Tortora has also been quite vocal in saying Apple maintains two distinct cell phone projects.

Just this past Monday, the analyst reiterated those beliefs, stating in a research note that the iPod maker is likely to introduce an advanced smart phone device with WiFi capabilities and a slide-out keyboard by the third quarter of 2007.

He said the smart phone will trail by a quarter or two the release of the company's hybrid cellphone/MP3 player handset (iPhone), which, he added, is already in the manufacturing stages.
post #2 of 97
Looks like no iPhone for MWSF 2006 then. ;_;

EDIT: I misread the story. So it looks like we'll have it for MW07 after all!

EDIT2: Whoops... MW07.
post #3 of 97
good story.

so by macworld, iphone "nano", candy bar shape to compete with all mp3/camera phones.

by Q3 2007, the iphone with more input mechanisms, either a keyboard or some kind of touchscreen to compete with the treos, smartphones and blackberrries.
post #4 of 97
Now let it happen... Enough speculating.

E-mail as the primary mode of communication in the mobile world is going to be thought of as a formality in the next few years I my guess... Just like most of us now rarely send things by snail-mail, if you look at trends in more technologically advanced countries than the US you will see this happening. So, yes, focus on the messaging, Apple is creating a stylish, easy to use, affordable image. It has its downfalls, but every image does.
post #5 of 97
My Sprint contract is up and I'm ready to bail. All these reports are killing me by making me wait for the next best thing... patience does not go well with trying to keep up with the Joneses.
~Tokolosh
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~Tokolosh
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post #6 of 97
The smartphone's features sound cool but I don't know how many people would really need that. The stuff they've listed as being potentially in the iphone sounds good enough to me that's all i need.

Even if they don't sell both at the same time, they should be announced together, because the last thing they want is everyone to buy the iphone and then who's gonna buy the smartphone? A lot of diehard apple heads probably wouldn't wait if they didn't know it was coming.
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post #7 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidod315

Looks like no iPhone for MWSF 2006 then. ;_;

EDIT: I misread the story. So it looks like we'll have it for MW06 after all!


Um, I think that you need to read really slowly.

MWSF 06 was LAST January.

MWSF 07 is the next one.
post #8 of 97
Quote:
The smartphone's features sound cool but I don't know how many people would really need that.

Smartphones are the fastest growing and most lucrative segment of phones.

I would find a phone that seamlessly ties into OS X of great value.
post #9 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by ecking

The smartphone's features sound cool but I don't know how many people would really need that. The stuff they've listed as being potentially in the iphone sounds good enough to me that's all i need.

Even if they don't sell both at the same time, they should be announced together, because the last thing they want is everyone to buy the iphone and then who's gonna buy the smartphone? A lot of diehard apple heads probably wouldn't wait if they didn't know it was coming.

Only die-hard Apple fans would buy the iPhone if what they really need is a smart phone. And there are a lot of people who use smart phone features on a daily basis (certainly not as many as don't). I would guess that there is really not much overlap between people who would buy a smart phone and people who would not do so: if I were to replace my Nokia, I would not be in the market for any Blackberry-type device, so Apple's smart phone would have to be pretty special to temp me away from just getting a regular phone (iPhone or otherwise).
post #10 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidod315

Looks like no iPhone for MWSF 2006 then. ;_;

EDIT: I misread the story. So it looks like we'll have it for MW06 after all!


MWSF 2006? or 7?
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post #11 of 97
Any speculation as to who will be the wireless carrier for the iPhone, or will Apple be their own service?
post #12 of 97
Quote:
Only die-hard Apple fans would buy the iPhone if what they really need is a smart phone.

Does that mean those who buy phones that use Windows Mobile are die hard windows fans. None of the current smart phone offerings tie seamlessly into OS X the same way Win Mobile ties seamlessly into XP.

Mac users choose to use the Mac because of OS X and Apple's software design. Currently there is no match for that design in a mobile device.
post #13 of 97
I think that the iPhone+iPod would sell very well in the general market - if the battery life was sufficient. I think that it would sell even better if the user was able to check photos in iPhoto for downloading, select contacts in the Address Book for downloading and also iCal syncing.

My original thinking was for a version of OS X Lite to be used in order for syncing to the Mac - which would be the version I would be most interested in. That probably requires a hard drive, but could justify the larger size for many in the market. It also provides an opportunity for developers of a lot of Mac apps to develop an iPhone version for syncing, opening up the market even more.

As for the poor PC users, Apple can give them Lite versions of the basic apps they would need - giving them a taste of what they would get if they moved to a Mac. Worked for iTunes.
Ken
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Ken
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post #14 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by tyler82

Any speculation as to who will be the wireless carrier for the iPhone, or will Apple be their own service?

Some say Cingular, some say T-Mobile, and some say MVNO.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #15 of 97
Where did this conversation happen? A bar in Amsterdam?
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #16 of 97
I think the things most people are looking for are...
reception
GUI - like the iPod UI
solid handset form factor -like a nano but bigger
Syncing with iTunes, Address Book, iCal
Chat
Email
post #17 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by tyler82

Any speculation as to who will be the wireless carrier for the iPhone, or will Apple be their own service?

According to Kevin Rose it will be avaliable to all carriers
post #18 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenaustus

I think that the iPhone+iPod would sell very well in the general market - if the battery life was sufficient. I think that it would sell even better if the user was able to check photos in iPhoto for downloading, select contacts in the Address Book for downloading and also iCal syncing.

My original thinking was for a version of OS X Lite to be used in order for syncing to the Mac - which would be the version I would be most interested in. That probably requires a hard drive, but could justify the larger size for many in the market. It also provides an opportunity for developers of a lot of Mac apps to develop an iPhone version for syncing, opening up the market even more.

As for the poor PC users, Apple can give them Lite versions of the basic apps they would need - giving them a taste of what they would get if they moved to a Mac. Worked for iTunes.

I like the idea of an AddressBook, iCal and iPhoto lite versions for Windows. Give them a taste and give them another reason to switch and get the full blown version for free.
post #19 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tokolosh

My Sprint contract is up and I'm ready to bail. All these reports are killing me by making me wait for the next best thing... patience does not go well with trying to keep up with the Joneses.

Give these guys a try in the meantime, I have been using them for a couple of years now. NO CONTRACTS and you can upgrade or downgrade your phone or plan on a month to month basis. I got the cheapo free phone for myself and share minutes with my wife. We are both waiting patiently for the Apple phones. I don't miss contracts though.

Consumercellular.com.
post #20 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland

Some say Cingular, some say T-Mobile, and some say MVNO.


There is no reason Apple has to be an MVNO. They have more than enough capital to become their own service.

Sice it's the subscription service that usually makes the most money. And since will surely sell their Apple-branded phones at full price they could significantly offer highly competitive price on their subscription services, without the need for a contract as the phone would only work with the Apple carrier anyway.


With .Mac allowing for photocasting and other nifty things I forsee a dramatic increase in .Mac capabilities and an increase in .Mac sales once the iPhone is available.

If Apple doesn't offer a way to stream my digital content from my iTunes library then I hope:

a) Slingbox makes an iPhone version of their software.

b) A version Parallels, VMWare or Crossover works on the iPhone and allows me to load the Slingbox media player.


edit: fixed wording
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post #21 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenaustus

As for the poor PC users, Apple can give them Lite versions of the basic apps they would need - giving them a taste of what they would get if they moved to a Mac. Worked for iTunes.

iTunes for PC worked because it was a full blown working version with the iPod, the same as the Mac version.
post #22 of 97
count me in on a Smartphone from Apple if it's ready for Prime Time
He's a mod so he has a few extra vBulletin privileges. That doesn't mean he should stop posting or should start acting like Digital Jesus.
- SolipsismX
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- SolipsismX
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post #23 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider

People familiar with ensuing talks say the "real push" behind the device was its extensive integration with Mac OS X and the Macintosh platform. Apple is said to have demonstrated several features that called upon a still unreleased version of the company's .Mac internet services that would allow users to control certain Mac functions remotely. These included beaming contacts, tasks and calendar appointments to Address Book and iCal from remote locations. However, the Mac maker remained mum on whether it planned to release Windows compatible versions of those desktop applications.

Locally, the conceptual device called for syncing and management through the company's ubiquitous iTunes digital jukebox software -- similar to the first Motorola ROKR phones. According to a source, video-based ringback tones could be designated through Address Book and synced through iTunes. Similarly, a "call ahead" feature would allow users of the phone to pre-record a video clip that could then be transmitted to mobile phone at the receiving end, where it would play before the a call was answered.

Full integration with iChat -- Apple's proprietary messaging and video conferencing software -- was also said to be a work-in-progress. A source familiar with the development efforts said Apple had tapped third parties to lend a hand with certain protocols that would allow for iChat video conferencing between the handset and desktop Macs. The source, however, never saw a fully functional demonstration of this capability.

He said the smart phone will trail by a quarter or two the release of the company's hybrid cellphone/MP3 player handset (iPhone), which, he added, is already in the manufacturing stages.

These ideas all sound cool thing intell the data bill / carriers costs come in.
Also I don't think that carriers would like people using iChat to talk to people with out using there minutes.

Also how much would an iTunes download cost? $0.99 + carrier charge + data charge = a lot
post #24 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkenaustus

As for the poor PC users, Apple can give them Lite versions of the basic apps they would need - giving them a taste of what they would get if they moved to a Mac. Worked for iTunes.

iTunes was a standalone program. I'm sure the iPhone will easily integrate with iTunes, iPhoto, Address Book, Mail, iChat and Safari, but what programs on Windows should Apple waste their time with to allow integration? How many PC users are gfoing to want to give up Outlook for Mail Lite? Will Apple make a simple syncing program that will probably only export your contacts to Outlook or will they not even bother with at all, at least at the beginning, like they did with the iPod. I think it's the latter.
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post #25 of 97
I can't wait for a smartphone with Apple ease of use. They are going to sell as many as they make.

This is what Apple will miss when Steve decides to hang up his turtleneck... somebody with the balls and authority to say "not good enough; back to R&D".
post #26 of 97
Quote:
These ideas all sound cool thing intell the data bill / carriers costs come in.

That's what would be good about Apple dealing with one carrier (at least at first).
Its much more possible for Apple to negotiate a deal where the Apple phone user would not be charged for using all of its bells and whistles.
post #27 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe_the_dragon

Also I don't think that carriers would like people using iChat to talk to people with out using there minutes.

Isn't text chatting more advantageous over a voice call for the carriers. It utilizes a lot less bandwidth (i.e: data).
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post #28 of 97
Quote:
As for the poor PC users

Yeah what will Apple do about that?

The iPod/phone should still be able to work with iTunes for Windows just fine.

But Apple may say you need a Mac to fully use the smartphone version.
post #29 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism

Isn't text chatting more advantageous over a voice call for the carriers. It utilizes a lot less bandwidth (i.e: data).

Maybe but someone can just can get a plan with very few minutes + pay for a data plan and use that to talk to people. Carrier's like to lock down the data / internet plans.
post #30 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell

Does that mean those who buy phones that use Windows Mobile are die hard windows fans. None of the current smart phone offerings tie seamlessly into OS X the same way Win Mobile ties seamlessly into XP.

Mac users choose to use the Mac because of OS X and Apple's software design. Currently there is no match for that design in a mobile device.

Read this months Macworld. They have a big article about that.
post #31 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism

There is no reason Apple has to be an MVNO. They have more than enough capital to become their own service.

Sice it's the subscription service that usually makes the most money. And since will surely sell their Apple-branded phones at full price they could significantly offer highly competitive price on their subscription services, without the need for a contract as the phone would only work with the Apple carrier anyway.


With .Mac allowing for photocasting and other nifty things I forsee a dramatic increase in .Mac capabilities and an increase in .Mac sales once the iPhone is available.

If Apple doesn't offer a way to stream my digital content from my iTunes library then I hope:

a) Slingbox makes an iPhone version of their software.

b) A version Parallels, VMWare or Crossover works on the iPhone and allows me to load the Slingbox media player.


edit: fixed wording

Why would Apple want to spend billions to put towers up, and to go through that regulatory minefield? And where would they buy the spectrum from? An NVMO is the best bet.
post #32 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism

There is no reason Apple has to be an MVNO. They have more than enough capital to become their own service.

one word: TOWERS!

Apple has no towers and unless they decide to wait a couple years until they blanket the U.S. with their own towers, they have to negotiate the use of the existing towers.

I think Apple will start by selling unlocked cell phones($249 & $349) and let consumers use them with their existing carriers.

In another year at MW08 they will announce their own MVNO service and start offering phones with contracts ($50 & $150).
post #33 of 97
Thank GOD someone like Steve Jobs exists who actually CARES ABOUT QUALITY and will send something back to the drawing board if it isn't ABSOLUTELY PERFECT. There are so few human beings who would do this, let alone CEO's of public corporations. THANK GOD & HALLELUJAH FOR STEVE JOBS FOR DOING THINGS RIGHT!!!
post #34 of 97
i'm already disappointed. it won't run photoshop with a draft N link to my 1080p tv?
it isn't as small as the nano, but with a 12" touch sensitive widescreen and slide out keyboard?
no 10 megapixel camera w/ 10x optical zoom? no gps? i bet it won't even have a 1TB drive.
useless.

[the real emails like this are little more than a month away...]

my only decision now is do i buy the candybar version asap, or wait it out for the smartphone...
post #35 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by desarc

i'm already disappointed. it won't run photoshop with a draft N link to my 1080p tv?
it isn't as small as the nano, but with a 12" touch sensitive widescreen and slide out keyboard?
no 10 megapixel camera w/ 10x optical zoom? no gps? i bet it won't even have a 1TB drive.
useless.

[the real emails like this are little more than a month away...]

my only decision now is do i buy the candybar version asap, or wait it out for the smartphone...

Buy the initial version. Sell it when the 2nd phone is released. Easy!
"Many people would sooner die than think; in fact, they do so." - Bertrand Russell
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post #36 of 97
Isn't it a bad decision to announce a potentially inferior product and just some months later go on and try to push a much improved variety? Shouldn't they just wait it out and do the right thing instead of confusing customers that are by now *really* eager to get a phone from Apple?
post #37 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Buck

Isn't it a bad decision to announce a potentially inferior product and just some months later go on and try to push a much improved variety? Shouldn't they just wait it out and do the right thing instead of confusing customers that are by now *really* eager to get a phone from Apple?

It isn't an inferior product. It's a different product.

If Apple had introduced the Mac Book, and then, several months later introduced the Mac Book Pro, would you have said that they introduced an inferior product first?

Two different products, two different customer bases.
post #38 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by audiopollution

Buy the initial version. Sell it when the 2nd phone is released. Easy!


ahh yes, perfect... now... who wants to buy a SLVR? stupid old-fashioned January'06 technology.
post #39 of 97
its positive news that Apple will be releasing this new product... however, if the phone comes with a 4GB ipod (music capability) then who will buy a 4GB nano? why would you have a nano and a seperate phone (either a nokia or apple)? You wouldn't.

What this signals is the end of the Nano as we know it.. but thats actually a good thing as Apple will actually sell more 'phones' than nanos, for a higher market value. Clever business.

Nanu Nano... as a wise man once said.
post #40 of 97
I'd like to have access to confidential FCC data, right now.
"Many people would sooner die than think; in fact, they do so." - Bertrand Russell
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