Originally Posted by cnocbui
I also think that such a level of interest means Cingular may feel they do not have to do much enticing or facilitating.
There is a lot of interest on these forums in a cheaper iPhone - I fully sympathise and would absolutely love to be able to get one for $250. However, I don't think we are going to see that price level for a couple of years at least. Even then it will only be because of the introduction of new models with more features which will have taken over the high end pricing. But then we will all be wanting the new high end model and wishing it was $250...
I suppose it is possible that Cingular might see significant pre-release interest and choose to do less to entice potential users, but at the same time I’d hate to underestimate the greed of these companies. If Cingular further subsidized the cost they would not make quite as much money off people who are already going to buy one, but they may entice many new users. If they bought people out of their contracts, they will get many people to come over to Cingular (possibly including some people who might not have normally bought an iPhone). I guess whether this is practical or not comes down to marketing research, and I’m sure Cingular is neck-deep in the stuff. I’m reminded of that ‘rumored’ Cingular price list from months back—it was speculated that it may have been released by CIngular to gauge the masses’ interest, but I’m skeptical at the same time—it didn’t look as professional as I might have expected.
If I guessed on the future of the iPhone’s price, I’d imagine it will drop down into the $250–$500 price range (a generous range on both ends), but I don’t think Apple will allow it to drop much more. They will instead focus on making sure the product remains a premium product by always expanding and enhancing its capabilities, like they do with the iPod. That doesn’t make sense from the perspective of the cell phone market, but the iPhone isn’t just a cell phone—it is a portable computer in ways, and it is also an iPod. With the right features, people will continue to buy and upgrade them, just as they do/did with their iPods. I doubt you will ever see a $79 iPhone with a 2yr activation agreement.
All theorizing, of course.
And further considering price, is good to remember that Apple probably has no interest in complying with the cell phone’s traditional way of doing things. They’re going to bring in their existing experience from other markets, and if something in the cell phone market seems broken to them, they’ll try to completely reinvent it. If anyone can do this, it is Apple. I think it will be fun to watch, because up until now, absolutely nothing in the cell phone industry has sparked much interest or respect in me.