Originally Posted by vinea
E cash chip, better camera, digital TV, etc doesn't seem like minor modifications and there's not a whole lot of room for those additions.
I see them launching with the same 3G US/European iPhone features but I don't see extra frills for the Japanese/Korean market.
Do you believe that they're going to the engineering effort of an Asian only SKU? Or do you think US centric Apple is going to remain US centric with the iPhone? Hell, it looks like they're doing a Europe launch without 3G.
The probability of Apple penetrating the Japanese market in significant number is slim to none. And you know what they said about Slim. I just don't see a significant amount of effort in this direction and say what you want about Nokia and Motorolla...they really did want IN on Japan and they (with Samsung) are the dominant players worldwide.
If they don't have extra frills for the Asian market they get lumped into 'Other'. Simple as that. If you believe giving up the world's third largest market is smart well, um, ok.
A better camera is almost certain for the Revision B of the iPhone (with video recording, I'd imagine) so that's taken care of.
An e-cash chip is both dirt cheap and tiny. Therefore they could easily accept the slight loss they'd have on them if they sold the same model in Europe and Asia (as both regions use the same UMTS/3G frequency band of 2100MHz). In other words putting an e-cash chip and then just having the Europeans ignore it's existence presents no real problems.
GPS is a natural upgrade (if not for Revision B, than Revision C).
I agree that digital TV is the largest change, but there are chips in production that use all three main standards (Japan, Korea, Europe [Europe also uses some of Korea's standard]) so by Revision C I could easily see it.
The rest is software.
I'd expect Revision B of the iPhone to be about 3G, 16GB of storage, and a better camera (with video recording) andif Jobs can be talked into itthe concept of social networking which Apple has conspicuously failed to grasp so far. One European model (2100MHz UMTS) and one North American model (850/1900MHz UMTS) but otherwise identical.
Revision B could be the Asian launch model (as lacking e-cash/TV/GPS isn't fatal, just a mistake), but if they're smart they'd wait the six months to Revision C.
Revision C in the summer/fall of 2008 I'd expect to add GPS, the aforementioned e-cash chip (in the European/Asian model) and with a good chance of digital TV (again, most likely in the European/Asian model) which may make it a little thicker than the North American model.
Besides that 32GB of storage is possible, though perhaps still unlikely as it depends on flash pricing, and a better camera yet again would be good.
It is possible that tri-band UMTS chipsets are good enough at this point to make only a single model (and accept the slight monetary penalty of an e-cash chip that doesn't work in Europe/NA, and TV that doesn't work in the USA) but that may wait until Revision D.
Revision B is about 3G/refinement, Revision C is about taking the hardware up a notch, and Revision D would be about tri-band 3G/refinement.
That seems a fairly logical progression of hardware capabilities in the mobile phone space.
Originally Posted by vinea
Would Apple be "ignoring" Japan? I dunno...is just having the MacBook ignoring Japan? They choose "Option B" for the Mac lineup already. Apple has crashed and burned in the Japanese laptop market.
Apple has ignored Japan (and the rest of Asia, in similar ways, but they started out strong in Japan) in the following ways:
-No TV tuner. It would simple to bundle one of the several Mac TV tuners with their iMacs, at least, as in Asia the computer is often also the TV
-No subnotebook. An obvious move that would also be popular in North America and Europe.
-Poor commercial advertising. In fact the Japanese "I'm a Mac" ads could be seen as having the opposite effect to what Apple wants.
-The elimination of Macworld Tokyo, the most popular Mac festival in the world at the time.
-A general sense of neglect. Apple Japan has been left to wither on the vine as Apple focused attention on America. Note that Japan used to be Apple's second largest market.