Apple timing iPhone launch with market precision

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
Apple Computer is looking to time the introduction of its iPhone perfectly with the inflection point in the music-enabled handset market, one research and investment firm says.



PiperJaffray Sr. analyst Gene Munster told clients on Friday that his analysis of the current music-enabled handset market in the U.S. indicates that the segment is starting to boom.



The analyst discovered that there are already approximately 25 handsets that come with music functionality and are available to subscribers of U.S. mobile operators.



"While there are more music enabled phones in the market than we had expected to see, we believe the hype related to this market has yet to begin," he said. "Several products, such as the LG Chocolate and Motorola SLVR, have created a buzz in the market, but most of the rest of the offerings have not been met with significant fanfare."



Munster thinks Apple will launch an iPhone in the next 3 to 6 months -- an introduction he expects will draw more attention to the music-enabled handset market. He also sees it contributing to significant growth expectations implied in industry analyst market forecasts.



So far, Munster said his research has been unable to turn up concrete evidence that Apple is nearing completion of the product. However, since music enabled handsets are being introduced by potential handset maker competitors and are being met with increasing success, he believes Apple will likely need to get in the game fairly soon to avoid missing the early adopters.



Based on the analyst's estimates, the average (before rebate) price of music enabled handsets currently available to U.S. mobile phone subscribers is $317. "We believe the iPhone will need to be priced around $300 to gain significant traction," he said. "As a benchmark, we estimate that the average price of all HDD iPods sold to date is $324."









Recently, American Technology Research analyst Shaw Wu said he held high convictions that Apple was winding down development of its first mobile handset.



"Our research indicates that an Apple-designed smart phone has moved from concept to prototype and recently has progressed to near completion as a production unit," he told clients earlier this month. "We believe this smart phone has been in development for over 12 months and has overcome substantial challenges including design, interference, battery life and other technical glitches."



Wu said Apple is designing the phone around an iPod nano-like candy bar form factor and that it will come in three colors.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 44
    aah, good old wu...
  • Reply 2 of 44
    I wonder if one of the three colours will be brown?
  • Reply 3 of 44
    as much as I want an iPhone, this is just a fluff piece. It is simply an observation that mobile phones in the US are adding music playback as a feature.
  • Reply 4 of 44
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Denton


    I wonder if one of the three colours will be brown?







    You godda query the talent of the industrial designers some companies use!



    8) 8) 8)
  • Reply 5 of 44
    Any clues on what cell phone service provider will support the iPhone?
  • Reply 6 of 44
    I'm not buying a candybar form factor iPhone. Apple is free to do what they want but I'm looking for a smartphone with at a mininum the same screen size as a Treo.
  • Reply 7 of 44
    kolchakkolchak Posts: 1,398member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by oyaron


    Any clues on what cell phone service provider will support the iPhone?



    Virtually impossible, but Apple would score a real knockout punch if they made it all-band, compatible with every carrier network in the US.



    And considering the Apple/Google alliance, it'd be great to be able to view Google maps onto the screen, positioned by an internal GPS receiver. Unfortunately, Google maps are so massive that they'd be fairly slow to load even on any variation of 3G network.
  • Reply 8 of 44
    vineavinea Posts: 5,585member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by samurai1999






    You godda query the talent of the industrial designers come companies use!



    8) 8) 8)



    Well...there's that funny story about how Steve apologized to Bill saying that he had no taste on the triumph of the nerds documentary.



    Quote:

    Bob: You were in Triumph of the Nerds and did a beautiful job I thought. And of course Steve Jobs was in the show, too. You have a story about that?



    Andy: Yeah. Steve came over to my house shortly after it aired in 1996. I asked him what he thought of the documentary. He said he thought it was really good, but when he watched it on TV he thought his comment about Bill Gates having no taste might have been a little too harsh. So he called Bill Gates to apologize.



    I don't know how you call Bill Gates, but if you are Steve Jobs you get right through. He said, "Bill I'm calling to apologize. I saw the documentary and I said that you had no taste. Well I shouldn't have said that publicly. It's true, but I shouldn't have said it publicly."



    And Bill Gates replied, "I'm glad you called to apologize, Steve, because I thought that was really an inappropriate thing to say."



    Steve couldn't help himself, he said, "You know it's true, it's true you have no taste."



    And Bill Gates responded to him, saying "Steve, I may have no taste, but that doesn't mean my entire company has no taste."



    So Bill admitted he had no taste, but thought it was an unfair slur to say that MICROSOFT had no taste.



    (laughter)



    Bob: He hires people to have taste.



    Andy: Exactly.



    (more laughter)




    http://www.pbs.org/cringely/nerdtv/transcripts/001.html



    Video: http://distribution.nerdtv.net/video...tvjuicy001.mp4



    Evidently MS needs new "Taste" consultants...



    Vinea
  • Reply 9 of 44
    I don't agree with the $300 price point. Given the iPod Nano and iPod price points, why wouldn't people pay a little more to get cell capability? Especially with the first version, my guess is $399 would do fine.
  • Reply 10 of 44
    Ya, there's no way Apple would go for less than $399 on the iPhone initially. My personal price point is around $500. This is a device that I would be using all day, every day and expect around a 1-2 year lifetime with. What's a couple of extra hundred dollars when spread over the hours of use?
  • Reply 11 of 44
    eckingecking Posts: 1,588member
    There's no way it'd be the size of an ipd nano. That'd be too small, I mean wtf that'd be like a zoolander-sized phone.
  • Reply 12 of 44
    my pricepoint is near 250...total max and only if it wow's me
  • Reply 13 of 44
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ecking


    There's no way it'd be the size of an ipd nano. That'd be too small, I mean wtf that'd be like a zoolander-sized phone.



    lol!



    Wouldn't it be likely that Apple would release a "Nano" cell to come under, or close to, the supposed $285.00 price point in Europe, but then also release a 120gb Video iPod/cell phone monster for around $500.00, or so?
  • Reply 14 of 44
    Quote:

    And Bill Gates responded to him, saying "Steve, I may have no taste, but that doesn't mean my entire company has no taste."



    Bill: "We must buy more taste! Balmer, find more taste! We must attain this taste Steve speaks of!"



    Okay, really, though. Apple will not pull in as many people for anything over $300, only the really hard-core folk. That isn't Apple's target market. Think of the iPod. Yes, Apple is trying to market it to everyone, but the people who are REALLY into it are the young adults/college-aged. A device that is an iPod/cell phone would/(should?) be aimed at the same market. Let me tell you that if the iPhone is $300, no one in this age-group is going to buy it. No one at all.



    If Apple MUST make an expensive "smart phone," I hope to Trogdor that they make it a "pro" model phone above and beyond the entry level option of a more bare-bones iPhone/iPod... PhonePod if you will. Hey, I like that name.... "PhonePod." and TelePort for the iTV. Apple should hire me to name their stuff.



    Moving on.



    In regards to the size, even if the thing is twice as thick as the Nano, I would be impressed... but maybe turned off by it. I have a small phone already and it easily slides out of my pocket and/or gets buried under things. I'm not proposing we go back to the brick-sized cell phones of yesteryear, but honestly the RAZR is plenty small enough.



    -Clive
  • Reply 15 of 44
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by icibaqu


    my pricepoint is near 250...total max and only if it wow's me



    Yeah, me, too. A simple but elegant phone that plays music shouldn't cost more than $250. Anything above $250 would need a larger screen and be more of a smart phone like a Treo.
  • Reply 16 of 44
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bikertwin


    Yeah, me, too. A simple but elegant phone that plays music shouldn't cost more than $250. Anything above $250 would need a larger screen and be more of a smart phone like a Treo.



    I got into this on the last iPhone thread but I still have the same question: if Apple can sell all the iPods it can make at the $300 price point, how is it that if they add "phone" functionality we have judge the price in terms of other phones and suddenly turn up our noses?



    So, for instance, 30 gig iPod at $250 = "Yay! Way to price them to move, Apple!" but 30 gig iPod plus phone at $300 = "Booo! I can get an LG for $50 with subsidy"?



    Of course, I have no way of knowing what level of iPod at what price would be incorporated into an iPhone, but for sure whatever they do will in effect be a "real" iPod, so it seems to me any calculations of what pricing the market will bear have to take into account what people are already willing to pay for "just" an iPod.



    I think the iPod brand is just too strong for people to perceive an iPhone as "just" a phone with "some" music playback functionality folded in, ala most other phones. I think it's obvious that any such creature would be seen as a "super iPod" and pricing would follow accordingly.



    I mean, if Apple can get a premium for making things black, you would think that they could get a bit over stock iPod price for throwing in a phone.
  • Reply 17 of 44
    irelandireland Posts: 17,570member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmurchison


    I'm not buying a candybar form factor iPhone. Apple is free to do what they want but I'm looking for a smartphone with at a mininum the same screen size as a Treo.



    Many more millions of people live in Europe than the states, and smartphones are few and far between over here. If Apple doesn't want to ignore the Euorpean market, then the phone cannot be Treo-like. It won't be Nano-like either, as all the stuff necessary to make it work wouldn't fit inside.
  • Reply 18 of 44
    If it's just a basic phone + iPod, it'll probably be about the size of the iPod mini, only thinner and sleeker. If it's a smart phone with lots of PDA-type features (i.e. Mac mobile), then I imagine it'll be closer to the full-size iPod design (only thinner and sleeker!)



    With 4GB of flash memory, these things would be useable as actual MP3 players, which is a quality most of the current "music phones" lack. They could also pack an iSight camera in there and have enough internal storage for high-res pictures.
  • Reply 19 of 44
    wilcowilco Posts: 985member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Denton


    I wonder if one of the three colours will be brown?



    Because brown is like poo!!!!1!
  • Reply 20 of 44
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by addabox


    So, for instance, 30 gig iPod at $250 = "Yay! Way to price them to move, Apple!" but 30 gig iPod plus phone at $300 = "Booo! I can get an LG for $50 with subsidy"?



    Well... I agree with your logic, but highly doubt that there will be a HD in the device (i.e. 30 Gb iPod). I would say likely a 2 or 4 Gb, so $149 to $199. Since the iPod and phone will share some of the hardware, I could reason adding $50 to make it a PhonePod. Thus $200 to $250... maybe $300 for a pro model.



    I think anything over $300 would kill the product for a large number of people.



    -Clive
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