Apple rules out "iPhone nano," critically watching Mac netbook

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
Apple exposed its complete lack of interest in building a stripped down, voice-only iPhone or a Mac-based netbook during its fiscal first quarter conference call Wednesday afternoon.



No iPhone nano



In response to analyst questions on iPhone pricing, Tim Cook, Apple's acting chief executive, stated, "We are now in over 70 countries with the iPhone and you're correct, some of them are non-subsidized markets. Â*Examples are, the largest is in terms of size of the market, our sales are clearly materially less in those markets than they are in the subsidized markets with contracts. Â*We are constantly evaluating the best way to play in these markets. Â*We know there's a huge opportunity here, and we will make adjustments in the future there to play in a better way."



Cook also destroyed the speculation around an "iPhone nano," saying, "You know us, we're not going to play in the low-end voice phone business.Â*That's not who we are. That's not why we're here. We'll let somebody do that, our goal is not to be the unit share leader in the phone industry. It is to build the best phone."



Steve Jobs made similar remarks during the last quarterly conference call in October. When asked why Apple only has one product offering in the vast smartphone market and what further opportunities for innovation or "other market opportunities within that market" Apple might have, Jobs replied, "I wasn't alive then, but from everything I've heard, Babe Ruth only had one home run. He just kept hitting it over and over again.



Jobs added, "I think that the traditional game in the phone market has been to produce a voice phone in a hundred different varieties. But as software starts to become the differentiating technology of this product category, I think that people are going to find that a hundred variations presented to a software developer is not very enticing. And most of the competitors in this phone business do not really have much experience in a software platform business."



"So we're extremely comfortable with our product strategy going forward, and we approach it as a software platform company, which is pretty different than most of our competitors."



No Mac netbook imminent



Asked about the sub-$500 netbook market, Cook answered, "We're watching that space, but right now from our point of view, the products in there are principally based on hardware that's much less powerful than we think customers want, software technology that is not good, cramped keyboards, small displays."



Cook added, "We don't think people will be pleased with those products. It's a category we watch, we've got some ideas here, but right now we think the products are inferior and will not provide an experience to customers they're happy with."



Again, Jobs made very similar comments on the prospects for a netbook from Apple during the last call. "As we look at the netbook category, that's a nascent category. As best as we can tell, there's not a lot of them being sold," Jobs said.



"You know, one of our entrants into that category if you will is the iPhone, for browsing the Internet, and doing email and all the other things that a netbook lets you do. And being connected via the cellular network wherever you are, an iPhone is a pretty good solution for that, and it fits in your pocket.



"But we'll wait and see how that nascent category evolves, and we have got some pretty interesting ideas if it does evolve," Jobs said.



Additional coverage of Apple's Q109 release



Apple profits edge higher on sales of 2.52m Macs, 22.7m iPods

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 89
    I suppose all the people who install OS X on their Netbooks (and some struggle to do so!) doesn't mean there is a market. I counted 5 people on the train this morning with netbooks with OS X installed! That's gotta mean something, right?



    Ah well... so much for that idea. Hackers can keep their night jobs I guess. Gotta keep it fun for some folks.
  • Reply 2 of 89
    Always thought the iphone nano was a dumb idea, its all about the screen real estate and the apps. Any smaller and Apples USP is lost.
  • Reply 3 of 89
    saareksaarek Posts: 1,105member
    Sales would have been much better in the desktop machines had Apple not been so sloppy in the updates for them, overall good results.
  • Reply 4 of 89
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    No Mac netbook imminent



    Asked about the sub-$500 netbook market, Cook answered, "We're watching that space, but right now from our point of view, the products in there are principally based on hardware that's much less powerful than we think customers want, software technology that is not good, cramped keyboards, small displays."



    Cook added, "We don't think people will be pleased with those products. It's a category we watch, we've got some ideas here, but right now we think the products are inferior and will not provide an experience to customers they're happy with."







    Doesn't this sound that Apple would indeed release something into that space that would have powerful hardware, great software, a full sized keyboard, and a large display?



    aka? a cheaper Macbook Air?
  • Reply 5 of 89
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by camroidv27 View Post


    I suppose all the people who install OS X on their Netbooks (and some struggle to do so!) doesn't mean there is a market. I counted 5 people on the train this morning with netbooks with OS X installed! That's gotta mean something, right?



    Ah well... so much for that idea. Hackers can keep their night jobs I guess. Gotta keep it fun for some folks.



    they didn't say they would never release one.. there just won't be one coming this quarter. He did say.."We're watching that space". They want to be sure it's not just a fad before they pursue it and I don't blame them. Personally I wouldn't invest in a netbook, I would invest in a macbook pro first. I do need to do mixing with LogicPro and a netbook won't cut it. to me.. the handheld field is potentially greater than any netbook field.
  • Reply 6 of 89
    noirdesirnoirdesir Posts: 1,027member
    After seeing older people struggle with the small keys and controls on current chocolate-bar phones (particular without their reading glasses), I wonder whether an iPhone would not be much easier for them. One button to lock, very easy and self-explanatory unlock (slide), large keypad. They might only use the Phone and Addressbook part (and maybe receiving SMS) but I think it would be much easier to operate for them then current phones.
  • Reply 7 of 89
    Quote:

    In response to analyst questions on iPhone pricing, Tim Cook, Apple's acting chief executive, stated, "We are now in over 70 countries with the iPhone and you're correct, some of them are non-subsidized markets. *Examples are, the largest is in terms of size of the market, our sales are clearly materially less in those markets than they are in the subsidized markets with contracts. *We are constantly evaluating the best way to play in these markets. *We know there's a huge opportunity here, and we will make adjustments in the future there to play in a better way."



    Translated from AppleSpeak: "We will cut the price of iPhone to $99 in the US and lower pric appropriately in other markets". At least in the US, it would be a lot more effective if Apple can convince AT&T to offer $20/month data service plan for iPhone by reducing the subsidy payments Apple is receiving from AT&T per iPhone sold.
  • Reply 8 of 89
    Quote:

    Asked about the sub-$500 netbook market, Cook answered, "We're watching that space, but right now from our point of view, the products in there are principally based on hardware that's much less powerful than we think customers want, software technology that is not good, cramped keyboards, small displays."



    Tranlated from AppleSpeak: "Apple will offer a "premium" NetBook soon at slightly above the $500 price point.". It is likely that Apple will offer a display with higher resolution (similar to the new HP 2140) instead of the 1024x600 LCD found in many low-end NetBooks. It is also likely that the Apple netbook will be based on a dual core Atom with the new NVidia chipset.



    Of course, Apple will claim that the new Apple netbook is not a "netbook"...
  • Reply 9 of 89
    jowie74jowie74 Posts: 540member
    I don't really see the point in a Netbook for Apple anyway - isn't that what the iPhone is for?
  • Reply 10 of 89
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,205member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tacojohn View Post


    Doesn't this sound that Apple would indeed release something into that space that would have powerful hardware, great software, a full sized keyboard, and a large display?



    aka? a cheaper Macbook Air?



    that is very likely exact where Apple is going. as the prices for the bits and pieces go down, thus goes the cost of the machine. so either they will go down in price or seriously up in ability. either way is a potential win.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by macshark View Post


    At least in the US, it would be a lot more effective if Apple can convince AT&T to offer $20/month data service plan for iPods by reducing the subsidy payments Apple is receiving from AT&T per iPhone sold.



    carrier provided data on an ipod? that's called an iphone.



    i think what you meant to say was that it would be more effective if Apple and ATT could work out a cheaper data plan with perhaps a return to the free texts (especially given allegations that outside of a handful of non stop texting freaks, the carriers are making hand over fist on text plans). given that the high monthly costs are a bigger issue than the unit price for many
  • Reply 11 of 89
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    "You know us, we're not going to play in the low-end voice phone business.*That's not who we are. That's not why we're here. We'll let somebody do that, our goal is not to be the unit share leader in the phone industry. It is to build the best phone."



    That's exactly what they said about low-end flash-based iPods.



    I'm not sure if there's a analogous solution with a smaller screen, but it should be noted that Apple often slams a market before entering it themselves shortly thereafter.



    -Clive
  • Reply 12 of 89
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by saarek View Post


    Sales would have been much better in the desktop machines had Apple not been so sloppy in the updates for them, overall good results.



    Yeah, where are those quad-core iMacs?



    Also, Apple may be waiting for the new Core i7 Xeons to update the PowerMacs, but not changing the price since introduction while the essential component costs dropped by more than 50% (processor, memory, HD) was probably a mistake...
  • Reply 13 of 89
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by charlituna View Post


    carrier provided data on an ipod? that's called an iphone.



    i think what you meant to say was that it would be more effective if Apple and ATT could work out a cheaper data plan with perhaps a return to the free texts (especially given allegations that outside of a handful of non stop texting freaks, the carriers are making hand over fist on text plans). given that the high monthly costs are a bigger issue than the unit price for many



    You are correct. It was a typo.
  • Reply 14 of 89
    eaieai Posts: 417member
    Along with everyone(?) else, I wish they'd update the Mac Mini. I'd buy one immediately if they did...
  • Reply 15 of 89
    virgil-tb2virgil-tb2 Posts: 1,416member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Clive At Five View Post


    That's exactly what they said about low-end flash-based iPods.



    I'm not sure if there's a analogous solution with a smaller screen, but it should be noted that Apple often slams a market before entering it themselves shortly thereafter.



    It also doesn't actually even rule out an iPhone nano either since the last solid rumour for such a device was indicating that it might be a smaller, hobbled version of the same iPhone specifically targeted at emerging and non-subsidised markets.



    This would fit rather nicely with Tim's wording about how the non-subsidised markets are difficult, that they won't make a "low end" phone, but that they had some other ideas about how to get into that market. iPhones with enough stuff cut out (for non-3G networks in particular), could easily get cheap enough for China, India, etc. and they might be physically smaller as well.



    I don't see this news as actually "ruling out" an iPhone as the AppleInsider headline indicates.
  • Reply 16 of 89
    ONLY rules out a cheap iPhone Nano.



    I still maintain, as with all slick and feature-rich technology in a smaller form factor, it will command a Higher selling price.



    I do not understand why this is so difficult to comprehend.

    If Apple is working on an iPhone Nano, will ALL the functionality of the current 3G, Plus it's super thin and smaller, why does everyone expect this will sell for less than $199.00



    I would expect it would sell for $399 or higher.



    This is EXACTLY how Apple pushes the industry.



    Apple would have bragging rights, like with the Mackbook Air.

    "Smallest, Thinnest, Smartphone, with All the functionality and more of the current 3G"
  • Reply 17 of 89
    zunxzunx Posts: 620member
    Pocketable computers can also be great and even expensive:



    OQO model 2+

    454 g

    http://www.oqo.com



    Sony Vaio P Series

    630 g

    http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/...tegoryId=16154



    What for? For Apple Keynote and Microsoft PowerPoint presentations without having to carry large and heavy laptops! Yes, even the MacBook Air is too large and heavy (1.3 kg).
  • Reply 18 of 89
    bdkennedy1bdkennedy1 Posts: 1,459member
    Same canned responses they gave a year before the iPhone and Apple TV debuted.
  • Reply 19 of 89
    bbjaibbjai Posts: 48member
    I don't understand the reasoning behind the iphone nano being a low end part of the market. There are plenty of expensive small phones out there and the market is dying for a touch phone that is not smart phone oriented but more multimedia oriented. Size is an issue and having a small phone with GOOD software like stated above would be the holy grail.



    The iPhone as it stands is a bit big in size to be perfectly honest. The screen and touch abilities of it has alot to do with that but many people make do with a smaller screen on their phones. I suppose I'm personally saying I want a smaller version of the iphone without it losing any functionality
  • Reply 20 of 89
    eckingecking Posts: 1,588member
    Apple doesn't need a sub $500 netbook, but an $800 11" macbook air would be incredible.
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