Apple is preparing a $200 compact iPhone in a bid to beat Android at the budget smartphone game, it has been claimed. It's possibly the 'mini iPhone' of rumours long past. One source, who told Bloomberg he or she had been briefed by Apple on the matter, said the handset, which will be smaller than the current iPhone, will be …
"Apple could do likewise, paying for punters' calls through a cut from every app, e-book, song or video they and others download."
are you soft in the head ? thats nonsense, could you imagine that even if that were feasable (its not, the amount of data the kindles use is tiny compared to a normally used phone) that apple would do it (that kind, generous, price-competitive company, apple.....)
c'moff it, must try harder
Not entirely correct
I would agree this model is unlikely for an iPhone but it's far more likely to work for the iPad.
The use cases for the kindle and iPad are very similar indeed and revolve around reading, and browsing. Whilst the iPad has a lot more potential uses ones that actually use large chucks of data would be few and far between.
It's not nonsense
Let's illustrate with a swingeing tarriff. I can buy a 500Mb daily pass for £2 on Three. That's to an end user, inclusive of VAT. I would be deeply surprised if Apple couldn't arrange a wholesale data rate which was a 1/3 or 1/4 of that.
So a 4Mb song download would cost me a massive 1.6p to download. It's almost background noise and would certainly be recouped from people who purchase more stuff than they would otherwise. It's even less for books which are smaller.
Larger files like video might need further consideration but I'm sure Apple could produce a smaller "on the go" version of a movie / show for immediate viewing with a free upgrade to the full version when they attached to a PC, or just calculate and pass the cost onto the consumer at checkout.
Operators would make money by billing Apple for usage by their customers. Apple could also sweeten (or offset the bills) by selling PAYG / subscription broadband packs from the store that the operator would take a cut from.
The same applies to Sony's NGP device too. Same principle applies there too. Probably more so since Sony could flog a game for €30 and more easily swallow the download cost.
Simply put there is a massive money to be made from devices which provide seamless, hassle free 3G connectivity out of the box at least for the basic online services of the device. OTOH devices that require users to screw around with sims and payplans and all the rest of that hassle won't anywhere close to the same amount of money.
Waste of Time
Thanks for wasting 5 mins of my life in reading this article...
I have to admit
The "universal network" does seem like a logical step, but I think you would need to do it with a VoIP network much like the Skype/Skype In/Skype out model.
That way incoming calls go onto the VoIP network to your handset instead of having to figure out where in the world it happens to be and also cuts out those huge cross-border, cross-network charges you get with regular mobiles.
Your phone could piggy-back on your wireless network at home if that would give you better reception than your normal mobile signal.
If you did that, then you could bulk-buy the data in the same way Amazon do, then charge flat rate monthly fees for network usage.
I'm not sure if that's how the Skype mobile from 3 works, if it is then this would be an extension of that.
If not then, I'd just like to say (C) Me, patent pending. :-)
"The "universal network" does seem like a logical step, but I think you would need to do it with a VoIP network much like the Skype/Skype In/Skype out model."
It's called SIP and it existed long before Skype.
In Europe you can buy cell phones with SIP support and will route your calls is you are connected to wifi.
If Apple has released it, this crap will spread like weed in the great number of uninformed public.
You can sell anything, just add a little "i" in front of whatever the name you call it.
"the handset, which will be smaller than the current iPhone, will be sold without the need to take out a contract up front."
Surely that just means pay-as-you-go - handsets which are often still subsidised by network operators, and operator locked, just like contract phones. I don't see where the speculation about a Kindle-style operation comes from, or why it would have to mean unlocked.
Lots of people would be willing to go for that, I suspect. I'm one of 'em!
If the screen shrinks, so does the attraction of buying the phone.
To you perhaps, maybe not to others. I personally don't want a honking big phone, I want something that I can slip into my jeans pocket without people thinking I'm over pleased to see them. Something the size of the ZTE Blade/Orange SF perhaps (without having to debrand, unlock and custom ROM it)
re: @Screen Size A/C 15:31
'Something the size of the ZTE Blade/Orange SF perhaps (without having to debrand, unlock and custom ROM it)'
Having both the iPhone 4 and a ZTE Blade i can tell you that they are much the same size already except the Blade is somewhat thicker.
I can totally see a free iPhone nano, or an off-contact $200 device. A smaller screen is OK, provided you assume this becomes a mostly messaging device, with a smattering of other features and some simple games. 1/3rd smaller might mean as little as shaving the 3.5" screen to 3", if you move the home button and shrink the bezel at the top at the same time, and that's not bad at all. It would still work great in landscape mode for thumb typing.
I would not get one, but I can easily see many people I know who are less interested in the full smartphone experience seeing value in a basic phone with messaging capabilities, a decent 5MP camera with video recording, music and video playback, and some simple games. It can do everything an iPhone can, but with some sacrifice in dealing with small text or detailed web sites, weigh 25% less and be near 2" shorter, but only loosing a small bit of screen, and having at least the resolution the 3GS did....
As a FREE phone on AT&T, with as little as a 1 year contract, and a $15 data plan? Even my parents would get them.
Global access? I doubt it
With increased anti-terrorism action governments are demanding user ID, or passports from foreigners, with some countries refusing service to foreigners all together (Cambodia, for one and Burma for another).
Thus apples concept of 'global' might not be as encompassing as you imagine.
Apple doesn't do budget ...
and in trying to achieve this whilst maintaining margins it has become accustomed to will likely slash away starting with the screen.
The fruit logo will be likely devalued, too.
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