back to article No small iPhone 5, says mole

Apple isn't working on a smaller iPhone, contrary to previous rumours, but it is trying to make the handset less expensive. So claim the inevitable unnamed sources "briefed on Apple’s plans" - our assumption would be Apple PR people speaking off the record, but that is just an assumption - who spoke to the New York Times. Why …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Could it be...

    ... that Apple is now looking to widen market share as much to funnel traffic into the App stores as to actually sell phones?

    If they're going to make the cash up later the initial phone can be that much cheaper.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    Cheaper iPhone?

    I would have thought apple were making enough profit of apps/ itunes to practically give the things away...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @AC

      Apple spend around $500 million a year on marketing [they spent $690 million all told launching iPhone4 & iPad spread over 2 fiscal years] - rather more than they make from the App store or are likely to this side of Hades cooling.

      They'd do better giving away Apps and music than dropping the $200-odd a handset margin. If they're making a cheaper handset it will be to account for this year's markedly increased production costs eating into profits as much as anything else.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A good move

    Good call on the screen resolution, the NYT are being thick.

    I think a cheaper iPhone definitely makes sense. The iPhone 4 is overengineed for a phone IMO and ended up a very expensive purchase. Just like the new aluminium Mac Mini.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not nonsense

    Shrinking the display significantly would be an issue, as UI controls have a certain size in pixels (points actually) and shrinking them would cause them to be too small to touch. So there is a software impact to physically shrinking.

    Having a retina display or not is no problem, but any non-integer scaling factor would be disasterous.

    Worse display on an iPhonre than an iPod Touch? I doubt it.

    1. Captain Jack
      Joke

      Fingers

      The fingers you are using to dial are too big, please mash the keypad with your palm to obtain a special dialing wand :-)

  5. bluesxman
    Grenade

    "[Apple] is trying to make the handset less expensive"

    I wonder if that'll be by:

    * Sourcing cheaper components

    * Finding a manufacturer with an even worse (alleged) record of staff treatment

    * Reducing their hefty margin

    Answers on a postcard...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Happy

      ...OR...

      ...take 30% from the operators for using Apple device (since I'm sure will have to be subscribed through iTunes).

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Less expensive

    "it is trying to make the handset less expensive."

    For them to make, or for us to buy?

    Sorry, for you to buy, because in "less expensive", the word "expensive" remains, so I'm sticking to my cheap-non-status-symbol one.

  7. Jedit
    Jobs Horns

    "Apple are trying to make the iPhone less expensive"

    Have we not yet learned to ignore these early rumours as the bullshit they inevitably prove to be?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    More money grabbing

    "trying to make the handset less expensive."

    They could do that already just by lowering their profit margins since they charge several hundred £ more for it than what it currently costs to build.

  9. Bill Cumming
    Big Brother

    My Mole told me..

    They are actually releasing a iPad nano instead.

    or

    A large "iPod Nano" with 3g...

  10. D. M
    Jobs Horns

    Just stop ripping people off

    Simple, it is not expensive to make, just Apple charges way too much for that crap. Hell, I wouldn't want one even they give iCrap for free.

  11. JaitcH
    WTF?

    "... Apple PR people speaking off the record ..." says it all

    PR people are only paid to polish the name and keep good things appearing in the media.

    Guess they have done their job since The Register and the NYT had pieces on it.

  12. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

    I'm sure all the rumours are true.

    All the rumours can be true at once, assuming that Apple are constantly working on several different form-factors, plus prototyping.

    Do many people buy the 3GS, now that 4 is out? If so, then there's no problem. Apple can make even huger profits selling the year old phone - with no production lines to change, and component costs will have dropped even further.

    Apple's one model a year policy must be such a great advantage to them. If they make $100 margins on day one, they'll probably get up to $150 margins by day 365, as components get cheaper.

    So if Apple can sell the older phone as a budget one, why bother with an iPhone nano? However, if sales aren't good, because it's difficult to differentiate the products, then a smaller iPhone might make sense.

    The other question is, do Apple think it would cannibalise sales of the iPhone 5?

    In the PC market they've been happy to keep their sales smaller, but extremely profitable, and have made no effort to move into a cheaper price bracket. Yet with the iPod they've done a bit of both. They've kept margins high, in comparison to the competition, but they have issued models at all different budgets.

    It seems to me that the phone market is different to the PC one for Apple, in that they're making lots of profit from after sales, with iTunes, Apps, 30% on subscriptions etc. So every extra customer brought in is more profit - as well as more negotiating power with content producers. So market share is important to increasing their profits, which it isn't with PCs.

    However, that may not be how it seems to Apple... So I guess the answer is, who knows?

    Did I really just waste all those words to say that? Yes. Sorry. And you wasted all that time reading it too. Such is the world of the Apple rumour merry-go-round.

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