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Saturday, December 9, 2006

Apple iPhone, Just an idea?

Googling and wondering if iPhone is just ideas by Apple Fans. Will it really exist? There are many design concepts around blogs, news, site, etc... but many has never heard directly from Apple Company nor read from their RSS News this upcoming product.

Image below really grabs my attention. Looks real apple product. For more concepts visit this blog: Apple iPhone


















"There's a lot of debate about how Apple will do it. Will Apple continue to license iTunes to Motorola, being the software partner to Moto's hardware? Or will Apple develop its own hardware and partner with Cingular or T-Mobile to sell the iPhone as a subsidized handset? Perhaps Apple will set up a virtual phone company, a so-called MVNO, that leases airtime from a cell company but slaps the Apple brand on it, like Disney has done?

All these scenarios are fraught with problems. The current Motorola partnership has wrought crippled Frankenphones that are neither fish nor fowl. A partnership with a cell company would cede the customer experience to the cell provider -- not something Apple is likely to do. And running an MVNO would be a lot of pain with little payoff. The headaches are huge and the margins low.

The most likely scenario, as Jupiter analyst Ian Fogg has pointed out, is that the iPhone will be a stand-alone device that will accept a standard SIM card. You'll pop the SIM card out of your current cell phone and plug it into the iPhone. It'll be just like buying an unlocked handset from Asia, except you'll buy it at an Apple store instead of on Craigslist.

An iPhone with no provider strings attached would be better for the online iTunes store than selling tunes over the airwaves, as some cell companies are trying to do.

As Fogg notes: "Apple could continue to sell music via PCs and make its traditional retail margins. This approach doesn't even need an expensive 3-G radio -- which would help Apple keep handset cost, size and weight down and make the handset competitive with (relatively) bloated 3-G handsets sold by operators."

The thing is, will Apple really sell an iPhone? I sometimes have my doubts.

I'm not entirely convinced that the combination of phone and music player is as natural as it seems. I've owned two or three phones that can play MP3s, but I've never really used them. True, their capacity is small and syncing them is a pain. But the real problem is that music is just another feature among many that I don't use.

I use the phone for making calls. I don't use the other functions -- not even the camera. The one exception is syncing it with my calendar. I set up alarms to jog my memory when there's something I've got to do.

But perhaps Apple will do what it does best -- remove the clutter so there's not a bunch of confusing functions to get in the way. Maybe the iPhone will be a music player that makes phone calls, rather than a phone that plays music.

I have no doubt that Apple has developed such a device internally. I can see Steve Jobs playing with a prototype, issuing orders that the screen has to be brighter, or his songs aren't coming up fast enough.

Apple and its manufacturing partners in China have certainly developed the expertise to build an iPhone. Look at the latest nano. It's small and tough and the battery lasts for days. This wasn't true of previous iPod models -- they weren't ready to be phones.

When will the iPhone be launched? Likely when other devices start to eat into the iPod's market share, which won't be this holiday. Next year maybe?

Of course, Steve Jobs has a history of developing devices that never see the light of day. The first iMac was a disc-less Network Computer that was within a few months of launch before he decided there were too many problems, and the iMac should be a more traditional desktop. Jobs also admitted that Apple built a prototype PDA but decided not to release it. Likewise an Apple branded "internet service," which he killed because it wasn't a "viable business," according to the New York Times.

One thing's for sure, Apple won't be paying royalties to the record companies on every iPod sold. Funny how Universal pulled a Microsoft on Microsoft. It's the same business model that put Microsoft at the top of the PC industry: tax a license on every box sold."
Leander Kahney

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