Apple 'iPhone Nano' back in the game, says mole
Budget action against Android?
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 sold without the need to take out a contract up front.
That claim strongly suggests that the budget iPhone will either be unlocked - Apple sells unlocked iPhones in most territories outside the US - or the company is planning to get into the virtual network operator business, something it has been rumoured in the past to be considering.
The precedent here is Amazon's Kindle 3G, which can connect to networks across the globe without the user having to do anything. Amazon bulk buys connectivity, picking whichever local network will cut it the best deal and swapping between them as necessary.
Amazon funds the cost of connectivity through its e-book sales. Apple could do likewise, paying for punters' calls through a cut from every app, e-book, song or video they and others download.
A second source also said Apple is looking at a universal network system which would allow owners to select which network they connect to without having to swap Sim cards.
There has been talk of Sim-less iPhones before, and it's possible to simulate Sims in software to allow the user to select a preferred carrier in whatever country they happen to be in, even if Apple doesn't think the time is right to begun bundling universal connectivity and cut operators out of the equation.
We think it's more likely to try that with the data-centric iPad than a voice-oriented product like the mini iPhone.
Which may not happen in any case, the mole said, suggesting this is a notion Apple's executives are pondering rather than a strategy they are actively pursuing. ®
"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
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...
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.
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.