No small iPhone 5, says mole
Sources spin and counter-spin
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, though, trust one unnamed mole and not another?
The previous whispers from the shadows had it that Apple is not only working on a smaller iPhone, to accompany the standard-sized model, but also that it might use software Sim technology to make roaming and network swapping easy.
Apple's problem is not, however, a matter of size, but the scope of the market it can address. Going smaller might help, but not half as much as simply making a less expensive handset. It's largely lower prices that's driving the Android smartphone market, for instance, not technological or design leadership.
Apple has tried this low-cost phone approach. It currently offers the iPhone 3GS as a cut-price alternative to the iPhone 4, but since most iPhone owners want the latest model, a better approach might be to offer parallel versions of a future iPhone, one pared back for buyers on a budget, the other offering more features to punters with cash to flash.
Says the NYT mole: a smaller-screen iPhone would force developers to rewrite apps.
Nonsense, provided Apple retains the 480 x 320 resolution of the original iPhone - more likely with a smaller display than the iPhone 4's 960 x 480. For apps that lack 960 x 480 graphic files, scaling the down would be a doddle for the phone's OS.
Of course, Apple may simply choose not to enter the budget market, preferring to position its offering as a superior, high-end offering. A lower cost offering would still boost its sales.
We should find out the truth in June, the month Apple traditionally announces iPhone updates. ®
"... 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.
"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?
"[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...
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.
...take 30% from the operators for using Apple device (since I'm sure will have to be subscribed through iTunes).