FOUR STUNNING NEW FEATURES Cook should put in the iPHONE 7
Also: Grauniad selected to join El Reg in elite group of news organisations
3. UNLOCKING the App Store's potential: MORE APPS, BETTER and CHEAPER
Famously, one of the legendary strengths of iOS is the unbelievably massive developer traction it has achieved. And a strong app portfolio has always been one of the major draws for the iPhone. But, nonetheless, there are a fair few apps which are not available for iPhones. And, in some cases, iPhone apps cost a bit more than they really should – or they may not be as good as they could have been, if developers were able to sink more resources into their products.
If there were more and better apps and they cost less to buy, that would be very cool. And it could, in fact, be achieved.
Not many people in the tech media know about it, but there is actually an innovative mould-breaking option which Apple is already trying out on Macs. If it were available in iOS too, app developers would reap powerful new incentives and would be able – if they chose – to put a lot more resources into their offerings at a given price level.
It's difficult to properly explain this innovative developer API/platform mod without using technical language, but in essence the plan would be that a developer could write software for iOS devices and users could put that software on their devices and Apple or the App Store would not need to be involved. In particular, the 30 per cent cut of any payment – which at the moment must go to Apple to cover the huge expenses of running the App Store – would not be required.
Almost miraculously then, developers would be a lot richer and have more to spend on developing: and there would be scope for lower app prices too. It's an almost dizzyingly exciting model of app development, offering potential for runaway results. It even opens up the almost unthinkable prospect that one day, if you bought a computer, you would be able to write programs for it and run them on it by default.
If Tim Cook were to deliver this feature in iOS 10 and tie that to the iPhone 7, that would be a very powerful spur for a lot of iPhone owners to upgrade: and it's safe to say that it would persuade a lot of Android users to change over as well. Apple makes the great bulk of its money from iPhone and iPad sales, so the increased purchases would be likely to more than repay any minor costs involved. And remember, Apple would no longer have to shoulder the burden of running the App Store: this function would have been elegantly crowdsourced.
Come on Cook, what are you waiting for?
4. REALLY innovative payment and pricing that CUTS OUT THE OVERHEADS and gets the NEXT TWO BILLION iPhone customers
Apple's brilliant new hire-purchase-style payment plan selling direct to the customer rather than via a network is pretty clever, that's for sure. Previously, if someone wanted to pay a huge sum in the form of fat monthly payments for years on end rather than just buying a phone up front for much less money, only the network operators offered that ripoff. Now Apple offers it too, and that's brilliant.
But the giant brains of Cupertino could do more: much more. In particular, it's well known that Apple makes 69 per cent profit when it sells an iPhone, leading some to dub it "the most profitable product in history". That's great of course, and it turns out that there are huge numbers of people happy to buy at that vastly inflated price.
But what if – and this is obviously crazy, blue-sky thinking – what if Apple only charged a merely extortionate margin on the iPhone, rather than an outrageously insulting one?
That would have to generate a lot of goodwill, surely. Just by the law of supply and demand you'd expect a lower price to mean more sales. And Apple could lower its prices a lot and still enjoy profit margins hugely larger than the wafer-thin ones charged by its competitors.
It has to be at least possible that more people would be interested in an iPhone if it was say £150 cheaper. Brilliantly, it would still be a lot more expensive than rival phones with the same capabilities, so it would still have the crucial premium bling factor – and a fat profit margin too.
Sales would only need to triple for the plan to be a massive financial win for Apple, and it should be pretty easy to achieve trebled sales by adding the stunning new technologies outlined above, coupled with a hefty price cut in an irresistible one-two punch to the market. Why would anybody ever buy anything else?**
Who says Apple and Tim Cook can't do anything exciting any more? Frankly this plan has us extremely excited here at the Register, and we don't get excited easily. We have seldom heard of a company in such a strong position to deliver massive near-term growth. As Apple is already an insanely valuable company, this is a heady prospect indeed: we could be about to witness the end of capitalism as we know it, here.
Is it time to get out and snap up some of that Apple stock before the new and potentially devastating Cupertino plans become common knowledge?
It just could be. ®
*The Grauniad has recently become one of the very few on the elite, increasingly exclusive list of publications not permitted to have an iPhone for review purposes ahead of consumer launch.
We at the Register, of course, being in a slightly higher bracket tech-news wise even than the eminently respectable Graun, have been on Apple's little list for many years. We may in fact have founded it.
**Well, maybe you'd still just get a rival mainstream smartphone which did all the same things and was still £100 or more cheaper. Or you might get one of these, even cheaper and in almost all respects even better.