Watch Me Pull An iPhone Out Of My Hat! This Time For Sure…

“Although rumors have circulated for years that the company would develop its own handset, Apple watchers now say they are almost certain there will be a mobile phone in Apple’s near future.”
That’s right, analyst predictions of a mobile phone from Apple have resurfaced again…now, I’m not arguing that Apple will never release an iPod with mobile capabilities, but these rumors have been around for years and every time a big announcement is promised by Apple people confidently predict an iPhone, and of course it was always something else. My personal favorite? A new mouse. Let me put it this way, I could predict that mobile phones will soon have 100 gigabit bandwidth connections. It’s not likely to happen, but if I keep repeating it until it eventually does happen I’ll look like a seer…
While the analysts in the article attempt to pin down the possibility (“during the fourth quarter”, “a 75 percent chance of an iPhone in the next 12 months”) there are still some issues Apple has to grapple with, and the biggest one isn’t “to develop a compelling device that not only maintains the simplicity for which the iPod is known but also features the functionality users have come to expect from next-generation phones”. I think the biggest problem will be the business case — how to make the phone price competitive with competing handsets when it’s unlikely to be subsidized. There’s also the issue of compatability, will people with an iPhone be able to buy mobile content from anyone except Apple? I also think the labels will eventually force Apple to raise the price of iTunes songs…
Interestingly, the end of the article questions whether Apple will go with GSM or CDMA (why not both?). I would go with GSM since there’s less need to partner with carriers, which Apple really doesn’t like doing. “If Apple decides to use GSM, what if a user wants to switch to a service provider that uses CDMA?” Krishna asked. “Then the user has a device that is not operable. That’s basically where you start getting into problems.” I find that comment hilarious — Apple has proven time and time again that it doesn’t care if its products aren’t compatible with other services. It won’t license FairPlay and it won’t make it compatible with DRM used by other content vendors. What will it care if its customers are restricted in their choice of operator?
Related stories:
Music Phones Vs iPod Debate Still Raging
Wireless iPod Would Make Sense: Qualcomm CEO
iTunes In Trouble รข

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