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Apple Plans Cheaper Nano-Based iPhone

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the they-can-make-it-smaller-they-have-the-technology dept.

343

bigkahunafish writes "It seems Apple is planning a cheaper version of the iPhone possibly based on the iPod Nano. This phone would be priced below $300 making it more affordable than the $500-600 iPhone. This should bring Apple phone technology into the hands of more users, though this cheaper phone could have more limited functionality. From the article: 'Sales of the [original] iPhone are expected to be limited to a small percentage of the market due to its high price tag, particularly in the United States where 85 percent of consumers tend to spend $100 or less on cell phones. But analysts forecast that a cheaper phone from Apple, which leads the digital music player market, could pose a much bigger threat to long-established phone makers such as Nokia, Motorola Inc, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and Sony Ericsson, owned by Sony Corp and Ericsson.' I just hope they don't make a phone based on the iPod Shuffle."

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343 comments

Nothing for you to see here. Please move along. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19812529)

Wow, it's THAT small?

I'm waiting for the iPhone Shuffle (4, Funny)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 6 years ago | (#19812533)

It's got only one button. Press it and it dials one of your contacts at random.

Re:I'm waiting for the iPhone Shuffle (0)

PrescriptionWarning (932687) | more than 6 years ago | (#19812583)

I never found the shuffles random to really be all that random.. and how could it be since a random number generator must be based on a non-random number seed.

expect many calls to the same people you don't really wanna talk to

Re:I'm waiting for the iPhone Shuffle (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19812705)

since a random number generator must be based on a non-random number seed.

This statement isn't exactly correct; if it's based on a non-random seed than it's a pseudo-random number generator (PRNG), not a random number generator (RNG).

It's possible to construct an electronic device that spits out random numbers, but it won't be using a seed. It will be using a physical process such as electronic noise, radioactive decay, or something else accepted as random.

Re:I'm waiting for the iPhone Shuffle (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19812743)

Please tell me that you did a statistical study, and aren't just proclaiming your useless human impressions of what seems "random" to you.

Re:I'm waiting for the iPhone Shuffle (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19812977)

It doesn't matter if it's really random or not, music shufflers should seem random, even if they have to cheat to do it (lower changes of songs on the same album, etc).

Re:I'm waiting for the iPhone Shuffle (1)

Silver Sloth (770927) | more than 6 years ago | (#19812771)

and how could it be since a random number generator must be based on a non-random number seed
It all depends on what you mean by random. True random is very hard to achieve - and I speak as someone involved with ERNIE [wikipedia.org]

As far as providing a 'random' suffle for a music player some time based seed would be sufficiently random to be indistinguishable from the real thing

Re:I'm waiting for the iPhone Shuffle (2, Informative)

Applekid (993327) | more than 6 years ago | (#19813317)

Try adjusting the randomness slider in iTunes and then resync. In default settings it occasionally favors another random song from the same album / artist over a random song selected from your entire collection.

Re:I'm waiting for the iPhone Shuffle (2, Interesting)

LKM (227954) | more than 6 years ago | (#19813471)

If you would perceive it as random, it probably would not be random, since it would have to do a lot of non-random things trying to avoid patterns and repetition. The fact that you think it's not random is almost proof that it pretty much is random :-)

Re:I'm waiting for the iPhone Shuffle (5, Funny)

The13thSin (1092867) | more than 6 years ago | (#19812591)

So... that's kinda like when I'm drunk then?

Re:I'm waiting for the iPhone Shuffle (5, Funny)

Crazy Man on Fire (153457) | more than 6 years ago | (#19812807)

So... that's kinda like when I'm drunk then?


No, the iPhone Shuffle is no more likely to call your ex-girlfriend than it is to call any other contact.

Re:I'm waiting for the iPhone Shuffle (0, Troll)

GrAfFiT (802657) | more than 6 years ago | (#19812673)

The sad part is that they will manage to hype it up as a real product again..

Re:I'm waiting for the iPhone Shuffle (0)

PDubNYC (650812) | more than 6 years ago | (#19813355)

yuk yuk yuk...

any other ripped off, old jokes you'd like to share, Shecky?

Buy now... (1, Interesting)

Cygfrydd (957180) | more than 6 years ago | (#19812541)

... or wait... that's always the dilemma with Apple; they're so tight-lipped you don't know when the latest-and-greatest happens until it's already on shelves. Got burned on my MacBook, so I think I'll be waiting.

@cyg

Re:Buy now... (5, Insightful)

clifyt (11768) | more than 6 years ago | (#19812671)

"Got burned on my MacBook, so I think I'll be waiting."

How exactly did you get burned? It sounds like you bought the product you wanted, at a price you found acceptable, and Apple brought out a new product sometime afterward.

You can wait all you want, and either the product will be incrementally improved or discontinued. There really is only two choices. If you buy the upgraded model, that too will be upgraded at some point. Would you complain that you were burned again?

I buy probably a dozen or more Dells a year. If I wait a year, they will have better graphic cards, more ram and probably a better processor. They don't send me emails telling me that there is going to be a new product coming out in a few months. I buy what I need when I need to. And I know that something better will be coming out soon after I buy it.

Re:Buy now... (1)

operato (782224) | more than 6 years ago | (#19812767)

that's why i buy second hand. i know it's already out of date and it does exactly what i need. hooray for my 2 powerbook g3s (wallstreet and pismo).

Re:Buy now...Unless (4, Informative)

BoRegardless (721219) | more than 6 years ago | (#19812769)

Bi-Directional Synching, .pdf, .xls, & .doc reading and browsing is needed and you don't have to lug the Mac Book around all the time anymore.

Then the iPhone "pays" for itself.

I've had mine for just over a week, and I don't regret the money to get these features in a phone I can read in the bright sunlight.

The article is wild speculation (4, Interesting)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 6 years ago | (#19812879)

Read the article. The features they describe are ones we read about here on slashdot (apple design patents). Ones for rotary gestures and such. This does not mean it's an iphone or a nano. I'll note that if you have watched the multi-touch demos from that guy whose famous for them (what's his name?) and who consults for apple, his MENUs are not bars but sectored circles and you call them up with a spiral gesture. Another apple design patent was for senstitive places around the edge of a screen that are flush with the screen. That is to say physical buttons associated with the edge of a screen.

Those kinds of details could help reduce the screen area needed to support a full-featured phone and perhaps get it dow to a nano-sized thing. Too small to be a real internet broswer device but large enough to pan through a contact list.

anyhow those design patents have been out there for a long time. SO some ones discovering them does not make it news or mean there's a new product.

On the other hand apple needs a response to the two sided phone/music players from samsung. those are ipod-nano killers since even though they are larger than a nano, you could argue that the music player is actually smaller as long as you planned to have a cell phone in your pocket anyhow. A nano sized phone would kill that.

Re:The article is wild speculation (1)

TJamieson (218336) | more than 6 years ago | (#19813365)

anyhow those design patents have been out there for a long time. SO some ones discovering them does not make it news or mean there's a new product.

True, but just the same, the "Stacks" patent application was in 2002 or 2003... such that rumor sites at the time guessed that Mac OS X 10.3 would include such functionality. Yet it did not, nor did it exist in 10.4, but it *is* included in 10.5. I think things like this (a few years before retail implementation) is what makes people play the guessing game with Apple patents.

Re:Buy now... (0, Offtopic)

Zonk (troll) (1026140) | more than 6 years ago | (#19812947)

I'll be waiting until there is an AT&T-free version of the iPhone. Until then I really don't care about the iPhone.

Re:Buy now... (1)

datapharmer (1099455) | more than 6 years ago | (#19812961)

I agree with the comment by clifyt... how did you get burned?? You do know Apple has a very liberal policy as far as new products go: if you bought right before the release they will either exchange or gibe you the difference in price. Sounds fair to me.

Re:Buy now... (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 6 years ago | (#19813011)

Buy now or wait isn't just a dilema with Apple, its the dilema with the whole computer industry. And yet I don't hear anyone saying, "Damn, why did I buy that Commodore 64 when if I would have waited 20 years I could have had a dual core machine with 4 gigs of ram for the same price!"

Better products come out all the time, its the name of the game. Get the best that you can afford and go with that, or do what some people do: Buy a top of the line Apple computer every year then sell it a year later(for about a loss of at most $500) and then go buy the next top of the line computer from Apple and repeat. Some people do that and never spend more than $500 a year and always have the top spec machines. Not saying it will work for everyone(esp. if you abuse your electronics), but I'm getting really off topic here and its time for laundry. In conclusion, technology gets obviated all the time, deal with it.

Re:Buy now... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19813171)

I bought a new Toyota once, but then, within a few weeks the manufacturer released a newer, better-looking model with some improved features and at the same price! Oh boy, was I pissed off. The manufacturer wouldn't upgrade my car, or give me any money back.

So for my most recent car purchase I bought a new Chevy. They're updated like once every 20 years, and the updates usually make them a bit lousier. Now I know I made a good decision!

If they really wanted people to buy the iPhone (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19812549)

They wouldn't have gone with Cingular... err, the new AT&T.

Re:If they really wanted people to buy the iPhone (1)

repetty (260322) | more than 6 years ago | (#19813335)

Actually, they went with AT&T... err, Cingular... err, AT&T....

--Richard

iPhone Shuffle (2, Funny)

Deinhard (644412) | more than 6 years ago | (#19812551)

I just hope they don't make a phone based on the iPod Shuffle.
Why not? Don't you want your phone to randomly call people in your Contact list? At least if you get someone you don't like you can "skip to next."

Re:iPhone Shuffle (3, Funny)

Cygfrydd (957180) | more than 6 years ago | (#19812585)

Thank you for making my drudge of a job a little bit more bearable. That made me literally laugh out loud. "Hello? Who did I just call? Mom? No, I don't want to talk to you. *click* Hello? Who..."

@yg

Re:iPhone Shuffle (5, Funny)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 6 years ago | (#19812609)

At least it will encourage people to clean up their contact list.

Fellow Senator, take a look at my new iPhone Shuffle. Watch me dial someone:

Mom [skip]
Brian Smith[skip]
DC Madam [skip! skip! Where the hell is the delete button?!]

Re:iPhone Shuffle (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19812831)

Well, gee. I was hoping they would release it in the shape of a Star Trek insignia and install some kind of magical "Me to Someone else" voice activation. :-)

Re:iPhone Shuffle (4, Insightful)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 6 years ago | (#19812945)

With voice-dial and bluetooth, an "iPhone shuffle" would actually be pretty nice. I doubt they could get good battery life for a phone in such a small device though. I'd give up a screen for a cell phone that would fit on my keychain.

How more limited can you get? (5, Interesting)

Mr. Droopy Drawers (215436) | more than 6 years ago | (#19812575)

I've been following the reviews for the iPhone. Once you get past the "GeeWhiz" features and dig into the reasons why you'd want a SmartPhone, there's lots of holes to find. Brian Lam [gizmodo.com] discussed this in a pretty level-headed way:

The real elephant in the room is the fact that I just spent $600 on my friggin' iPhone and it can't do some crucial functions that even $50 handsets can. I'm talking about MMS. Video recording. Custom ringtones. Mass storage. Fully functioning Bluetooth with stereo audio streaming. Voice dialing when you're using a car kit. Sending contact info to other people. Instant friggin' messenging. Sending an SMS to more than one recipient at a time.

I expect Apple to fill those holes pretty quickly. But, it's going to take V2 HW to fix some things I'd want like external storage and bigger internal storage.

Re:How more limited can you get? (1, Interesting)

MontyApollo (849862) | more than 6 years ago | (#19812763)

It does give them a clear path for version 2. They make a huge amount of money selling version 1 to the cool gadget crowd, then they come out with version 2 and fill in the holes to appeal to the average user/business user. In addition, a lot of version 1 people, being the cool gadget crowd, will decide to buy version 2 also. They make more money in the long run by leaving enough holes in to have more models in the pipeline, but not enough holes that it deters a significant portion of their target audience.

Complaints (0, Flamebait)

simpl3x (238301) | more than 6 years ago | (#19812865)

My biggest complaints are that I cannot simply send an image to my machine without using iPhoto, or access files for storage and such particularly over Bluetooth. Not being able to use it as a modem is pretty crappy as well!

That aside, it is a cool phone. Although I would not have purchased an iPod as a separate product, having one is not bad. But again, I purchased an iPod Shuffle instead of a flash drive, and am sort of bothered that I cannot use a $500 product to do the job of a $25 flash drive.

GPS would have been nice as well...

Re:How more limited can you get? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19812881)

The iphone really can't send an SMS (text messaging) to more than one recipient at a time? or receive MMS (Multimedia messaging)?

That'd ridiculous if it's true. I use those functions all the time (in fact I couldn't function without the multi-recipient SMS on my razr - I carpool and very often have to send 1 message to 3 recipients at once)

Re:Why isnt anyone comparing Openmoko to iPhone? (1)

ashraya (632661) | more than 6 years ago | (#19813109)

Why not? Openmoko neo1973 has about the same features, atleast according to the web site. Touch sensitive screen that can be manipulated using the finger, Runs Linux, Not bound to any GSM Vendor, BT 2.0 etc., Can someone point me to an article that compares these?

Re:How more limited can you get? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19813235)

Parent modded "redundant"

Apple criticism not tolerated on Slashdot.

iPhone IS perfect.

News at 11.

Re:How more limited can you get? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19813445)

Steve Jobs has said that they think the biggest future enhancements will be in the software, but yeah, some of those features would sure be nice, hope the 2nd generation will have these.

hey, I can wait and I have little choice, living in Europe and all....

Re:How more limited can you get? (4, Insightful)

furball (2853) | more than 6 years ago | (#19813519)

MMS support is dumb. MMS is what you need when phones were stupid and couldn't handle real email. Saying you need MMS is like saying you need to support rotary dial. MMS is a feature bullet that got out-classed by real email with real attachments.

I don't need MMS. I have a phone that can send an email with an attached photo. My phone is not the problem. Your phone that's incapable of receiving emails with MIME attachments.

The other comments about videos, ringtones, etc. are valid.

Just stop it already. (0, Troll)

Some guy named Chris (9720) | more than 6 years ago | (#19812577)

The iPhone shuffle jokes. They aren't funny.

here, here! (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 6 years ago | (#19813533)

It was funny the first time I made it when the iphone was still just a rumor. But you're right, its so lame now. I'd much rather here a thousand " In soviet Russia phone, I's You" jokes than another iphone shuffle joke. Its dead, like all of the people in korea that still use email. Give it a rest slashdot, beating it to death won't make this one any funnier.

It's not the price tag, or the carrier... (-1, Flamebait)

GuyverDH (232921) | more than 6 years ago | (#19812601)

It's the package.. Strike 1) Apple makes it Strike 2) Price Strike 3) Cingular/ATT only Strike 4) Soldered in battery Strike 5) Security issues All in all, it really never had a chance to live...

Re:It's not the price tag, or the carrier... (1, Funny)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 6 years ago | (#19812661)

Punctuation isn't just for making smileys.

Re:It's not the price tag, or the carrier... (0, Offtopic)

GuyverDH (232921) | more than 6 years ago | (#19812729)

Until slashdot decided to strip out all of my formatting, it looked quite nice.

I'd assumed that since it looked fine under preview that it'd go through the way I'd formatted it....

Gotta love the "html formatted" default... now where's my hammer.

Re:It's not the price tag, or the carrier... (0, Flamebait)

GuyverDH (232921) | more than 6 years ago | (#19812765)

It's the package..

Strike 1) Apple makes it
Strike 2) Price
Strike 3) Cingular/ATT only
Strike 4) Soldered in battery
Strike 5) Security issues

All in all, it really never had a chance to live...

(there, as it should have been originally)

Re:It's not the price tag, or the carrier... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19812803)

I can tell you are a brilliant businessman. iPhone has fucking exceeded Apple's sales expectations.

Re:It's not the price tag, or the carrier... (3, Insightful)

NDPTAL85 (260093) | more than 6 years ago | (#19812991)

So when you say it never had a chance to live, you are referring to for yourself right? Because the "package" seems to have worked out just well for all the hundreds of thousands of iPhones Apple has sold so far with the first model...

So now that the iPhone is out... (3, Funny)

doombringerltx (1109389) | more than 6 years ago | (#19812617)

...they need to have another iPhone that isn't out yet we can have at least one post a day about.

Nano Based? (4, Insightful)

cowscows (103644) | more than 6 years ago | (#19812619)

"Nano-based" is pretty much the dumbest way you could've put it. It's going to be based on the current iPhone, but it'll just be a cheaper, physically smaller, and more feature limited device; similar to the way an iPod nano compares to a full size iPod.

Ooooh, I see, Apple has filed phone related patents that utilize a scroll wheel, just like the iPod nano. Never mind that every other iPod(minus the shuffle) also has a scroll wheel.

Any

Re:Nano Based? (1)

blueZhift (652272) | more than 6 years ago | (#19812965)

Ooooh, I see, Apple has filed phone related patents that utilize a scroll wheel, just like the iPod nano. Never mind that every other iPod(minus the shuffle) also has a scroll wheel.

Oh, I see where they might be going with this. Imagine a scroll wheel that has little dimples with the numbers on them around the circumference like an old rotary dial. That would take care of dialing without a touchscreen, a mix of modern and retro.

Still $300 for a phone is steep. I would hope and imagine that a nano based phone will be subsidized if they really want to appeal more to the mass market. Hopefully it would be free of the AT&T exclusivity as well, but that's a tougher matter to negotiate I would guess, depending on the current iPhone agreement between Apple and AT&T.

Re:Nano Based? (1)

sjofi (307114) | more than 6 years ago | (#19813349)

It's going to be based on the current iPhone, but it'll just be a cheaper, physically smaller, and more feature limited device;

how can it be more feature limited?? they drop the phone feature?

Re:Nano Based? (1)

jrumney (197329) | more than 6 years ago | (#19813377)

I was going to ask the question "how can you dumb the iPhone down further, and it still be usable as a phone". Making the screen smaller and adding buttons or a scroll wheel, and ditching the WiFi seem the only options. Its not like the iPhone is feature rich as it is, with no 3G, poor bluetooth support, PC connectivity tied to iTunes and no real developer support.

changing the normal pricing model (5, Insightful)

smithcl8 (738234) | more than 6 years ago | (#19812621)

This is how Apple is going to change the pricing model used in the cell phone market. Before, when you drooled over a new phone, you knew that if you waited 1-2 years, you could pick it up for next to nothing. The RAZR, for instance, was about $300 when it came out...one year later, it was $99. I've heard several of my colleagues say that they will get their iPhones in two years when they are $50.

I've explained to these colleagues that there is no way this will happen. Apple's products never become cheaper, they just release new "generations" and keep the price about the same. They fill the gap with less functional products. This method is true for their desktops (Mac Pro, iMac, Mac Mini), notebooks (MacBook Pro, Macbook) and their iPods (iPod, iPod Nano, iPod Shuffle); it only stands to reason that it will be true for iPhones, too.

And since the batteries aren't replacable in the iPhones, after two years, you won't want to get a used one. This locks their customers into the current $500-$600 units forever, as you wouldn't want to buy a used one in 1 1/2 years.

Will this work in the cell phone market? I'm not sure, but I'm certain that there will never be a "free iPhone with 2 year activation" type promotion.

Re:changing the normal pricing model (4, Insightful)

timster (32400) | more than 6 years ago | (#19812867)

used iPhone (2009) -- $300
cell service for two years -- $1500
Battery (physical part, typical retail) -- $30
Battery (Apple replacement service cost, minus typical part cost) -- $60

Conclusion: the extra costs of the battery replacement service represent about 3.2% of TCO for someone who wishes to buy a used iPhone. Anyone who decides not to purchase a used iPhone based on the built-in battery is an idiot.

Re:changing the normal pricing model (2, Informative)

smithcl8 (738234) | more than 6 years ago | (#19813115)

smithcl8's Guesstimated New iPhone Price in 2009: $500
Timster's Guesstimated Used Working iPhone Price in 2009: $300+$30+$60 = $390.

Conclusion: If you feel like revamping a 2 year old piece of hardware to save 20%, go for it, but those who would not are certainly not idiots. I can't predict the features that will be available in 2009, but I must believe that they will be worth at least $110 more than a used first generation iPhone.

Re:changing the normal pricing model (1)

timster (32400) | more than 6 years ago | (#19813289)

Oh, I'm sure that purchasing a new model will indeed make more sense than a used one in two years. However, I don't believe that the battery has much to do with it, or creates "lock-in". All devices will have some maintenance cost, and the built-in battery increases those maintenance costs slightly, but it's hard to see a scenario where that increase would dramatically alter the economics of the overall situation.

Re:changing the normal pricing model (1)

illegalcortex (1007791) | more than 6 years ago | (#19812891)

Nevermind will it work in the cell phone market (though I think the answer is no) - will it even work in the music player market? I have several friends whose iPods crapped out after less than two years. They're quite dissatisfied with that. They went ahead and bought another, but I just don't see how that can last more than a couple of cycles.

Re:changing the normal pricing model (1)

ouchiko (945605) | more than 6 years ago | (#19812973)

Personally I will wait on the other manufactorers pushing out "similar" type phones. Apple has given the mobile industry a shock but they are big enough to counter. I'm not sure how many people will actually purchase this in the UK (via O2 so the rumours go) - we're very much a one year contract and get an upgrade / new contract bunch of people and we rarely spend significants amount of money on mobiles. Sure Apple have done a good PR exercise with the mobile but apple's market share of mobiles will be tiny in comparison to the others.

Re:changing the normal pricing model (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19813265)

purchase this in the UK (via O2 so the rumours go)

The rumours for Vodafone seem stronger, especially now that the firmware has been decrypted and shown to contain operator logos for Cingular, AT&T, T-Mobile and Vodafone and no other operators.

Re:changing the normal pricing model (2, Insightful)

Fnord666 (889225) | more than 6 years ago | (#19813029)

This locks their customers into the current $500-$600 units forever, as you wouldn't want to buy a used one in 1 1/2 years.
I certainly will buy one used in a couple of years. It's a solder joint for pete's sake. Unsolder the old battery and solder in a new one with twice the storage capacity. Maybe I should see this as less of a comment and more of a business model.
Total time: 15 minutes
Total cost: Probably about $20 including the case tool to open the iPhone

Re:changing the normal pricing model (2, Interesting)

NDPTAL85 (260093) | more than 6 years ago | (#19813039)

Yes you've nailed it for how it will go for regular consumers.

Keep in mind however that services like www.iresq.com are popping up that WILL replace your iPhone batteries for you. So in the future it may be cheaper to buy a used iPhone and then send it off to get its battery replaced. I also fully expect that a company like NewerTech will at some point offer increased capacity batteries that surpass the performance of the original OEM batteries.

Re:changing the normal pricing model (1)

Frizzle Fry (149026) | more than 6 years ago | (#19813133)

I've heard several of my colleagues say that they will get their iPhones in two years when they are $50. I've explained to these colleagues that there is no way this will happen.
I guess you've never heard of eBay? Or you think that all he early adopters who bought a $600 phone the day it came out aren't going to be buying a newer phone sometime in the next few years?

Re:changing the normal pricing model (2, Insightful)

Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) | more than 6 years ago | (#19813325)

I've heard several of my colleagues say that they will get their iPhones in two years when they are $50.

I've explained to these colleagues that there is no way this will happen.


You are correct. I don't see the iPhone ever selling for less than $300 - not a new one anyway. I'm not sure Apple should even go for the under $100 market nor do I think they plan to do so. I took a look just to see what is out there for under $100. The only phones you can get for $100 are giant sized piece of crap phones or you can get a decent phone with a 2 year contract. You can't buy a good unlocked phone for $100 or less. At least not from any of the people I trust who sell phones. The cheapskate and the crybaby "I just want a phone that's a phone" people will never, ever buy iPhones anyway. I don't think it makes good business sense to try to sell to this market anyway. A dumbed down iPhone that could sell for under $100 seems pointless to me. Isn't the point that you can do cool stuff with it? The people who want cheap, featureless phones are a segment Apple would be wise to ignore.

Next Generation (1)

skitle (555418) | more than 6 years ago | (#19812623)

I am not sure about my stand on the iPhone, but regardless, it seems much better to wait for the 2nd or 3rd generation of a product from Apple. The 1st generation products, although 'new and hip,' seems to have quirks just as many other companies products. As another comment stated, with Apple always being secretive about product releases, a person who is burned once by a new/better product coming out the day after they purchase theirs, tend to be a little gun shy.

Expanding (3, Interesting)

wombatmobile (623057) | more than 6 years ago | (#19812693)

It makes sense for Apple to expand its phone product range, since it is now a phone manufacturer.

What if they succeed and sell tens of millions of units?

Then a computer company would be one of the world's largest phone manufacturers.

That would make the telecommunications industry a lot more interesting. Currently, it is dominated by phone type companies.

Why do i want an iPhone? (1, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | more than 6 years ago | (#19812695)

There seems to have been a lot of hype over this. I can't work out why everyone's so obsessed though. A built in mp3 player is a nice idea but that's been around for a while. It also seems to have limitted PDA type functionality but it's hardly the first.

Are people that obsessed over the new type of touch screen?

Re:Why do i want an iPhone? (1)

NDPTAL85 (260093) | more than 6 years ago | (#19813169)

Its beasue the company that invented the PDA market has finally returned to it, to take us all home.

Won't be Nano-sized, though (3, Insightful)

hcdejong (561314) | more than 6 years ago | (#19812717)

The Nano just doesn't have enough internal volume for phone electronics plus a battery that'll give decent battery life.

Translated (0)

Jaaay (1124197) | more than 6 years ago | (#19812747)

They want to release an LG KE850 [techfresh.net]. It's a good lesson in marketing how Apple can be hailed as innovative for taking an LG phone that won design awards and making some modifications.

quick!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19812755)

Fsck!!

Qucik!
www.iPhoneNano.com!!!

Slashdot sinks further into uselessness (5, Insightful)

aztektum (170569) | more than 6 years ago | (#19812777)

Stop posting conjecture by "market analysts". No matter how you spin it, this is not news for nerds or stuff that matters. It's someone trying to rally interest in Apple stock.

iPhone Shuffle (-1, Redundant)

QBasicer (781745) | more than 6 years ago | (#19812819)

Perhaps the iPhone shuffle will help those inflicted with the condition known as drunk texting/calling. Then again, Russian Roulette, phone style?

The magic key to iPhone sales (1)

dkh2 (29130) | more than 6 years ago | (#19812825)

... is to STOP selling it as a phone and start selling it as the broad featured portable computing device that it is. At $500 it's way too expensive for being a phone with a few added features but, it's not too expensive to be a nifty, feature rich portable computing device that happens to include a phone.

Really? (4, Insightful)

eebra82 (907996) | more than 6 years ago | (#19812883)

"..could pose a much bigger threat to long-established phone makers such as Nokia, Motorola Inc, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and Sony Ericsson.."

Yes, it will steal some market share from the phone makers, but we should all assume that they aren't idiots. What they all have in common is great income and plenty of money to spend on development. Why would they just watch Apple steal everything from them? It's one thing to conquer the mp3 player market, but significantly harder to conquer the mobile phone market.

I am one hundred percent certain that at least a couple of these companies will bring out very competitive products very soon, possibly this year. I also have no doubt that Apple will continue to develop great products, but I just don't see the same iPod era in the cell phone market like so many people think.

MORE, not less, bitches! (0)

LibertineR (591918) | more than 6 years ago | (#19812915)

IMHO, it is too soon for Apple to be concentrating on the low end. All that will do is hurt sales of the current device in the interim. Those who want the current phone can do with a bit less of other crap to count up their iPhone pennies.

As one waiting for the second generation, expecting better connectivity speeds without Wi-Fi, better compatibility with Exchange Push and Active Sync, Voice Dialing, and more, this news pisses me off. Let the cheap bastards by Razr's and LG Chocolate phones, dammit.

Apple could discover that by creating an iPhone that does EVERYTHING, many people would be happy to leave the laptop in the bag and carry ONE device with them, and pay almost what you would pay for a decent laptop.

Who would not pay $999 for an iPhone that did everything except scratch your balls(assuming they could fix that later in software)? Listen up, Apple bitches, I want a phone that works WELL with Exchange, works WELL on the Internet when there is no Starbucks for miles around, and I want a phone that I can dial without taking one or both hands off the wheel! Add THAT to your current 8G phone, and I can personally guarantee you 500 unit sales at a $999 TOMORROW!

Goddammit.

Leave the poor bastards to fuckin CRICKET, and give us something we can USE!

Two pieces connected by a cord? (4, Insightful)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 6 years ago | (#19812925)

The distance between the human ear and the human mouth is pretty well fixed... how can they make a one-piece phone much smaller than the iPhone? I just don't see it. Maybe a miniature version of a candlestick phone, with two pieces connected by a cord. Or perhaps a tiny Shuffle-like mouthpiece and a separate, tiny bluetooth earpiece?

And I'm not sure I see how they can make the thing more than incrementally cheaper.

They can't make the screen smaller without turning the iPhone into something like an ordinary cell phone. And then you don't get any of the breakthrough advantages of the iPhone user interface. It would just be a Motorola ROKR with an Apple logo and, possibly, better iPod functionality.

So far, Apple has been consistently good in avoiding the temptation to put the Apple brand on something that Apple fans like me would perceive to be a cheap piece of crap.

The iPod Shuffle is a good case in point. Before it came out, everyone was speculating that it would have a tiny, i.e. unusable screen (like some of the competitive .mp3 players). Instead, in both the older and newer Shuffles, Apple came out with a slick piece of industrial design that looks and feels like a quality product in a new category, not a cheap-and-cheesy version of an existing product, or a slightly-tarted-up version of a score of competitors' products.

I'm darned if I see how they can make a much smaller, cheaper iPhone without falling into that trap.

Rumour fatigue (5, Insightful)

simong (32944) | more than 6 years ago | (#19812969)

Can we please, please stop with this astroturf? Pundits don't know what's going to happen to the iPhone, you don't know what's going to happen to the iPhone, it's probably likely that Apple don't know what's going to happen to the iPhone beyond a couple of OS fixes. The two things that are interesting about the iPhone are the interface and the fact that it runs OS X. Period. It might get more interesting as it develops but at the moment it's a crippled phone on a crippled network that is probably going to prove to be the biggest tech disappointment of 2007. This time next week it will 'iPhone could add two inches to your manhood' or 'iPhone could enable owner to travel in time and space' at this rate.

Re:Rumour fatigue (1)

clonmult (586283) | more than 6 years ago | (#19813443)

Only one person truly knows what is going to happen with the iPhone.

God.

Or as some people like to call him, "Steve".

Overblown speculation (1)

MalleusEBHC (597600) | more than 6 years ago | (#19813023)

After RTFA, it sounds to me like this guy has found info that suggests Apple will turn the iPod Nano into... an updated iPod Nano. So there is a new casing coming down the supply chain and a patent for a "multifunctional" device. To me that sounds like Apple is going to update the Nano to incorporate some of the gee-whiz iPhone UI features while leaving their high margin, incredibly popular iPhone unchallenged, but saying that doesn't get your name in the papers.

Not quite (1)

Tarlus (1000874) | more than 6 years ago | (#19813075)

"This should bring Apple phone technology into the hands of more users..."

Not very many. They're forgetting that people who are currently locked in with contracts with other providers won't just go and buy an iPhone right away. Couple that with people who don't live in AT&T's serviceable area and brand loyalty (I'm never leaving Sprint) and their sales will never truly explode like the iPod has. Only making a deal with AT&T will limit their market. So really, Apple should loosen up just a little bit in order to market it via Verizon, Sprint, etc. I could, quite frankly, care less if I had an iPhone with a Sprint logo on it.

I like how they decided to make a new model iPhone after all the rabid fanboys have gone and spent like $600 to have it on launch day. :D

Isn't the iPhone already Nano-based? (4, Insightful)

theurge14 (820596) | more than 6 years ago | (#19813083)

iPod Nano: 4GB and 8GB models
iPhone: 4GB and 8GB models

Both use flash memory for storage.

From my perspective as a 80GB hard-drive based iPod owner, which iPod exactly is the iPhone based on if it isn't already the Nano?

Re:Isn't the iPhone already Nano-based? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19813233)

Actually, iPhone is not Nano or based on Nano. The fact that it has same amount of memory is coincidental. I know this is hard stuff, but think about it couple times and you'll get it.

Why would Apple care about "cannibalizing?" (4, Insightful)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 6 years ago | (#19813119)

"Another analyst Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray said he expects Apple to bring out iPods that resemble iPhone, which features such as a touch-sensitive screen, later this year. Such products would help stop iPhone eating into iPod sales. 'We believe the iPhone reveals much of what the iPod will soon be,' Munster said in a note to clients, 'iPods with some of the touchscreen features of the iPhone should lessen the impact of cannibalization.'"

Hold on a minute. In the first place, why would Apple we worried about a $500 or $600 iPhone "eating into iPod sales?"

That sounds like the sort of poisonous big-corporation bozo thinking. People that care more about their division than about either a) the customer, or b) the company as a whole. Like old-time GM, where Buick, Oldsmobile, and Pontiac worried more about each other than about, say, high-quality foreign cars. It's the sort of thinking that leads to artificially holding back new products in order to "milk the cash cow" and extract the last dollar from the older product. To rationalized product lines with exactly seven price points.

That's not the way every company works (remember Digital introducing the MicroVAX II, knowing perfectly well that it wasn't going to "cannibalize" higher-end VAX sales, it was going to vaporize them?) And there's good evidence that it's not the way Apple works. A case in point would be the replacement of the iPod Mini, which was a popular, successful, and well-liked product, with the Nano. There's no evidence at all that Apple was worried about the Nano "cannibalizing" sales of the Mini!

Deepening the divide (1)

mi (197448) | more than 6 years ago | (#19813141)

The divide between the haves and have-nots will only become deeper, when this new iPhone is released. A struggling coffee-shop owner will not be able to afford the $600 gadget, and so will have to settle for the limited functionality of the cheaper one.

All the while, the leaching MAFIAA shills prosper suing the single (grand-)mothers for copyright infringment, which is not even theft.

Or something...

nano based? (1)

Trillan (597339) | more than 6 years ago | (#19813149)

iPod: HD based, $249 for 30 GB.
iPod Nano: Flash based, $249 for 8 GB.
iPhone: Flash based, $499 for 4 GB, or $599 for 8 GB.

iPhone Shuffle (0, Redundant)

Tim12s (209786) | more than 6 years ago | (#19813195)

Finally, I'll be able to blame those 4am morning phonecalls (when i'm pissed drunk) on my iPhone Shuffle.

This might make some people angry... (1)

that IT girl (864406) | more than 6 years ago | (#19813197)

...I'm thinking that a lot of people who bought the iPhone as soon as it came out might be angry if a cheaper version of it comes out that still does a lot of the same things.

obvious new name (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19813237)

ipHalf

it's a phone (0)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 6 years ago | (#19813295)

Why people must have the most doo-dahs and whiz-bang features on a phone is beyond me. It makes and receives calls, super. Honestly, when I shop for a new cell it's always the cheapest quad-band I can find. Spent $70 on my last phone ...

Tom

Maybe I'm alone on this.... (1)

HerculesMO (693085) | more than 6 years ago | (#19813397)

But I thought that the iPhone as it is now, is too "nano" for my storage needs.

I was waiting for Generation 2.

Smaller touchscreen? I doubt it. (1)

GrnArmadillo (697378) | more than 6 years ago | (#19813467)

I don't see how you could make a smaller touchscreen phone without a stylus, and even if you could, what would be the point? You wouldn't be able to read email or surf the web on an iPhone Nano, even with intelligent zoom-in, so that kills nearly half of the perks of the regular iPhone right off.

It has been interesting to watch the other shoe drop on the iPhone. At first I figured the catch would be that the cost of service would be insane. Then it came out that the pricing was very competitive (catch: it's on the cheaper EDGE network). Thing is, I was looking for the way normal cell phone service providers screw people (namely by overcharging for services). ATT's bargaining position as the last place carrier was weak enough that we may be seeing the dawn of a whole new paradigm of affordable service and expensive hardware. The cost of the replacement service, plus the loaner iPhone that you'll need if your cell number is your only phone, is about 20% of the cost of the device. What I find surprising is that analysts were shocked by this. A regular service provider would rather sell a cheap replacement battery to avoid having to subsidize a replacement phone. A hardware provider would rather sell you a new $500 2nd generation iPhone than a $40 battery.

The big question now is who wins the battles over the missing features. For example, ATT wants to charge current insane rates for more ringtones, while Apple wants to include the best possible featureset to make the initial sale (which, I would imagine, is where most of their profit in this endeavor comes from) more attractive. If Apple can pull out some big wins (e.g. end the practice of charging $2 for the ability to use a 30 second clip of music you already own as a ringtone), and can continue to deliver a device that's worth the cost, this could be a good thing for customers. (One hopes that the 2nd generation iPhone comes with support for faster networks and integrated GPS amongst other things, which would make it worth the upgrade for current iPhone owners.) Or we could be looking at an excuse for other service providers to decrease their subsidies of phones (still cheaper out of pocket expenses than an iPhone!), which would be bad for all of us.

RUMOURS (4, Insightful)

Pliep (880962) | more than 6 years ago | (#19813485)

So, this guy, like in Taiwan, like, told me something like, that some company is making metal cases for Apple and stuff, and this is going to be like, some nano-based iPhone. You know, like it's TRUE!

STOP POSTING RUBBISH RUMOURS!

Oh and by the way, if the iPhone is successful, YES there will be follow-up and other models. Look at the iPod. What's new here?

iPhone Shuffle - why not? (1)

dazedNconfuzed (154242) | more than 6 years ago | (#19813543)

I just hope they don't make a phone based on the iPod Shuffle.

Jokes about calling random numbers aside, I've long wanted such a gizmo. Just give me a phone with voice dialing and audio prompts - no screen - and I'd be happy. It would be totally tiny, have minimal buttons for volume/mute/start/end, a built-in USB plug (per classic Shuffle) for no-cables charging and visual access from any computer. Include the iPod Shuffle guts as the MP3 player.

I use the classic Shuffle all the time for select music (there's only about a half-dozen CDs I want to listen to at any time), info transfer (usually have about a half-gig of data on it), and other than headphones no cables are needed (built-in USB plug). Considering how tiny the actual phone part of a cell phone is (minus battery, screen, mic, speaker, and extra gee-whiz gludge), and how the Shuffle was further miniaturized, surely a very usable audio-only phone could be built into the classic Shuffle design.

Maybe the market wouldn't be huge, but there is a market.
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