Will we see an iPod Touch that is also a data-less cellphone?

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    Posted: 05 February 2009 06:52 PM #16

    In business there’s always a calculation that’s done. How many models to get the greatest number of customers. Models cost money to develop. Models can also cannibalize sales from each other. On the other hand too few choices drives customers to other companies.

    In the 1990’s Apple had too many models with not enough differentiation. SJ came back and he cut Apple’s line down to a minimum:
    Computers:
    Mac Pro iMac, Mini

    Laptops
    MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air

    In the iPod line Apple has;
    The Shuffle, The Nanao, The Classic.

    In the Glass iPod line
    iPod Touch, iPhone

    Each model in each line in this limited group hits a particular carefully chosen part of the market. This is why Apple does not have a midrange tower, it would cost money to develop and would just take sales from other lines without growing the brand. To merge any of these lines would also be a bad idea as it would be giving up part of the market.

    If Apple puts phones in the whole line I won’t get one. I don’t need a phone and I don’t want to pay for something I don’t need and won’t use.  On the other hand if Apple started selling low end iPhones it would cost to develop them and they would just cannibalize sales from the existing iPhone. It wouldn’t grow the brand. People looking for a low end phone buy a low end phone, not a stripped down high end one.

    What IMO is missing in the Glass iPod line is an iPod Touch MAX with a 5x7 screen but no phone. That would be different enough from the existing iPT and MacBook to find a comfortable place in the Apple stable.

    [ Edited: 05 February 2009 06:54 PM by geoduck ]

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  • Posted: 05 February 2009 08:32 PM #17

    There once was a time when Apple stood for the concept of making products “FOR THE REST OF US.”

    At first, it did NOT mean “for the ELITE of us.”

    It meant making products for the “common man” end user. 
    Not the super computer, “command-line” interface expert, Computer Science major (when those were rare), tech geek.

    Apple was a part of, and represented the ideal of “serving the interests of the common man.”
    Us Mac-oldies gave of our time (volunteered our services to help anyone other Mac user for free) and our lives to “fight the fight” for Apple in our work places and to try to give the world a better product for all.


    Then “marketing” came in and sort of made it OK to say that we Mac users were “elite” in the sense of having the smarts to choose the better computer system (in spite of the neccesarially higher cost associated with less economy of scale)
    or “elite” in the sense of having a computer that looked more stylish (and less commonplace).

    However, us Mac-oldies never changed our ideals in wanting Apple to produce both great products and inexpensive product that could serve the usages of EVERYONE, the common man, rich and poor alike, computer expert and computer novice alike.

    Now things have changed and Apple is a TRAITOR to that cause—the common man cause.
    Apple made a “cell phone” that doesn’t work for everybody in the US or world.
    Not because it can’t or couldn’t work without other cell phone services, but because Apple dictated that they wouldn’t allow it to work expect within its exclusive contracts designed to make it some EXTRA amount of million of dollars for itself as a corporation.  (Perhaps it didn’t believe it the iPhone would sell and make enough money if sold apart from these exclusive deals.)

    What Apple sacrificed, at the alter of profit, was the ideal of servicing “all of us” and especially of a certain segment of faithful past Apple/Mac supporters who need and want a cell phone that will work with non-ATT providers.


    Now, Apple is not only resigned, but is actively asserting that it can not and will not make a “cheap/inexpensive” product and will only make “exclusive” products and thereby only fill the need of certain defined and limited segments of society.

    It won’t make a netbook.
    It won’t make a wristwatch computer.
    It won’t give us the option of having a high-end (fast) Mac with a 13” screen.
    It has taken away the option to have a non-glossy/glare screen.
    It has taken away the option to have a fast port (FW 800, eSata, etc).

    Apple is serving itself alone now, not us.
    It’s LOST the ideal of being a part of making life better for all of us.

    In the case of the iPhone, Apple refused to make its phone available to all cell phone providers.
    It made EXCLUSIVE deals, for higher profits, with certain phone providers—in the US, it is ATT.

    I say it again, Apple has become a traitor to the cause of making products for the common man.

    (I still want to know whether Apple or Steve Jobs own any ATT stock or whether Jobs will get some cushy Board position with ATT.)

         
  • Posted: 05 February 2009 08:34 PM #18

    I’ve got zero use for an iPhone that only works with ATT.

    Therefore I’ve got zero interest in the iPhone (or any of its Apps) as long as it only works with ATT.

    I wish it weren’t so!

         
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    Posted: 05 February 2009 09:13 PM #19

    PSMacintosh - 06 February 2009 12:32 AM

    There once was a time when Apple stood for the concept of making products “FOR THE REST OF US.” ...

    This has not changed.  Is the reason why Apple doesn’t kowtow to corporate and the pressure to design corporate products.  Apple just doesn’t want to produce a piece of junk for the “rest of us”.  Apple wants to design good quality for the “rest of us”.  In order to do so for a long time, Apple has to be a profitable company.  iPhone has already done the rest of us a favor by forcing cost of data plan down.

    Edit:  IMHO, making a piece of junk in order to fulfill “making products for the rest of us” ideal is analogous to the “every American deserve to own a home”.  Is a good ideal but implementing it brute-forcefully results in a subprime mess and bankruptcy of banks.  Glad to know that Apple is not that silly.

    [ Edited: 05 February 2009 09:23 PM by Mace ]

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    Posted: 05 February 2009 09:57 PM #20

    PSMacintosh - 06 February 2009 12:32 AM

    There once was a time when Apple stood for the concept of making products “FOR THE REST OF US.” ...

    I don’t know if Apple ever was about making inexpensive computers. Macintosh systems were better and the price was comparable IF YOU MATCHED FEATURE FOR FEATURE. Other companies <cough Dell cough cough> filled the low end bottom feeder niche. Apple computers were ‘for the rest of us’ in that they worked better, were easier to use, and were a better value. The implication, at least as I saw it, was that Apple computers were ‘for the rest of us’ because the rest of us were smarter than the Wintel sheep.

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    Posted: 05 February 2009 10:50 PM #21

    <###1537 ERROR: Duplicate Post>

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  • Posted: 06 February 2009 08:11 AM #22

    lulli - 04 February 2009 05:20 PM

    For once, I think that what Toni Sacconaghi from Bernstein recently said makes a lot of sense.

    The reason I bought an iPod touch and I carry around a cheap prepay phone is that those $1000 a year just don’t make sense for what I do (I spend less than $200 a year on cell-phone costs).

    If Apple would make an iPod touch that can also be used with any SIM to make phone calls, that could be a total runaway hit. You could still surf the net when you are in range of a wireless signal, but you could also get that phone call, or make one. And if you don’t use the phone a whole lot, you can do that for less than $10 a month on a prepay service like Tracfone.

    No way, the data is the “killer app”, since most people use actual computers when they’re in places that have WLAN (home, work, school).  I use the 3G more than WLAN

    -Bob

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    See apps in action! http://www.iPhoneAppDemo.com

         
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    Posted: 06 February 2009 01:06 PM #23

    geoduck - 06 February 2009 01:57 AM
    PSMacintosh - 06 February 2009 12:32 AM

    There once was a time when Apple stood for the concept of making products “FOR THE REST OF US.” ...

    I don’t know if Apple ever was about making inexpensive computers. Macintosh systems were better and the price was comparable IF YOU MATCHED FEATURE FOR FEATURE. Other companies <cough Dell cough cough> filled the low end bottom feeder niche. Apple computers were ‘for the rest of us’ in that they worked better, were easier to use, and were a better value. The implication, at least as I saw it, was that Apple computers were ‘for the rest of us’ because the rest of us were smarter than the Wintel sheep.

    If you want a cheap Mac, what about one of those clones:  rolleyes

    Mac Clones now on sale in Europe

    They start at 499 Euro, inclusive taxes. This would be only a little above $600 without taxes.

    But who wants such an ugly, stripped down box:
    - Dual Core 2.2 GHz
    - 250 GB S-ATA
    - 2 GB RAM
    - GeForce 7200GS
    - DVD R/W 22x

    but:
    - Mac OS X Leopard pre-installed

         
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    Posted: 07 February 2009 08:31 PM #24

    PSMacintosh - 06 February 2009 12:32 AM

    There once was a time when Apple stood for the concept of making products “FOR THE REST OF US.”

    1) Apple tried selling computers in every price niche in the early ‘90s. It almost made them bankrupt. When SJ simplified the product line and introduced the iMac, things began to turn around.  BTW, even in the ‘80s, Macs were more expensive than PCs.

    2) If you look at some of the articles that were written, Apple had to find somebody that was willing to sell the iPhone. Verizon turned it down. ATT allowed Apple to sell it under what was basically a consignment arrangement; Apple would only make money after the units were sold.  And in the event that the iPhone was successful, ATT demanded a multi-year exclusive distribution deal.  Remember Apple was entering into a very competitive market with an unproven product. Albeit, everything worked out and the iPhone is a success. But the iPhone could have just as easily gone the way of the Newton or the Cube.

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    Posted: 08 February 2009 09:27 AM #25

    pats - 04 February 2009 05:42 PM

    The cost of mobile data is quite high, but think back to when you paid 19.99 for a 19.6KB modem connection.

    That was cheap! When I first got online with CompuServe in 1985, I paid $10/month PLUS $6/HOUR for, not 19.6KB, not 14.4KB, not 5.6KB, but 300 baud. If I wanted to go to “high speed,” it cost me $12/hour for 1200 baud. For newbies, 300 baud is 30 bytes/sec [8 data bits, 1 parity bit, 1 stop bit per byte], or 0.03 KB/sec. My current cable modem will do well over 1 MB/sec, or about 35,000 times faster. I could read text that came in in real time.

         
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    Posted: 08 February 2009 09:42 AM #26

    PSMacintosh - 06 February 2009 12:32 AM

    Apple made a “cell phone” that doesn’t work for everybody in the US or world.
    Not because it can’t or couldn’t work without other cell phone services, but because Apple dictated that they wouldn’t allow it to work expect within its exclusive contracts designed to make it some EXTRA amount of million of dollars for itself as a corporation.  (Perhaps it didn’t believe it the iPhone would sell and make enough money if sold apart from these exclusive deals.)
    ...

    In the case of the iPhone, Apple refused to make its phone available to all cell phone providers.
    It made EXCLUSIVE deals, for higher profits, with certain phone providers—in the US, it is ATT.

    There is not, nor can there be, any “cell phone” that will work for “everybody in the US,” much less the world. Do a little research. There are several completely incompatible systems around the world.

    In the case of the original iPhone, ATT and T-Mobile are the only nationwide US carriers that use GSM, as does much of the rest of the world (at about a 4- or 5-to-1 ratio). Sprint and Verizon use CDMA. Those are inherently incompatible and require different RF devices, among other things. If Apple had built a CDMA iPhone for Verizon, it would have had to develop a different model for Europe and much of Asia. By developing a GSM phone, they could sell the SAME model in more countries.

    Check the history of the Treo. The first Treos were also available only on one carrier (Sprint, I believe). Palm (nee Handspring) had to develop a new model to expand to other carriers. At one time, there was a different model Treo for every carrier—at different prices, as well. If I recall correctly, the Motorola Razr was initially available only on one carrier, though my memory could be wrong there.

    [ Edited: 08 February 2009 09:47 AM by gslusher ]