Is an iPhone mini coming?

  • Posted: 20 January 2011 06:22 PM

    in a few quarters, all phones will be smartphones.

    Apple is probably ready to launch a cheaper, smaller version of its iPhone

    What would be the good timing for this launch? I would imagine next june along with iPhone 5

    [ Edited: 20 January 2011 06:24 PM by Hamourabi ]      
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    Posted: 20 January 2011 06:43 PM #1

    I can’t imagine a cheaper phone without wondering one features one should cut out ?    Cut out an entire UI or the iOS or 99 % of apps ?  Something would have to give.

    The major cost of the phone is from the telecoms.   

    I’m open to more ideas.

    [ Edited: 20 January 2011 06:46 PM by Tetrachloride ]      
  • Posted: 20 January 2011 06:47 PM #2

    Apple have to consider that according to Asymco, the $85 smartphone is a huge market

    http://www.asymco.com/2010/12/27/the-85-smartphone/

         
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    Posted: 20 January 2011 06:49 PM #3

    Why would they offer a cheaper phone when they cant yet make enough of the ones that are available now?

    They have been able to keep ASP up for the phones since original introduction. I don’t see a need for a device with less features or a smaller screen. They already have that in the ipod line.

         
  • Posted: 20 January 2011 06:56 PM #4

    In my eyes they’ve already done it by keeping a discounted previous model available for purchase. It’s now possible to buy an iPhone 3GS for $49 with contract from AT&T. At that price it’s competitive with non-smartphones, too. In fact I bet we’re just a year or two away from being able to get a previous gen smartphone for free, as it becomes cheaper and cheaper to make this stuff.

    The long and the short of it is this: Anyone who can afford a mobile phone can afford a $49 iPhone. That service is the real barrier to entry, not the up-front cost of the hardware.

    The service chips away at your finances month after month, year after year, and I know that is what has thus far prevented some of my friends from owning one. They gladly shell out $200+ for an iPod touch so that they can have an iOS device in their pocket without a huge monthly bill. If we can get to the point where we have a reasonable amount of minutes, texting and data for a total of $50/month, then the ball will really start rolling…

    [ Edited: 20 January 2011 07:01 PM by David Nelson ]      
  • Posted: 20 January 2011 07:05 PM #5

    Yes I agree with you all, there will be no iPhone mini, just discounted previous models or previous models sold or given to relatives or friend when buying the newer iPhone…
    May that is Apple plan : an iPhone is still a valuable smartphone 5 or 6 years after it was made. (just like it is for macs)

    But that does not really work for the emerging markets (Brasil, India, China) and Apple does not want to leave them wide open to competitors

    [ Edited: 20 January 2011 07:13 PM by Hamourabi ]      
  • Posted: 20 January 2011 07:21 PM #6

    And a quote from Eric Schmidt

    ?We envision literally a billion people getting inexpensive, browser-based touchscreen phones over the next few years,? he wrote. ?Can you imagine how this will change their awareness of local and global information and their notion of education? And that will be just the start.?

    Apple have to have some plan for that

         
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    Posted: 20 January 2011 07:46 PM #7

    adamthompson3232 - 20 January 2011 10:52 PM

    Apple has the best inexpensive smartphone on earth already. It costs $49. It’s called the 3GS. Phones don’t get much less expensive. There’s zero chance apple launches iPhone mini within the next five years. My crystal ball can’t see out further than that.


    Adam

    Just to clarify.  ATT pays Apple about a 350-400 per handset subsidy for each contract.  The retail price is not $49 and many parts of the world the 3GS would not be considered an inexpensive smart-phone.  IMO if Apple wants huge market share they would need to deliver a device for $200 - $300.  A phone like the 3GS is getting close but I don’t think Apple is chasing that low end market, they would rather redefine the market and help folks understand that a $500 handset provides great value.

    [ Edited: 20 January 2011 09:17 PM by pats ]      
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    Posted: 20 January 2011 07:47 PM #8

    At a guess:

    iphone mini could replace the last year model they currently sell at the $99 price point (the current iteration being the 3GS - currently $49)

    - smaller form factor (same screen size, thinner bezel)
    - less capacifty (8GB/16GB vs 32GB/64GB for high end iphone)
    - 3G only (whereas the normal iphone will move to 3G+LTE/4G)
    - the SOC may be similar but run at lower clock speed to conserve smaller battery
    - no camera flash
    - no NFC chip for mobile payments (assuming apple adds it to the iphone 5)
    - 720p HD recording only (normal iphone will be at 1080p eventually)
    - no wifi hotpsot functionality?

    I think if apple could release a iphone mini at an unsubsidised price of $399 ($499 for 16GB) in the US, they could then refresh it annually around the same time as the ipod event is now (ie: before the gift buying season), as I think it would become a great purchase for teenagers and other people who dont want the high compulsory monthly data plan. Apple can still probably get a margin of close to $200-$250 per device at the low-end - and still gets the ancilleary revenue from app sales and accessories.

    But on the other hand Apple is selling all the phones it can at the moment (of the iphone 4 at least), so it doen’t seem to have any reason to release a cheaper phone unless it believes it can add the new capacity without limiting the ability to ramp its existing line to meet demand.

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  • Posted: 20 January 2011 07:54 PM #9

    I’d bet money on a version of address book being run on the nano preparing for the day when…,

    DICK TRACY LIVES!  :-D   Hey.  Somebody’s gonna do it.

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    Posted: 21 January 2011 09:57 AM #10

    Remember when Cook said (more than once) that they won’t allow a pricing umbrella for their competitors? I think that given the way the market works for phones, iPhone is still completely unchallenged in its market. The reason they would release one of the dozen prototype mini iPhones that I’m sure they have in reserve is if they get the slightest hint that demand may dip enough to offer an opening to competitors. That does not seem to be anytime soon.

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    Posted: 10 February 2011 08:20 PM #11

    iOSWeekly - 20 January 2011 11:47 PM

    At a guess:

    iphone mini could replace the last year model they currently sell at the $99 price point (the current iteration being the 3GS - currently $49)

    - smaller form factor (same screen size, thinner bezel)
    - less capacifty (8GB/16GB vs 32GB/64GB for high end iphone)
    - 3G only (whereas the normal iphone will move to 3G+LTE/4G)
    - the SOC may be similar but run at lower clock speed to conserve smaller battery
    - no camera flash
    - no NFC chip for mobile payments (assuming apple adds it to the iphone 5)
    - 720p HD recording only (normal iphone will be at 1080p eventually)
    - no wifi hotpsot functionality?

    I think if apple could release a iphone mini at an unsubsidised price of $399 ($499 for 16GB) in the US, they could then refresh it annually around the same time as the ipod event is now (ie: before the gift buying season), as I think it would become a great purchase for teenagers and other people who dont want the high compulsory monthly data plan. Apple can still probably get a margin of close to $200-$250 per device at the low-end - and still gets the ancilleary revenue from app sales and accessories.

    But on the other hand Apple is selling all the phones it can at the moment (of the iphone 4 at least), so it doen’t seem to have any reason to release a cheaper phone unless it believes it can add the new capacity without limiting the ability to ramp its existing line to meet demand.

    http://www.macrumors.com/2011/02/10/apple-planning-reportedly-smaller-iphone-priced-at-200-without-contract/

    return of the iphone mini rumor…

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    Posted: 10 February 2011 10:11 PM #12

    $Billyall - 20 January 2011 10:49 PM

    Why would they offer a cheaper phone when they cant yet make enough of the ones that are available now?

    They have been able to keep ASP up for the phones since original introduction. I don’t see a need for a device with less features or a smaller screen. They already have that in the ipod line.

    Greetings

    FWIW, I would MUCH prefer a smaller iphone. The current size is really pushing over the limit of what I want to carry around on a daily basis.

    I can’t be alone in this preference and I think there would be a very nice market for a slightly smaller iphone. Throw in a slightly lower price and bam, nice additional sales!

      cheers
        JohnG

         
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    Posted: 10 February 2011 10:46 PM #13

    johnG - 11 February 2011 02:11 AM
    $Billyall - 20 January 2011 10:49 PM

    Why would they offer a cheaper phone when they cant yet make enough of the ones that are available now?

    They have been able to keep ASP up for the phones since original introduction. I don’t see a need for a device with less features or a smaller screen. They already have that in the ipod line.

    Greetings

    FWIW, I would MUCH prefer a smaller iphone. The current size is really pushing over the limit of what I want to carry around on a daily basis.

    I can’t be alone in this preference and I think there would be a very nice market for a slightly smaller iphone. Throw in a slightly lower price and bam, nice additional sales!

      cheers
        JohnG

    I think if they can remove or relocate the home button and make the front of the phone basically just the size of the 3.5” screen and a 5mm bezel - you would have your smaller iphone, with no loss of screen dimensions.

    perhaps the “trial” multi-tasking/return to homescreen gestures found in iOS 4.3 beta would allow the release of an iphone mini wihtout a home button.

    [ Edited: 10 February 2011 10:49 PM by Burgess ]

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  • Posted: 10 February 2011 11:33 PM #14

    johnG - 11 February 2011 02:11 AM

    FWIW, I would MUCH prefer a smaller iphone. The current size is really pushing over the limit of what I want to carry around on a daily basis.

    I can’t be alone in this preference and I think there would be a very nice market for a slightly smaller iphone. Throw in a slightly lower price and bam, nice additional sales!

    1) A smaller screen would hurt the iPhone’s ability to view the internet and cause serious fragmentation issues for developers.

    2) A smaller iPhone would muddy Apple’s exceptionally clean product lineup.

    3) The current iPhone continues to be in short supply. Adding a new model when the current model is selling out makes no business sense.

    Verdict: No new iPhones in the near future.

    Then again, I’ve been wrong before.

         
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    Posted: 10 February 2011 11:48 PM #15

    Smaller screen doesn’t worry me as much.  My highly unscientific calculations using excruciatingly imprecise methods show that Apple could deliver a significantly smaller phone with a screen size of, say, 3.2”.  So you could still put a 960x640 display in there.  I see the biggest problems being in miniaturization, overall hardware usability and how much smaller the 3.2” display would make things like text and buttons.

    Personally, I don’t see how Apple can make the iPhone much thinner or lighter.  The only company to be really serious about smaller phones - HP/Palm, who else.  I’ll give Rubenstein & Co. credit for going down the mini-smartphone road, but the resulting compromises (for example, the Palm Veer has a battery that’s about 2/3 the capacity of the iPhone 4) are downright ugly.

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