by Bill French on 12/10/10 at 5:00 am
Kaufman Brothers analyst Shaw Wu has stated as reported by the Wall Street Journal that Apple is indeed experimenting with different iPhone form factors and that they may be launched as early as 2011. Woo speculates that these two phones could launch as early as next year in the US and on carriers other than AT&T.
It's my further speculation that these phones are designed to meet high and low-end consumer and business requirements. Imagine an iPhone the size of a candy bar, or a mega phone (yes, I know – funny pun) with plenty of screen real estate for simultaneous multi-app gymnastics and more viable business intelligence displays for products such as Roambi, Microstrategy, and ClikView.
According to a report by Apple insider, Wu advised investors,
“Our sources believe these likely represent new high-end and low-end iPhone models to complement its current iPhone 4,”
“One possibility we are picking up is a ‘mini’ or ‘nano’ iPhone with a smaller candybar form factor leveraging technology in its new mini touchscreen iPod nano.”
No Data Plan for the Nano?
Apple currently offers two iPhone models, the 8GB 3Ds at $99 and the iPhone 4 16GB for $199. It wouldn’t be difficult to imagine an 8GB iPhone 4 Nano without a data plan. An inexpensive ($99) nano version of the popular iPhone 4 product with limited screen real estate probably wouldn’t cannibalize sales of the 3GS or the current 16GB iPhone 4 and it would open up whole new market opportunity for the younger generation who can afford an iPhone but can’t bear the burden of a data plan. And this form factor likely wouldn’t benefit a data plan because it wouldn’t be ideal for consuming Internet content. Optionally, a data plan could be made available and my hunch is it would be small bytes with fixed pricing much like the iPad 3G data plan.
But the other side of the coin, the one with profit written all over it, is the $99 iPod Touch which is ideal for young folks who want an iPhone and some of the 270,000+ apps but don’t want the monthly data plan. A nano version would likely invade this product segment that Apple already owns. But to the question of profit, isn’t it possible that Apple, known for getting a slice of the action, stand to profit more by 3G-enabling a whole new class of users that want the iPhone communication experience
and device quality but aren’t so much into apps. Yeah, you know – that music-loving crowd? The ones that spend the most money [demographically] on iTunes purchases?
Speculation about Apple working on a 7 inch iPad is completely false. According to Jim Dalrymple, Apple already has one – they’ve had it from the beginning of the iPad research program and simply chose not to release it. That said, it’s not difficult to imagine Apple designers considering a super-sized version of iPhone 4.
The mock-up demonstrates why business executives might be interested in a slightly larger communicator. Mobile BI is a hot topic among Fortune 2000 companies worldwide. Companies such as Microstratgy are ramping to meet demand and QlikView has been at this for many years and focuses on a mobile cross-platform suite of applications. IBM is even in the mix with Cognos 8 Go Mobile. If CTOs aren’t busy building out mobile dashboards with KPIs, you’ll find them at the copy machine cranking out a new resume.
Mobile business intelligence applications need screen real estate to be effective and the dawn of iPad really opened the possibilities for BI vendors. Lightweight tablets are going to dominate the mobile landscape for executives for the next ten years. However, some executives may not need or best place to buy viagra online want the new computer that’s bigger than a a slice of bread and less powerful than a notebook. They might just love the idea of a more functional king-sized iPhone 4.
- iPhone Nano in 2011
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- What Apple's iPad Means to Business, The Publishing Industry and You
- iPhone 4G: Killer Smartphone Will Change Mobile Business Collaboration – Six Apps To Watch in 2010