Mar 10

Shrinking ray to shine on iPhone?

For a company that loves to surprise people, Apple does a darn good job of sticking to a schedule. In fact, they go about innovating in a most businesslike way.

Products are refreshed on a fairly regular schedule. New products tend to start off basic, and then bloom over time.

Look at the original iPod and you’ll get a serious case of the giggles. The thing is a brick. Just a thousand songs, no photos, no video. Apple spent the first three years finessing it. Then, just as competitors started to narrow the gap, they zigged when the pursuers were zagging. A smaller and cheaper model (mini) caught everyone off guard, attracting even more customers. The family continued to expand from there, with a still cheaper model (shuffle), followed by a sexier model (touch).

So — is this a time of reckoning for iPhone? The next generation is expected in June. Apple has spent the first three years perfecting a single model, just as they did with iPod. Now that the the League of Android is nipping at their heels, is this the time Apple shakes things up by starting to build a family of iPhones?

It may be hard to imagine Apple offering an iPhone with fewer features. But no more illogical than what happened with iPod — and Apple is pretty good at duplicating success. It’s not hard to envision the iPhone market opening up to even more customers with a super-slim iPhone nano offering full speed and new-model coolness at a reduced price.

Surely, stranger things have happened…

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  • i’m really looking forward to their new batch of technology and how creative they can get in improvising their iphone. my best bet is, they’d put a front camera to it. but, i really don’t know. it’s just a wild guess and a bit of analysis. because, if you come to think of it, iphone is already good, what could be more better? I just hope they won’t turn iphone into another ipad. LOL!

  • They’ve said “no price umbrella” and “we want to get to $99” since day one, and I think they’ve locked in their strategy already. Last year’s phone, for $99. This year’s phone, which has good new hardware improvements, for $199.

    They’re doing it today with the 3G, I expect the 3Gs to go to $99 next even as the next gen iPhone gets slimmer and adds a front-facing camera.

    Now that they deal with developers, and love touting their numbers, I don’t see them making a new screen resolution. It’d provide less usability and mess with the simplicity of their ecosystem.

  • Well the obvious thing that would make the most current users happy and bring in millions of new ones is long overdue – Verizon!

  • I’ve had free upgrade qualification from my original iPhone 3G since last November, but I’ve resisted the 3Gs expecting Apple to introduce it’s replacement by June 2010.

    It would not surprise me to see a family concept come out at that time – family in this case being price stratification. It’s not clear to me that people want something that’s significantly smaller if it’s still intended to be handheld. The next smaller step IMO would be an in-ear unit – but that just doesn’t sound “apple” to me. I AM frustrated with the performance of the 3G and it’s lack of multi tasking, and the 3GS doesn’t go far enough to really satisfy my desires in this regard. Beyond that, the only thing I really crave is a much higher end camera in the unit and longer battery for network-intensive apps. If I could feed the parking meters in San Francisco with the new iPhone, that would be terrific. In fact, I think it would be a great platform for doing all kinds of simple financial transactions (coffee, BART, Muni, parking lots, soda machine, etc.). I’d rather point my iPhone at something to pay than dig out my wallet.

    Oh, and I’d probably pay twice as much for a version that works on Verizon.

  • rd

    Lets assume A4 processor is used.
    If Apple increases screen resolution
    that will effect the battery.
    if Apple adds multitasking that effect the battery
    If Apple adds better lens that will effect the weight and
    Verizon is not getting the phone until it LTE in 2011.
    Unless Verizon subsidizes the phone development.
    Even China Mobile wants an iphone. not going to happen for same reason.

    You would rather pay 10% more then dig out
    your wallet. This is why this country is going to hell.

    When the real cost if the cost of service. I don’t see how Apple is going to reduce that. Why should Apple reduce the real cost of iphone which is $600. When the cell phone companies would not pass on the saving. They are making even more profit margin then Apple.

  • Scott

    I’d be very interested in an iPhone nano. The current is a little big for my taste. I could have upgraded in September, but have held off to see what happens in June. I don’t think there will be much of a market for an iPhone shuffle though. Of course random dialing people could lead to new friendships :-)