If Steve Jobs is inviting his friends to the keynote, as the rumors say, what better reason to do it than to announce a product that will crush the cell phone industry, just like the iPod destroyed the competition when it came to digital music players…
So, let’s put on our crazy hats here for a minute and talk about what we think the rumored Apple phone should be…
- First, the price, it’s $499, deal with it (early adopters always pay a premium)
- GSM cell capabilities, voice + data (with push email, web and music/movie downloads)
- GSM should be quad-band, and let’s do it like Europe and allow prepaid SIM cards
- 4GB Flash Memory for music, of course, with iPod-like controls
- WiFi capabilities for VOIP as well as chat (IM, video IM, etc), with a mobile iChat
- 3MP Digital Camera…2MP would be okay, but let’s be greedy, with a mobile iPhoto
- GPS is real handy, location aware, autotag photos taken with camera, etc.
- Bluetooth, of course you gotta have that for headsets, syncing
- A standard damned USB-mini connection to charge/sync as well
- An IR port – this would make a mean remote control, especially the big version…
- Ability to play iPod games and use Dashboard widgets!!
- Browser has Java, Quicktime and Flash capabilities
Now, some analysis…You gotta be GSM (sorry Sprint and Verizon customers, but GSM rules something like 75% of the world’s cellphone population, including developing countries that have just ignored plain old telephone infrastructure and put up towers everywhere…not that anyone in those places has the $499 to spend on this thing).
A word about that price…”oh, that’s soo expensive”…well, look at it this way, what did you pay for your cell phone (include your contract and fees and so forth), and your iPod, and your digital camera, and your GPS device…and what would you give to be able to carry a single device and ditch all of those (heck, sell them on eBay and make the purchase price back).
Another word about that price…”oh, that’s too cheap, Apple would never sell it so cheap”…really? Can’t you go out and buy a decent cell phone ($200) along with a cheap GPS device ($100) and cheap 3MP camera ($50) and cheap iPod ($149) for almost that same price? And don’t you think all those people are making money selling those? And wouldn’t Apple only have to supply ONE screen, ONE battery (or two, if you believe the rumors), etc? You don’t think there’s profit to be made there!?!
What’s the deal with the SIM cards? Well, look at it this way, your average cell company here in the states can get you somewhere around 1000 “anytime” minutes for $50/month after all the taxes and fees (sure, some are less)…that’s $.05/minute. So, here’s the rub, you sell the thing unlocked, and you also sell, at every location that already sells iTunes giftcards, SIM cards that can be popped in and run on network space Apple resells from any number of carriers (Cingular being the most likely). But, why would you want that, when you can have a cell phone with unlimited nights and weekends? Because when you’re at a place with WiFi, all your calls are already free because you use VOIP/iChat. Now, where do most people use their “nights and weekends” minutes? At their houses!! And where, if anywhere, do most people also have WiFi, that’s right, at home! So your $50 SIM card might actually last you 3 or 4 months of use, which is going to look a LOT better than $50/month to one of the carriers!
And here’s the real beauty of this thing, you do make two form factors…one is a cell phone that you sell for $499 (4GB seems like the sweet spot there). The other is $599 and has a 5″ touch screen and MUCH bigger battery, and a CF/SD slot and there’s the Mac tablet we’ve all been dreaming of for so many years!!
Sorry to say, we still don’t think this thing is getting announced tomorrow at Macworld (today, actually, by the time you’re reading this).
Can you imagine a new Airport X2 or X4 combined with a house full of these things…or a school full, or coffee shop full? Maybe the X2 and X4 strategy fits in with a little more than streaming HDTV around your house, afterall…
Remember the rumors of Apple buying a huge new datacenter and all kinds of capacity? What better way to handle all the VOIP traffic? And the rumored Google partnership? What better way to use Google’s dark fiber, municipal WiFi networks, YouTube content, maps/GPS integration, and best of all, make armloads of cash?!
Lastly, a beast so beautiful, what to name it…here’s our suggestion, the iRate! Why?? Well, for starters, that is what it will make anyone that doesn’t have one…also anyone that just bought some stupid expensive gadget that only does half of what it can do…and also all the competition. Better yet, pronounce it like “i-rat” (as in pirate), and it is for all the digital packrats out there, and gives a sly nod to the underground community as well.
What do YOU think? Comments are open, Digg it, or send us an email at applerecon-at-gmail-dot-com. Can’t wait for the morning, PLEASE STEVE, BRING US A LATE CHRISTMAS PRESENT CALLED THE iRate!!