Wednesday, January 18, 2006

JupiterResearch: Mobile Me? Take II

Following his colleague Julie Ask's post on Apple's potential mobile phone efforts, Michael Gartenberg adds his two cents to the topic at the Jupiter Analyst Weblogs. Gartenberg generally agrees with Ask's assessment and writes:

It's not likely Apple will get into a tradtional handset business. As everyone knows, in the US there are exactly four customers that Apple could sell to (and in the past Jobs has called them the four orifices) and that's not Apple's core competancy. Is it possible? yes, just not likely. Then there's the MVNO argument that Apple offers their own service and of course a cool Apple device. OK. But what does that get them? Does it sell more iPods? More Macs? Granted, it could be a good business but is it really a good business for Apple? We do know that there's a lot of resistance in the US for consumers to pay a premium for phones, even when the price difference is as low as $49.

Personally, I'd love to see an Apple phone. It's not hard to imagine them doing a great job and improving the overall experience but I don't think it's a high probability.
Sound arguments, although Russell Buckley at MobHappy does raise an excellent point that there have only been 42 million iPods sold...ever. The fact that Nokia is expecting to sell in the range of 80 millions handsets in the fourth quarter alone should put iPod's sales numbers in better perspective. I know it's not a equal comparison but it does show the larger market for handsets and the opportunity for Apple to sell more hardware. Again, whether it's worth their while to pursue this market is another story...