Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Dean Bubley: Apple iPhone... my guess / opinion

Dean Bubley post his thoughts on the rumored Apple iPhone at his Disruptive Wireless blog. Bubley notes upfront that he hasn't "spoken to Apple in years, and although I own an iPod I'm not particularly bothered one way or the other." here are his guesses:

  1. It won't be a "full hybrid" MP3/phone. It will be primarily an MP3 player, which also has some connectivity as a secondary capability.
  2. It won't be sold in a way to replace users' existing mobile phones. I don't think Apple wants to "own" voice telephony, contacts list etc. Or deal with mobile operators.
  3. I'd say there's a possibility that it could be a really "disruptive"WiFi-only phone, not a cellular device at all. Maybe even (and this really is pure dreaming) a SkypeiPhone
  4. It won't be available in both CDMA and GSM variants on day 1 - if at all. Which means it won't be a truly global product.
  5. It won't be a smartphone. There's a possibility it could use a Linux kernel, but it won't allow the user to install an random applications
Bubley concludes that:
Overall, I'm pretty skeptical. The problem is that Apple would need two separate business models in different parts of the world. In some countries, notably the US, it is difficult to think of a way of avoiding the major carriers' influence, unless devices were just sold through MVNOs. In other markets, the device could just be sold "vanilla" (but unsubsidised) and used with an ordinary SIM card. Even there, Apple would have to content with working nicely with both pre- and post-paid billing models.