Visiongain: Apple ‘iPhone’ launch imminent

Visiongain believes that the next product to be released by Apple is the much-rumored “iPhone.” The Apple-branded mobile phone is likely to debut this spring with the launch of Helio.

“The odds are extremely good that Apple will launch an iPhone this spring in tandem with Helio’s launch in the US,” says Pam Duffey, telecoms analyst at Visiongain.

“There exists a relationship between Apple and Helio management that goes back to the ROKR iTunes phone, and Helio has declared a target audience identical to iPod’s existing market. Helio’s top rank executives have also publicly voiced frustration with mainstream carriers and appear to be on a crusade to radically shake-up the industry,” adds Duffey in a statement.

EarthLink and SK Telecom have partnered to form Helio, a US mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), at an estimated cost of $440 million. Recently, Helio Chief Financial Officer Todd Tappin said Helio plans to sign about three million customers and generate more than $2 billion in revenue by 2009. He also said that Helio would subsidize its handsets, and its target demographic is both willing and able to pay for high-end phones. This is a sharp departure from MVNO trends, which lean heavily on prepaid or very narrow specialty niches.

“The iPhone will most likely be produced in South Korea by an existing handset maker, and made available exclusively through Helio. The iPhone will likely be as disruptive to the existing carrier market as the iPod was to the mobile music industry. When the iPhone adds VoIP capability, it will be even more disruptive to carriers,” concludes Duffey.

The iPhone, iPod and Apple’s role in shaping the digital content landscape are analysed in detail in Visiongain’s upcoming report, “Apple in Wireless.”

For more information on Visiongain, please visit the website:

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “trip” for the heads up.]

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  1. Ugh, I just had to get a new phone. Want this to be true, but don’t want it at the same time! Such problems… ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”rolleyes” style=”border:0;” />

  2. Why would Apple need Helio? If it costs $400 million to set up, Apple could easily finance the whole thing and keep all the profits.

    It could be completely owned by Apple and controlled by SJ. As we all know SJ likes control.

  3. If it’s true, Apple’s legal folks will descend upon anyone with “solid” information about an “impending release” like this swiftly and surely.

    And THEN we’ll know it’s closer to being true. Until that happens, it’s all just a bunch o’ hooey and wishful thinking and guessing and prognostication and… and… and… ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”tongue rolleye” style=”border:0;” />

  4. Just think, an iPod mobile phone with multi frequency that can tap into any of the major carrier’s signal. Now imagine just move your sim card over and viola! You can cut your cake and eat it too! Who cares if you can get a cheap phone for free from the major carrier if you have a great iPod phone on your hand, who won’t pay for it?

  5. EarthLink and SK Telecom have partnered to form Helio, a US mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), at an estimated cost of $440 million.

    “The iPhone will most likely be produced in South Korea by an existing handset maker, and made available exclusively through Helio.

    Apple is a shareholder in Earthlink (a Helio partner)and Samsung (a handset manufacturer).

  6. An iPhone is the next logical step for Apple. WIth flash memory getting bigger and bigger, phone manufacturers will be able to present a product with similar features to the iPod but with added phone capabilities. Take a look at Sony’s new w950i. A nice phone that could replace an iPod anytime. But I agree, every week there seem to be a new article about the imminent release of an iPhone. George is getting upset !!

  7. Its going to be CDMA. I hope. The company that needs to be taken down the most is Verizon… and an MVNO off of their very own network… using their band… and doing it the RIGHT way.. well.. that would be oustanding. And American. And CDMA is American. Well, its Korean too… but mostly its American. Like Denny Crane. An American.

    -Denny Crane

  8. The problem with virutal phone operators is the networks they operate over. If Helio depends on Sprints network the service will be shit.

    The problem with a one-phone-does-all approach is the radically different technologies that are fueling todays big cell service providers. A phone that does it all would be too big and heavy to be cool.

    I bet they call it a MacPhone (with iPod inbuilt).

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