The Motley Fool: For now, the iPhone remains an urban legend, but that could change soon

“Alligators in New York City sewers. Area 51. The Boogeyman. And, of course, the iPhone,” Tim Beyers writes for The Motely Fool.

“This time, the speculation says that Apple will introduce two editions of a smartphone that will bear a greater resemblance to Palm’s Treo or Research In Motion’s BlackBerry than it would to the old [Motorola] ROKR,” Beyers writes.

“And it’s likely to be made by Apple. Press reports say that component suppliers in Taiwan and Japan are working on separate editions of the iPhone — one for 3G cellular networks (most common here in the U.S.) and one for GSM networks (most common in Europe). Roughly 12 million of the devices are to be made, and according to reports, a rollout could come as soon as March of next year. Expected features include Wi-Fi, iTunes integration, video playback, and a full keyboard,” Beyers writes. “So, is any of this real? And, if so, should it be? To the first question, I’d say yes.”

“To the second question, I’d say maybe. Here’s why: As much as Jobs and his team have proven to be design geniuses, telephony is inherently different. History says that competing successfully in that market requires a degree of specialization that, as far as we know, Apple doesn’t yet possess,” Beyers writes. “Of course, this argument features a huge flaw named Handspring. By creating the Treo, Palm’s founders transformed a successful personal digital assistant design into what we now call a smartphone.”

Full article here.

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  1. In fact, they only issue that a phone needs and apple is an expert in that area is a “Phone that just works and have a os intuitive”, most of th phones today does not works well and their interfaces are less intuitive. Almost nobody uses at least 20% of the phone functions, so why making a phone with so much funtions instead of making a phone that it easy to use and fast for every one?. If apple makes a phone with just the basic functions (Agenda, Schedule, Alarm, Pictures, Bluetooth, iTunes) but with a small Mac OS X, it will sell like wather on the desert.

  2. You know, that in keeping this myth going MDN has thus far posted:

    1) Drawings of the phone
    2) Specs
    3) Factories that will make the phone
    4) shown there is a market for the phone

    If MDN could come up with a B.O.M. (Bill of Materials) all apple has to do is order the parts….send the parts to the factory….give the fectory the drawings….and use MDN’s mailing list to ship and billl folks for the final product. All without ever doing any work. This could be the easiest product they ever make.

    Only thing is, MDN has yet to cover product support.

    just my $0.02

  3. “3G [is] most common here?”

    If Motely Flea… uh… I mean Motley Fool is going to write about cell phones, it should learn that 3G is not the opposite of GSM — not to mention that the U.S. is hardly the center of 3G.

  4. I have always questioned the need for and doubted the reliability of your commonplace mobile phone, especially living in the sticks. Considering the complaints that I have heard about low battery life, dropped signals, dead zones, and buggy software it seem that Apple’s contribution to the mobile industry would only solve one-fourth of the existing problems. If Apple joins the fray Apple might just find itself indistinguishable from all other mobile manufacturers.

    IMHO, it seems that the mobile communications business needs serious improvement in upgrading its signal transmission infrastructure and power technologies before Apple should consider releasing one or more iPhones in 2007. However, it Apple were to release a satellite phone with 96 hours standby, 10 hours talktime, a rechargeable battery, and weighs less than 150 grams – I would buy it. Lotsa luck, fellas.

  5. “In fact, they only issue that a phone needs and apple is an expert in that area is a “Phone that just works and have a os intuitive”, most of th phones today does not works well and their interfaces are less intuitive. Almost nobody uses at least 20% of the phone functions, so why making a phone with so much funtions instead of making a phone that it easy to use and fast for every one?. If apple makes a phone with just the basic functions (Agenda, Schedule, Alarm, Pictures, Bluetooth, iTunes) but with a small Mac OS X, it will sell like wather on the desert.”

    If Apple can build in a spelling and grammar checker it’ll be a great phone for some people.

  6. Check, some people’s first language isn’t English…and some post in a darkened room without benefit of a backlit keyboard. (Nd sum jist kannt spel or gramr rite.)

    Ray, interesting! I suppose Apple could want to develop a product but run into some snag – or just not want to spend the money on R&D. They start and feed rumors about the new product and let everyone else design it for them. Interesting!

  7. Hg Wells:

    The distance between a good idea and well-designed product is measured in years, dollars, and skill. Too bad that you don’t understand this. A perfect example is Microsoft’s much promised OS that has little in comparison to what was imagined 5 years ago. Comprende?

  8. I for one will be shocked if Apple actually brings out a phone. Steve and company like to create well designed products, but they also like to control the entire user experience. With a cell phone, Apple’s product will be forced to be tightly integrated with someo of the worst examples of customer service around, namely the cell phone service providers.

    Far too many people don’t know there the instrument ends and the service company begins. T-Mobile in Los Angeles, for instance, doesn’t have the same coverage area as Cingular. I’ve got clients mad as hell they switched to Verizon to get the Motorola Q, and they’re blaming the phone for dropped calls, etc.

    If Apple brings out a mobile phone, people will still be walking around saying “Can you hear me now?”

    As most cell phone companies tend to want an exclusive deal with a phone vendor in this country, and then they add their own software to the phone, re-brand the phone, etc. I wonder how Apple will deal with this as well. You can buy an unlocked phone, but you may or may not be able to use the provider’s internet services etc., unless the provider is willing to support the phone.

    I just find it odd that Apple wants to get into the quagmire of American cell phone services.

    Now it would be interesting if they said the phone was for sale exclusively in Europe and Japan, where they know how to provide cell phone service without trying to screw the patron.

  9. 3G is most common in the US? And GSM is most common in Europe? First of all, Europe is so far ahead of the US in 3G, it’s embarrassing. It’s probably because we shove Creationism down the throats of science education in the US, but that’s another story. And GSM, though THE standard in Europe, is far from uncommon in the US. Ask any Cingular or T-Mobile customer.

    I hate uneducated writers.

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