The Loch Ness Monster of Apple products – ‘iPhone’ – just might truly exist

“Steve Jobs, Apple Computer’s iconic ringmaster, has all but perfected the art of silence and the element of surprise. His ability to keep his company tight-lipped about future plans has turned predicting Apple’s next moves into a sport among competitors, Apple fans and analysts alike. This time, bets are on the fabled ‘iPhone,’ an Apple-branded mobile phone that will most likely include iTunes music-playing capabilities and odds are starting to favor that this Loch Ness Monster of Apple products just might truly exist,” Nicole Ridgway reports for SmartMoney.

Ridgway reports, “Of course, nothing will be certain until Jobs says it’s so — a move that many anticipate will happen on Jan. 9 when he’s scheduled to take the stage at Apple’s annual Macworld Expo… Apple [could become] a mobile virtual network operator, or MVNO, like Virgin Mobile… MVNOs buy wireless services from providers like Cingular or Sprint and then slap their brand name on it and resell it to customers, taking care of things like customer service and billing. MVNOs also tend to target specific audiences. Both Walt Disney and ESPN are MVNOs that target families and sports lovers, respectively.”

Ridgway reports, “Apple already has one of the most loyal fan bases around and a successful chain of retail stores at the ready. Not only could it get a nice profit from the sale of a mobile phone device (word is it will be priced in the $300 range), but a recurring subscription fee as well. Of course, the whole MVNO scenario will leave people wondering exactly which wireless service provider Apple will team up with.”

“Many analysts see great potential in the iPhone as long as Apple plays its cards right. Even if Jobs doesn’t unveil a mobile phone device at Macworld, the company has plenty of groundbreaking products in the pipeline for 2007. Apple is not only releasing its next-generation operating system called Leopard, but it’ll also finally unveil the much-anticipated online video download box, the iTV,” Ridgway reports. “If Macworld comes and goes without an iPhone in sight investors may have to brace for a short-lived selloff due to mere disappointment. With all of the other new products at the ready, I doubt that disappointment will last for long though.”

Full article here.

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  1. i have observed MANY of the SteveNotes over the years and I am aware of one thing. They are only so long. Typically an hour to an hour and a half.
    I don’t think there is enough time to have iTV, Leopard’s “secret features” as well as a release date, guest speaker (intel, adobe, wolfram, MS macbu), ipod report and/or video ipod, AND iPhone.

    The iTV and the iPhone are completely new products, and Steve will want to give them a thorough on-stage demo.

    Each on its own is worthy of a separate special invite only event. But I do believe one of them will get into MWSF, the iTV, because Steve said so.

    I think the iPhone will get its own special event. (Something Apple does all the time.)

    Apple stock will drop after stevenote, it always does. But it always rebounds shorty after and will soar when the iPhone event happens.

  2. Everyone knows there will Leopard, ‘iTV’, iApp updates, hardware refreshes, iPOD refresshes, etc. iPhone has not been denied or confirmed by The Steve. It must be the one more thing® of MW ’07!

    Unless of course, something else is.
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  3. Apple doesn’t go after the razor-thin bottom-feeder markets. They make nice stuff that people are willing to pay for. If they can sell RAZRs for 400 bucks (which they did in great abundance last year) then they can easily sell a phone that’s actually nice and easy to use for 500. People spend nearly that much on iPods and consoles, and those are far less practically useful than a good phone. If it’s a good product, all the cheapy phones in the world won’t matter.


  4. Current mobile manufacturers (i.e. Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Moto, etc.) get locked into MNO and MVNOs because they discount sell handsets to customers — e.g. you get a $400 handset for $40 — but Apple could change the model and sell an unlocked GSM mobile phone that you simply put your own SIM in.

    It would be a premium price product, but it would work with any GSM network and they would not have to worry about deals with MNOs.

  5. United States of Generica: but Apple could change the model and sell an unlocked GSM mobile phone that you simply put your own SIM in.

    i believe that is the best way for apple to release the phone. that way to appeals to a much larger range of potential buyers.

  6. fatal,

    I agree with your observations.

    This sentence warms the cockles of my heart, because it’s so true:-

    “Apple already has one of the most loyal fan bases around and a successful chain of retail stores at the ready.”

  7. Note to Steve: “Say, on that camera idea – please don’t include a camera – I have enough pictures of the inside of my coat pocket already. Thanks.”

    Oh, one more thing Steve – here’s how to introduce the iPhone. Say, that’s it, then have your one more thing like you always do, but make it a dumb thing that makes people say, huh?!?

    Then say goodbye, so long, cya later! And just as people are groaning and starting to get up all disappointed like, YOU have a ringing phone go off over the speaker system, and you say, “Oh, hold on, I gotta take this call!” And it’s THEN that you whip out the iPhone. The place will go nuts!

  8. “iPhones, iTV, iWhatever. I just want 10.5. Well, 10.5 and a new iMac. Yeah, that’s all. Wait, 10.5 and an iMac with a second 23-inch monitor. I’m good with that. I’m done.”

    Relax, hipster, we’ll tell you when it’s ready.

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