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MacRumors
Apr 19, 2006, 08:30 AM
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A market research company is (again) predicting (http://www.itwire.com.au/content/view/3953/127/) that Apple will be entering the cellphone market soon. Visiongain argues that Apple seens the mobile phone market as a threat to its current iPod lead and is taking steps to address this by launching their own cell phone service and phone.

Rumors and speculation of an Apple-branded cell phone have been ongoing for years. Visiongain, however, is matching up Apple with Helio (http://www.helio.com/) (interview (http://www.engadget.com/2006/04/17/the-engadget-interview-sky-dayton-helio-ceo/)) - an upcoming youth-oriented cell phone operator that operates as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO). MVNOs are virtual cell phone providers which lease the wireless intrastructure from existing providers.

The company also suggests that Apple will somehow integrate (http://www.macnewsworld.com/story/49767.html) Voice-over-IP (VOIP) technology into the phone service. This would presumably allow the phone users to talk directly to users of other VOIP internet services (Skype, iChat).

Helio is due to launch this spring, but appears to have its own set of exclusive phones and services.

Peyton
Apr 19, 2006, 08:33 AM
Great! I need a new phone! I can only home its before my verizon contract ends in june

twoodcc
Apr 19, 2006, 08:35 AM
Great! I need a new phone!

me too! can't wait for one from Apple! :)

kainjow
Apr 19, 2006, 08:39 AM
I'd buy an Apple phone, mainly because you know the interface would actually make sense, and it wouldn't have tons of features that no one uses. It would be practical, but well designed and easy to use, with a beautiful iPod-like interface that plays songs from iTunes :D

VanMac
Apr 19, 2006, 08:43 AM
My cell phone is 3.5 years old. Man....I could really use an upgrade:rolleyes:

guffman
Apr 19, 2006, 08:44 AM
What network would apple use, or would they just make the hardware available to everyone?

revjay
Apr 19, 2006, 08:44 AM
Will Apple limit their "own" phone like they limited the number of songs that the Moto. iTunes phones will hold???
It reminds me of my first dirtbike...my dad installed a throttle limiter (to keep me safe...thanks dad!)...it took my friends and I a few minutes to figure out that device could be removed, which increased our "fun" factor immensely. The rev limiter could also be replaced to spare us the wrath of Dad.
Please Apple...don't shut me in...

iHotu
Apr 19, 2006, 08:44 AM
?

radian23
Apr 19, 2006, 08:46 AM
I think an apple phone would be sweet expecially if it had a similar exterior to the MBP or powerbooks. Who removed my first post message! :mad:

ifjake
Apr 19, 2006, 08:53 AM
although they might want to work in some spiffy new thing that could possibly lead them to needing their own cell phone service, i would rather they make it available to any service provider. i won't get it if i'm locked into another situation like iTunes+iTMS+iPod. that's pushing it as it is. iTunes+iTMS+iPhone+iAppleCellular would probably put most people off.

bah-bah'd
Apr 19, 2006, 08:54 AM
What network would apple use, or would they just make the hardware available to everyone?

I don't care. Didn't the article say they are going to lease & resell through Helios? All carriers stink at something at some point... I just want a phone that works. please.

miketcool
Apr 19, 2006, 08:55 AM
"Say Hello, Heilo, to Apple."

I see more in the Beatles lawsuit...

Platform
Apr 19, 2006, 08:55 AM
Yes, I need/want to things from Apple....iPhone and OS X 10.5 (Leopard)

mrgreen4242
Apr 19, 2006, 08:57 AM
Well, I don't think I would be likely to use Apple as a cell carrier or phone maker simply because I would expect them to charge a premium. I don't mind paying that premium for a computer or an iPod, and probably would pay a bit for a really nice Apple phone (although, I tend to just get whatever the "best" free or at least under $10 phone I can get when I get a new plan).

However, if they set up some sort of automatic system where it goes to a VoIP service when in range of an Airport (or properly configured Mac with an APE card) and switches to normal cell service when out of range I would probably bite. My wife and I have a VoIP phone at home, and while we like the features and (mostly) the price, the service is pretty crappy. We're going to go all cell pretty soon, anyways, so this would be perfect for us (especially if there is a manual override so you can goto normal cell operation if the internet is particularly congested).

sishaw
Apr 19, 2006, 08:57 AM
There was a fairly good article on Helio in Wired magazine an issue or two ago. Even though I am not the target audience, I found it intriguing (hey, we boomers like music, games and cell service too!). Unfortunately, I cannot seem to find the article on wired.com, but I remember thinking exactly what this rumor says, that perhaps this could be a partnership for Apple for an apple-branded phone with iTunes service.

j26
Apr 19, 2006, 08:59 AM
This is something I want, provided it had a decent camera too.

It would also be the thing get me to sign up for ITMS.
At the moment, bugger if I'm going to burn to CD and rip back in iTunes to get an mp3 to stick in my phone.

MacsRgr8
Apr 19, 2006, 09:01 AM
I have this feeling, that even if this iPhone would be launched this summer, us folks over here outside the US will have to wait till 2008 before being able to iChat on the iPhone... ;)

Be nice seeing it happen though :cool:

dr_lha
Apr 19, 2006, 09:02 AM
I call ************.

Helio are a CDMA network based off Sprint. If the Apple iPhone is a CDMA based phone then they're making a phone that only will work with a very small percentage of the market (i.e. 50% of the US market and nowhere else).

This would be a very stupid move, the international cell phone market for GSM phones massively outsizes that for CDMA phones. Why would Apple want to limit themselves so much?

There is a possibility that they could make a "dual-mode" phone or two different phones for different networks. I just can't see Apple doing this, they like to have "one-solution".

Jesus
Apr 19, 2006, 09:02 AM
I can't wait for this, we have been promised this for so long, and now it has been promised by a market research company I have never heard of. Finally, indisputable proof. :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

backupdrummer
Apr 19, 2006, 09:05 AM
As long as I can use the phone to call anyone and anyone can call me I am fine with it. I can't think of anyone tha wouldn't find the a nano with a slide out keypad for dialing to be a slick as hell phone.

I like the idea of skypeout and all thier services but i am hesitant to get yet another login and contact info. VOIP and the idea that your phone integrates with your computer is a obvious next step as they are both for communicating. I just want to see some group really advance this niche industry enough so that i can make the investment at the right time. Much like MP3 player market Some group needs to come in with a solution that makes everyone get it. I hope its Apple but i really don't care who it is.

blueimac'00
Apr 19, 2006, 09:05 AM
I think that apple phones would be pretty neat, but do you think that they will eventually make phones for other services like verizon?

blueimac'00
Apr 19, 2006, 09:09 AM
would this eventually lead to wireless capabillities on an ipod, or something?

srobert
Apr 19, 2006, 09:13 AM
Is it in the realm of the possible that Apple would
charge $0 or very low monthly fee hoping to sell
a boatloads of it's phones? Would that be unfair
competition? Although unlikely, I don't think it's
that far fetched. I think that Apple would gladly
lower the price of it's iTMS songs if they could,
to make the iPods that much more attractive.
I guess it all depends if Apple only plan to offer
the phone, or both phone and service. We'll see…

I'm a little fed up with cell phone service providers.
Those guys are always trying to bleed as much
money out of you as they can while telling you
you're making a terrific deal. They make you pay
for every little services. I think they're at the top
of the corporate greed scale, beaten only by the
music industry.

Veldek
Apr 19, 2006, 09:13 AM
Who removed my first post message! :mad:It was an admin, because spam like this isn't allowed on these boards.

I still don't believe that Apple will come out with a cell phone or even act as a provider. It's just made up by some analysts who think this might be a good idea. But I think we all know how much these analysts know...

I would be glad though, if Apple really came out with one. I'd bet it would be great. My phone is still in good shape, but I don't like it, so I would be in the market for a new one.

pjkelnhofer
Apr 19, 2006, 09:14 AM
I could not care less about the an Apple cellphone. I just want it to either come out or be officially discredited by Apple. Between the "iPhone" and the next generation of "video iPod". There are about five new rumors a week. Meanwhile, there are no definitive reasons to believe either one even exists. They have become the new PowerBook G5. Both will always be due out "next Tuesday".

Although, I agree that Apple made the mp3 market what it is today and that cell phones are slowly encrouching on that market, I see one big difference. When the original iPod came out, there were not that many mp3 players out there. However, everyone already has a cell phone. It is a totally different market position for Apple to get in.

Most importantly, to me (and a lot of others), the phone is not the most important thing. It is the coverage. No matter how cool the Apple phone is if the provider that offers it (be it Cingular or Apple themselves) has lousy coverage where I need it (like the fact that I have never seen a Cingular phone get a good signal in my house, but my Verizon phone always does) then it is useless to me.

ps. That is a not a dig on Cingular's overall coverage, my old apartment was the opposite!!!

sishaw
Apr 19, 2006, 09:20 AM
There was a fairly good article on Helio in Wired magazine an issue or two ago. Even though I am not the target audience, I found it intriguing (hey, we boomers like music, games and cell service too!). Unfortunately, I cannot seem to find the article on wired.com, but I remember thinking exactly what this rumor says, that perhaps this could be a partnership for Apple for an apple-branded phone with iTunes service.

OK, found the link to the Wired article: http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/14.03/helio.html.

It seems like a nice phone, and one that would fit in well with Apple. Also, at the very end, there is a quotation reminiscent of an Apple iPod ad:

"Music and video should be communications fodder," Dayton asserts. "It's not about downloading Desperate Housewives and watching it at the doctor's office. We're your connection to your community of friends." He stares at the device, glowing with electronic life. "All of your friends, in the palm of your hand."

Coincidence?

hob
Apr 19, 2006, 09:28 AM
I have this feeling, that even if this iPhone would be launched this summer, us folks over here outside the US will have to wait till 2008 before being able to iChat on the iPhone... ;)

Be nice seeing it happen though :cool:
My thoughts exactly! Nevermind though, eh?

I'm guessing we'll have to wait for European carriers to pick up the phone and/or for apple to set up its own infrastructure over here (depending on whether they set up as a MVNO in the US or just use Helio)...

But golly-gosh, how much do I want an iPhone? Bet it comes out jusssst as I renew my contract!

Demon
Apr 19, 2006, 09:32 AM
Let's hope Apple will come out with VoIP, 3G, mobile phone with PDA capabilites. i'm still waiting for something that can sync to my Mac and use as a phone. Treo has been the only choice for too long! now that they seem to be moving in the windows arena with the "hollywood".. perhaps it's about time for apple to take things back into their own hands.

avensis087
Apr 19, 2006, 09:34 AM
i don't necessarily think the iPhone will be a separate product. my guess is that phone/VOIP features will be added to next generation iPods. the popularity of the ipod is already apparent, why try to break into yet another market while they have dominance in one already?

mr

backupdrummer
Apr 19, 2006, 09:43 AM
I call ************.

Helio are a CDMA network based off Sprint. If the Apple iPhone is a CDMA based phone then they're making a phone that only will work with a very small percentage of the market (i.e. 50% of the US market and nowhere else).

This would be a very stupid move, the international cell phone market for GSM phones massively outsizes that for CDMA phones. Why would Apple want to limit themselves so much?

There is a possibility that they could make a "dual-mode" phone or two different phones for different networks. I just can't see Apple doing this, they like to have "one-solution".

So what your saying is that this could easily be a US only service offered by Apple. That doesn't sound like something Apple would do ;)

Renegate
Apr 19, 2006, 09:44 AM
This is old news, they are hust reviving it to get people to buy their report!

Dr.Gargoyle
Apr 19, 2006, 09:50 AM
I have this feeling, that even if this iPhone would be launched this summer, us folks over here outside the US will have to wait till 2008 before being able to iChat on the iPhone... ;)

Be nice seeing it happen though :cool:
Hear, hear... I am still waiting for free songs on iTunes... one day perhaps.

iwannabeaninja
Apr 19, 2006, 09:53 AM
2007 they will pull iTunes from Motorola. 2008 they will come out with the iPhone and partner with Cingular.

j-a-x
Apr 19, 2006, 09:54 AM
Sounds cool, I'd like a VOIP cellphone, especially one designed by apple.

I am moving to the states soon and I was planning on bringing my Nokia 6620 and getting a new sim card but maybe I should reconsider...

Big Fat Lies!
Apr 19, 2006, 10:00 AM
So where's the iChat supported iSight enabled cell phone! Now that's something to make the person sitting next to you at Starbucks just green with envy!

50548
Apr 19, 2006, 10:04 AM
Damn, not again this living dead iPhone rumor...can't we just stick to the PowerBook G5..??

crees!
Apr 19, 2006, 10:05 AM
So where's the iChat supported iSight enabled cell phone! Now that's something to make the person sitting next to you at Starbucks just green with envy!
Wouldn't it be tight if you could connect to your computer, browse & download files off your computer to your phone. Oh Snap!

dr_lha
Apr 19, 2006, 10:12 AM
So what your saying is that this could easily be a US only service offered by Apple. That doesn't sound like something Apple would do ;)
Exactly.

iwannabeaninja
Apr 19, 2006, 10:18 AM
The powerbook G5 wasn't able to go public due to unstable temperature conditions. These unstable temperatures caused fires and left prototypes charred.

Thanatoast
Apr 19, 2006, 10:21 AM
Hmm, I like what avensis said above about this not being a seperate product. Why start a new line when you can build off the success of the old one? It's not an Apple iPhone, it's an iPod that you can make calls on.

VOIP? If they added wireless to the iPod that would give us VOIP, but there'd be zero coverage, unless there was an included pcmcia slot that came with a cellular EVDO card. It'd be neat, though, to have your iChat nick be your cellphone number... Text, voice and video all to one nick/address/"phone number" and any internet enabled device? Interesting.

Regardless, I'd only get it if it came with PDA functionality. I like surfing the net and playing simcity on my palm-enabled phone, not to mention that I keep important information on there. Maybe this rumor dovetails with the touchscreen-enabled iPod rumor from earlier? Will we get a fully functional PDA/iPod with full-size touchscreen, iLife integration and phone capabilities?

As long as I'm wishing for the moon, I'd also like a million dollars and a pony, please.

Bubbasteve
Apr 19, 2006, 10:23 AM
I can't wait for it...hopefully it will come out sometime next spring so then I can get it (that's when my Cingular contract is up)

Dr.Gargoyle
Apr 19, 2006, 10:33 AM
Damn, not again this living dead iPhone rumor...can't we just stick to the PowerBook G5..??
I honestly think Apple eventually has to integrate a phone into the iPods if they want to keep their marketshare, since most people prefer one gadget over a specially designed geek-vest with pockets for: cellphone, MP3, GPS, pda, camera...
Just look at SonyEricsson. Their mp3 players might not be the best under the sun, but I still think that many buyers prefer that solution over being cought with the above mentioned geek vest.

dazzer21
Apr 19, 2006, 10:34 AM
Could it just be that the reason that the 'true' video iPod has been delayed because there could be issues with integrating telephony technology into it?

toddheasley
Apr 19, 2006, 10:48 AM
We all know that Steve Jobs is great for Apple because he makes the things that he'd want. He's a businessman, sure, but he doesn't fall into giving the market what it "wants." Well, hardly ever. He may want a better cell phone himself, but I'd be surprised if he thinks it's a good problem for Apple to tackle. Unless he see the chance for Apple to do something obvious and brilliant that the current companies are too entrenched in their current models to do.

But, come on, consider the source. Market research companies are useless, especially at predicting what Apple's gonna do. For exactly the reason that I stated above. "Oh and Apple's gotta do VoIP too; it's so hot right now." If they're right about an Apple phone or VoIP, it's dumb luck. Market research predicting what Apple's gonna do is like a ten-year-old analyzing Big Blue's chess game.

Kingsly
Apr 19, 2006, 11:03 AM
I want an iPhone more than life itself, but partnering with helio? No!

needthephone
Apr 19, 2006, 11:11 AM
If you were at apple watching your competition you are surely going to see mobiles as a steadily building threat. Either they simply slowly wait for them to erode their market share or join in and take on their competition. Look at 3 now, you can download songs already and my Nokia 6280 is a great MP3 player. I know apple aren't a normal company but they have shareholders who they will want to keep happy by keeping the share price high. I reckon if they do launch a good phone they could do what the ipod does times 1000. If they don't ipod and itunes will inevitably go the way of the Newton. They simply have to do it, apple depends on the ipod too much to see it die. The rushed Motorola effort was hopefully the first dabble but why on earth did they choose to partner with one of the worst mobile makers around??

xfiftyfour
Apr 19, 2006, 11:44 AM
i don't know if i really like the idea of an iPhone - okay, so we already know it's apple and that means the phone itself + the interface will be amazing and sleek, but the coverage..? the apple logo isn't so great that i'll see a phone and forget its purpose. the quality of a voIP service over an all cell based, national provider cannot possibly compare.

and on a second note - there's also no way that you can convince me that apple right now is worried about the cell phone market growing enough to overtake the ipod. the only way this is even feasible is if the ipod goes so far away from its original music purpose that the ipod becomes more phone-esque than anything else (ie: pda capabilities, etc).

cinder
Apr 19, 2006, 11:47 AM
There is no connection between Helio and Apple.

This is fact.

If Apple creates a phone, they will do so on their own terms and with a careful partnership with a well-established network provider.

boncellis
Apr 19, 2006, 12:34 PM
It seems like this has been battered around to no end, but I think the next innovation could very well be mobile VOIP to integrate with something like iChat. I think it would be cool.

As far as the merging of functions currently available on the iPod, don't expect them on the iPhone any time soon. Apple is not going to cannibalize the sales of their best-selling product line. They would rather offer two products and increase their sales that way, it would be hard to imagine iPod sales increasing much more.

quigleybc
Apr 19, 2006, 01:35 PM
We all know that the iPhone is eventually going to happen, the question is, will we all be too old to care....

or will technology leave it in the dust and be way more advanced by the time it comes out.

visor
Apr 19, 2006, 04:08 PM
let's face it, with the sonyericsson W series, there is absolutely no more need for some ipod nano or the like. The music goes onto the Mobile and that's it. btw. one does need to remove the itms drm first... go France go, make em share their drm techs

hyperpasta
Apr 19, 2006, 04:21 PM
UGH! NOT ANOTHER ANALYST SAYING iPHONE!!

Seriously, this should be on Page 2.

pjkelnhofer
Apr 19, 2006, 05:07 PM
I honestly think Apple eventually has to integrate a phone into the iPods if they want to keep their marketshare, since most people prefer one gadget over a specially designed geek-vest with pockets for: cellphone, MP3, GPS, pda, camera...
Just look at SonyEricsson. Their mp3 players might not be the best under the sun, but I still think that many buyers prefer that solution over being cought with the above mentioned geek vest.

I have to disagree with some of what you say. For one, people are not replacing their digital cameras with cellphones. The main issue is quality. Would you rather have one gagdet that does everything or several that are all well designed?

I think a majority of people like the iPod because it does one thing really, really well. If the phone features are sub-par it will stop people from buying it as an mp3 player. If the PDA features are weak, then people won't buy it to be a phone, etc.

Finally, how do all the extra features affect the battery life of your phone. I would hate to not have my phone when I need it because I spent the day listening to music, watching last night's tv shows, and surfing the web!!!

j26
Apr 19, 2006, 05:42 PM
I have to disagree with some of what you say. For one, people are not replacing their digital cameras with cellphones. The main issue is quality. Would you rather have one gagdet that does everything or several that are all well designed?

I think a majority of people like the iPod because it does one thing really, really well. If the phone features are sub-par it will stop people from buying it as an mp3 player. If the PDA features are weak, then people won't buy it to be a phone, etc.

Finally, how do all the extra features affect the battery life of your phone. I would hate to not have my phone when I need it because I spent the day listening to music, watching last night's tv shows, and surfing the web!!!

In that view of the world everyone would be carrying about a 5g iPod, a phone, a Nikon D50, a digital camcorder, a portable radio and a pda, along with a PSP and whatever else takes your fancy.

Personally as a person travelling quite a bit, I want one preferably small bit of gear that will do it all reasonably well. I want a decent camera for on the go shots (with a better camera for planned pics), and all of my needs covered without having to hire a Sherpa to carry it all about for me.

My phone is close, but the UI sucks and since I don't have Tiger, it doesn't sync well so I'd love an iPhone (iPod with phone function, if you like)

Battery life is a major issue - perhaps a second small battery limited to phone use only with enough power to ensure the phone lasts for about a day after the main battery is gone.

MacRonin
Apr 19, 2006, 08:41 PM
Would you rather have one gagdet that does everything or several that are all well designed?

I want one well-designed item from Apple that does everything perfectly…!

I have been refusing to sign a new contract with Cingular (originally an AT&T subscriber…) for the better part of forever waiting on Apple to produce my new cellphone/smartphone…

And this Nokia candybar phone is really sucking…!

Dr.Gargoyle
Apr 20, 2006, 03:35 AM
I have to disagree with some of what you say. For one, people are not replacing their digital cameras with cellphones. The main issue is quality.
Hmm, I see your point. I do agree that people won't replace in all their cameras with combined gizmo... Not right now at least. I myself is a good example of that. I have just ordered a new point and shoot Leica. :) However, low-end cameras are gradually being pushed out of the market in favour of combined phone/cameras. As the digital cameras and phones become smaller at constant quility, a larger fraction of cameras will be replaced by a combined gizmo. The main reason is physiology. Our hands and fingers can't cope with too small gadgets.
The quality of the cameras in cellphones has improved radically and will contiue to do so. As an example: Nokia has a long term exclusive contract with Zeiss optics. That is a far cry from the piece of plastic that constituted a lense in the early camera/cellphones.
Apple shouldn't make the same mistake as Hasselblad and Leica. They basically underestimated the speed of the evolution of the CCD chip, which made them believe that it would be many more years before a digital camera would be able to compete with high-end "film" camera. Bad mistake.
Would you rather have one gagdet that does everything or several that are all well designed?

I think a majority of people like the iPod because it does one thing really, really well. If the phone features are sub-par it will stop people from buying it as an mp3 player. If the PDA features are weak, then people won't buy it to be a phone, etc.

Just as in the case with the iPod. It is all about making a user-friendly interface. The company that manage to do that will take more or less the entire market, just as Apple did with the iPod. I don't believe that we will see a camera/phone/mp3/pda/gps... emerge out of the blue, but rather a not-so-slow growth in that direction. The handheld market is converging towards a trusted-best-friend with capabilities we can't imagine. For example, Nokia has the last five years done research how a cellphone can double as a creditcard. This research will pay off one day, be sure of that. My point is that companies like SonyEricsson, Nokia, LG, and Samsung realize how much that handheld market is worth and they would love to have a big chunk of that. Their best option to compete with Apple in the MP3 market is through a combined phone/mp3-player.


Finally, how do all the extra features affect the battery life of your phone. I would hate to not have my phone when I need it because I spent the day listening to music, watching last night's tv shows, and surfing the web!!!

Compare battery life today with how it was a couple of years ago. Heck, just compare the battery life of the iPod. It more or less doubled between the 3G and 5G.
Moreover, more or less all cellphones besides the very low-end ones, have besides the phone capability a mp3 player (crappy UI) and a camera (low-end quality). As I stated above, the evolution is pushing things forward fast. There are already phones with 5Mpx cameras.
Or just consider SonyEricsson's W950i which is a tri-band GSM + UTMS cellphone with a touchscreen and 4GB flashmemory mp3 player. If THAT doesn't make Apple get of their asses I don't what will do.

Bottomline: If Apple wants to be a player in the MP3 market five years from now, they better come up with something fast.

Dr.Gargoyle
Apr 20, 2006, 03:40 AM
Personally as a person travelling quite a bit, I want one preferably small bit of gear that will do it all reasonably well. I want a decent camera for on the go shots (with a better camera for planned pics), and all of my needs covered without having to hire a Sherpa to carry it all about for me.
LOL.. I am in more or less the same situation, so I do know what you mean. I think we fool ourselves if we believe that the iPod with remain to be just a music player five years from now. Evolve or perish. Either way, iPod wont exist as we know it five years from now.