Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
54,250
16,091



Tying together a series of earlier rumors, AppleNApps claims that Apple is planning to introduce a new low-cost iPhone in the coming months that will contain significantly reduced onboard storage and instead rely primarily on streaming content from the company's new iCloud service. The device is said to be referred to internally as the "iCloud iPhone".
We have three independent sources contributing to this report who are all connected to Apple in different capacities. The main takeaway is that Apple intends to launch two iPhone models in the fall with a full upgraded iPhone 5 as expected, as well as a cheaper iPhone which will be the iCloud iPhone.
According to the report, the iPhone 5 will indeed appear in a thinner form factor carrying the A5 chip that debuted in the iPad 2 earlier this year. But the iCloud iPhone will rely on many of the components currently used in the iPhone 4 and offer only a bare minimum of onboard storage in order to drop pricing to $400 off-contract or free with a two-year contract.
One of our contacts is familiar with the design of the iPhone 4, and says that Apple is cutting the cost of making an iPhone 4 without sacrificing any of its qualities. The main cost cutting will come from Apple reducing on board storage, using a smoother yet cheaper aluminum back and siding, and already having a majority of the supplies on hand. The result will be a cloud based iPhone experience that is unique in the market that will be accessible to a large percentage of users because of the price point.
Rumors of a low-cost iPhone have been circulating for quite some time, and claims of a smaller, cheaper iPhone relying on cloud streaming instead on onboard storage appeared earlier this year.

iphone_icloud_abbey_road.jpg



One potential flaw in the idea that Apple will be introducing a cloud-based iPhone in the near future is related to Apple's implementation of iCloud, which is much more of a syncing service than a streaming service. Apple has presented iCloud as a distributed system in which a master copy of any given file resides in the cloud but is also duplicated on each device and kept in sync with that master copy, which itself can be updated based on changes made on any associated device.

The vision of a cloud-based iPhone with little onboard storage would require that that master copy be passed down to the device only as needed, functionality that Apple has not yet shown with iCloud and iOS 5. Aside from any technical considerations for the streaming model, such an arrangement would put significant strain on wireless carriers charged with moving that data down from the cloud every time it is needed.

AppleNApps is a relatively new site which does not yet have a significant track record when it comes to Apple rumors, although it was only off by a day in its predictions of a release for OS X Lion and revised MacBook Air models.

Article Link: Apple's Low-Cost iPhone to be an 'iCloud' iPhone?
 

dukebound85

macrumors P6
Jul 17, 2005
18,650
3,383
5045 feet above sea level
In the era of data caps, this would not appeal to me

Plus I use my iphone for both as an ipod and a dedicated gps with maps on the device so this would not work well in that regard.
 
Comment

Stella

macrumors G3
Apr 21, 2003
8,674
5,782
Canada
Maybe cheap up front but requires expensive data plans.

yes, you could use wi-fi, but wifi isn't available everywhere.
 
Comment

addicted44

macrumors 6502a
Jun 6, 2005
532
168
How does this rumor make any sense?

1) iCloud does not interface with Windows.
2) The purpose of a low cost phone is to tap the developing markets, which are largely prepaid. Very few prepaid services offer reasonable data plans.
3) 3G internet speeds are not sufficient for vast amounts of media streaming.
 
Comment

840quadra

Moderator
Staff member
Feb 1, 2005
8,379
3,832
Twin Cities Minnesota
Macrumors said:
The vision of a cloud-based iPhone with little onboard storage would require that that master copy be passed down to the device only as needed, functionality that Apple has not yet shown with iCloud and iOS 5. Aside from any technical considerations for the streaming model, such an arrangement would put significant strain on wireless carriers charged with moving that data down from the cloud every time it is needed.

The question I would add to this is: Would there be a special plan needed for this type of feature to work? A user could max out a 2GB data package quite quickly depending on exactly what activities the user is doing.
 
Comment

liavman

macrumors 6502
Sep 22, 2009
462
0
This almost looks like your main storage is on the Mac or PC and this device gets access to it through the iCloud. Neither this device nor the cloud will have the full contents. Interesting to think about such an architecture.
 
Comment

topmounter

macrumors 68020
Jun 18, 2009
2,367
584
FEMA Region VIII
Apple products are about a "premium experience"... if I wanted "low-cost" I would have never started buying Apple products in the first place.
 
Comment

nylonsteel

macrumors 65816
Nov 5, 2010
1,337
303
re icloud phone

sounds promising for the low cost folk

"i wear expensive suit - they just look cheap on me..." - warren buffet
 
Comment

baryon

macrumors 68040
Oct 3, 2009
3,663
2,135
I don't really care for this cloud thing and the absence of local storage. I want to be able to access my data anywhere, at any time, regardless of whether I have an internet connection and how fast it is.

I don't think there is a need to make a device between the iPhone and the iPod Touch.

It's not Flash storage that makes a device expensive, 8GB of storage today is almost free, and that's plenty for a low-cost iPhone. It's the other hardware that the iPod Touch lacks, such as the better camera, screen, extra sensors, more RAM and 3G.
 
Comment

maattp

macrumors newbie
Aug 5, 2011
20
33
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Mobile/9A5288d)

8gb of flash storage would be dirt cheap for apple, why the hell would they try to reduce the price by doing this? Data prices are insane, flash memory is cheap. This makes no sense. $400 is no deal either. If they can make an iPod Touch for $200, they can make an iPhone for $300.
 
Comment

chirpie

macrumors 6502a
Jul 23, 2010
645
179
Maybe cheap up front but requires expensive data plans.



Perfect for fans of Rent-A-Center, buyers of $99 ink jet printers, and people who buy homes with zero down payment.

Sadly, I think there's an audience for this. ^_^;
 
Comment

paul4339

macrumors 65816
Sep 14, 2009
1,408
667
... would require that that master copy be passed down to the device only as needed, functionality that Apple has not yet shown with iCloud and iOS 5. Aside from any technical considerations for the streaming model, such an arrangement would put significant strain on wireless carriers charged with moving that data down from the cloud every time it is needed....

'Less' iPhone storage does not necessarily mean 'little' iPhone storage... an 8GB iPhone is still pretty good for most users... even a 4GB of storage is decent. (for today's usage, I can't see there would be constant syncing)

.
 
Comment

barkomatic

macrumors 601
Aug 8, 2008
4,229
2,199
Manhattan
I simply can't see this big of a transition until carriers bring back cheap unlimited data plans. I certainly hope that Apple continues to produce high quality iPhones with lots of storage alongside these.
 
Comment

BruiserBear

macrumors 6502a
Jul 24, 2008
566
468
I don't buy this story for a second. I could however see Apple making a cheaper iPhone 4, and making that a free model with a contract, instead of the previous years $99 phone.


I just think it will be an iPhone 4 with 8gb of storage.
 
Comment

nutjob

macrumors 65816
Feb 7, 2010
1,003
491
How does this rumor make any sense?

1) iCloud does not interface with Windows.
2) The purpose of a low cost phone is to tap the developing markets, which are largely prepaid. Very few prepaid services offer reasonable data plans.
3) 3G internet speeds are not sufficient for vast amounts of media streaming.

"Developing markets" don't buy $400 phones, they buy $20 phones. A smart phone without storage is a dumb idea.
 
Comment

Bearxor

macrumors 6502a
Jun 7, 2007
693
301
I don't buy the rumor, but could see a lower-cost iPhone with less storage.

I have a feeling that 4GB or even 2GB of storage is enough for "most" users that simply want to use their phone with a few apps.
 
Comment
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.