Differentiation of Future iPhone Models to be Driven by Software?

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Register Hardware reports on a meeting last week between Apple senior executives and analysts for investment firm Oppenheimer & Co. which provided a bit of insight into Apple's options for increasing iPhone market share. A report on the meeting issued by Oppenhimer analyst Yair Reiner mentions several obvious strategies that Apple could employ:
Yair Reiner, an analyst at Oppenheimer, recently met with several unnamed Apple executives who, he claimed, said: "[The] iPhone is still in its early days and could gain share by: providing more functionality, lowering prices, growing geographically, or segmenting the market with different models."
In seeking clarification about the market segmentation comment, Register Hardware learned from Reiner that "segmentation would focus on software." Register Hardware interprets this comment to mean that Apple is considering offering multiple models of the iPhone that would consist of essentially identical hardware, but have different software packages.
For example, Apple could market one 'YouTube' iPhone model with applications that provide video capture, editing and sharing features. Other iPhones might only offer basic video capture - or perhaps no video at all.

Selling models differentiated by hardware seems unlikely. Different iPhones with very different physical specs could have far-reaching implications for Apple's production methods, volumes and costs.
Another possibility is that market segmentation could still be offered using different hardware, but driven by differences in software, such as the rumored "iPhone nano" that could conceivably be released without a focus on the App Store found on the current iPhone. In broad terms, Apple's comments indicate that the company may be using software-based decisions to define feature sets for various iPhone hardware models.

Article Link: Differentiation of Future iPhone Models to be Driven by Software?
 

Eraserhead

macrumors G4
Nov 3, 2005
10,409
11,690
UK
Releasing an iPhone without AppStore would be a grave mistake IMO. As it would reduce the size of the application market.
 

rhomsy

macrumors regular
Jul 6, 2007
104
3
I call bull*****. Are you trying to tell me that Apple is planning on marketing the iPhone like M$ markets Vista, with 15 different versions by selling crippled software?

Apple is a hardware company. This doesn't make any sense.
 

staypuffinpc

macrumors member
Jun 4, 2008
49
2
not going to happen

this runs contrary to Apple's software business plan. They claim there is no difference in their OS's. I highly doubt they'd make multiple versions for different hardware models. Do these people even pay attention to the way Apple works?
 

cvballa

macrumors newbie
Sep 17, 2008
20
0
I don't think this is a good idea. The best plan is to continue to slightly improve the Iphones specs each year and adding better hardware. Once the iphone market share is large enough they can charge fees to upgrade to each version of the Iphone operating system. Or you can buy a new phone that comes with the software. That seems like the best plan.
 

illegalprelude

macrumors 68000
Mar 10, 2005
1,579
119
Los Angeles, California
this runs contrary to Apple's software business plan. They claim there is no difference in their OS's. I highly doubt they'd make multiple versions for different hardware models. Do these people even pay attention to the way Apple works?
yea...the whole point to the App Store and 2.0 and 3.0 has been that all iphone users get it. This is a BS story.
 

zap2

macrumors 604
Mar 8, 2005
7,242
1
Washington D.C
so basically an iPhone nano?

I think Apple would be better focusing on 199 or lowering the price to 99, with the current device. Normal phones are nice, but I tend to believe smartphones are the futures for the majority of people
 

esaleris

macrumors 6502
Oct 18, 2005
315
3
Well, I think the point of the iPhone was the inclusiveness of all these functions in one device. Remember the original launch? E-mail device, Internet device, and phone - but oh wait! - in one device.

I don't buy it. I do, however, think that we can expect an iPhone nano to be completely different than an iPhone due to capabilities being different.

Segmenting iPhones in that way is a great way to kill the unified aspect of what Apple's trying to build.
 

longofest

Editor emeritus
Jul 10, 2003
2,846
1,394
Falls Church, VA
This feels like such a Microsoft tactic, like the way they have tons of different versions of their OS's. I think the analyst is misinterpreting whatever he gained from the executives. The main differences you'll see in future models will likely be in hardware.
 

phalewhale

macrumors 6502a
Jun 10, 2007
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0
Yair Reiner, an analyst at Oppenheimer, recently met with several unnamed Apple executives who, he claimed, said: "[The] iPhone is still in its early days and could gain share by: providing more functionality, lowering prices, growing geographically, or segmenting the market with different models."
Give me a job at Apple please - I could have said that.
 

bolibic

macrumors member
Jun 15, 2007
33
1
I've got the idea...

  • iPhone Home Basic
  • iPhone Premium
  • iPhone Business
  • iPhone Ultimate

But I guess someone else has patented this business model :p
 

screensaver400

macrumors 6502a
Jan 28, 2005
834
1
Why?

Why? Selling identical hardware with differing software preloaded makes no sense.

If Apple wants to do this, it should sell $29 "YouTube Content Creator" or "iPhone 3D Gaming" apps on the AppStore. If there are no hardware differences, why should buyers have to choose? They should just be able to buy all of them.

(the gaming app could adjust iPhone's CPU to run at full speed, at the expense of battery life)
 

t0mat0

macrumors 603
Aug 29, 2006
5,439
268
Home
Maybe it means you get extra software functionality, dependent on the hardware you have, or added? You get extra features in iTunes for example - Nike+ Coaching system that can sync data, or MobileMe links...
Strange for Apple to be so open with Oppenheimer.
 

hexor

macrumors 6502
Nov 26, 2002
266
79
Minnesota
Segmentation

Considering this is more or less a "he said she said" quote, it would make the most sense that what this really means is there will be a single core cpu version of the basic/cheap model that can run only one app at a time and multiple core versions in the higher end models. This could be misconstrued as a difference in "software".
 

HailToTheVictor

macrumors regular
Feb 1, 2007
179
0
iPhone OS Home
iPhone OS Home Basic
iPhone OS Home Premium
iPhone OS Business Basic
...

I am not gonna waste my time because it will not happen

iPhone Home Basic
iPhone Premium
iPhone Business
iPhone Ultimate
Beat me
 

wonderbread57

macrumors 6502
Jun 11, 2008
430
0
How about selling iPhones for different prices based on the color of the Apple logo? MAKE NEW FREKAING HARDWARE. How can a computational device like this have the same chipset it debuted with 3 years ago.
 

nick9191

macrumors 68040
Feb 17, 2008
3,341
134
Britain
Bad idea. This is not Vista.

As for "different models result in higher costs for Apple". They neglect to mention that only having one model drastically limits the iPhone's user base. Apple need to play this just like they play the Mac, consumer products and professional products, all running the same software.
 

OddyOh

macrumors 6502
Nov 29, 2005
282
56
Regina, SK, Canada
load

Loads of crap in that story...I beat they deliberately misled this poor fellow. "Go on Johnny, spread our mis-information wildly!"

Apple doesn't even have a mid-tower Mac...now they're gonna have 2 or 3 or 4 different iPhones?! :D
 
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