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Apple Orders 12 Million iPhones 334

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the i's-have-it dept.
Waqas writes "Apple has placed an order for 12 million iPhones to be built by a Taiwanese contract manufacturer, according to an analyst citing reports from Asia. The Chinese-language Commercial Times on Wednesday cited Taiwan-based sources within Apple's iPod component supply chain as saying the phone is due to arrive during the first half of next year."
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Apple Orders 12 Million iPhones

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  • by jmp_nyc (895404) * on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @07:05PM (#16861108)
    While I don't care about a phone that plays music or video, I want a phone that has a quick, intuitive interface for placing calls and text messages to people in my address book. I find that each time I've had to replace my phone, I'm progressively less satisfied with the interface. It seems like Motorola et al are so worried about form factor that they ignore interface design.

    For example, about 7 years ago I got a Motorola StarTac. It was the coolest form factor phone at the time, and had a reasonable interface. Each name in my phone directory could have multiple numbers associated with it, with each number having an icon for office, home, cell, etc. When I wanted to call someone, I first selected the name, then the appropriate icon from that person's list. It wasn't a perfect solution, but it worked reasonably well. Now I've got a Motorola RAZR, and they've somehow lost the ability to recognize that a single person can have multiple numbers. If I have office, home, and cell numbers stored for the same person, I get three entries for them, making the full list of names much longer. Not only are phone makers not making steps forward, they're moving backwards.

    Given Apple's track record, I'd say they're the most likely candidates to figure out an elegant cell phone interface, and I'm looking forward to the iPhone for that reason alone. If the interface is half decent, I'll be buying one to replace my RAZR.
    -JMP
    • ANd the best feature of all, a timer. And not just an alarm clock (which it does have) but a "ring 10/30/60/ minutes from now" timer, and it's only 4 keystrokes TOTAL (my old nokia had me set the time and date and it took 12+ keystrokes).
    • by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @07:24PM (#16861386)
      I also had a StarTac, now have a RAZR, and had a V60i in-between. I have no trouble with my Verizon RAZR associating multiple numbers with a single name entry. Perhaps you just aren't entering them correctly.

      My beef with the RAZR is its Voice Recognition. While it works, it doesn't understand my preferred terminology. With the V60i, I recorded my own voice tag for selected numbers. That let me refer to a telephone as Name Cell. RAZR only accepts NAME MOBILE. Also for business numbers I used Name Office. The RAZR only understands Name Work.

    • by cweber (34166)
      [em]Given Apple's track record, I'd say they're the most likely candidates to figure out an elegant cell phone interface, and I'm looking forward to the iPhone for that reason alone.[/em]
      You're right on the money here. Apple continue to show other makers how to not overload a music player. If they can pull off a sleek and functional phone, that would force the other manufacturers back to their drawing boards. Job's credo that you cannot design a product via focus groups still holds.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jrumney (197329)

        Apple continue to show other makers how to not overload a music player.

        Maybe I'm misunderstanding you here, but my iPod has a photo viewer, PIM functionality and games. It's basically like my mobile phone, but without the phone. I don't know of any other MP3 player that is as overloaded with useless features.

        • by rjstanford (69735) on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @08:14PM (#16862100) Homepage Journal
          Where they make it work is that if you only want to use the iPod to play music, you never even need to know that it can do all that other stuff. This is a skill that a surprisingly large number of "feature-rich" products lack.
        • by cweber (34166) <weber@@@scripps...edu> on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @08:16PM (#16862142)
          You're correct, the iPod has these features, but they are minor items and never get in the way of accessing and playing the music, photos and video.
          What I meant is that Apple demonstrates that you can resist the urge to overload and clutter the interface, onscreen as well as button count and placement.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by joshsisk (161347)
          I don't know of any other MP3 player that is as overloaded with useless features.

          This is amusing, because most iPod-critics on slashdot decry how the iPod is lacking in features... yet I guess there are still some who think it has too many.

          Anyway, as others have pointed out, those features are very incidental to the iPod and you can even simply not show them on your menu if you like... as I have done.
    • by laurens (151193) on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @07:28PM (#16861450)
      Actually, you can still do that. On my (unbranded) RAZR I can select a name by pressing number keys or up/down, then choose from different numbers for that person by pressing left/right. It's a setting:

      In your phone book, choose [menu] -> Setup -> View: Primary Contacts.

      Now, every number with a certain associated name will be grouped under that name.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by PopeRatzo (965947)
        laurens,
        I wish I had some mod points, I'd reward your excellent post. I really love it when somebody actually offers a solution - without making anyone feel stupid, without jargon - just a simple, straightforward recipe to a fix. Something you almost never find in an online game forum, for example.

        I'd been really pissed at my RAZR for not being able to list multiple numbers (and addresses) under one name. You obviously dug a little deeper into the manual than I was willing to go, and you shared the nugge
      • by askegg (599634)
        Thankyou. If I had mod points they would be yours.
    • Now I've got a Motorola RAZR, and they've somehow lost the ability to recognize that a single person can have multiple numbers. If I have office, home, and cell numbers stored for the same person, I get three entries for them, making the full list of names much longer. Not only are phone makers not making steps forward, they're moving backwards.

      Do you have Cingular? If so, that feature is still in the RAZR, although it's not very well-exposed (like so many things on so many cell phones). The RAZR's OS is

    • I'll agree that it's all about the interface. However, I don't have much trouble calling or texting people on my phone list as I do accessing the internet. Ever since I found myself in at the end of a three hour road trip only to realize I'd lost my final desitination's address and my passenger was able to find it by looking their website up on the internet on his phone, that feature has been a must. However, it's way too much trouble to even do a simple search. I'm not talking about trouble viewing the pag
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by SaDan (81097)
        Sounds like you need to look at something like a Treo or a Motorola Q. I love my Treo 700p.

        In fact, I'm using it to send this reply while waiting in line at Autozone. :-)
    • by jrumney (197329)

      Now I've got a Motorola RAZR, and they've somehow lost the ability to recognize that a single person can have multiple numbers.

      If its anything like the Motorola I used to own, it has this limitation for numbers stored on the SIM, but its internal phonebook is as good as any phone's. That said, every other phone I've owned for the last 8 years (Panasonic, Sony, Samsung, Sony Ericcson) has had no problem keeping numbers from the SIM card organized in the internal phonebook's structure.

    • by rjstanford (69735)
      Now I've got a Motorola RAZR, and they've somehow lost the ability to recognize that a single person can have multiple numbers.
      Sounds like you're storing your phone numbers on the SIM card, which does have this problem. Store them on the phone instead and you can absolutely store multiple numbers per name. There are lots of annoyances with the RAZR, sure, but that's not one of them.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by zigziggityzoo (915650)
      RAZR: Go to Address Book, Then hit menu. Then go down to Setup, and Change view to "Primary Contacts". Instantly, all your qualms are resolved. (Didn't read all your replies, I hope I'm not the fifth to say this).
    • by Khuffie (818093)
      Probably because you've ben sticking with Motorola, who have consistently had one of the worse user interfaces on their phones? Try Sony Ericsson. Or a Samsung. Or heck, a Nokia.
    • by stunt_penguin (906223) on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @08:57PM (#16862630)
      Hang on a minute, who said that an iPhone *has* to be a music player- the assumption just seems to be out there that apple are going to take an iPod and bolt on 9 keys and an internal arial.

      Apple know how to build great devices that just work, and if they're working on releasing a phone, well then you can be damned sure they're not going to compromise on making it a good phone just to squeeze iTunes in.

      Also, why would they miss an opportunity to sell you a $300 phone that plays music , when they can sell you a $250 phone and a $250 music player :)
    • by Roadmaster (96317)
      "Not only are phone makers not making steps forward, they're moving backwards. "

      Motorola is, at least. Keep in mind there are others. A Nokia might fit the bill for you. I also had a V3, coming from an older Nokia 7210, and I couldn't stop complaining about its limitations. I got a new Nokia 6131; it's a fairly basic phone and yet every time I use it I'm amazed by the thought that went into the interface design. It's really intuitive, and there's basically nothing that leaves me thinking "gee, I wish it cou
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      The click wheel was such a nice addition to the iPod, they MUST incorporate that into the phone. I've got it! You could like spin the wheel around to select each number instead of typing them in. It will be so innovative...oh wait...
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by DDLKermit007 (911046)
      I know the phone doesn't fit in with the small phone crowd that screams for more features & better interface, but Treo's (outside of the 700w) are hands down the best interface you'll get your hands on. You don't even need to be so worried about losing your phone if you sync enough to keep data on the phone and your PC. New revision out? Get the new one and the data will come off your PC. No stupid assed copying contacts from the SIM card that only allows one phone # per record. It's a hell of allot bet
  • My phone (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Kell Bengal (711123)
    My phone calls people, it takes calls. It sends SMS and it receives them. That's all - I love my phone. When I went to buy it, the service chick couldn't understand why I didn't want a camera/video/gps/somethingsomething. I'm obviously a geek festooned with gadgets, afterall. The obvious answer is that I already have all those things, and much better ones than can be put in a phone, too. The original ipod was just a music player, but it has become more things - Apple is on a slippery slope - I hope th
    • Re:My phone (Score:5, Insightful)

      by m0nstr42 (914269) on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @10:43PM (#16863590) Homepage Journal
      This logic actually backfired for me on my last new phone cycle. Since it was on sale, I could have gotten the camera/whatever/phone for the same price that I got my plain old phone with absolutely no bells or whistles. I thought "hey, it's simpler, maybe they put more effort into making it a solid phone." My wife got the fancier phone that looked cool but was also on sale. Turns out my phone sucks (really slow boot time, occaisionally shuts off, mediocre battery performance) and hers is way better. I still generally agree that the phone/mp3/toaster phone is unnecessary, but at least in this case it didn't work out quite as I expected.
  • and now we seee... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by User 956 (568564) on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @07:11PM (#16861202) Homepage
    And now see the real reason Apple crippled the features to be included in the Motorola ROKR phone (especially the storage). they wanted that market for themselves, but didn't have a product ready yet.
  • by Lev13than (581686) on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @07:14PM (#16861232) Homepage
    Apple has placed an order for 12 million iPhones to be built by a Taiwanese contract manufacturer, according to an analyst citing reports from Asia.

    Let's just be thankful that they aren't being designed by Microsoft. If they were, you could only talk to other Microsoft phone owners, and every number you called would get blocked after three calls or three days unless you paid extra to get it unlocked...
    • by plalonde2 (527372)
      Please, if Apple was designing this like Microsoft is designing Zune, you'd have to go find a G4 mac to connect your new phone to.
    • by arcite (661011) on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @07:44PM (#16861728)
      Thats right. Brown.
    • Apple has placed an order for 12 million iPhones to be built by a Taiwanese contract manufacturer

      Somehow I think that it's not going to be any better in terms of quality if not worse.
      • by Palshife (60519)
        Where do you want 'em manufactured, Detroit?
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Moofie (22272)
        um, Taiwanese contract manufacturers probably manufacture just about everything that's within five feet of your person, right this minute.
    • by vought (160908)
      Microsoft is working on a Zune phone that will allow you to record something and send it to someone else with a Zune phone. But they'll only be able to listen to this "message" for three days unless you pay Cingular and Universal Music Group each a dollar.

      This new product will be called the "Zone". Microsoft's marketing message will be "Welcome to the Zone".

      This "record and recall" feature should be added to the Zune within a year, but look for C|Net News.com to buck the trend and to annoint the "Zone" an "
  • 12 million phones? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by frinkster (149158) on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @07:29PM (#16861484)
    That's a strange number to order. Is that for a full year? If so, why order them all at once?

    Just for a reference, Motorola sells around 10 million RAZRs a quarter. I don't think Apple is crazy enough to believe the iPhone is going to be that popular.
    • by KillerCow (213458) on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @07:55PM (#16861876)
      That's a strange number to order. Is that for a full year? If so, why order them all at once?

      Just for a reference, Motorola sells around 10 million RAZRs a quarter. I don't think Apple is crazy enough to believe the iPhone is going to be that popular.


      Are you kidding? With the i**** brand on it? RAZRs were trendy because they were thin. B.F.D. Being thin doesn't measure up to being an i-something from Apple.

      I would be absolutely shocked if it didn't instantly become more trendy and more popular than the RAZR.
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Kuciwalker (891651)
        Are you kidding? With the i**** brand on it?

        I wouldn't be so harsh about the brand.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by zigziggityzoo (915650)
      I don't imagine they'll be able to supply all 12 million right away. If you order in large enough quantities, you get a significant discount. Plus, By the time they've produced a good 8 million, Apple will know how well they sell, and will subsequently order accordingly.
  • So, I'm rather curious as to Slashdot's opinion on the iPhone.

    Most industry/financial analysts have been harshly attacking Apple for the iPhone. (Many of these same analysts were gushing over Motorola's "genius" idea to design a "cool" cell phone, ala razr)

    So I ask you, Slashdot analysts, how will the iPhone fare?
    • by Tibor the Hun (143056) on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @08:04PM (#16861966)
      I take it upon myself to answer on behalf of the slashdot collective:
      It depends if it has more space than Nomad or not.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by jabberwock (10206)
      If they design an interface that appeals to the zillions of people who can't live without their IPods, they're going to own the cell phone industry.

      And I say this as someone who doesn't own an IPod and who only uses a cell phone as a modem.

      I don't claim to understand the market for their little gizmos. But it doesn't take understanding it to see that it's there.

  • by The Hobo (783784) on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @07:35PM (#16861596)
    The headline reminded me of the (in?)famous lifecycle [misterbg.org]
  • Ouch (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Francisco_G (676828) on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @07:50PM (#16861806)
    Steve must be pissed that this got out. Remember, loose lips sink ships.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I thought it was loose lips, pink slips.
  • What if? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by UnknowingFool (672806)
    What if the iPhone isn't also an MP3 player? What if it's just a phone? Here's my thoughts: my phone sucks. The interface is horrible. If Apple designs a better phone, would people buy it? Feel free to discuss amongst yourselves. I'll give you another topic. The holy Roman empire was neither holy nor Roman. Discuss.
    • It was called Holy because it was sanctioned by the Pope and Roman because it thought itself the successor to the Roman empire. New discussion: The Christian right is neither Christian nor right. Discuss.
  • by Nick Driver (238034) on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @08:08PM (#16862038)
    Will these phones be GSM or CDMA? And are there any carriers lined up for them? I'd predict they'll likely be GSM since most USA CDMA carriers like to cripple the snot out of their phones and remove all the cool features unless they can nickel and dime their customers out of pay-per-use of those features. Heaven forbid you wish to make your own mp3 ringtones without buying them from the carrier or anything like that, or dare to use BT for anything other than connecting an earpiece.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Michael Wardle (50363)

      Or UMTS [wikipedia.org], the "3G" standard used in most of Europe and Asia.

      Most 2.1 GHz UMTS phones also speak GSM, but UMTS would be a great feature as it allows much faster download speeds, which could be handy if you're downloading 128 kb/s AAC song files! It would allow you to download a three minute song in one minute.

  • ...but I'm sure Apple will do a good job of it. Phone technology at the moment is a pain in the butt. Most of us have a home phone, a mobile and a work phone not to mention skype/voip. Why can't these all be the same thing? I'd like a phone that figures out the best way to contact someone and calls the correct number. I'd like a phone that:
    • when I'm at home rings if someone dials in on my home number
    • when I'm at work rings if someone dials in on my work number
    • if I have voip and the person I'm after it d
    • by rjstanford (69735)
      One of the least-known features of Vonage (and probably a ton of other things as well, but hey, I'll pay $25/mo rather than do the work myself) is that you can set it up to simultaneously ring a bunch of lines. I have a Vonage number, and it rings my office, my mobile, and occasionally my house phone as well. You can do up to five numbers IIRC. Whichever one gets picked up first gets the call transferred. No extra fees, no metering, nothing - even the Caller ID information gets passed along correctly.
  • by Infonaut (96956) <infonaut@gmail.com> on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @08:20PM (#16862200) Homepage Journal

    I'm thinking the iPhone has to take the cake. What other continuously-running (not off and on, like the buyout/merger rumors) Apple rumor has had legs for this long? The iPhone rumor has been in full force for at least two and a half years [taoofmac.com].

    • by MadEE (784327)
      Bah. The iPhone had nothing on the Apply releasing MacOS on Intel rumor. That thing was floating around almost as long as MacOS has been around, well until they actually did it.
  • How about SD? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by StikyPad (445176) on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @08:21PM (#16862212) Homepage
    I just want a phone with an SD slot, quality playback, and decent folder navigation. The only time I listen to music on a portable player is at the gym, so I just want to be able to pop the card out of my PC and into my phone/MP3 player. I don't want to carry around seperate devices, I don't want to have to remember to charge a player I only use a few days a week, and I don't need a goddamned computer-in-a-phone. For the love of God, SD cards are up to 8GB now. It's the simplest and fastest way to transfer music, but almost nobody's supporting it because they all want you to use their proprietary crap, or pay-to-download, etc. I finally found a decent car stereo with SD support, but as far as I've seen, the phones that do have SD slots are all full-blown SmartPhones (sic) with some craptastic keyboard and/or a huge display that's just begging to get broken/scratched if I were to put it in my pocket.

    Maybe I should just start my own company, use someone else's VC to fund it, and if it fails, at least I'll have exactly what I wanted.
    • by mattkime (8466)
      Have you seen the ipod shuffle? It has a major advantage over your SD card - it'll play to a standard mini-stereo jack. From there? Earbuds _OR_ bitchin' system.

      Its too small to be thought of as a device.
      • by StikyPad (445176)
        I don't want a line-out, and I don't want to use proprietary software just to make a few MP3s portable. Copy, paste, done. Pop the SD card into my car stereo, go to work, plug it into the phone, go to the gym, back to the car for the drive home, put it in my camera to take some pictures, and then to the computer. Works on Windows, works on Linux, and I can even put data on it if I need/want to.
  • How good.. (Score:2, Funny)

    by Piroca (900659)

    Besides getting scratched easily, your nice white apple cell phone will be dirty with all that oil your face produces. How good is that going to be?

  • by realmolo (574068) on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @08:22PM (#16862234)
    Everyone knows that Apple always does one stupid thing with every piece of hardware they sell. Something that isn't a deal breaker, but is annoying, and makes no real sense. With the Macs, it's their refusal to ship the things with 2-button mice. Withe the iPod, it's their refusal to include an FM tuner.

    My guess is the iPhone will have no "7" button.

    Steve hates the number 7.
    • by oberondarksoul (723118) on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @08:39PM (#16862444) Homepage
      There's quite a great deal of sense in both those examples you provided. One-button mice are considerably easier for new users; the number of times I've had to explain the difference between left- and right-clicking makes me really very pleased that they do.

      As for the lack of an FM tuner: that would add bulk to the iPods, and probably wouldn't be used by many users anyway. The iPod plays prerecorded songs and videos; I'm a huge fan of BBC radio but have never missed it whilst listening to my own tracks. In any case, if you really want an FM tuner in your iPod, Apple will gladly sell you one.
      • by catbutt (469582)
        So I've been using computers for 20 years. Why should I like the one button mouse again?
        • Nothing to stop you from attaching a two-button (or more) mouse if you'd like. Apple even sells one, and ships it with iMacs and Mac Pros.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      AFAIK, all new Macs (minus portables) ship with the Mighty Mouse. It has two button clickability (one shell, pressure sensitive between right and left), a 360 degree scrollbutton, and pressure sensitive sides that can be linked to OS X's expose feature (squeeze your mouse and see all windows open at once on your desktop). Plus there is always CTRL-Click (which I concede was/is a pain in the ass).
    • No 7 button. Less space than a Nomad. Lame.
    • With the Macs, it's their refusal to ship the things with 2-button mice. Withe the iPod, it's their refusal to include an FM tuner.

      I'll stay away from the obvious flame-bait-encouraging two-button mouse thing. But the iPod one about the FM tuner? Let's see...I have a choice of listening to my favorite music on the go or listen to what somebody else thinks should be my favorite music.

      Gee, I wonder which I would choose...

      Frankly, it's not like Apple's selling a ton of FM tuners to go with iPods. I think th

  • I've been trying to figure out if there's any news on what the iPhone actually does. I've found some mock ups of what fans think they'll be like, but nothing verified by Apple. I assume it will be as functional as an iPod Nano (plays mp3s, wavs, apple lossless, AAC audio, ripped and encrypted, as well as showing photos), while offering the ability to make phone calls. Are there any actual pictures of the iPhone, or do we just know they've gone into manufacturing?
  • by maggard (5579) <michael@michaelmaggard.com> on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @08:39PM (#16862440) Homepage Journal

    Whoah - not the way to do business with Apple.

    Steve Jobs does ... not ... like ... his surprises to leak in advance.

    Apple used to leak like a sieve. Everyone knew their product plans before their own salesfolk did. It got so bad sales took a huge hit every time the next big thing was due as everyone put off their orders. Now after Job's return Apple does a few big new introductions at their own MacWorld or at a few specialty shows, the famous "one more thing ..." products. Those are always hugely, obsessively, secret so Apple gets the maximum PR. Heck, everyone in the industry, caring about Apple or not, tracks these just to see what Apple will do next.

    The last time someone leaked in a big way it was ATI. The result was 24 hours before the new Mac introductions, with ATI cards, they had their products stripped from the new Macs, all Apple presentations were rescripted to omit references to ATI, Apple marketing materials were quickly remade sans ATI, etc. Apparently ATI were persona non grata at Apple HQ for several months until his Steveness was sufficiently mollified this would never happen again.

    Since then other Apple manufacturers have gotten in lower levels of trouble for simply acknowledging large orders had been made by Apple. These are picked up by the local press, which is of course read by everyone in the industry around the world.

    But to confirm the long awaited iPhone, a rumor that has been a staple for years from the dingiest Mac rumor site to the NYT, that takes a special kind of stoopid.

    My assumption is that as soon as this story started to break a damage control team from the manufacturer to Cupertino. Now the question is if Jobs will go ahead with the rollout or delay it at the last minute. As this is the same man who once had a factory closed down for all of the robots to be repainted, 9 times, 'til he was happy, who has a history of cancelling large projects, I dunno.

    It'll be interesting to see how this plays out. Also, if true, what the iPhone will entail, especially after Disney's recent phone flop.

    • by Nicolay77 (258497) <nicolay.g@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @10:06PM (#16863280) Homepage
      Well, a leak of a new product makes that you stop buying all current competitors of said product.

      A leak of a new MacBook would slow down MacBook sales.

      A leak of an iPhone would slow sales of competing MP3 cell phones, but not slow much any Apple product. This leak could potentially slow down sales of Sony Ericsson phones.

      In fact, Sony Ericsson would benefit from the feature list of the phone, but we don't know anything yet about it. Except that scrollable border patent.

      We don't know if we will buy the iPhone... but we WANT information about it so bad that it creates a strong iPhone brand.

      -Hey, there, take a look of this new SE/Nokia MP3 cell-phone!
      -Buzz off! I want to know about the iPhone first!
  • Shit - Show me some pictures!

    I've been holding off on buying my new phone for a couple of months now (and I'm due for a new one). I'm going to hold out for this beauty, but possibly 6 months from now - damn!

  • by Timbotronic (717458) on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @11:04PM (#16863770)
    Interesting to see that TFA is already predicting that the iPhone will bomb because it can't compete with subsidised handsets in the US. I really wish this meme would die.

    For one thing, of course there's no such thing as a free phone. You just pay the cost over time through higher call plans. Admittedly, you may get some benefit of scale when the network buys handsets in bulk but there's no reason Apple couldn't do that too. More likely some company will just start offering much cheaper pre-paid SIM plans like everywhere else in the world.

    Another thing, the US carrier market is only a minor fraction of the world market. There are 1.5 *billion* handsets in the world. There are around 300M US citizens. Do the math. The European and Asian markets are enormously larger and people there are used to buying unlocked handsets so that they can connect to any network they like. Here in Australia we've had number portability for years.

    Lastly, independence from carriers is a *good* thing. We need to stop carriers dictating phone features. I'd like to see a phone that can switch to WiFi when it gets a signal, or peer to peer when I'm close to the person I'm calling. Think the carriers want that? There's no technical reason that phones can't do this today, but the longer the carriers control the phones people buy, the longer it'll take to happen.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by John Whitley (6067)

      I really wish this meme would die.

      Agreed. IIRC, bundling cell phones with service contracts is actually outlawed in Denmark. The carriers don't get to interfere with phone features and performance, and are forced to compete on an even price footing not muddied by the "deal" you're getting for that fancy phone.

      This all reminds me of the bad old days of Ma Bell. For the young 'uns (or just plain forgetful...) the phone company used to own not just the phone line, but the phone, the phone jacks, and the wir

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Overzeetop (214511)
        For anyone sufing this low in the thread, even as recently as 25 years ago it was pretty standard that all long distance calls were 25c/minute - in 1980ish dollars. You can see today what "everybody playing on a level field" has brought in terms of services costs. That's what dereg in the LD market did - one standard, many players. I pay the "outrageous" rate of 4c/minute, but I have no minimums and no service fees, so my LD runs me about $2/mo. I'd prefer to see some real standardization in the cell covera

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