Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Surprise: it is a mass market phone :-)Well, I can't say I got it right. The Apple conference was really boring. Nothing new. Nothing special. It was still much better than Italy's game, so I casually followed Jobs presentation instead ;-)
I believe the only big news is the price of the 3G iPhone: I predicted lower than $200 for the iPhone mini and it is $199... This price makes it a mass market device. It will cost less than iPods. Yes, it is subsidized and you have to pay the operator for that, but that is a cost you already are paying (with your current phone). So if you sum iPod and your phone, upgrading to iPhone is a cost saving... That's quite interesting.
What is curious is that Apple gave up the model that seemed to change the game in mobile: they are not getting a share of revenues from the operator anymore. They are like any other device manufacturer. It is a step back (a big one) and I believe it was a blow in Jobs' face by European operators (due to the lack of sales in the Old Continent). I was reading the Financial Times on the plane and the contrast with the US is spectacular: in the US everyone calls the iPhone a success, in Europe a failure...
Now, Apple probably figured out that instead of selling 10M iPhones and make money with calls and data, they could sell 30M and make the same money (margins on HW are 30% max, so they need to triple their revenues to make it even with the loss of rev share).
And AT&T figured that they could subsidize $200 of an iPhone, and raise the data plan from $20/m to $30/m, therefore making $240 more in 24 months...
That's it, you chop the price and you make the niche bigger, without introducing anything new... Everyone is happy.
Oohh, they did introduce something interesting, though. It is called MobileMe, the evolution of the .Mac (not a success, by all means). For just $99/year, you get syncing on it. Or you can use the Funambol client and myFUNAMBOL and get it for free, plus it works on more phones, more backends and you have the code to play around with it... In any case, this is another sign that syncing is hot and everyone wants a piece of the puzzle (good for us).
BTW, did you notice the stark contrast from the enterprise solution (ActiveSync) and the consumer one (MobileMe)? Phil Schiller on stage called the Microsoft protocol ActiveStink... Way to push it in the enterprise... I believe RIM can sleep well for a little more, but they have to be careful...
Question before going to bed: why is Apple not using an open protocol such as SyncML? Why do they have to do everything closed? It is just too sad. Apple could be 10 times bigger but they choose not to. Everyone has its limits.
Posted by Fabrizio at 10:24
Does the Funambol iPhone application still require jailbreak? Or is the SDK enough?
Comment Posted at 14:17
Yes, with iPhone 2.0 (July 11th), you won't need to jailbreak the phone to get the Funambol client on it.
Comment Posted at 14:23
fabrizio, it's Apple. the WANT to have limits. it's their style. it's how they make money.
Comment Posted at 15:03
fabrizio, you are fab!
Comment Posted at 01:40
Apple can afford to lose the revenue from AT&T because they have created a huge new revenue stream from the software people will buy for the iPhone. They are in TOTAL control of the distribution, have almost no costs to operate, and they get 30% of the cost of the software. Seems like a pretty sweet trade-off to me.
Comment Posted at 13:07
Joseph A. di Paolantonio said...
In the press release, iPhone Notes is a soon to be added application that will sync through Funambol/myFunambol. Is this correct? If so, open source (and the Italian genius ;-) scores over closed in yet another way. Apple's MobileMe and even the hard wired sync through iTunes, has no facility today, nor announced for iPhone 2.x, to synchronize Notes from the iPhone to anything on the desktop, even the "Note" in Mail.app. The closest is Mark/Space MissingSync, which will download iPhone Notes into various desktop applications on the Mac.
Comment Posted at 16:24
Sono un giornalista italiano, Fabrizio puoi contattarmi privatamente quando vuoi/puoi? Grazie.
Comment Posted at 04:05
Why Apple keeps synch closed? Well, because they have well understood that asynchronous communications is essential for every mobile app. So they have build an asynchronous framework and made it available to developers. I think Apple will show great things both on MobileMe and the push framework, besides calendar and mail.
They want to keep ownership of the iPhone push channel, essential for every present and future mobile application.
Comment Posted at 15:54
I'm guessing that Apple is more intentional about besting / squeezing out Microsoft in/from the SMB office, than about Funambol and the carrier market. Lack of open protocol might be no more than an oversight.
Still kinda sux, tho.
Comment Posted at 17:11
volentieri. Come ti contatto? Vuoi scrivermi tu al mio email? E' facile da immaginare...
Comment Posted at 17:35
Maybe I'm missing something here, but the word on the street is that the new iPhones are offered for less because they are charging more per month for the service.
this article on Forbes.com:
"Those crafty phone companies! Yes, at $199, the new iPhone is cheaper up-front than the original, which first went on sale starting at $499 last year. It is not, however, less expensive to own. Do the math and you find out the iPhone will cost $160 more over two years than the original iPhone because AT&T put together a pricier data plan for the phone to help it subsidize the up-front cost of the handset."