Apple Meets With Analysts, Hints At Cheaper iPhone And Reprogrammable SIMs

Apple Meets With Analysts, Hints At Cheaper iPhone And Reprogrammable SIMs

As they are sometimes wont to do, Apple met with analysts last week to discuss — if not their plans — than at least the current state of corporate thinking and strategizing, giving an indirect glimpse into the future as Apple sees it.

One of those analysts, Toni Sacconaghi of Bernestein Research, has now issued a note about her meeting with COO Tim Cook, CFO Peter Oppenheimer and VP Eddy Cue… and according to Toni, Apple’s strongly hinting at a cheaper iPhone nano coming soon.

Referring to the iPhone as the “mother of all halos” for how it has brought millions of new customers to Apple products, Cook said that Apple would not “cede any markets” and “appeared to reaffirm the notion that Apple is likely to develop lower priced offerings” to expand the iPhone market.

In particular, Cook said that they were doing “clever things” to address the prepaid market, and that Apple did not want its products to be “just for the rich.” It also said that they were aiming to greatly expand the number of carriers the iPhone was available upon.

Most interestingly, Sacconaghi says that Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer claimed that Apple would no longer let carriers dictate terms, which may reinforce the notion that Apple is looking to “act to disintermediate carriers” with a reprogrammable soft SIM module.

All together, the report indicates strongly that Apple intends on variegating the iPhone line sooner rather than later, similarly to the iPod line. If true, June might not see the announcement of one iPhone, but two or more.

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  • jnjnjn2

    Interesting.

  • Dontflash

    Toni was also said to be distressed about his surprise gender reassignment operation!

  • Ruchinee

    I think it is about time Apple expands its market. There are so many people who want to venture into smartphones and are drawn to Apple products but they do not have the income to experiment with it.

  • DAvid

    Many of us do not have the income to “experiment” with devices such as an iPhone. Us poor folks actually have to do some research and make a decision, then live with that decision until it is justified to replace the device at some distant date.

    The expense of a smart phone is not the purchase price, it is the carrier contract. The few hundred dollar cost of a subsidized phone over the life of a two or three year contract pales in comparison to the rest of the charges we as smart phone users seem to happily suck up. While Apple might wish to diversify their phone offerings, the “iPhone nano” might be as different from the iPhone as the iPod Nano is from the iPod Touch. If this were to be the case, the “iPhone Nano” will be a much dumber phone.

  • Daibidh

    I’d love Apple to come out with a carrier agnostic solution. Maybe if enough of us were able to actually SHOP for a better plan, carriers would compete better. I love my iPhone but it certainly ISN’T worth $1200/year just to turn the damn thing on!

    I don’t see the introduction of cheaper iPhone models making much of a difference here in the United States. The subsidized phone racket is too ingrained. $0 to $299 upfront cost… over a two year contract, that doesn’t really add up to a whole heck of a lot of difference. Whatever the hardware cost to carriers, they more than make up for it in extortionist service charges and consumers have to pay it new hardware or not!

  • Barbara

    I haven’t had a contract phone in over 10 years and would love to have an agnostic iPhone. I’d pay the retail price of one to avoid being locked into a draconian contract with a mobile carrier without having the ability to leave if the terms changed.

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About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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