Next Steps for Apple

If you have been reading the tech news there is much speculation about Apple’s next product steps –

  • iPhone 6 or iPhone 5S with features like larger pixel count camera, maybe NFC comms for iWallet functions, faster, lower power
  • iPad 5 with many of the same questions
  • iWatch – something akin in people’s mind to Google Glass but more fashion? (here I think it will be more for health and fitness
  • iTV – some 50+ inch flat panel TV with appleTV built in and probably voice commands to replace the remote

All of that is probably coming and some of it may make a real impact on their top line (how can the bottom line get much better anyway).

But if you are Apple and want to still do the next big thing, what could it be?

The answer is to make an iPhone “for the rest of us” … the other 6 billion people on planet Earth.  But this bottom of the pyramid has not traditionally been a play ground for Apple.  They like higher end products and the high gross margins that accompany.

An iPhone for the rest of us would have to probably sell for below $100 or maybe $150. And at that price it would need serious subsidy from any carriers as well.

But I think this is possible and if under consideration is a game changer!

What would be the features –

  • smaller DRAM (500M), smaller Flash (8G)
  • 3 MPxl camera
  • only GSM radio no connecting to CDMA (won’t be missed in these markets)
  • non-Retinal display but still color
  • maybe no GPS so that battery drain is minimalized (get position from cell tower or WiFi location only)
  • limited WiFi (b/g only?)

This will be a phone that looks like the iPhone 4 or 5 in screen size but in every other way trimmed down.  To do this they might have to integrate everything except flash and DRAM into one chip; very possible.

And what would be the outcome?  A powerful affordable computer in everybody’s hands.  Features could come onto this platform that would spawn revolutions in education, politics, commerce … practically everywhere.  Still all anchored in iTunes store and through Apple’s commerce engine.

Heck, Amazon practically does this today with the Paper White Kindle …

If Apple can think out of the box … and now they are led by a manufacturing genius – Tim Cook – who can really focus a sharp pencil on costs and function list – and he is just the guy to think this way – then they could be the first company to produce a product family with truly world wide appeal.

time to think differently Apple.

 

Posted in Essays