Sunday, January 23, 2011

Apple's Best Phone May Not Be the Iphone

An article from cnn.com takes a look at what one consumer is doing to get most of the features of an Iphone without the hefty fees. He decided to create his own "Ipod phone". The man from Milwaukee, Wisconsin turned his Ipod Touch into a smart phone, and it only costs him $30 to $40 a month. He saves up to $450 dollars a year using his homemade smart phone rather than an Iphone. He usually makes calls with the "Ipod phone" by using either Skype or Google Voice, and he can listen to the calls using speakerphone, Bluetooth, or a wired headset. He uses what's called a MiFi to access access the Internet from anywhere he can receive cellphone signal. A MiFi can translate cellphone signal into a Wi-Fi signal, and it's only about the size of a credit card. Using the MiFi and the Ipod touch as a smart phone helps the consumer avoid signing contracts and having to pay expensive fees. All of this sounds pretty great, except that the MiFi has very short battery life, and unless you're always near an electrical outlet the MiFi only lasts about two to three hours, and then you're Ipod touch returns to being just an Ipod touch. A lot of people will probably be turned away by this idea simply because it's just a huge hassle to carry multiple devices, and have to download apps to be able to talk on the phone or text message. Most consumers are willing to deal with the higher prices for a more consistent experience. Even though this is a very cool and frugal idea, it will probably never be in high demand. Everyone loves their Iphones, and most consumers are more than happy to pay the fees to use them.

8 comments:

  1. Most people who have the ability to afford the iPhone probably aren't too worried about the cost. Although this man cheated the system and found a cost affective way to utilize his iPod, the hassles outweigh the cost. By just paying the monthly fees for the iPhone, you gain access to so much more than the converted iPod. Also, your average person doesn't have the technical skills to convert the iPod into a phone.

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  2. If this man were to take his ideas to Apple, we could potentially see an Iphone without the problem of having to pick a network. If everyone could bypass having to sign a two year contract to get a new phone with service I'm sure sales would be good. All Apple would have to do would be to find a way to implement the MiFi into the Ipod tech that would allow for longer battery life. Apple would be able to make all of the profits off of their own product without having to sign a deal with a cellphone carrier.

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  3. I agree with what Payne said about how more people would rather pay the extra fees than go through all the difficulties of just making one phone call on the converted iPod. If you had the iPhone it is simply just one touch and you could already be on the phone. So knowing that the majority of people would rather go the lazy/easy way than taking the time to learn a new and cheaper way to make calls. Another downside of this new creation is the short battery life and always needing to be in a WiFi zone. These conditions cannot always be met which causes the customer to be frustrated and not want to keep this new invention.

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  4. With this stated, doesn't this pose as a problem for Apple? or even the man who created this iPod phone. Correct me if I am wrong but wouldn't this violate some Terms of Service(TOS) agreement or something such as that, or at least void his warranty. Also if none of that is true, will Apple try to stop this? it could potentially cut their profits substantially. If you can in effect make an iPhone for under half the cost who wouldn't? I see this as causing financial problems for both of them. In the form of legal actions and lost profits.

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  5. Easton: I don't think Apple would make anywhere near as much money as they do now if they were to take their phone off of a network. I say this because they get money for signing with the company so that said company is able to use it on their network. Also if Apple is exclusive with a specific company, i.e. AT&T until recently, then they get even more money to keep it that way. This deal between a service provider and Apple, of course, brings in more customers who want the Apple product benefiting the service provider who is then able to shell out more money to keep the phone exclusive. With all this said I highly doubt that Apple would ever choose to make a version of their phone that would be independent of a service provider because it wouldn't be financially beneficial to them.

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  6. "Most consumers are willing to deal with the higher prices for a more consistent experience."
    Why do you think people are willing to pay higher prices? What are they considering invaluable (time, comfort etc..)

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  7. Most people would rather go buy an Iphone, sign the contract, and be able to make calls at the touch of a button. With the Ipod phone they will have to download apps and tinker with the Ipod in order to hook up a blue tooth or a headset to the Ipod. There is also a serious risk if someone in an emergency situation, and their MiFi dies, they would be out of luck and be unable to make any calls.

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  8. Als I really like what Ethan said. He makes a lot of sense and gives some really good resons as to why Apple would never produce a phone that didn't require a contract with a service provider. Apple would just lose way too much money without a contract. The amount of money that AT&T and Verizon pay to carry the Iphone is ridiculous. There is just too much money to be made.

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