Apple readying emerging market 'iCloud-powered' iPhone?

Apple readying emerging market 'iCloud-powered' iPhone?

Summary: Rumours are spreading that Apple could be releasing a slimmed-down iCloud-powered iPhone for the emerging markets.

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Apple has been working on a slimmed-down iPhone for the emerging markets -- aimed particularly at the low-income consumer, a market it has yet to crack.

FrankeniPhone?

FrankeniPhone?

While so many of us presumed that the 'iPhone nano' could present itself as a physically smaller device, it is being reported that the emerging market iPhone could be made up from spare handsets from previous models, with some of the innards ripped out.

Dubbed by many the 'iCloud iPhone', Apple wants to hit the emerging market to swamp the world's most populated country -- China -- with its products; something it has yet to truly conquer.

By stripping out flash storage in the iPhone 4, Apple can reduce 15 per cent of the cost across millions of units, creating a substantial saving by using the iCloud as one of the primary sources for storage.

According to reports, Apple is aiming for a $400 cost of building -- around $200 less than the unsubsidized cost of the iPhone 4 model -- which would then be further subsidized by mobile network operators.

Ultimately this could lead to effectively a free handset for low-income consumers, with a cloud-based storage model.

Though the iPhone 5 may be coming out next month, as further rumours suggest, this could be the perfect opportunity for Apple to hit the emerging markets, such as China and Asia, with a low cost smartphone.

But some question whether the 'iCloud-powered' iPhone could even work. Flash storage is a necessity for any smartphone, and the iPhone is no exception. Seeing as the iCloud syncs to each connected device, the iPhone would still need to have some flash storage -- rather than streaming content continuously from the iCloud.

Having said that, if Apple were to replace it with a permanently installed flash memory card, for which you can buy a 2GB mini-SD card for less than $20 on Amazon, this would solve the problem.

And that doesn't even take into account the data consumption. If carriers are to subsidise the iPhone, and then take one hell of a beating from -- let's say from the emerging Chinese market -- with a potential of half a billion people using these slimmed down iPhones, the networks would cripple almost immediately.

Then again: I'm a geek, not a nerd. I wouldn't even know where to begin with the logistics of this storage and networking nightmare. There are those far better qualified than me to dissect this one.

But naturally, to cover one's behind, it is only a rumor, and has yet to be verified. Looks like we have only a month to wait until we find out, anyhow.

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Topics: Banking, Apple, iPhone, Mobility

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22 comments
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  • What do you think?

    Is China a good bet for Apple's reported move to the emerging market? Is an iCloud-powered iPhone a good idea -- let alone a feasible one? <b>Have your say.</b>
    zwhittaker
    • RE: Apple readying emerging market 'iCloud-powered' iPhone?

      @zwhittaker No, Apple has never been or even shown any interest in the low-cost, low-return markets.
      clcrockett
      • That isn't totally true

        @ccrockett@... <br>They released the iPod Shuffle because it was very important to them that the iTunes ecosystem be used by as many people as possible. This allows Apple to leverage that ecosystem to give them advantages (some would say insurmountable advantages) in many different markets.
        toddybottom
    • RE: Apple readying emerging market 'iCloud-powered' iPhone?

      @zwhittaker
      there are already many idevices or clones in china. they're far more advanced than UK
      gundam_0083
  • RE: Apple readying emerging market 'iCloud-powered' iPhone?

    or they can move to Android platform ...
    AdnanPirota
  • I wasn't aware that Apple's revenues were such that

    they needed to expand into the low-margin market to boost sales.
    baggins_z
  • I call BS!

    I don't think that this would ever happen, and the numerous, logical reason makes it ridiculous that the question would even be asked. Even the cheapest of the cheap phones have onboard memory. Memory is cheap, and is something that Apple charges a premium for. As a user it would be cheaper to pay for memory than data charges. Even if data charges were free, and you take this to the mass market, then networks would die and carriers will never go for it. Then there's the whole application local storage thing - well it just won't work in the real world. Apple is not targeting the mass market, because it just doesn't make sense. Remember this is a company that has built its reputation on high quality and high margins. Low end goes against everything they're about.
    General C#
  • is it To compete with Android Samsung Galaxy mini

    A great Samsung affordable 3" Touchscreen with Android access store
    swisslakes
  • RE: Apple readying emerging market 'iCloud-powered' iPhone?

    Everyone keeps saying Apple is going to do stuff on the low end but they won't. They have no reason to, not when people are easily shelling out $600 for an iPhone.
    LoverockDavidson
    • RE: Apple readying emerging market 'iCloud-powered' iPhone?

      @LoverockDavidson I know a lot of people with iPhones but not a single one that paid (out of pocket at time of purchase) $600 for their phones.
      non-biased
  • RE: Apple readying emerging market 'iCloud-powered' iPhone?

    This is FAIL written all over if emerging markets are getting iCloud iPhone. ITS DOA.
    Reason is emerging markets are already struggling with internet connectivity. If idevice is looking for interent connectivity to save a phone number in phone. YOU ARE DEAD.
    There should be some other tactics.
    connectwithraj
  • The MANGO will OWN the Chinese market...

    I was recently in China to fire some of my MCSEs. I was amazed at the demand for Windows Phone devices when I was over there. Every time I took out my Windows Phone device, people just stared at me in disbelief. Some even pointed and broke out hysterically laughing in obvious SHOCK AND AWE over my fine device. As I reclined in my Singapore Air First Class suite, I realized how truly dominant Microsoft's mobile offerings truly are.
    Mike Cox
    • RE: Apple readying emerging market 'iCloud-powered' iPhone?

      @Mike Cox Ignore Gr8Music's first line that is directed to you.
      If Microsoft spent as much on advertising as Apple, the iPhone(y) would die a quick death. And I think that Microsoft's biggest failure is NOT investing enough in advertising, while thier biggest WIN is the $8 billion a year they invest in research, which unfortunately is quickly copied or outright stolen by their competitors. If marketed properly, Mango will be the next big thing in smartphones and will be difficult for less dedicated companies to copy. Not to mention Windows 8 which will change computers and the internet the same way that Windows 95 did.
      xplorer1959
      • RE: Apple readying emerging market 'iCloud-powered' iPhone?

        @xplorer1959 Microsoft's biggest failure in the mobile market was their case of headinthesanditis when the iPhone and Android devices first came out. And based on my personal experience thus far (admittedly which was about 30 minutes or so playing with the initial WP7 offerings at AT&T this past November) I doubt even a huge advertising budget will help WP7 give the iPhone (note the lack of the ABAer "y" at the end) a quick death or even a slow death.

        It is a sad state of affairs when Microsoft is making more off of Android then they are on their own mobile OS.
        athynz
    • 7.5!

      @Mike Cox
      I had to subtract .5 for leaving your Rep at home. :)
      William Farrell
    • RE: Apple readying emerging market 'iCloud-powered' iPhone?

      @Mike Cox Welcome back, buddy! We missed the master of base and hook. :)
      Champ_Kind
      • RE: Apple readying emerging market 'iCloud-powered' iPhone?

        @Champ_Kind

        Er... *Bait* and hook.
        Hallowed are the Ori
  • I'm Still Laughing @ Mike Cox

    Mike - they were "hysterically laughing" at your DOA device!

    I think Apple will definitely pursue the low end market world-wide to bump-up the iOS numbers and keep the developers happy. If they got the parts, why not? Perhaps this will be what they use Samsung for in the future...

    Oh Mike - LMAO
    Gr8Music
    • RE: Apple readying emerging market 'iCloud-powered' iPhone?

      @Gr8Music

      Mike, you got one, now reel him in slowly....

      Also, I'm with Mr. Farrell with a 7.5, you should never leave your rep at home, or better yet, send your rep to fire the MCSEs :-)
      omdguy
  • I'm going to put thin one...

    On the same shelf at the Apple HDTV rumor that keeps floating to the top of the (you know what) bucket. Seriously, do people actually get paid to dream up these fantasy things that just flies in the face of Apples obvious business strategy?
    oncall