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Apple, AT&T looking at tiered iPhones and plans?

updated 11:25 am EST, Fri February 13, 2009

Tiered iPhones, plans?

Apple and its American carrier partner, AT&T, are looking at diversifying the pricing tiers for next-generation iPhones, claims Kaufman Bros. analyst Shaw Wu. Citing industry and supply chain contacts, Wu suggests that Apple is having difficulty not with developing new technology, but in devising options cheaper than the iPhone 3G, which costs a minimum of $200 plus another $70 or more in monthly voice and data fees. The sheer expense of the phone has become a problem in the context of a global recession, says Wu.

Economic troubles are believed to have convinced AT&T that cheaper iPhone plans may be tolerable, and that it needs to find a way of coping with the loss incurred from heavier bandwidth users. Together AT&T and Apple are said to be exploring the concept of second and even third iPhone models, splitting the iPhone market in manner similar to iPods. Accompanying new iPhones would be different featuresets, with plans for light and heavy data use; a rumored plan would include no default web browsing allotment, instead providing exclusively for e-mail and SMS messaging.

Three iPhone models are described as in "a fairly advanced development stage," waiting for approval from Apple to progress further. One is believed to have a smaller 2.8-inch screen, but may not be released for some time due to Apple interest in making software the distinguishing feature of the near future. The 3.5-inch size is expected to dominate until Apple can find a means of acquiring comfortably smaller touchscreen technology.

Leaks and rumors surrounding future iPhones are accelerating with the approach of summer, when Apple has traditionally launched major iPhone revisions. Most recently it has been suggested that an iPhone with a matte back may be in the works, which would move away from the glossy plastic used for the iPhone 3G. The original iPhone relied on anodized aluminum.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. Zaren

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +5

    More hot air

    from Mr. Wu. Absolutely no firm evidence to back this up, it's just something we wants to see happen. It must be nice to have a job where you can just make stuff up all day long, pass it off as fact, and get paid for it.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -40

    who cares??......

    Just say F*CK YOU to APPLE!

    Lower your price or GTFO now!

  1. TheSnarkmeister

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    It's a good idea...

    ...but it isn't one that requires different hardware. Simply different plans would suffice. The cost of the phone, even at full price, is not the obstacle for most people. It is the outrageous two-year total cost and commitment to a cell company with a very poor track record for service and delivery that is the problem. A pay-as-you-go iPhone would sell like hot cakes. Better yet, Apple, why don't you just by Sprint and be done with AT

  1. boris_cleto

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -6

    Delusional

    Just another delusion of an analcyst.

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +4

    It does seem interesting.

    the sheer NUMBER of "predictions" Mr. Wu seems to have. Isn't his track record rather dismal at this point? Why is he still employed? Maybe he does better at his other "predictions" ?

  1. Loren

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    The plan's the damn!

    I agree with snark meister. Give me a 30/month 300 minute voice-data plan like ordinary ATT users, and I'll probably respond. I don't need 3G--doesn't work predictably anyway. I'll have Wi-Fi-- if it doesn't, no sale whatsoever. (I'm impressed by how many iTouch users employ it for email and surfing, and use cheaper phones just for mobile voice comm.)

  1. lklarson

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +3

    Apple saved me money!

    Loren is amazed that some of us have iPod Touchs and use cheaper phones for voice, If the iPhone was available with a decent carrier, I would have bought them for all of my family's phones, but since it's AT

  1. lklarson

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -1

    Apple is saving me money!

    Loren is amazed that some of us have iPod Touchs and use cheaper phones for voice, If the iPhone was available with a decent carrier, I would have bought them for all of my family's phones, but since it's AT&T only, we all carry two devices.

  1. aponteluis

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    Tiered Plan

    If they are talking about a tiered plan, it sure sounds like they are looking for a way to increase the price for the unlimited Internet they supposedly offer. They do not allow tethering and are supposedly claiming to have losses by hight Internet use? Who are they fooling. What about the other cellphone users that tether their phones? Are they going to get their plans revised also? This sounds like AT&T is looking for another way to s**** iPhone owners. If this article is accurate, they are using the pretext of lower prices to fool customers into wanting the better package that is more profitable to AT&T and more expensive to their iPhone customers customers.

  1. webraider

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    How about

    Pay as you Go for Data? Have a set email and Text option, but pay as you go for Internet surfage AS AN OPTION. It works well for Verizon so why not give it a try.

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