Apple’s iPhone Plans Revealed
I had a rather long chat with my Apple informant yesterday centered mainly on iPods and iPhones. I’ll be revealing more on the iPods in the coming days but as far as iPhones are concerned, I’ve been provided with 3 main pieces of insight. I have to preface this information, without revealing too much about my source, by saying that (s)he is more knowledgeable about Apple’s future plans for the iPods than the iPhones and therefore the lack of specifics here. Now onto what I’ve been able to gather from our chat:
1) Apple has set itself an internal goal of shipping 50 million units ending in ’09. This seems to me like a lofty goal because currents expectations for units shipped in ’07 is between 3-4 million for a single 8 GB model. This would also give Apple a market share of about 8 % for total mobile handsets shipped in North America ending in ’09. It would make sense if Apple had more than one model to expect shipping that many units in two year’s time which brings me to the second point we talked about:
2) Apple plans to extend the iPhone lineup to 3 models. The current 8 GB unit will be the midrange model while a feature-cut model and a higher end model will also be introduced. No clue on the exact timeframe this might happen but if Apple is planning on shipping 50 million units in ’09, it makes sense that lineup will be complete at the latest by fall 2008.
3) The lower end starter model will not be touch based. Asked about what the actual physical interface would look like, my source had no particular insight.
I hope to have more specific information regarding the iPhones in the near future.