Friday, January 13, 2006

Not the iPhone, but the iCell?

In yet another round of post-Macworld rumours, this time surrounding the recent trademark filing by Apple, the possibility that Apple might be contemplating entering the mobile market has yet again become fodder for the Apple rumour mill.

Speculation about possible plans to release an Apple branded mobile phone have been doing the rounds for several years, with rumours of the Apple iPhone stretching back to the start of 2004. Although you might of expected the rumours would be put to bed after the release of the Motorola ROKR, instead the release of such an obviously poorly designed device just whetted people's appetite for the real thing.

This time we can all blame Ars Technica for starting things, and Slashdot for spreading it far and wide. Of course the reason that rumours of the iPhone continue to appear is that it is such a reasonable and likely thing for Apple to do, despite the fact that the mobile phone business traditionally has such a low margins. After all the PC business has low margins and Apple is seemingly able to get away with charging higher prices there...

What's the difference? It's only Apple's history in the computer market that lets charge those higher prices, the mobile industry is a very different, with consumers used to low cost or even free handsets. Where would Apple make it's money?

I'd rather like an iPhone, but I don't think it's going to happen...

Update: It looks like I'm not alone in thinking the latest iPhone rumours are a based on a collection of rather thin suppositions. On balance I think that the other rumours that are spreading about the new range of Intel Macs are much more likely to be true...