Arnold Kim at MacRumors, September 13th, 2006:
The click-wheel is closer to the bottom of the device with the screen taking a vertical orientation. The click-wheel portion of the device reportedly slides down to reveal a traditional numeric dial-pad underneath. The front is black, while the back is chrome like the current iPod.
Scorecard: The iPhone turned out not to have a click wheel, a sliding case, or a dial pad. But it did have a black front and a metal backside.
James Alan Miller at PDAStreet, October 5th, 2006:
According to ThinkSecret, Apple scaled back its ambitions a bit for the first iPhones: Instead of re-inventing the wheel, the company used some off-the-shelf parts and current iPod technology. In addition to the first model, there may be two or three others rolled out throughout 2007.
The first iPhone is said to feature a 2.2-inch display, 3.3-megapixel camera and an instantly recognizable Apple design, with the company’s usual elegant user interface. There will be iSync support and complete iTunes compatibly, of course. The idea is that people will go for this single device rather than both an iPod and a cell phone.
Unlike the widely panned Motorola ROKR E1 from last year, the first cell phone with iTunes compatibly, the iPhone won’t be limited to a 100 song capacity. The only limit should be the amount of storage available on the device. The same goes for photos.
No word on whether there will be support for video as well. Although one would think that since users should be able to take high quality video with such a high megapixel camera, there will be the capability of downloading movies and TV shows as well.
Reports also say that like the ROKR when it was first released, Cingular Wireless has signed an agreement with Apple to carry the iPhone exclusively for six months; which means other operators won’t be able to offer the device until mid-year.
Scorecard: The iPhone was far closer to a reinvention of the wheel than a modified iPod. 2007 saw only one model. It had a 3.5″ screen, not a 2.2″ one and a two megapixel camera, not a 3.3 megapixel one. It didn’t let users “take high quality video,” but did offer movie and TV downloads, and offered syncing and iTunes compatibility. Cingular (which later redubbed itself AT&T) got exclusivity for a lot longer than six months, and even AT&T didn’t get the phone until mid-2007.
Katie Dean at TheStreet.com, November 1st 2006:
Reports that wireless carrier Cingular will team up with Napster and Yahoo! go a long way to suggest it doesn’t plan to work with Apple on its music phone offering.
But rather than turn up the competitive heat on Apple, the move by Cingular, which is jointly owned by AT&T and BellSouth, could turn out to be a plus for the digital music king.
ThinkEquity analyst Jonathan Hoopes suggests that Apple might opt with its upcoming iPhone to become a “mobile virtual network operator,” which could be a better deal.
MVNOs, as they’re called, don’t own their own spectrum but enter into deals with carriers to use spectrum for their own brand-named services. Virgin Mobile, for one, is an MVNO.
And it might make sense for Apple to forge ahead on its own, Hoopes says. “If Apple just makes a phone and sells it, the carrier gets the recurring revenue of songs and data,” he says. “If they make the phone and deliver [it] in a MVNO, then they can potentially tap into a recurring revenue stream.”
Scorecard: Do you remember Cingular Music, powered by Napster, Yahoo, XM, and eMusic? Me neither.
Om Malik at GigaOm, November 16th, 2006:
Apple, it is rumored has signed a deal that will allow the Cupertino-based computer company to source 12 million iPod-based phones from a Taiwanese electronics manufacturer. In itself, the news is hardly a surprise for the iPhone has been subject of rampant speculation.
What is surprising the speculation that Apple will sell these phones unlocked, allowing consumers to pop in their SIM cards and use it as a phone. In the US, that would mean getting a SIM card from either the Cingular or T-Mobile. If this is indeed true, and it is not clear if it is so, then Apple will be lending a helping hand to the mobile phone makers.
The introduction of the unlocked iPhone will do two things – it would basically get US buyers savvy to the idea of buying full priced unlocked phones. Secondly, it is going to cause a behavior change – of buying phones instead of freebies.
It won’t be a mass-market phenomenon in the early stages, but eventually (as shown by iPod Nano and iPod Shuffle), Apple will bring the iPhone prices down to a mass-market price point.
Scorecard: The iPhone isn’t an “iPod-based” phone in any real sense and has never been sold unlocked (except in countries where it’s been mandated by law). On the other hand, it did start out at an uncommonly high, unsubsidized price before switching to a lower, more crowd-pleasing subsidy model.
Katie Marsal at AppleInsider, November 20th, 2006:
Apple Computer, which recently released its first mobile handset to manufacturing, is working on a second model that will incorporate messaging capabilities, according to one Wall Street analyst.
“From our understanding, it will leverage off existing iChat software that runs on Macs,” American Technology Research analyst Shaw Wu told clients on Monday. “We believe it will focus initially on mobile IM as opposed to e-mail.”
Wu said it’s unclear when Apple hopes to deliver the second device to market, as it appears to remain in the development phase. He said this newly uncovered handset is likely the company’s ‘smart phone’ and could be branded as “iChat mobile.”
Scorecard: Shaw Wu understood incorrectly; more than three years later, Apple hasn’t shipped a phone that includes built-in instant messaging at all.
Ryan Block at Engadget, December 3rd, 2006:
So apparently last night Kevin Rose, of Digg and Diggnation fame, apparently confirmed information he knew about the iPhone on his eponymous vidcast. According to Kevin, who, to his credit, accurately predicted one of Apple’s most secretive and hyped launches of 2005, the iPod nano, the iPhone will feature the following:
- January launch on “all” providers, both CDMA and GSM
- Extremely small form factor
- Two battery design (with single charger) — one for playing music, the other for phone functions
- Flash memory: 4GB for $249, 8GB for $449
- “Slide-out keyboard”
- Possibly touchscreen
There’s obviously a lot there to process — some new rumor, some old rumor, and some which does and does not jibe with what we’ve heard. According to a trusted source of Engadget’s, whose iPhone information has gone heretofore unpublished, it’s pretty safe to say it won’t have a QWERTY keyboard (although it may be a slider), touchscreen is out, and it’s only going to be GSM with 3G at launch, going with a singular carrier in the US (guess which).
Scorecard: Kevin Rose was wrong about the iPhone launching in January; wrong about it launching on all carriers; wrong about it being available in both CDMA and GSM flavors; wrong about it being extremely small (it was thin, but wide and tall); wrong about the two-battery design; right about the capacities but wrong about their prices; and wrong about the slide-out keyboard. And right about it possibly having a touchscreen. Ryan Block, meanwhile, was right about it not having a QWERTY keyboard, wrong about it not having a touchscreen, right about it being GSM, wrong about it being 3G, and right about it launching on one carrier.
W. David Gardner at InformationWeek, December 8th, 2006:
With Apple Computer’s annual MacWorld Expo in San Francisco just a month away, the rumors are focusing on what Steve Jobs will announce in his keynote address.
It’s not likely to be Apple’s much-anticipated iPhone, according to CIBC World Markets analyst Ittai Kidron, who speculates the phone won’t be announced until after the Jan. 9-12 event in San Francisco.
For weeks now, other Apple watchers — including Web site ThinkSecret.com — have said the ambitious cell phone-music player combo won’t be ready in time for the expo.
Scorecard: Unlikely or not, Steve Jobs did announce the iPhone at Macworld. Which started on January 8th, not the 9th, was called Macworld Expo (not “MacWorld Expo”), and which wasn’t Apple’s show–it was owned and operated by IDG.