© 2011 – Privacy
Sprint CEO Dan Hesse made his case for bringing the Apple iPhone to the carrier and argued that a short-term financial hit in the years ahead is worth the long-term gain. Sure, the iPhone has a pricey contract, but the device will bring customers to Sprint and become profitable faster.
Hesse likened the iPhone to an expensive baseball player that can fill the stands of a high-priced stadium. “iPhone has an expensive contract but he’s worth every penny,” said Hesse, speaking on a conference call with analysts after Sprint’s third quarter earnings report. Also: CNET: Sprint loss narrows as customer growth doubles
However, the iPhone is pricey. Sprint CFO Joe Euteneuer detailed how more iPhone additions translate into a bigger hit on the bottom line. “We expect the combination of both increased volume and rate impacts associated with the iPhone to result in a reduction in fourth quarter OIBDA (Operating Income Before Depreciation And Amortization (OIBDA) of between $500 million and $700 million,” said Euteneuer.
In other words, Sprint will lose money on the iPhone through fiscal 2015. OIBDA will be hit by $900 million in 2012 and $1.2 billion in 2013. Then, iPhone customer margin will turn the Apple deal profitable.
“Our ultimate spend with Apple to depend on many variables including anticipated rate of future subscriber growth, number of different devices offered and the cost of devices offered. We anticipate outperforming the current contract minimum commitment of $15.5 billion, for the iPhone, over the four-year period,” said Euteneuer.
Is it worth it? Hesse certainly thinks so.
Hesse defended the deal with Apple. He said:
We expect that customer lifetime value for the iPhone customer to be at least 50%, yes, at least 50% greater than a typical smartphone user. Driven primarily by more efficient use of our network and lower churn. In addition, not reflected in this chart, is the upside of more, new revenue to spring, new fans offset the fixed cost of our stadium, if you will, because we expect the iPhone to generate a significantly higher number of new users to Sprint.
Hesse also shot down the perception that the iPhone will hurt Sprint’s network.
There is a misperception that our launch of the iPhone will increase the load on Sprint 3G network and require us to spend more 3G capital. The reverse is true. IPhone users are expected to use significantly less data than the typical user of a dual-mode, 3G, 4G device. Even adjusting for more total new customers being added to the network, we believe will put less load on our 3G network than they would have if we did not carry the iPhone. We’re pleased to announce that we have signed a nonbinding cooperation agreement with Clearwire, to work together on the technical specifications of the Clearwire LTE network and to ensure a superb customer experience for Sprint customers on the Clearwire LTE network.
In other words, Sprint’s network can handle the load. What’s unclear is whether Sprint can handle the financial load.
iPhone 4S just released, so we’re quite a ways to go with iPhone 5 release date. Gizmodo published an interesting piece yesterday where they show side by side photos taken by the original iPhone to the 4S. Here’s what iPhone 5 camera needs to improve on.
“But how much has it really improved? Lisa Bettany took the same picture with every iPhones to see the differences and PetaPixel stitched ‘em together to show you how each new generation improved upon the previous model (aside from the original and 3G, that is).”
“And it’s a HUUUGE difference. Like seeing the world for the very first time again different. The 3GS was the first big jump in camera quality but then it just went up from there with the lovely 4 and the king of the hill, stupidly detailed 4S.”
The thing that stands out to me the most in the picture above is how iPhone 4 photo seems brighter and generally different looking from all the other iPhone cameras. Here’s another example to see the comparisons:
iPhone 4S has a resolution of 8MP. What resolution do you guess iPhone 5 camera will check in at, and what MP would you be happy with?
October 26, 2011 by Bill Palmer
by Bill Palmer
On the day it was introduced, the iPhone 4S was pegged as such a dud by prognosticators that they were already trying to figure out which member of Apple’s executive team to blame. But if Tim Cook got the noose on that day then he gets the nod now, as the 4S has gone on to set online and retail sales records in sensational fashion, making it Apple’s most successful product launch ever – despite looking exactly like the previous iPhone. It turns out buyers have flocked to the iPhone 4S because of what’s on the inside, and because of how it’s available. There’s Siri, the digital voice command assistant which, surprisingly enough, actually works when you talk to it like a human instead of having to try to come up with the correct robo-speak. There’s iOS 5, which delivers enough advances to make you forget that the new iPhone looks just like the old one. And there’s the expansion of the iPhone 4S to Sprint. Here’s a closer look at some of the factors floating the iPhone 4S boat…
Siri: It’s useful. It’s fun. And unlike every voice command system to come before it, Siri is a non-geeky product which is immediately graspable by users of all technical levels. We knew all along that the iPhone 4S would include at least one headline-marketable feature as always (for the iPhone 4 is was FaceTime, for the 3GS is was video, etc), but Siri appears to be the single most popular generationally-added iPhone feature yet.
iOS 5: This is a free software upgrade for existing iPhone 4 and 3GS users, and they’ve pounced on it by the millions (see Apple’s overloaded servers on release day for reference). Yet plenty of other users have decided they want the iOS 5 experience on the latest and greatest hardware so it’ll run the most optimally. Despite the familiar external appearance, the iPhone 4S includes a significantly faster microprocessor inside…
Sprint: While plenty of Sprint customers have defected to ATT (or more recently Verizon) in order to get the iPhone, plenty more have stayed home and vowed not to buy an iPhone until it came to Sprint. That’s finally happened, and true to their word, Sprint customers are gobbling up the iPhone 4S so quickly that Sprint says it’s already the most successful product launch in the carrier’s history. And that’s not the only user base spurred into action by the iPhone 4S. Verizon’s customers weren’t sure what to make of the iPhone 4 when it finally came to them this past spring, at a time when Apple was clearly already halfway to releasing the next iPhone. The launch of the iPhone 4S on Verizon finally gave them a “new” iPhone to chew on. Meanwhile ATT reports it’s also set sales records with the iPhone 4S, demonstrating that plenty of longtime iPhone users are sticking with ATT – and sticking with the iPhone, despite the carrier’s attempt to diversify its smartphone lineup. Here’s more on the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5.
You’ve got your iPhone, your iPad, your MacBook Air. Your kid has an iPod. Could the next Apple product in your home be a smart TV?
Bringing Apple’s seamless integration, simple interfaces and cool design aesthetic to what is the focal point of many living rooms may be the next big thing that company visionary Steve Jobs was working on before his Oct. 5 death.
“I’d like to create an integrated television set that is completely easy to use,” Jobs told his biographer, Walter Isaacson. “It would be seamlessly synced with all of your devices and with iCloud.”
Jobs told Isaacson, whose book Steve Jobs was released Monday, that he would declutter living rooms of the pile of complex remotes for things like DVD players and cable TV.
“It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine,” Jobs said. “I finally cracked it.”
It’s those last four words that are intriguing. Could an iTelevision be coming soon? Apple already offers a set-top box, which has received a tepid market response. There have been rumors for years that Apple was working on a smart TV. Jobs essentially confirmed it with Isaacson.
A smart TV could tie together all the elements of Apple’s self-contained universe: Shows or movies or music purchased through iTunes and stored on iCloud; played on an entertainment center operated by a smart TV, or to go on an iPod, iPhone or iPad; controlled from the couch by any of those three devices; and complete with the Siri voice assistant thrown in.
“Siri, show me the most recent episode of Glee,” you say, and your smart TV does just that. “Siri, what movies are available featuring George Clooney?” and a list pops up that combines what’s available on iTunes with listings for your cable or satellite service. “Siri, show me photos from our vacation,” and your smart TV does just that. “Siri, tell me if I need an umbrella today,” and your TV will answer, just like an iPhone 4S does now.
Such a TV also could use things like FaceTime for video phone calls, and bring Apple’s gaming environment (imagine Angry Birds) to the living room’s big screen.
The TV market is already headed toward the same opportunity sweet spot that existed when Jobs introduced the iPhone in 2007. Back then, manufacturers of phones and PDAs (remember those?) were already beginning to integrate many of the features that showed up in the iPhone. It’s just that none did it very well, and none did everything the iPhone did.
Lack of integration—for example, being able to make a phone call, send a text or email, or map directions, all from the same contact in an address book—and ease-of-use issues made those early smartphones look dumb.
Televisions are no longer just something for watching broadcast TV. They can come with web browsers and Ethernet connections to hook up to your home network. Watching a show from Hulu or Netflix or a network website, or checking the weather or sports scores can be done. I can program my DVR from my smartphone, or watch a recorded show on my PC in another room, or play music or show photos from that PC on my TV.
But it takes a lot of puzzling through how to connect things, and knowledge of how to use them, and more than one remote control to make it all work. Apple could fix all that and make it shiny with a cool look from company design guru Jonathan Ive. Another revolution.
Some tech analysts who make a living reading the Apple tea leaves are already weighing in. More than one has found evidence that Apple already has produced prototypes.
Peter Misek, an analyst at Jefferies, predicts Apple will be selling smart TVs in the second half of next year.
Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray says half of all TVs sold next year will have Internet connections built in, and Apple could ring up $2.5 billion in sales for its share of the market. He notes that as recently as Oct. 6 Apple was applying for patents “related to software for browsing and recording live television.”
Look for it next year.
The iPhone 5 rumor mill is never lacking in renderings and mock-ups. And because the rumor mill has essentially been reset as a result of the iPhone 4S release in October, consumers won’t have to worry about renderings being passed off as real prototype sightings: everything we’ll see over the next few months will be nothing more than conceptual sketches from outside sources.
That being said, graphic designer Antonio de Rosa, who has posted some impressive renderings in the past for the iPhone 5, has just released a new batch of iPhone 5 renderings that are in keeping with Apple’s aesthetics while delivering on all of the top-tier rumored features for the next iPhone: larger screen, enhanced home button, and aluminum unibody.
De Rosa’s renderings are based on a 4.3-inch screen that is almost what you’d call “edge to edge,” as well as the elongated home button, which many believed would debut in 2011 and feature some kind of sophisticated gesture control upgrade. De Rosa also imagines the all-metal body to be of “unibody” construction, thanks to groundbreaking “LiquidMetal” technology, which many believe will also debut on the iPhone 5.
In spite of the smooth, sleek lines, some argue that De Rosa’s renderings for the iPhone 5 are too much in line with the latest batch of top-tier Android smartphones. MobileMag argues: “I don’t know about you, but the stretched out iPhone 5 is starting to look a fair bit like the Android superphones that are out there with their 4+ inch displays. Something like the HTC EVO 4G (sorta, but not really). The edge to edge display looks nice, but I’m not sure I’m a fan of that grey-ish curved back.”
I tend to agree with MobileMag‘s general observation, particularly as it relates to the larger screen size on the iPhone 5. While many are calling for capacious new screen dimensions on the next iPhone, there’s no doubt that taking the iPhone 5′s screen size up to similar dimensions of the HTC EVO 4G and other Android smartphones will by default bring the design more in line with Android; a larger screen design will essence put to rest a design paradigm that has been quintessentially “iPhone” for years now. In this way, iPhone users calling for a 4+ inch screen better be ready for an iPhone that resembles more of an Android form factor.
Another interesting design characteristic of De Rosa’s renderings is the curved back. MobileMag comments, “. . . I’m not sure I’m a fan of that grey-ish curved back.” I, too, have misgivings about an overly curvacious back to the iPhone 5, which I have expounded on in another article. While the curved back might feel nicer in the palm of one’s hand, the balance and stability of a flat, square back is ultimately a more reliable design for today’s busy smartphone user.
All of this being said, De Rosa has effectively started the conversation again about what the iPhone 5 will look like, and how it might come to debut ner, groundbreaking features.
© 2011 – Privacy
The Apple store may soon implement a new program that allows customers to order products online and pick them up at the stores.
MacRumors, a technology website, reported that the program is called “Sherwood.”
Apple’s entire inventory will be available, including standard-configured Macs, engraved and gift-wrapped products, and accessories offered by third parties.
Customers will have the choice of selecting an Apple retail store for pickup through the new program.
Most products and accessories should be available for same-day pickup; however, customers must be aware that some items might require a few days to be delivered to the store.
With the implementation of Sherwood, Apple retail stores will also accept returns of eligible online orders. This will give customers the option of not having to ship products for exchange or refund.
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Customers will need to show proof of purchase and identification for in-store pickup. However, they will have the option of choosing an alternate to pick up the order.
Sources told MacRumors that one benefit of the program is that in-store pickup can help during the holiday season when home delivery might reveal the nature of a gift.
Apple currently allows customers to reserve products from available retail store stock online. Customers also have the option of having standard-configuration Mac and iPod products gift wrapped at an Apple retail store.
The Sherwood pilot program will be seen in select retail stores, and then expanded across the chain, soon.
Here are your Apple rumors and news items for Tuesday:
Sprint, Apple Working to Fix Limping iPhone on Network: The iPhone 4S’ Oct. 14 debut should have been an auspicious moment for notorious third-placer Sprint (NYSE:S), but Apple‘s (NASDAQ:AAPL) device has been suffering some problems on the telecom’s network. According to a report at 9 to 5 Mac, Sprint iPhones have been troubled by terribly slow data speeds. An Internal email is said to be circulating around both companies, stating that a remedy for the problems is in the works. The report also claims users actually joined Sprint seeking more reliable, fast data transfer speeds. Given how badly Sprint needs a hit product to lure in new subscribers, these growing pains are especially troubling for the company.
China Mobile Scores 10 Million iPhone Users: The iPhone 4S was expected to be the first device in Apple’s smartphone stable to be officially supported by China’s largest telecom, China Mobile (NYSE:CHL). Despite rumors of a partnership between the two companies, China Mobile remains an unofficial iPhone carrier. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t have many iPhones on its network, though. China Mobile chairman Wang Jianzhou told Reuters on Monday that his company has 10 million unlocked iPhones in use on its network. Jianzhou claimed his company will start officially supporting the iPhone when Apple introduces a 4G model compatible with LTE networks, something “Apple promised to provide.” China Unicom (NYSE:CHU) remains the only official iPhone carrier in China.
Jobs Biography on Track to Be Amazon’s 2011 Bestseller: A Monday report at Reuters said that Walter Isaacson’s new book Steve Jobs is on track to be Amazon‘s (NASDAQ:AMZN) best-selling book of 2011. Amazon spokeswoman Brittany Turner did not, however, say whether physical copies of the book or digital versions sold through the Kindle Store are selling better. The book also is the No. 1 seller in Apple’s iBookstore.
As of this writing, InvestorPlace Consumer and Technology Writer Anthony John Agnello did not own a position in any of the stocks named here. Follow him on Twitter at @ajohnagnello and become a fan of InvestorPlace on Facebook.
October 25, 2011 by Bill Palmer
by Bill Palmer
The iPhone 5 release date spent the first three quarters of 2011 being one of the great mysteries of the year – and now that Apple has debuted the iPhone 4S after sixteen months of waiting, the iPhone 5 still lacks a clear release timeframe. Optimists are hoping to see it as soon as February, expecting Apple to add the iPhone 5 prematurely as its new flagship phone, thus relegating the 4S to mid priced $99 model status after a mere four months on the market. The most pessimistic of the bunch are under the impression that Apple will allow the 4S to stand as the flagship model for a full year, waiting until October 2012 before making a move. Common sense says the most likely iPhone 5 release date is somewhere in between. Here’s a look at the various potential launch timeframes and the odds of each actually happening…
February 2012: This assumes both that the iPhone 5 is ready so soon and that Apple has motivation to launch it so soon. The former is a closely guarded secret, but the latter decreases with each additional bit of news regarding the iPhone 4S setting sales records. Unless 4S sales during the holiday season take a quick and unexpected plunge, there’s almost no chance of a winter 2012 iPhone 5; it might have been a fallback if 4S sales had boomed.
April 2012: Now you’re getting (a little) warmer. March 2012 is the default month for the iPad 3 launch, so April would be the quickest the iPhone 5 could realistically surface. Again, it comes down to how quickly and sharply iPhone 4S sales begin to taper off, along with when the iPhone 5 hardware is ready. Assuming the iPhone 5 is a 4G LTE phone, Apple is likely waiting until next gen 4G LTE antennas arrive in quantity which are small enough and low-power enough to make the product practical…
Summer 2012: This feels like the sweet spot. It would allow Apple to milk the iPhone 4S for about nine months, and then right around the time the “When is the next iPhone coming?” questions threaten to reach a fevered pitch, Apple fires back with the iPhone 5. It also places the iPhone launch window back in the summer, where it had always been prior to whatever went wrong this past summer which forced Apple to push it back to October.
Fall 2012 This is the scenario in which Apple opts to give the iPhone 4S a full twelve month run after all, either because it’s still selling just that well by that time or because it’s still waiting for the iPhone 5 hardware pieces to fall into place. If Apple is planning to launch a new iOS 6 operating system with the iPhone 5, it could need the extra time to pull it all off after presumably previewing iOS 6 at WWDC in June 2012. Here’s more on the iPhone 5.