Coming Soon: $200 Apple iPhone 3G

Hints, signs and portents are starting to pile up that Apple (AAPL) will soon
deliver unto the world the 3G iPhone that has been heralded in prophecy ever
since the current model was born.

That’s according to GMSV, who also note:

* Apple announced there are no more iPhones
left in its U.S. and U.K. online stores
.

* Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster
says the
devices are in short supply
at many of the retail outlets
as well.

* AT&T’s product listing includes a
new option — “iPhone
Black,”
the rumored color of the 3G model.

* Apple has confirmed to Fortune that Steve
Jobs will deliver a keynote address on June 9
, the first day of Apple’s
World Wide Developers conference.

* AT&T told retail employees not
to schedule any vacation between June 15 and July 12
to ensure sufficient
staffing for “an exciting Summer Promotional Launch.”

I have steadfastedly refused to buy the first gen, 2G iPhone. I have no need for a pricey gadget that only works on a slowpoke network, and neither do you. (Not that this small quibble prevented 10 million people from buying the gorgeous toy).

However, combine the above with Fortune’s report of a forthcoming AT&T big price cut (bringing the price down to $199 for a 2 year contract) and I don’t see how I can avoid becoming part of the iPhone nation. . .

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What's been said:

Discussions found on the web:
  1. Dogwood commented on May 14

    At that price, my planned iPod purchase may become an iPhone buy instead. Sweet!

  2. Joshua commented on May 14

    I’ve been wondering since Apple has been out of Iphones, how can its stock keep going up? I mean, if they are out, no sales. No sales, lower earnings. And if they aren’t going to introduce the new model phone until June 9th, then that is almost 1 month’s worth of missed sales. Maybe its time to short apple?

  3. John Borchers commented on May 14

    Not many can afford the price AAPL wants to charge so it’s irrelevant.

    I’m assuming BR holds no position in AAPL right now because there is no disclaimer.

  4. Hoppy commented on May 14

    Barry,

    You left out some important point in your post that will make the iphone even more revolutionary —

    The iPhone SDK

    Released a few months ago, it is open to any and all developers. From kids in dorm rooms to big software firms – all are currently developing productivity and business software, games, voip, etc. exclusively for the iphone. This is the unprecedented and no other phone companies will be able to compete.

    The other revolution is it’s ability to sync with MS Exchange servers, so email will work just like it does (actually faster) on a BlackBerry. The iPhone will be the defacto phone for business and government.

    And PS: you are knocking the iPhone’s internet speeds? How fast is your Blackberry?

    Disclaimer: Happily own AAPL and am about to short RIMM

  5. Mr. Beach commented on May 14

    I use my iPhone on my WiFi network — it is very fast. I use it in bed, while watching the kid, while waiting for my wife, and of course, in the john.

    The browser is fantastic. It renders your site well.

  6. Chris Naaden commented on May 14

    I take issue with the praise lauded on the iPhone SDK by Hoppy. As noted March 11 on Slashdot (http://apple.slashdot.org/article.pl?no_d2=1&sid=08/03/11/1216211), not everyone is thrilled with the SDK. A block of Skype, Firefox, and Java will not lead to market dominations, at least, not yet, anyway.

    As well, one iPhone application can run at a time, and third-party applications never run in the background. This means that when users switch to another application, answer the phone, or check their email, the application they were using quits. (From the Human Interface Guidelines document, on the SDK site)

  7. mappo commented on May 14

    Yeah, no Java or Flash means no real internet access. I’d have already bought an iPhone if it had full internet capabilities.

  8. John Borchers commented on May 14

    No Java?

    That means no real time trading by phone over Inet.

  9. Darkness commented on May 14

    >I’ve been wondering since Apple has been out of Iphones, how can its stock keep going up? I mean, if they are out, no sales. No sales, lower earnings. And if they aren’t going to introduce the new model phone until June 9th, then that is almost 1 month’s worth of missed sales. Maybe its time to short apple?

    Depends. If they had stock remaining when these rumors came out, then they’d be cannibalizing their own sales. So, sure they won’t be making any sales, but they also don’t have product with a short lifespan rotting on the shelves needing a writeoff later, AND best of all, it’s a month spent cannibalizing their competition’s sales, because many many people will wait and at least look at the iphone before buying over the next month, so everyone’s sales go down. Or, that’s the theory, anyway. The price point is sorta the icing on getting that to work.

  10. Karl K commented on May 14

    The jailbreakers have already figured out the workarounds.

    I find Jobs close minded approach puzzling. The only real platform he needs is the cellular network — after that, he should allow anything to happen.

    As was pointed out, the real block buster here is enterprise integration. Apple has never really been in the corporate market in a big way. It is only a matter of time before they are and, once they are, RIMM will be pooping in their engineering drawers.

  11. tim commented on May 14

    “neither do you”

    “no real internet access”

    There are plenty of shortcomings in the phone that are legitimate reasons to criticize and not buy the phone (no copy and paste! sms support rather lame). But these two reasons are wrong on so many different levels. But I am not going to bother with trying to educate you since you are not going to change your opinion based on facts. If nothing else, regardless of its shortcomings, there is one real reason to love the iPhone – other carriers are finally making their products usable. I am quite excited about the new blackberry that was announced. And other vendors are coming out with some interesting new devices that would of never existed unless one vendor changed the game.

  12. Hoppy commented on May 14

    Chris Naaden —

    The iPhone is currently in infantile state, as processor power and battery performance grow, so will the phone’s OS capabilities including the ability to run multiple programs.

    I don’t know if you’ve ever written computer code before, but the iPhone SDK makes it about as easy as it gets.

    I can see companies having their own programs, made quickly and cheaply, to track inventory, customers, etc. and could sync with their Oracle or SAP databases.

    The potential software applications are w/o limit and will be driven by the market.

    I’m excited for the program that controls my home theater and allows me to scroll through TV, DVR, and on demand shows as elegantly as the iphone does music and videos.

    See for yourself:
    http://developer.apple.com/iphone/program/

  13. Ben commented on May 14

    The current 8GB model at the current $400 price is clearly worth it. Apple has sold out online, and stock is low throughout the US, so perhaps it’s underpriced.

    I originally thought it was overhyped. Working in tech has made me skeptical of the perennial vaporware and marketing slick. But after using it for months, I really can’t imagine going back. It’s a lot more of a handheld device that happens to make phone calls. I’m qualitatively more connected, more active, and doing a wider variety of tasks on this phone than any other. I frequently use it instead of a laptop for common but non-intensive tasks.

    “pricey gadget that only works on a slowpoke network” is not a fair characterization. Of course, I concede it may not suit everyone, or at 6.5% market share even a plurality. I look forward to see Barry’s reactions upon a model he is willing to own.

    re: Mr. Naaden:

    Skype, Firefox, and Java are not economically relevant issues to this market. Yes, even Java. Most of the interesting work is in JavaScript, like Google’s apps and Ajax in general. These all work fine on the iphone. The absence of Flash is more interesting as that’s the primary complement to JavaScript now. However, no handheld device supports full, modern Flash, and the “embedded Flash” is inadequate for supporting how websites actually use Flash.

    The no-background-applications issue is highly overblown. Craig Hockenberry had done actual work with background apps on jailbroken phones and decided against it on technical merits. Google up his blog post on that. The key issue is battery life. Also, just because the apps can’t actively run in the background doesn’t mean they can’t be freeze dried and *appear* to the user to just pick up wherever left off.

    The slashdot article can be best summarized as FUD. I wager the biggest problem with the iPhone SDK will be preventing the freebie chaff from overwhelming customers looking for valuable applications. Noise-signal ratio and all.

    Disclosure: Long AAPL, Hoppy is a pessimist

  14. Mark E Hoffer commented on May 14

    anyone care to hazard a guess if Jobs/AAPL would be interested in a low-insertion loss (~1 dB) ‘soft’ Filter (Tx/Rx) so that he may use that juice somewhere else?

  15. Scott Nolan commented on May 14

    What!? Doesn’t Mrs. BigPicture have one?

    It was your article of a year ago explaining how much she wanted one that made me go out and buy some Apple stock (which I still have, thank you very much). Do you mean she ended up not getting one after all?

    Not really any of my business, just wanted to thank you.
    Thank you.

  16. Bob A commented on May 14

    Iphone is fantastic. But remember there are very credible competitors coming soon from Samsung (Instinct) in June and HTC (Diamond) later in the year.

  17. Chris Naaden commented on May 14

    Ben, that’s an interesting opinion about background apps from Craig. I confess I had not read that post, and it makes sense to me. I stand corrected, but only from technical merits.

    I also wonder if the killer app will be private corporate use, similar to a Blackberry, a la Hoppy.

    Good calls, guys.

  18. expat commented on May 15

    I finally saw one up close last week and was impressed. That said, I have a Blackberry I never use and an expensive Nokia with a camera. I use the phone for voice and sms, and that’s it. the phone is five years old.

    Maybe I am too old (mid 40’s) but the iphone is just another gadget.

    Call me when someone builds a useful phone/mp3/browser/pda all in one. by useful, I mean >15 gb memory and >10 hours playback.

  19. zot23 commented on May 15

    I’ve been in heavy techlust for an iphone since the first demos were released. Recently bought a MBP for my home PC typing on it now) and have loved it. At $199 I don’t see myself being able to resist, just too tempting to have my two main portable devices (ipod & mobile) in one package.

    What a great time to be a technophile…

  20. Larry commented on May 15

    I consider myself an early adopter, but for cellphones I know how the sausage is made. I’ve put myself in a watch and wait state.

    The first iPhone didn’t have 3G, GPS, a digital camera, etc. The software ecosystem wasn’t fully developed either. Those issues seem to be addressed by the new iPhone.

    At $200 with contract, I will find it hard to resist. The only possible alternative I will consider is a Nokia N810 successor with Google Android.

    As for what the 3G iPhone likely won’t have:

    I don’t want Flash or Java on a portable Internet device, as both are processor hogs. Running Skype over a 3G HSPA connection is likely to an awful user experience.

  21. The Big Picture commented on May 27

    Coming soon: 3G iPhones?

    Cool sleuthing by ImportGenius: Searching for shipments to Apple, Inc. (AAPL), employees at the Scottsdale, Ariz., company reported on Friday that they’ve spotted a “major spike” since mid March in ocean containers marked with a mysterious new label: “…

  22. Robert commented on Jun 5

    Joshua:
    stock price movement is predicated on FUTURE expected earnings. Short the stock at your own peril.

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