Category: developers journal

iPhone – your new dumbphone

Author: Daemon July 18, 2011

Recently I met a few people which use iPhone but have no additional Apps installed. They use what comes on the phone and are basically unaware that Appstore even exists, they do not have Apple ID account and are pretty much satisfied with that.

Apple is releasing iOS5 soon, and it will feature plenty of small improvements and couple of big ones.

Let’s just focus on the big ones, particularly, the new software that will come bundled with iPhone. From the first version of iPhone operating system, till iOS4 little changed regarding preinstalled Apps. You got your Maps, and Calculator and Safari browser and Mail and all that. And in iOS 5 Apple will load each iPhone with:

iMessage – a web based chat that does not eat money like SMS messages operators provide. It will be integrated into SMS App, and it will detect if you are sending to an iPhone or to some other phone.

Newsstand – one location to hold all of your magazines.

Reminders – ToDo list with cool location based features which enable this App to alert you when you enter or leave specific area.

Combined with the new philosophy Apple introduced about activating iPhone (no iTunes required, you can use it out of the box) this will make iPhone a pretty hard-core dumbphone (feature phone).

In addition, Twitter will come preinstalled and deep integrated into system. And do not forget, iOS5 will enable you to access camera without unlocking your phone, right from the lock screen. Of course, they improved Camera App mimicking (stealing?) functionality from other great camera Apps.

Apple checked download statistics from App Store, saw which Apps are used the most, made their version and are now bundling that software with iPhone. In essence, Apple killed instant messengers, ToDo lists and camera apps (I somehow doubt it will be possible to change which camera launches from lock screen).

With iOS5, if you do not take into account games, iPhone will become excellent dumbphone. Quite a lot of people will be able to use it as it is, right out of the box. No Apple ID, no credit card locked into their account.

Why is Apple doing that?

Money. Shocking, huh?

Apple is earning more cash from each sold unit than it could ever earn through App store selling Apps.

Gizmodo says “Apple Gets $831 for Every iPhone Sold Thanks to AT&T Payments“. But even if you do not take into account the payment telecom makes to Apple, if you just take iPhone price when you buy it clean from the Apple Retail store (or online store) Apple earns quite a lot of cash on the unit itself. Around $250. Combine all the Apps you bought – what Apple earned through that is miserable.

Apple just wants to sell more units.

And by making iPhone a dumbphone Apple can reach further into the audience, everyone can now use iPhone even without a creditcard or Apple ID, as quite a lot of people will find preinstalled Apps to be sufficient and the wall to Appstore is pretty hard to jump over if you are technically impaired.

Furthermore, mark my words, Apple will improve GameCenter to enable easy download of games. I believe it would even be possible in the near future that users would get three tokens per iPhone Serial Number and could use them to download three games for free through GameCenter. Of course, Apple will pay to the developers those few dollars, what do they care. This would make iPhone the best dumbphone on the market.

With iOS5, Apple reversed the game of Smartphones back to being dumb.

I really do not know, but how useful is Android as dumbphone, if you do not have any accounts (Google, Facebook, Twitter…)? What do you get out-of-the-box?


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