When sorrows come, they come not single spies,
But in battalions.
Shakespeare, Hamlet, IV, 5
It seems like the Vandals are invading Rome, only this time “Rome” is Cupertino-based Apple Inc. Better I say Helms Deep, as most are familiar with the Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) franchise and book (hopefully!?).
The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg both independently confirmed the existence in the wild of a smaller, cheaper Apple iPhone. According to the reports, this Apple iPhone is half the size of the current Apple iPhone and will, curiously enough, be cloud based. Is it just me, or do I smell Gingerbread cookies a-baking?
Not surprising that Apple is worried about the growth of Android. Ever since their meteoric rise from 8% of marketshare in 2009 to nearly 85% of global markertshare currently, depending on which sources you believe, their popularity can only be described as “infectious”.
Then again, it actually about the pricing, I would surmise. After all, Apple may have iTunes and its neat little ecosystem interconnected, but at US$599 on Google Products online for a decent unlocked Apple iPhone 4 16GB, Apple is a tad on the expensive side.
A brand new Blackberry Torch 9800 retails for about US$360 on Google Products online, but offers nothing near the value of the Apple iPhone. Android phones hit the sweet spot, being relatively cheaper and having more bang for buck, as is the case with the Android-powered Motorola Milestone which retails for US$355 on Google Products online.
My snapshot is subjective, my favoritism towards Apple is as obvious as my FB page. The stats from ComScore, a relatively well respected analyst with regards to mobile market penetration, paints a more scientific picture which even I cannot deny: Apple is slowly being crowded out by Cheaper Android phones.
Apple iPhone is now in third position at 24.3% percent of the US market in the Fourth Quarter of 2010, down from 25.0% in the Third Quarter of 2010. Google Android OS, meanwhile, had trounced the once mighty Apple iOS Platform and has moved into second place up from 21.4% in the Third Quarter of 2010 to 28.7% in the Fourth Quarter of 2010.
Certainly, a sixty three million, two hundred thousand Americans (63,200,000) strong Android base is a telling sign that the Vandals are not only at the Gate of Rome, but the horde is banging away and may soon breach the walls of Helms Deep.
The Gingerbread Man, who I stated was uncatchable, is now stealthily sneaking up behind Blackberry holding on to pole position with 31.6 percent of the market at the end of the Fourth Quarter of 2010 much weakened from it encounter with Google Android from a previously healthy 37.3% in the Third Quarter of 2010! Remember, this is in the US of A; anecdotally, the picture is much more different in Jamaica, where BB is King!
So a smaller Apple iPhone, half the size of the current version, priced at US$199 with a cloud based storage (saves money on flash memory!) from a now free and most likely ad-sponsored MobileMe service, hints strongly at music streaming as opposed to music storage from Apple. Possible?
Maybe. What does push this bit of news into the realm of possibility is the fact that previous actions by Apple shine a light on its future. Apple Inc did purchase Lala, thus it seemed at the time that there would be a streaming music service, like Pandora or Last.fm as opposed to downloading, CEO Steve Jobs answer to critics about FM Radios on his Apple iPod ands its sibling of products.
So the possibility of a streaming music service aside, a smaller, possibly US$199, if the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg report are to be believed, is quite the logical response that Apple Inc should have to Google Android. Truly, Blackberry and now Apple is slowly feeling the pressure.
Especially when coupled with the rumours of the Apple iPhone specs now going dual-mode with Qualcomm Communication chipsets that would enable the Apple iPhone to operate with both a GSM (Global Systems Mobile) Networks such as AT&T and T-Mobile as well as using CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) Networks such as Sprint and Verizon.
Quite plausible, as Apple does adopt to tech once it has sufficiently matured and Qualcomm in early November 2009 had announced production of dual-mode 3G/4G Communication chipsets.
Rumours too, of a dual-mode, dual-core processor Apple iPad sporting at least one front-facing camera and two (2) USB ports sound plausible, which fits with the pragmatism of Apple as it relates to its refresh; one technological leap at a time!
But if you want a sure sign of the forces massing at Helms Deep Gates? Apple has reportedly confirmed a major deal with component supplier Samsung, hoarding LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) screen components to the tune of – get this – US$7.8 billion dollars!
Apparently this spending spree is the London 2012 Olympics coupled with the fear of Android phones and the-as-yet-to-even-be-a-challenge Google Android 3.0 aka Honeycomb for Tablets. CEO Steve Jobs isn’t taking any chances, hoarding all the components Apple Inc can get their hands on!
Certainly confirms the report of Apple Inc getting ready to unleash at least six hundred thousand (600,000) White Unicorns, the Apple iPad, by late February 2011, making this February 2011, Black History Month, a Black, Red and White affair!
Stay tuned folks! The Orcs are still ramming the Gates of Helms Deep. When the gate are breached this Summer of 2011 and Christmas of 2011, Apple will be ready. Look to the East for the coming of the Wizard!
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