back to article Apple trawling networks for tablet subsidies?

Reports abound that Apple is seeking subsidies to keep the cost of the iSlate down, in stark contrast to the way the iPhone was launched. Apple will be giving Bing top billing on the iSlate*, according to "people familiar with the matter". This would presumably be in return for some Redmond dollars, which can be added to …


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  1. fishman

    Not much from Microsoft

    On one hand, Microsoft paying to have Bing as the default search engine on the islate would help drive traffic to Bing. On the other hand, a cheaper islate would lower any windows-slate sales, where Microsoft would make money from the OS payment and still drive traffic to Bing. So I don't see a big chunk of change from MS.

  2. Robert Flatters

    Apple profilt pie will be reduced

    If Apple are going to sign any deals with any of the mobile suppliers then the suppliers will be looking at wanting a larger cut of the pie. And if they are successful then all will be rubbing their hands when the money start to rolling in.

  3. Orjan

    A wink is as good as a nod

    Given the amount of frenzy whipped up over this, and the flutter it's caused, there's only one possible name for this device:


    1. N2

      I also suspect

      Its easy to wipe clean afterwards!


  4. Steve Todd

    Dodgy numbers

    A 32GB iPhone 3GS can be purchased on PAYG for £550. The same phone can be purchased, contract free in the USA, for $699 (£507 if you convert to £ and add VAT). The £800 number quoted in the article has no basis in reality.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      PAYG phones are also subsidesed...

    2. Dapprman

      Add Duty before VAT

      But yes you're still talking only about £550.

  5. Alex Gollner
    Jobs Halo

    Already paying monthly for iPhone?

    It may be that Apple won't impose another data contract on users, there may be an option to do without. This could be done in two ways: use tethered iPhone data, or using the iPhone to download and upload content for the tablet.

    You could show emails/websites/apps/content on iPhone, flick the phone to 'throw' info to the tablet and use it offline. If you make any changes you want to upload to the net, drag back to iPhone to send from there.

  6. Gulfie

    The good, the bad, and the locked down tighter than a gnat's...

    My main thought is that if this new device is locked down as tightly as an iPhone then the cost will have to be close to, or on a par with, a good quality netbook or lower-end laptop to counter the lock-down issue.

    One of the things that stymied Linux netbook sales was, allegedly, people trying to install Windows software. Imagine the potential return rate if it isn't explained to Joe Public that not only can't they install Windows software on the iThingy, but they can't in fact install any software, unless it has been blessed by the church of St Jobs, and downloaded direct through a secure channel from the internet.

    Personally, if this is the case, the device is a non-starter for personal use. Although if this thing is half as good as I suspect it will be, I shall probably buy a couple anyway and start work on some applications. Point of sale software, and interactive brochures strike me as two very rich veins.

    1. Mike Hanna

      Lock down = huge problem?

      Gulfie said: "Imagine the potential return rate if it isn't explained to Joe Public that not only can't they install Windows software on the iThingy, but they can't in fact install any software, unless it has been blessed by the church of St Jobs, and downloaded direct through a secure channel from the internet"

      Was that a perceived problem when the iPhone was announced? You can get Office on Apple's other systems, so its very probable that the Big iPhone being announced next week could have it. Its not going to have a disc drive to put software on it, and can only be downloaded, so an iTablet version of MicroSh1t Office (and whatever othr software you want) woull be turning up via iTunes. I don't see that as much of a problem, as more and more software is available (legally) as downloadable...

  7. Mike Howell

    Re Name

    How about the I-Zac ( Newton) , ok I'll get my coat

  8. Gulfie
    Jobs Horns

    And another thing...

    If they are trawling the networks for subsidies, this can only mean that the device will be sold 'on contract'. Hopefully (ha!) we'll be able to purchase contract-free and network-unlocked also.

    Evil Steve for the network lock-in.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    iphone on the road/islate at home

    I can see how the iphone gets network subsidies but I would guess that a large portion of the people buying the islate will tend to leave it at home (not going to easily slip into a pocket is it) and if that was me (which it will not be) I would expect my islate to access the world via my home wireless network than some possibly flakey mobile data setup.

    But then I suppose they will end up signing up people on a 35 or 40 quid unlimited mobile internet deals with the user then not needing to use the mobile internet at all. So same as now but without the need for that pesky network traffic.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Not quite

      The ithingy is likely to be much larger in size, akin to a laptop. So when it does connect to the wonderful mobile networks it will generate a similar amount of traffic to a dongled laptop rather than an iphone. When it comes to streamed content that makes a big difference on network load.

  10. RichyS
    Jobs Halo

    Subsidised another way

    I'm hoping that Apple can subsidise the iBook/iSlate/iPad/iWhatever another way.

    I'd happily pay Apple a chunk of cash every month for rental access to TV shows on iTunes. That way I can ditch my flakey Sky TV sub, and get the benefit of the television shows that I want, when I want, on my iThingy, or Apple TV, or iPod, or anywhere else I have iTunes.

    And get a subsidised iThingy.

    However, with the blinkered nature of most content providers/TV networks, this is unlikely to happen. Can but hope, though...

  11. jubtastic1


    "When Apple launched the iPhone, it decided to go it alone, believing that punters would pay top dollar for the Apple product. It is one of the few mistakes Steve Jobs made"

    Curious, because what I remember is long lines round the block at launch followed by 6 months of supply issues.

    Apple releasing the phone like that was about setting the table with the networks, showing them how fucking lucky they were that Apple was allowing them to sell their überfone.

    To Recap: No Network Subsidy, but Apple takes a cut from the Network subscription plan. Apple handles user details and phone registration. Apple handles all extra revenue services such as music & ringtones, Apple defines design and operation of device. Apple maintains and updates phone firmware, Network must include unlimited data with all iPhone plans. Network must heavily advertise device. Network must provide support for users of device. Network must never make direct eye contact with Apple.

    This is also why it took so long for MMS, it was never technically hard to implement, it was simply another kick in the balls for the networks so they knew their place in the relationship.

    It's coming up for 3 years since Apple went it alone and now they still have all of the above but now the network buys the phone up front, and all it cost Apple was adding MMS lol.

    Oh, the tablet, it's going to be initially strong in the education market then branch out from there as specialist apps become available. You shouldn't read anything into any subsidies other than as an indication of Apple's stronger negotiating position.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Old news, I mean rumour!

    Probably worth a mention that the suggestion that the tablet would be subsidised through a carrier first emerged June/July last year - with the US market, Verizon kept being mentioned.

  13. Adam T


    Is this really any different to high street phone resellers bundling laptops and PS3s with phones?

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Price of an iPhone...

    The iPhone costs a fecking ridiculous amount - how does it cost 300 quid more than an iPod touch????! How can Nokia knock out a whole phone at £15 but apple charge 20 times that to tack a phone onto their mp3 player?

    Apple pitch their prices at what people are prepared to pay, not on any reflection of what the product costs them. Therefore, trying to guess their pricing strategy based on other fruit products is going to be a shot in the dark, at best. Since this is presumably going to be a fashion accessory to adorn the coffee table of trendy young professionals I'd expect it to come in at a price they're going to pay in their millions - which isn't going to be the best part of a grand.

    1. chr0m4t1c

      Because they're different products

      Seriously, while the iPod Touch and iPhone *look* similar and share some components, they are fairly different products under the skin.

      You might as well ask Nokia why they charge >£400 for the N97 when they've taken a £15 phone and "just" added some memory and a touch screen.

      If you can perform the feat yourself for the little or no investment you appear to believe is required then I suggest you do it and show the product to the manufacturers - you may even get a very well paid job out of it.

      Even if it only costs Apple £200 to make an iPhone that they sell for £500, they've still had an up-front investment to make developing it *and* they have to provide warranty support *and* they have provided OS upgrades and patches.

      Not that Apple are alone in the phone arena, similarly specified products from HTC, Nokia, LG, etc. are all at around the same price point so either they're all ripping us off or they've all priced their products appropriately.

      You can't have it both ways.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Timeliness rules?

    Alternative title: give a sprat to catch a mackerel?


    slates are probably wholesomely needed by the public but do the public realise that it is so?

    And once the public realises that it is so the slate will become hot.

    Traditional models tend to be elitist and cost recovery inspired but all that does is delay the day when such commodities become widespread with the public.

    Taking a hit now makes for a robust market in the future yes?

    And a robust market in the future makes for good sure footed business sense but it takes a longer term view of things.

    Should one take an annual return view of things then it has to be elitist, it has to be limited and it has to be expensive yet the technology is capable and better if it is more universal, more common and more widespread?

  16. h 6


    Or: i of Newt

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    True cost of an iPhone 3G

    Where does the author get the £800 figure? A third generation iPod Touch (substantially the same beast) costs £230. Does it really cost Apple £570 to add a camera and a SIM card holder? I don't think so.

  18. Bill Ray (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: True cost of an iPhone 3G

    The £800 figure came from Expansys:

    ...I admit to not shopping around for the cheapest price, just trying to get a rough figure from a know supplier.


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