Friday, July 30, 2010

Apple May Not Need A Lot Of 3G Chips In The Future (4G Maybe)

Techcrunch thinks Apple should buy Infineon because Intel is about to move on the 3G chip company. The reasoning in their post is sound. However, there might be a good reason why Apple won't go there. And the answer could be staring at us the whole time all these years. The iPod Touch.

What lead me to start thinking about this is when Apple released the iPad with 3G access without the need for a contract. It was practically unheard of. So, why can't that be done for the iPod Touch. Then yesterday, the whole tech world got wind of Sprint's alleged plan to release a case for the Touch. And it's no ordinary case. It has its own battery. And it's no ordinary battery case.

It also has its own 3G or 4G wireless modem, providing WiFi access for the iPod Touch. Sprint Peel.

The main question is whether Sprint's plans has Apple's blessing and what of the standard 30% cut Apple gets any time someone wants to make accessories for the iOS devices. Let's start from the beginning.

Let's say hypothetically, Apple greenlights Sprint's Peel. It would mean that Apple can continue its development of the iPod Touch as it normally would and leave the development of modems, cases, or combos like the Peel to 3rd parties like Sprint or other carriers.

Furthermore, a deal would need to be struck with providers who would pay Apple for allowing them to sell iOS services. Otherwise, they would not be able to advertise using any of Apple's trademarked names like "iPod" or "iPad". All Apple has to do is to sit back and watch the truckload of money roll into Cupertino.

In this scenerio, Apple does not need 3G chips in anything other than the iPhone. Furthermore, with 4G networks becoming available around the world, Apple may buy its wireless chips from other companies, no longer requiring the services of Infineon.

And if Apple insists on the 30% cut it traditionally asks for any iOS deal or any kind of negotiation Apple may have with carriers, Apple can still maintain the health margin of the iPhone has been bring in even if it moves away from voice and specifically to data-only plans. After all, isn't this where things are headed.

After all, isn't this also the dream Google hopes to achieve as well?

Note: I've done some checking and there does not seem to be any more talk about Sprint's previous attempt to entice iPad users to use its service. There is no more talk at Sprint or blogs about the iPad combo of the case and the wireless modem. Perhaps, Apple shut that down.

MOre at Techcrunch.

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