Julie Ask Quotes
I have been fielding quite a few calls about Apple's filing of the 'Mobile Me' patent. Folks have been speculating about a phone from Apple for more than a year. Being that I am a wireless analyst, I don't follow Apple as closely as others do. What I do know though, is that we are not likely to know until Apple wants us to know. They are pretty good at big surprises. Do I think they are developing a phone Probably. Probably somewhere in their labs, there are prototypes of phones. Whether or not they bring one to market commercially is another story. Whether or not they will do so on their own is another open question. Hard to imagine carrier subsidies on a device unless there are revenues to be earned through downloaded services and content.
Parents get mobile phones for their teens because they want to communicate in case of an emergency, and wireless carriers have made it easy to add users to their existing plans. Wireless carriers have been very successful in getting parents to expand their plans to include their teens, but between free phones and shared minutes, it's not the most lucrative proposition for carriers.
Will the animated avatars come out on the market Yes. Will people buy them Yes. They're fun and entertaining. But there's a limit to what consumers will spend -- they're already buying games, ring tones, videos, and music. The average cell-phone bill is already around 50. And consumers have shown a willingness to spend an extra 5 to 10 a month for data services. But they're not going to spend an unlimited amount for more and more services.