Thinking Different About The iPhone

Tech pundits the world over agree that Apple needs a cheaper iPhone. That is, all except Mike Elgan who says Apple needs a more expensive iPhone.

Apple is a premium, aspirational brand. It successfully targets the most profitable sweet spot in the market. To slug it out in the muck with cheap Chinese phones for small margins would not only tarnish Apple’s image, it simply wouldn’t be worth the tech support, supply chain and manufacturing trouble.

Instead of a cheap, low-margin phone Apple should come out with an expensive, high-margin phone. A satellite phone.

That’s right. A satellite phone. Ostensibly, one for the masses. But how?

Just to give you a sense of scale and proportion, Apple could probably buy any one of the existing satellite phone providers for less than $3 billion. (Apple has more than $125 billion in cash.)

Better yet, Apple should develop it’s own high-speed, high-capacity global satellite network, which it could do for less than $5 billion, I would imagine.
Note that running its own satellite system would be expensive. But it would make Apple a wireless carrier, and a global one — for decades.

Think different, indeed.