iPhone, uPhone…

By now, as everyone who could have bought Apple stock in 2005 at $39 knows, it shot to more than $665 a share in August on rumors… rumors, that the next new iPhone will be remarkably similar to the last new iPhone but with a slightly larger screen and not merely imagined LTE capability. And while a Piper Jaffray survey revealed that around half of Americans— perhaps jaded by the hyped speeds versus the disappointing true capacity of cellular networks—could give a hoot about LTE, around 50 million are expected to buy the next iPhone. That’s according to an analyst quoted in Barron’s. Citizen-J blog site examiner.com comes up with an unattributed sum of 250 million, which would yield a windfall of $125 billion at $500 a pop, which explains a lot about the stock price.

What the new iPhone 5, and likely 6,7,8,9 and 45 will not have, is an over-the-air mobile DTV tuner chip, the one sure way for the service to get off the ground. Mobile DTV, as evidenced by the Samsung Galaxy S Lightray, requires a telescoping antenna, the likes of which will never, ever appear on an iPhone.

The broadcast camp is instead introducing receiver dongles for Mac mobile devices. I know of precisely one person who uses receiver dongles, and that individual is a radio frequency engineer. The whole ethos of the iPhone is conformist superiority, (or superiorist conformity, take your pick). Having a chunk of hardware hanging from it kind of defeats the purpose. Had the broadcast community possessed a Steve Jobs mentality when it came to designing iDevice receivers, they would have resembled Marc Jacobs fashion cases, and not the facial equivalent of Wayfarers with tape around the nose bridge.

Broadcast TV has long lacked the cool factor propelling wireless providers to regulatory spectrum dominance. Mobile DTV was supposed to change that. Sadly, I don’t see it happening.