There is a new twist in the continuing saga that is the iPhone. As I reported earlier this week, it looks like AT&T isn’t going to get an extension to be the exclusive carrier for the iPhone. That’s bad news of course for AT&T, and as I mentioned in yesterday’s post this is because Verizon is considered to have better coverage and a more reliable network.
Many users have said they went with AT&T because it was the only game in town. So with the iPhone likely coming to Verizon that could mean many users will flock to the rival carrier, even if it required buying a new handset. And that’s the latest twist. Apple may have two different iPhones for Verizon next year.
Business Week is reporting that Apple has working prototypes (note plural prototypes) of these devices. One would include the usual tablet-like handset that can do it all, including play music and videos, as well as display photos and run those apps for everything. The other mobile handset could be an “iPhone lite” that would essentially be a stripped down device, but would be available for a price much lower than the iPhone 3G. The question would be what exactly would the stripped down mobile do, and where is the line drawn?
This is surely good news for consumers, especially those who want an iPhone but know they won’t use all the functionality, and even better news for Verizon as it could lure customers with the “lite” version. The question is why would Apple want to go that route? The company, which pushes the quality of its products, could send mixed messages by doing this.
But the real question is what it means for the app developers. Will multiple versions of apps have to be made? Or will a large, and potentially growing segment of the iPhone audience, be locked out of apps completely? Finally, the last question is whether AT&T would want to sign up for a lite version, at least to keep some of its customer base.
iPhone Social Gaming Network
Video games are about competition typically, but a popular type of gameplay involves cooperation between the players. Apparently the folks at the Social Gaming Network took this spirit to heart. Our friends over at Venture Beat are reporting today that Social Gaming Network, which publishes the popular iPhone titles iBowl and iBaseball, is doing some cross marketing to promote games from other developers, including Punch Entertainment and Smallmedium.
SGN had created a similar cross-promotional network on Facebook, and now the developer is bringing this strategy to the iPhone. And as Venture Beat reports, there are more than 9,000 games on the iPhone, so getting noticed requires a little bit of help.
And speaking of the competition, Venture Beat is also reporting today that the USA Network has launched its first game for the iPhone. But instead of being based on any USA Network property such as Monk, In Plain Sight or Burn Notice, the company is doing a word puzzle game called Letter Matrix. Interestingly enough, the game can even be downloaded from the front page of the USA Network Web site.