Featured StorySince the debut of the iPhone in 2007, the profit parade has mostly been a one-way street - but after five years, the major wireless carriers finally figured out how to make money with the Apple iPhone 5.
That means another way for you to make money from the iPhone 5, without having to buy Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) stock.
Apple has raked in billions while first AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), and later Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ), and Sprint Nextel Corp. (NYSE: S), had their margins slammed by the huge subsidies they sent to Cupertino.
But evolving consumer habits and the Apple iPhone 5's addition of LTE network technology will soon change that in a big way.
The carriers are hoping the much higher data transfer speeds of LTE - approximately 10 times faster than 3G - will coax iPhone 5 owners to use more data-heavy functions, particularly video.
"With these great networks coming on, [data] usage is going to go up. Revenues will go up," AT&T Chief Financial Officer John Stephens said at recent media and communications conference.
While the carriers will still have to fork over the same fat subsidies to Apple they always have, the new data equation means they'll make the money back much more quickly. And that will translate into bigger profits.
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Why the Apple iPhone 5’s Lack of Killer Features is Pure Genius
Tech critics predictably pounced on the new Apple iPhone 5 yesterday (Wednesday) even before its debut event had ended.
As often happens with Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) product introductions, many had hoped for more whiz-bang new features.
"Apple's Phone has been a trendsetter for half a decade. Now the question is whether it can avoid becoming a bore," lamented The Wall Street Journal.
The Apple iPhone 5 did get a bigger 4-inch screen, 4G LTE connectivity, and a faster A6 processor. But months of rumors and speculation had raised expectations for more dramatic enhancements.
Apple easily could have included some of those much-desired features, such as a mobile wallet chip (also known as NFC, or near-field communications), wireless battery charging, or biometric security (using your voice or fingerprint).
Amid the din of criticism, few are asking why Apple would leave such goodies out of the iPhone 5.
It could be as simple as the new stuff just didn't all fit in the case - the iPhone 5 is the thinnest and lightest version yet, after all.
Maybe the technology just doesn't work right yet.
But maybe, just maybe, Apple decided to hold a few plum features out of the iPhone 5 because it's mulling a major change to its iPhone business.
What if Apple has decided to modify its upgrade cycle to two iPhones a year instead of just one?
In that case, holding out a few juicy features for a late April-early May upgrade is strategic genius.
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