Will Apple announce the iPhone? What are the odds?

November 17, 2006 With cell phones increasingly offering the functionality of almost all things digital, and MP3 players in particular, it’s only a matter of time until the world’s best-selling digital media player, the iPod, must take on telephone functionality or risk killing the goose that laid the golden egg. Too late and the market might have shifted, too soon and an iPhone could cannibalize iPod sales. One of the wonderful things about the internet is that you can now assess the probability of just about any event occurring – it’s the role of the bookmaker to assess the probability of an event with painstaking accuracy, offer odds on it and allow its public to wager at those odds. Bookies are VERY good at their job because competition ensures that their margin is slim when they win and if they get it wrong, they lose a fortune. Now internet bookmakers are beginning to take bets on when Apple will officially announce and release the long awaited iPhone. The odds suggest it’ll happen at MacWorld and be available before April 30, 2007, and are particularly generous given that reliable sources are reporting that Apple has already placed an order for 12 million iPhones to be built by a Taiwanese contract manufacturer.

The odds being quoted at the time of going to press by internet bookmaker bodog are as follows (click here for their latest odds):

Will Apple officially release the long awaited iPhone by April 30th, 2007? Yes -110 No -130

The easiest way to look at straight lines such as these is in $100 denominations. -110 means you must wager $110 to win $100 (you get back $210 total if you win, but you risked $110 to get it) -130 means you must wager $130 to win $100 (you get back $230 total if you win, but you risked $130 to get it) +185 means a bet of $100 will have a $185 win (you get back $285 total if you win for a $100 risk) Will Apple announce the impending release of the long awaited iPhone at the Macworld Expo in January, 2007? Yes-280 No+185

This is LONG odds on for an announcement – you must risk $280 to win $100 if you’re betting that Apple will announce the phone at Macworld Expo. In other words, it's very likely.

Will Apple announce the impending release of Leopard at the Macworld Expo in January, 2007?

Yes -110 No -130

Of course if you don’t want to bet on something as frivolous as whether Apple will release the iPhone, you could also bet on who Britney Spears will publicly date next, whether Snoop Dogg will get jail time, whether Kate Moss will get married before February 28th, and who will win any of the reality TV series currently running on the idiot box.

Finally, there are laws which prevent people in some jurisdictions from placings bets with bookmakers, or from placing bets with bookmakers in a certain way (over the ‘net f’rinstance) or from placing bets with bookmakers in other jurisdictions. If you are going to bet, check your facts, check that it’s legal to do so where you live and check your bookmaker’s location and credentials because the internet is a new frontier and as with all new frontiers, there are cowboys and there’s the possibility with some internet bookmakers in some locations that you’ll never get paid. We’re just students of the odds – we don’t bet. Then there’s also the possibility that we’ve made an error in the above so please don’t believe a word we say and don’t ever make a financial judgement on our say so! Check your facts folks – and if you can’t afford the time, don’t commit the crime!

Sheesh – this digital betting prohibition stuff is scarey.

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