The iPhone fallout

As hard as I tried I cannot avoid posting something about the iPhone today. BTL has an interesting post about winners/losers but I’m surprised that nobody pointed out that it’s not just Verizon that is a loser on the carrier side but any carrier that is not GSM. This is a phone that will drive consumer decisions about carriers and even if you are not on Cingular you can still get the handset by buying an unlocked handset from Asia. Cingular may be the exclusive marketing partner for the time being but there is nothing that stops me from using the handset on T-Mobile, for example. Until Apple comes out with non-GSM versions the big losers are ultimately CDPD and some 3G network providers

My bet is that by the time Cingular has this on their shelves I will be able to buy it here but if you are on Verizon you are still out of luck. I would love to be in the room when, ultimately, Verizon is negotiating to get a version for their network and someone tries to tell Jobs that they have to replace the UI with the Verizon branded version and disable features that Verizon can’t monetize.

» The iPhone fallout: Winners and Losers | Between the Lines |

The impact of Apple’s iPhone, rolled out at Macworld by Steve Jobs, is going to have a lasting impact on the tech industry beyond today’s big splash. Here’s a look at the winners and losers:

More on this topic (What's this?)
Apple in the Crosshairs
End of the PC Era?
Verizon, Unions Play Some More Chicken
Read more on IPhone, AT&T, Verizon Communications at Wikinvest

9 thoughts on The iPhone fallout

  1. Pingback まとめ (PukiWiki/TrackBack 0.3)
  2. Pingback Happenings of the UnderEmployed by Kevin McDonald
  3. I think the fact that T-Mobile uses 1900Mhz (with 850 for roaming) while Cingular uses 850 Mhz exclusively will limit your ability to use this phone as a T-Mobile subscriber… (No bets until someone confirms this, but I would not be surprised if limiting service to 850MHz only was the condition Cingular asked for when Apple asked them to update their back-end to support random-access voicemail.)

  4. I had heard that the iPhone is locked into Cingular’s network in the US. It could still be quad band to allow for roaming on other networks but still be locked to Cingular.

    I may be wrong though.

  5. Maybe, we just don’t really know at this point but I find it hard to believe that Apple would be willing to give up over 1/2 of the market just to have a marketing relationship with Cingular.

    It’s also not technically trivial to hardware lock a device to a network because subsequent revisions to the device require new FCC approval. Currently, when device is “locked” to a network it is a software lock, which quite often the carrier will give you the code to unlock because it is YOUR phone even though they subsidized the purchase.

    The other issue is that Cingular is the exclusive U.S. carrier, Apple said nothing about international carriers who often are legally prohibited from locking anything they sell. This is what fuels the unlocked handset market in the U.S.

  6. I agree Jeff. Apple may have decided to ignore the rest of the market if the financial incentives from Cingular were right. It will be an interesting year to see how this iPhone release plays out.

  7. Pingback Loosely Coupled // Tim Marman's Weblog
  8. The key question is if this means that the mobile operators are finally willing to accept their limited success (abject failure) in monetizing any services beyond voice and basic data. The crazy idea that mobile carriers should get a piece of every service I use over their network is just silly- its like a bank saying that they get a piece of every check I write, or local phone company gets to make money if I buy an air ticket over the phone. Various versions of this were tried during the dot com boom/bust and failed- remember the reverse auction sites by GM & Ford.

    I am glad Cingular conceded. I am not so sure I want Apple to have the exclusive control either.

Comments are closed