Will iPhone spark wireless wars?

17 thoughts on “Will iPhone spark wireless wars?”

  1. I think that for some, the AT&T moniker hinders adoption. I went from ATT Wireless pre-Cingular to T-Mobile 4 years ago and haven’t looked back since. ATT Wireless is just an awful company.

    However, I don’t think I would get one. Sure, it’s super cool and all that, but unless it can get me my Exchange mail and can run all the third party apps I’ve gotten hooked on, then it’s no better than my T-Mobile MDA or any smartphone.

    I would love to see what sort of bundles that ATT would be offering with the iPhone (data+voice). Oh, and I’m morbidly awaiting problems that seem to plague all of Apple’s rev 1 devices.

  2. I’ve yet to see GigaOm cover the other significant issue here with the possible wireless wars given the soon-to-be-released iPhone, particularly that of competing wireless standards: CDMA (Verizon, Sprint) vs GSM (Cingular/ATT). While there are many considerations (such as data rates, signal strength), the consumer generated YouTube video, “Feeling Cingular”, does a pretty amazing job asking the question: if Roy wants the iPhone as an iPod and a phone, just how bad will EMI/RFI affect the iPod side of his experience. If AT&T is hoping to have people migrate from Tier 1 CDMA service providers, they might want to start letting those prospective costumers know about the pleasure of their particularly heinous blend of RFI. I know I’ve experienced it.

    I don’t think the average consumer is all that aware that CDMA providers don’t have this issue. Heck it even blew the “Feeling Cingular” guy’s speaker (granted he could have shelled out for some shielded speakers). I find it pretty funny in his recorded costumer service conversation that the AT&T rep lady tells him that AT&T employees can’t even have their own cell phones out in the call-center because of the problem with EMI. Apparently their GSM EMI is too bad for them, but just fine for everyone else. I’m sad that Apple chose to hop in bed exclusively with AT&T and their GSM network. Heaven forbid, the monogamous union birth the EMiPhone and a whole new crop of creative, disgruntled costumers with too much free time and a Mac.

  3. One thing which is clear – the GSM play favors Apple when it comes to international markets. But in the US, i am guessing this is going to cause some challenge to other cellular providers and they will respond accordingly. a lower price LG Prada phone – now that’s what I like, especially from a consumer perspective.

  4. best thing is a hardware manufacturer like Apple (hopefully following by Nokia, Motorola others) is breaking the channel lock the carriers have (in the US, less so around the world). Innovation in the industry comes from the equipment makers (Siemens, Cisco) and the device guys, but the lion’s share of the margins have gone to the carriers even though much of the innovation has not come from them

  5. Om,

    A blue bg works with the whining; you should emotionally color all posts. I’ll cue up for a Prada, too!

    I don’t really know that much about this GSM EMI issue, just the little bit of read after watching that video and the posts on consumerist about it. Do you know why it’s so bad on Cingular/AT&T and not as bad on other GSM carriers? Just an anecdotal observation from comments and conversations.

    Thanks for rescuing me from the round file.

  6. Heard a rumor that Apple actually wanted to start with a carrier that couldn’t be used with a sim card as they wanted to make sure the phone was good to go before rolling it out internationally.

    Course, that doesn’t say much for their opinion of the US market, but considering the uptake of mobile digital here in the US, guess its no surprise.

  7. Hi Om,
    Wanted to share a piece (iPhone – beyond the hype, about 5 pages long analysis) I did sometime back with the readers. The piece addressed some of the issues Apple may have to resolve if want to make a significant difference in the mobile communication world. Let me know if you would be interested in having a look and share with the readers.
    Regards
    Krishna

  8. The iPhone can only be good for the consumer and hopefully raises the bar on improving the user experience by both carriers and handset manufacturers and promote more innovation in the industry – at least in the U.S. Japan & Korea are still way ahead when it comes to services like mobile payment systems (i.e. using your phone to pay for the subway, etc..)

  9. How can the iPhone have a questionable battery life when no one has ever used one? Does anyone even know the power consumption rate of the chip the OS runs on? Does anyone know which chip the iPhone uses? Or for that matter the Battery specs?

    As far as sales go, 100 million iPods have been purchased so far. Every one of those happy iPod customers probably want the best iPod ever made, AKA, the iPhone. It is a wide screened, video iPod as well, among other things.

    I think that if Apple dropped the cell phone part and sold the unit as an iPod with all other features intact ,at the same price as the iPhone, they could still reach that 10 million target by the end of 2008.

  10. The iPhone is (heavily?) dependent on carrier-located servers for at least SOME of its “wow” functionality; for example, Visual Voicemail. It wouldn’t surprise me at all to find out much more than has been discussed is also resident on the servers and not on the iPhone itself. Verizon apparently is incredibly picky w.r.t. testing so perhaps their estimates of how long it would take to approve the iPhone for their network were too long to fit Apple’s marketing plans.

    BTW – a corollary to server-based functionality is that one CANNOT take the iPhone to another carrier without LOSING that functionality – tada! – instant locking into a carrier without locking into a carrier the Good Old Way (that is rumored/confirmed? to be legislated away Real Soon Now)!

  11. You failed to mention Sprint has launched the Samsung “UpStage”, a device that’s a phone on one side and an MP3 player on the other. Put the UpStage’s $99 price up against iPhone’s $500-$600, plus the fact you can download songs over-the-air (for 99 cents), not tethered to your computer, and you’ve got a very compelling challenger to iPhone.

  12. I think for most consumers, the iPhone is a reasonable device for them. However, for myself, I’d probably need something that does double-duty on email such as a blackberry. Overall, I think Apple is doing a good job in marketing to a large market.

    Right now, I feel there is too much emphasis on the potential shortcomings of the iPhone. This is only the first version and it is pretty remarkable already. Just wait until the 2nd version(s) comes out.

  13. How can the iPhone have a questionable battery life when no one has ever used one? Does anyone even know the power consumption rate of the chip the OS runs on? Does anyone know which chip the iPhone uses? Or for that matter the Battery specs?

    One can make some assumptions. We know about what a wifi chipset draws, we know what a BT chipset draws, we know what cellular radios draw. Most significantly we know what a 3.5 inch backlit screen draws.


    As far as sales go, 100 million iPods have been purchased so far. Every one of those happy iPod customers probably want the best iPod ever made, AKA, the iPhone. It is a wide screened, video iPod as well, among other things.

    100 million iPods sold does not mean there are 100 million iPod owners out there.

    I’ve owned 5 of them. Very few people I know who own one, have owned only one. I’d be surprised if the installed base is more than 50 million.

    How many of the 100 million iPods sold were $79 shuffles? $79 shuffle buyers seem unlikely to pony up $500.


    I think that if Apple dropped the cell phone part and sold the unit as an iPod with all other features intact ,at the same price as the iPhone, they could still reach that 10 million target by the end of 2008.

    I almost never see anyone using the video side of a video iPod.

  14. There is a lots to read on the iPhone. Sramana Mitra has written a series of articles on the iPhone and its impact on other players in the same ecosystem. She covers She has covered Motorola, Nvidia, Palm and Broadcom, Intel , Nokia, Samsung and Texas Instruments.Read iPhone and the Future.

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