Sunday, 18 February 2007

Oz Telco poo poos iPhone

Greg Winn, operations chief of Telstra, thinks that rather than trying to break into the phone market, Apple should ‘stick to their knitting.’

“Apple is not a mobile phone manufacturer, that's not their knitting," said Winn.

With Nokia currently claiming to be in the computing business, not the mobile phone business, I'd say that claim is probably a bit shortsighted.

So what is it that has our man from Telstra so sure that the iPhone isn’t gonna fly down under?

The iPhone designers opted to use EDGE technology rather than 3G which is rapidly gaining a strong foothold in Australia.

Personally I don’t think this is a major stumbling block.

When I was in Japan a while back I was tempted by several of the phones that I saw on my trip.

However the salesmen talked me out of making a purchase, as none of the phones was suitable for the Australian market.

I'm pretty sure the same thing would apply if you bought an iPhone in the US.

A phone needs to be set up for local market conditions. No phone works in every country in the world straight out of the box.

Now I could be wrong, but I doubt that technology is the real issue. I’m sure Apple will adapt the iPhone to local market conditions.

No, I think Greg Winn’s problem is his relationships with mobile phone manufacturers.

He obviously can’t be seen to be recommending a product from a first time manufacturer.

Especially a newcomer with a track record like Apple.

"You can pretty much be assured that Nokia, Motorola, Samsung, Sony Ericsson and others will be coming out with devices that have similar functionality," claimed Winn.

And I think you can be pretty much assured that the likes of Optus, 3 and Virgin are already in talks with Apple about an iPhone for their networks.