On Jul 17, 2008, at 2:26 PM, Timothy J Miller wrote:
On Jul 17, 2008, at 1:46 PM, Fletcher, Boyd C. CIV US USJFCOM JFL
I know unlocking is legal, however Congress should make the it
provide phones that can not be unlocked. in a ideal situation the
could sell a locked phone at a subsidized price and an unlocked
phone at a
Nothing prevents this today. E.g., Palm now sells the Centro
unfettered directly from their website--alongside the service-locked
phones. Same goes for some other phones, though not all models from
all makers are so available.
IMHO, the only reason Apple *doesn't* do this now comes down to *one
single feature*: Visual Voicemail. This requires service-side
support, and in exchange for building it the services extracted
exclusivity agreements. And for whatever reason Apple felt the
feature was compelling enough to cave on it.
It's a shame, really, since I think Apple could've gotten a better
deal--like selling AT&T & T-Mobile SIM cards straight from the Apple
store--if they didn't need the service side support. This could've
been the thing that broke the US cell market wide open. But 'twas
not to be.
Yet. We'll see when the AT&T exclusivity agreement expires. In 3
It's more than visual voicemail...it's also the need for affordable
unlimited data packages. In the US it may be simple with only one
other (major) choice for a GSM carrier; namely, T-Mobile. But the
world over, it's not so simple. And in the US, the iPhone 3G wouldn't
even work on T-Mobile's high speed network, and it's not because Apple
has crippled it. So there's the potential issue of multiple versions
of hardware, or the untenable situation of making the device slightly
larger, or other tradeoffs.
Not to mention the requirement to have a carrier that is willing to
handle the product in the way that Apple needs it handled. Apple's
already breaking down carrier models: selling music, (free) ringtones,
and applications via a channel OUTSIDE of the carriers' traditional
models. Some might scoff and talk of all the things they can do with
their [insert favorite smartphone here], but the fact is this is a
FIRST for any handset in a way that is accessible to the masses. Just
like the iPod.
The current model is better than Apple becoming an MVNO, or just
selling phone hardware and hoping ordinary consumers will be able to
figure out plans and services that serve the iPhone's needs well.
Also, AT&T's initial agreement was 5 years. And something that is
little-known, but seems to be common knowledge among AT&T managers, is
that because of the first year being such a fiasco (from AT&T's
perspective), AT&T was granted the right to renegotiate...and they
did, for another 5 years of exclusivity. No, there are no press
releases or official statements to this effect...but AT&T has been
telling this to its retail managers in briefings. (And even if that's
not accurate, it's still 4 more years of AT&T exclusivity in the US).
Yes, the carriers have a racket, but there are also compelling reasons
to have carrier partnerships (and the locked handsets that come along
with it). Just one is more control of the ecosystem, and leverage to
do things outside of the carrier's traditional models, which haven't
been possible or practical for mainstream, ordinary users, even if
they have been for savvy or "power" users. Apple is, as usual,
breaking down these walls, and when it gets sufficient marketshare,
will be able to throw around its weight a bit more to everyone's
benefit. Witness Apple's moves on DRM-free music with iTunes. Jobs'
statement on DRM was the biggest single shot across the bow of the DRM
status quo from anywhere near that important in computing or media,
ever. And other vendors (like Amazon) have been able to take advantage
of this, to the ultimate benefit of the consumer.
With the iPhone, Apple will be moving the wireless industry beyond the
doldrums that it has been in for years, and will make advanced,
desktop-class features available to normal users in a device that fits
in your pocket. There's a bigger picture, here.
Do not post admin requests to the list. They will be ignored.
Fed-talk mailing list (email@hidden)
Help/Unsubscribe/Update your Subscription:
This email sent to email@hidden