Apple’s MVNO Intentions Unveiled

    MoCoNews uncovered Apple’s patent filings disclosing a potential MVNO network that never came to fruition. Apparently Apple was considering an eBay-like model that would allow the big four telcos to serve iPhone users through bidding prices for their service with quality of service and strength of network also considered as variables.

    Utopian sure, but as blogger James Quintana Pearce explains, for a proposition like that to occur, the iPhone would have to be both CDMA and GSM capable as well as 3G optimized at time of market.

    All of this makes you think though – Apple used At&T as their launchpad for their product. At the end of their partnership, maybe Apple will rethink the MVNO model, but in the interim, you’ve got to wonder, if Apple avoided the MVNO like the plague from the beginning, what chances to other MVNO’s have to survive?

    Oh wait, that’s right, most of the MVNO’s of the past few years are already out of business, or running on diminishing funds. Nobody has yet to prove that the MVNO model can translate to a sustainable business. If they have, let me know and I’ll stand corrected.

      Instinct Says The iPhone Is In For A Fight

      I’m home from CTIA. To be quite honest, the show was a bit disappointing.  It seems there’s a lot of new faces in telco running the carrier and portal strategies that will shape the future of the industry. Because everyone’s so new, there was a sense of timidness in sticking one’s neck out in order to make head turning decisions. 

      But that’s ok. We’ve waited 8 years for mobile to finally gain traction, and I firmly believe (this time) that we’re almost there.
      Speaking of almost there, Sprint unveiled their iPhone competitor, the Samsung Instinct. The instinct has many of the same features as the iPhone but with 3G Rev A and a neat haptics system. Scheduled to launch in June, the rumors floating the CTIA showroom were that Apple took notice and will move up their Summer iPhone 3G update to late spring. 
      Priced to compete against the iPhone, I’m interested to see how it does. The interface looks similar, as does the user experience. 
      The one variable unaccounted for however is the cult-like following the iPhone creates every time it’s mentioned. Buying into Apple culture is no different than buying into Starbucks or Tag Heuer. The brand value far exceeds the standalone features that make products like the iPhone unique. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a sick device, but there’s a reason the iPhone still ships with white headphones. 

      Can The iPhone Survive Asia?

      I recently read an interesting article stating that Apple expects to sell some 10 million iPhones this year, helped by launches in the Pac/Rim region. The model coming to China and Japan is expected to include 3G functionality, but as the industry moves toward HSDPA, the 3G iPhone may still find itself catching up with Asian users’ demands, making it instantly archaic in speed the moment it hits the ground. According to IDC, the volume of mobile data traffic is expected to rise as mobile Internet gains in popularity.

      “As users become more comfortable and more compelled to use their phone to access the Internet, operators are poised to gain from greater data usage,” said the research house in a statement. The IDC also reported that the sky is blue and the Earth is round (sorry couldn’t resist).

      Okay back to my thoughts on this.

      The article questions Asia’s attraction to the iPhone. I feel similarly. Look at Japan for example. Again does the iPhone hold much relevance? I’m not even sure the iPhone elicits a yawn from Japanese power mobile users when comparing it to say NTT Docomo’s best and brightest mobile devices. I also think the iPhone’s high price and limited features will be a turnoff. No true MMS, no video capabilities – it could be the equivalent of the Pet Rock. A novelty item that really doesn’t do much more than a high powered Tomigachi.

      As for China – I’ll concede Apple is looking at a massive opportunity: the world’s largest cellular market at over 500 million users. However, nine out of 10 phones are estimated to be unlocked in the country– where Apple negotiates exclusivity with a carrier, cost to consumers is bound to be an issue. This includes both the price of the device and the potential cost of switching carriers.

      I’ll be curious to see how the iPhone makes its way to Asia and whether the countries help ensure Steve Job’s global domination plans. Something to keep in mind: Apple is expecting 10 million iPhones to be sold in year 1. Motorola sold 50 million RAZR’s in 2 years. He’s got some ground to cover folks…

                            Apple SDK Rumors Coming Back Negative

                            According to an iLounge post on the release of the Apple iPhone SDK next week, developers are in for a huge let down. Apparently the SDK’s going to pretty much emulate the current status quo in mobile: the walled garden.

                            The three take aways from the article:

                            • iTunes Store as hub – All application purchases will reside within the iTunes store experience.

                            • Apple as application picker – Apple determines which apps are worthy to receive publishing rights. This one sucks, and will ultimately hurt consumers more than help.

                            • No accessory connectivity – forget the mini keyboard, it’s a pipe dream.

                            I shouldn’t be surprised and won’t be if these rumors turn to be true. I’m disappointed though that a company such as Apple, which promotes the freedom of expressing ones self would stoop to a competitor’s level.

                            I think if any one of these three rumors holds true, my love affair with the iPhone will be over relatively quickly. I simply won’t endorse their product.

                            Hit Me On My iPhone – Nerdcore Crossing Over

                            There’s something in the air – something that conjures the spirit of nerd hop rappers of yesteryear – masters of their binary crafts – emcees such as Optimus Rhyme, MC Lars, and MC Frontalot.

                            Yes, nerdcore is going completely mainstream. The above video is of course a parody, but Teyana Taylor’s song “Google Me” is as serious as serious gets.

                            Does anyone else remember McDonald’s attempt at offering aspiring rappers a chance at payola for mentioning the Big Mac in their lyrics?

                            No, I’m not talking about this

                            *The creator of the above video is Pete Miser. He’s giving away his song for free. You should check out his site for more details.

                            David Lynch On The iPhone


                            So um given the fact that I watch a plethora of movies on my iPod Touch (iPhone sans phone), I have to both agree and disagree with Mr. Lynch. I agree that the platform is not the most ideal to view video content – that the true experience of watching a film such as Blue Velvet is certainly lost on a viewer when taken in, in this capacity.

                            However just how profound a statement David makes in the clip above, I would naturally assume he’s returning all royalties which stem from iPhone rental sales. 😉

                            That’s assuming there are people out there that download Lynch films to iPhones…

                            Now that’s a creepy thought.