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Orange exec says developing markets can't sustain 'gas guzzlers' iOS, Android, Windows Phone

post #1 of 63
Thread Starter 
Vice President of Devices Yves Maitre of European mobile operator Orange likened the iPhone, Android handsets and Windows Phones to fuel-inefficient cars, saying that the "gas guzzlers" aren't good choices for developing markets the carrier plans to enter.

In an interview with All Things D on Thursday, Maitre said that current mobile operating systems are not lightweight enough in both cost and bandwidth usage to be a feasible option for developing markets.

The Orange executive concedes that Apple's iOS and Google's Android has created a rich mobile ecosystem for mid to high-end phones which has allowed Orange to build a strong lineup of devices in its major European markets. That expensive ecosystem doesn't translate to the "6 billion" possible smartphone users in emerging markets like China and India, which may not be able to support data-heavy plans or expensive feature-rich devices.

Maitre used the automobile business as an analogue for the current state of smartphone technology, saying that when he was growing up in France, the big-block eight cylinder cars from Detroit were idolized. As the world realized that gas was a limited resource, the gas guzzlers from America ceded their position to more economical six or four cylinder options like those made famous by Japanese auto makers. The same is true of the mobile OS environment, the resource in this case being bandwidth.

Even Google's open Android OS, which enabled OEMs to produce relatively cheap devices, is said to be too resource-intensive as it continues to add new features in its fierce competition with Apple's iOS.

Yves Maitre
Orange Vice President of Devices Yves Maitre at an HTC product event in 2007. | Source: The Unwired


?I cannot run an eight-cylinder car because it is too expensive,? said Maitre. This is especially true in emerging markets where smartphone may have the draw, but consumers lack the funds to hold pre-paid data plans.

Customers in developing areas may be willing to pay a $30 premium on the average $54 Orange handset to upgrade to a smartphone, but it is doubtful that they will be able to spend another $100.

?If we are not in a position to give them a smartphone at $80, we will miss the six billion,? Maitre said in reference to the number of possible customers, adding that Orange will use other operating systems if needed to reach that price point. ?If I cannot have Microsoft on it, if I cannot have Android, if I cannot have iOS, then I will look somewhere else, mostly likely in China.?

The carrier is looking at a variety of operating systems to fit their low-cost needs including Mozilla?s Boot-to-Gecko, the Linux-based Tizen and Chinese Android variants.

Maitre also notes that bandwidth is becoming an increasingly limited commodity, saying that about one billion people active users consume less than one gigabyte of data per month.

?Tomorrow, seven billion people will use bandwidth and all use (in the range of) five or six gigabits [0.625 or 0.75GB],? he said. ?The bandwidth will start to become a very valuable resource.?
post #2 of 63
Uh-oh. Here comes Greenpeace to protest Apple's "gas guzzling" iOS phones.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #3 of 63

What condescending cr4p. The carriers that don't/can't rise to the challenge will simply disappear. 

post #4 of 63

boohoo. Maybe we should take up a donation for the poor carriers.

post #5 of 63
Uh-oh, watch out for the tree huggers looking to grab your iPhone, I always knew theere was something wrong with the iPhone, it was TOO good!
You just knew someone would come along and point out that you were using TOO much of something with an iPhone...............
post #6 of 63

Translation: "we can't fleece the poor bastards as much as we've been able to in industrialized countries."

What a douche. Good thing Free is destroying their business model in France. Unlimited calling (including international calls!), texting and 3G (may throttle after 3GB) for 30 euro/month... Niel sent all the traditional operators scrambling when he dropped the bomb mid-January 2012, and he's already revolutionized the mobile market just as he did for broadband and land lines.

post #7 of 63

That's an interesting take...

Putting aside the "they're too poor to pay any attention to" mentality...

What poorer consumers lack in money, they tend to make up more in volume.

 

Seriously, if the iPhone was sold in America at it's retail price of $499-$899... would you guys REALLY want to own one?

It's only because of the $199-$399 price that we have bought the phone using our own perception of value/utility versus cost.

It's for the reason of price that the iPhone/Smart phones have done so well.

 

I think there's still room for a simplified version of Android in the Sub $50 range for developing countries.

A story/recent trip by our CEO to Vietnam tells of a lady who was his guide using an Android Smart phone. She didn't make a lot of money, but here connection to the world outside of her village (think grass huts) was Facebook, twitter, and browser.

 

That type of group, mobile internet users, are the next wave of internet users - using the internet where it normally is not accessible.

 

 

 

 
 
post #8 of 63
Total rubbish analogy. Bandwidth is a renewable, and it's main costs are capital costs with some on going expenses, easily paid for by most data plans. Either orange offers this, or some one else will.
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post #9 of 63
I home there is some context missing, because it really doesn't tell us anything that can not be easily deduced before. Rolling out transcievers and backhaul might not be viable for large areas of the developing markets, fiber isn't cheap, transceivers aren't cheap and a fat pipe to the rest of the world isn't cheap. I don't think it takes that much discipline to work with limited amount of data, but you do miss a lot. The data hogs are video and streaming media. Without those two, it's easy to live on 200MB/mo. With those two, and no WiFi access points, you can easily get into gigabytes, depending on how much you use.
post #10 of 63

What a ridiculous, inapt statement.  That's like someone from Philco complaining in 1960 that those new-fangled color TVs with both UHF and VHF dials were too complicated and expensive; they'll never catch on, and the future lies with simpler TVs with just 3 channels!   

post #11 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

...Even Google's open Android OS, which enabled OEMs to produce relatively cheap devices, is said to be too resource-intensive as it continues to add new features in its fierce competition with Apple's iOS...

 

Oh, more stupid car analogies...

 

A smartphone can operate just fine without a data plan.

post #12 of 63

Instead of griping about gas guzzler's of data intensive smart phones, why don't you "drill baby, drill" and secure a better handling of being able to provide the customers what they want!  You think people are going to be forced into a Volt?! Only idiot leaders follow that philosophy.  You think you're going to put that smart phone genie back into the bottle?  Think again!

Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

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Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

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post #13 of 63

I don't know. They might not have much money, but still proud and aspirational.

 

If they can't afford this year's iPhone maybe they could buy last year's, instead of whatever crap this dude is peddling.

post #14 of 63

You mean iPhones aren't meant for poor people? I'm shocked.

post #15 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Vice President of Devices Yves Maitre of European mobile operator Orange likened the iPhone, Android handsets and Windows Phones to fuel-inefficient cars, saying that the "gas guzzlers" aren't good choices for developing markets the carrier plans to enter....

 

This is a ridiculous analogy.  

 

Gas is a shrinking commodity that stated out cheap and is going up in price as it gets scarcer and scarcer.  Data is a commodity that started out vastly overpriced and could easily drop in price by multiple orders of magnitude as usage goes up.  

 

The carriers would like you to believe that their costs are fixed and the price of data is based on those costs, but it isn't even remotely true.  They'd also like you to believe that as usage doubles, triples and quadruples, the cost will remain the same because they have to build out the infrastructure for the new users but this is also demonstrably false.  

 

The day they finally break up the monopolies, data will drop to it's *real* cost, which is by most estimates about a quarter of what it costs today. 

post #16 of 63

I think you all may be missing the point. Everything we use today needs to be plugged in to and electrical outlet full time or for charging. When the 3rd world comes looking for all the junk we just can't live without they demand for bandwidth which the last time I checked is powered by electricity with explode. I really hate car analogies so I won't go there. The truth is the west has always consumed much more resources than the rest of the world developing technologies, products and services that are not resources hogs is something to think about and act upon. 

post #17 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

 

...

The day they finally break up the monopolies, data will drop to it's *real* cost, which is by most estimates about a quarter of what it costs today. 

Agreed... but that will also be the end of today's lavish subsidies for devices...

post #18 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDoppio View Post
Agreed... but that will also be the end of today's lavish subsidies for devices...

 

I'd rather spend $600 up front instead of waste $2,000 over two years.

 

Kill the telecoms. Fix data prices. Do it without hesitation.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

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Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

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post #19 of 63

Data plans are, what, $30 a month on average?  That's $720 over 24 months...

post #20 of 63

"The carrier is looking at a variety of operating systems to fit their low-cost needs..."

I have a suggestion:  one word - "abacus"...

(okay, they are hard to dial)

 

One advantage "developing markets" may have, is that they can build their developing infrastructure toward the needs of the future, unencumbered by the existence of an infrastructure built for the past. Carriers are fighting this war now in the US and elsewhere, and it seems to help determine who shakes out.

 

And I don't really get the impression that anyone needs to worry about the potential of consumerism in the economies of India or especially China...

except perhaps competitors who fail to position themselves for it. 

post #21 of 63

I second that. I already paid $650 (sudsidized) just because my wife wanted to switch to an iPhone after her buyer's remorse with a crap ericsson phone.

 

If someone mentions subsidized is cheaper, well it ain't since you can't switch carriers just as easily without paying the ridiculous early termination fee.

 

If carriers can't hack it in an all-data world, then a new breed of providers should definitely start stealing their lunches. We welcome more of this "gaz guzzling" comments since it means these bozos are hurting.
 


Edited by uguysrnuts - 5/25/12 at 4:49pm
Originally Posted by Granmastak: Labor unions managed to kill manufacturing a long time ago with their unreasonable demands. Now the people they were trying to protect, are out of a job.
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Originally Posted by Granmastak: Labor unions managed to kill manufacturing a long time ago with their unreasonable demands. Now the people they were trying to protect, are out of a job.
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post #22 of 63

How stupid.   The phone doesn't determine the "fuel efficiency," the data being transmitted does.  There is no reason why Apple's iOS can't be successful in emerging markets.  My wife is using my old iPhone 3 and it works just fine.  My guess is Apple can hit the price points needed to make money in foreign markets with the iPhone 3S. 

post #23 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by kerryb View Post

I think you all may be missing the point. Everything we use today needs to be plugged in to and electrical outlet full time or for charging. When the 3rd world comes looking for all the junk we just can't live without they demand for bandwidth which the last time I checked is powered by electricity with explode. I really hate car analogies so I won't go there. The truth is the west has always consumed much more resources than the rest of the world developing technologies, products and services that are not resources hogs is something to think about and act upon. 


When people like you start to give up yours -- thereby also disarming your ability to post drivel like this -- we'll know that we're on the right path.
post #24 of 63
Blah. I live in a 'developing nation' called Egypt and even our service is decent. Not much worse than America, and in some ways better.
post #25 of 63

While I'm not entirely disagreeing with him, it's important to note that even in emerging markets, it will be consumers who decide what they can or can't afford, not some dude in a bad suit.

post #26 of 63
He can kiss my( insert color) a**!!
What he said is a well timed primer for what the carriers have in store.
Last week homey said that wifi only tablets on carriers have numbered days and now this mofo talking about about phones being gas guzzlers.
post #27 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

I home there is some context missing, because it really doesn't tell us anything that can not be easily deduced before. Rolling out transcievers and backhaul might not be viable for large areas of the developing markets, fiber isn't cheap, transceivers aren't cheap and a fat pipe to the rest of the world isn't cheap. I don't think it takes that much discipline to work with limited amount of data, but you do miss a lot. The data hogs are video and streaming media. Without those two, it's easy to live on 200MB/mo. With those two, and no WiFi access points, you can easily get into gigabytes, depending on how much you use.

Are you aware of any studies or breakdowns that show how much smartphone cell bandwidth is used by images, video, streaming media, turn-by-turn navigation, etc?

I believe that the bandwidth used by these data hogs could be exponentially reduced by more efficient compression. The compression and decompression would take place on the servers and the remote devices and be invisible to the rest of the network.

And efficient codec and the hardware to handle it could well be the breakthrough needed.
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post #28 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sierrajeff View Post

What a ridiculous, inapt statement.  That's like someone from Philco complaining in 1960 that those new-fangled color TVs with both UHF and VHF dials were too complicated and expensive; they'll never catch on, and the future lies with simpler TVs with just 3 channels!   

Ha! I haven't heard anything about "Filco-Phord" since the late 1960s...

They held a convention for all their dealers in Las Vegas and had suitcases full of money that they handed out as prizes and incentives.
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post #29 of 63
Duplicate
Edited by Dick Applebaum - 5/25/12 at 5:09pm
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post #30 of 63

Bandwidth might wind up being a constrained resource. But the problem is that it's not like iOS is downloading 10x the bytes shown by a given web page. There's a certain amount of data on that page. So if you go into a market and say "This device is great because people use 1/10th the data", it seems to me, it will have to be because it doesn't actually let you access proper web pages. How is that gonna work? We're going to have to take a huge step backwards in mobile browsers. I don't think developing countries will accept that.

post #31 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Freshmaker View Post

Data plans are, what, $30 a month on average?  That's $720 over 24 months...

 

In Canada, 36 months.  

Also with taxes and assorted rip-off add-ons and fees, it's just over $70.00 a month up here. 

 

So ... $2,520.00 over the life of the basic iPhone contract.  

(based on the actual data used it should be more like $360.00) 

 

All three cell carriers collude on prices, (It's called an Oligopoly and is technically illegal in Canada and the US but apparently this doesn't matter anymore), other than various "pay as you go" or fourth party "pretend it's not an iPhone" contracts, from the also-rans, (bad coverage, wrong frequencies etc.), there isn't any real alternative either.  

 

I actually have the top end, off-contract 64GB iPhone that I paid full price for (roughly $900.00 up here), if you buy that on contract it's about $400.00 so adding another $800.00 to $1,000.00 for the contract and the price difference still leaves you being ripped off for about a thousand dollars over the life of the contract, maybe more.  

post #32 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronbo View Post

Bandwidth might wind up being a constrained resource. But the problem is that it's not like iOS is downloading 10x the bytes shown by a given web page. There's a certain amount of data on that page. So if you go into a market and say "This device is great because people use 1/10th the data", it seems to me, it will have to be because it doesn't actually let you access proper web pages. How is that gonna work? We're going to have to take a huge step backwards in mobile browsers. I don't think developing countries will accept that.

Are "proper web pages" the main usage of bandwidth. I don't know but, I suspect media is the major user.

If web pages are the culprit then some things can be done to reduce the "non-data" markup content of web pages... Like "ampersand-character nbsp;"

Then there's the whole XML thing -- XML is terribly verbose... XML packets can easily be reduced by 90%... and should be as there is no need for "human readability" when delivering content to mobile devices.
Edited by Dick Applebaum - 5/25/12 at 5:36pm
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post #33 of 63
A better analogy would be that data services are like highways, and they can only support so much traffic, cars.

His solution is to build smaller cars rather than new or larger highways.

What he is really saying is that we don't think poor people will be willing to pay enough to recoup data infrastructure costs.

Typical of CEOs of oligopolies, short sighted thinking and waiting till Orange's competition starts investing in infrastructure.

What an arrogant jerk.
post #34 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by LuxoM3 View Post

Putting aside the "they're too poor to pay any attention to" mentality...

What poorer consumers lack in money, they tend to make up more in volume.

 

Seriously, if the iPhone was sold in America at it's retail price of $499-$899... would you guys REALLY want to own one?

It's only because of the $199-$399 price that we have bought the phone using our own perception of value/utility versus cost.

It's for the reason of price that the iPhone/Smart phones have done so well.

 

I think there's still room for a simplified version of Android in the Sub $50 range for developing countries.

A story/recent trip by our CEO to Vietnam tells of a lady who was his guide using an Android Smart phone. She didn't make a lot of money, but here connection to the world outside of her village (think grass huts) was Facebook, twitter, and browser.

 

That type of group, mobile internet users, are the next wave of internet users - using the internet where it normally is not accessible.

 

 

 

 
 


I paid full price for the original iPhone (500 for 16GB).  My family is still using it as a phone (we also have other iPhones now).  I think it has been a tremendous value for the cost.  What other cell phone has a life of 5 years +.  We have 2 64GB iPad 2s (with the smart covers and 3G they cost 879 each).  We use them every day for a few hours.  I think the value is very high.  My wife doesn't even touch the macbook or imac now that she has the iPad.  I think the iPad is also a good value for the cost.  Even at those prices I still REALLY want them.

 

However, I do agree that not nearly as many people would own iPhones without the subsidy.  I think it is due more to the initial outlay of cash, not the value/utility of the product.  Lots of people just don't have $500-1000 sitting around.

post #35 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

I'd rather spend $600 up front instead of waste $2,000 over two years.

 

Kill the telecoms. Fix data prices. Do it without hesitation.


I wish I actually got a cheaper rate on the service if I paid full price.  The plans cost the same (at least in the US) for someone that pays full price.  There is just no contract or termination fee.

post #36 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronbo View Post

Bandwidth might wind up being a constrained resource. But the problem is that it's not like iOS is downloading 10x the bytes shown by a given web page. There's a certain amount of data on that page. So if you go into a market and say "This device is great because people use 1/10th the data", it seems to me, it will have to be because it doesn't actually let you access proper web pages. How is that gonna work? We're going to have to take a huge step backwards in mobile browsers. I don't think developing countries will accept that.

You are right, the genie is out of the bottle. There's some merit to his comments though, because smart phones enable more data use. Smart phones make it easier to access media, more enjoyable, making it worth the effort. Compare this with feature phones that have 2" or smaller screen, bad browsers or could only access from a small sandbox of micro web pages without the fluff and even cut out content - there was a disincentive to browse the web, watch videos, etc. compared to a larger screen. Any videos you did get might have been lower resolution, higher res screens drive demand for higher bit rate video and encourage more use.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

Are you aware of any studies or breakdowns that show how much smartphone cell bandwidth is used by images, video, streaming media, turn-by-turn navigation, etc?
I believe that the bandwidth used by these data hogs could be exponentially reduced by more efficient compression. The compression and decompression would take place on the servers and the remote devices and be invisible to the rest of the network.
And efficient codec and the hardware to handle it could well be the breakthrough needed.

I am not well-versed in that, but take a look at this:
http://www.theatlanticwire.com/technology/2011/05/netflix-winning-internet/37821/

I've heard the next video codec might cut bandwidth needed in half, but it's not out yet, and I don't know how it affects computational power to play it, and it takes a while after the base codec is released for the researchers to tune the compression well.
post #37 of 63
Having been a mobile Internet junkie in 2005 in rural Thailand with just GPRS on a Blackberry,I can attest to the fact that iOS doesn't use bandwidth as effectively as the old BB's. Everything was stripped and compressed to give you the meat of what you needed. In the western world, we hav gotten "greedy," wanting more than that today.

Fortunately, GPRS isn't really the baseline anymore though. Edge might be, but with 56k, you are fine for basic use. 3G base stations make better use of spectrum though, so no carrier in their right mind wouldn't deploy it.

...and that is where the analogy breaks down. He wants cheap devices, not data-efficient. From what I have seen, that is the wrong approach. The problem is it marginalized the carriers. If Apple were to sell data on commission for the carriers using integrated sim cards, they could directly subsidize the phone. That is where the market should go...
post #38 of 63

These phone company jerks are just too greedy to create the infrastructure that people want. Since we can't build our own telephone network we are at the mercy of the telecommunication companies. Thus we must use what they offer, which is crappy service and high prices. There just isn't enough competition in this industry. There also isn't enough regulation regarding claims of service. When these companies are allowed to offer "Unlimited" plans that are nowhere near unlimited and not be called on it by government or even courts, it is a sign that they are too powerful.

post #39 of 63

I don't think Maitre knows the market he is talking about.  The latest greatest tech devices are seen as status symbols and the desire to own them is only partly to do with what they can do.  A lot of Asian cultures have quite a thing for 'face'.
 

I am not entirely sure Samsung doesn't have a strategy that involves replacing Android with Tizen at some point, so it might not necessarily be the cheapie he is looking for.

 

I  think Apple should wait for their cash reserves to grow a bit then buy Vodafone.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

I'd rather spend $600 up front instead of waste $2,000 over two years.

 

Kill the telecoms. Fix data prices. Do it without hesitation.

 

If you kill the telecoms, who will provide the data?  You can fix data prices, but someone needs to provide it.  Why don't you just suggest that legislation be passed to force Apple and all other companies to sell their products at cost + 5%?

post #40 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post
If you kill the telecoms, who will provide the data? You can fix data prices, but someone needs to provide it.

 

Us, hence the 802.22 bit.

 

Quote:
Why don't you just suggest that legislation be passed to force Apple and all other companies to sell their products at cost + 5%?

 

Because that's absolute nonsense and a grand exaggeration.

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply

Originally Posted by Slurpy

There's just a TINY chance that Apple will also be able to figure out payments. Oh wait, they did already… …and you’re already fucked.

 

Reply
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