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Vodafone seen as frontrunner for European iPhone contract

post #1 of 54
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Apple has yet to say with which international carriers it plans to partner on iPhone distribution, but one Wall Street analyst is citing sources in saying that heavyweight Vodafone is all but a shoe-in for Europe.

"Our sources indicate that Vodafone is most likely iPhone's carrier partner for Europe," analyst Shaw Wu, an analyst at American Technology Research, told clients as part of a broad research note on iPhone. "We believe Vodafone's 200 million subscriber base (compared to 61 million for AT&T, its USA partner), broad country coverage, and investment in advanced technologies make it a strong fit for Apple."

Wu, who raised his price target on shares of Apple by $27 to $145 on Tuesday, went on to say that Vodafone's presence and coverage in 59 countries gives it the global reach that Apple and its customers are looking for.

Apple has said that it hopes to launch iPhone in Europe by the fourth calendar quarter of this year. In February the Cupertino-based company reportedly sent representatives to scout out a Unipart Trade Logistics-operated mobile phone repair centre in Europe to determine whether it would be suitable to handle iPhone repairs for the region.

Meanwhile, reports obtained by both AppleInsider and other Wall Street analysts have suggested that Apple could introduce a version of the iPhone based on 3G wireless technology in Europe during the first half of 2008.
post #2 of 54
Apple will have to try a little harder with the iPhone in Europe I suspect. The market there is a little more mature, and the iPhone seems to be lacking some features that may be expected, for example multimedia messaging (MMS) as well as text messaging. Another example: it's not clear that the iPhone will work with the mobile video downloads now commonly offered by European TV channels, which would seem wrong for such an expensive device. Still, I'm sure some of these shortcomings will be adressed before launch - I guess the extra time is in part to allow the implementation of 3G or another high speed standard, now quite widespread in Europe. A strong partner like vodaphone can only help Apple adapt the device to the market.

D
post #3 of 54
Although Vodafone are large in stature they generally don't have the same kind of business ethic that Apple usually adhere to. Orange would be a far better partner with Apple and in my opionion, would be able to offer far more to both Apple and the end user. I've been a customer to both Vodafone and Orange and my customer experience with Orange has been far superior. I also feel that Orange have a much, am I going to say it.. yep.. 'cooler' image than Vodafone.
post #4 of 54
Dear Apple

Please ensure you look closely at Vodafone's customer service record and satisfy yourself that the "200 million subscriber base, broad country coverage, and investment in advanced technologies" aren't blinding you to the one reason I would not choose this company unless I absolutely had to.

I really want an iPhone, but I really, really don't want to be on a contract with Vodafone. I hope you can convince me that you make the right choice for what *I* need from a mobile comms company. If you must go with this operator at least let me have the option to pay full whack for the handset and just have a monthly contract, as I did with O2 and my Sony Ericsson K800i. I don't like to be tied to anyone - it gives them free reign for shoddy service. (O2, I have to say, though, are very good, even if their website and Safari sometimes aren't on the best of terms).
post #5 of 54
Just please let it not have the Vodafone logo branded onto it in any way.
post #6 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple has yet to say with which international carriers it plans to partner on iPhone distribution, but one Wall Street analyst is citing sources in saying that heavyweight Vodafone is all but a shoe-in for Europe.

Hmm ... whilst Vodafone might have their foot (and enclosing shoe) in the door with Apple, I think what is at issue is them being a shoo-in.
post #7 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by plus View Post

Hmm ... whilst Vodafone might have their foot (and enclosing shoe) in the door with Apple, I think what is at issue is them being a shoo-in.

Doesn't "shoo-in" imply that some sort of rigging has gone on?

Anyway, I'd much prefer Orange to be the partner. Their culture appears closer to that of Apple. Orange is a much smarter, cooler brand.
post #8 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by plus View Post

Hmm ... whilst Vodafone might have their foot (and enclosing shoe) in the door with Apple, I think what is at issue is them being a shoo-in.

They talk about 3G technology for the iPhone in the first half of '08. Can someone please clarify, is 3G technology something that would be internally related to the iPhone as a hardware component or software component.

Remember Steve Job's lament about, and I am paraphrasing, "what if something new and great came along, what are the smart phone manufacturers going to do, add another plastic button, the phones are already out there".

When the iPhone becomes 3G able an/or more storage available than the maximum 8GB, would that apply to the iPhone (first generation) as being able to upgrade utilizing these updates? Or do you have to go out and spend another $499.00 to $599.00 for another phone?

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post #9 of 54
God no, please let it be anyone but Vodafone.
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post #10 of 54
My god, no, not Vodafone.

I'd rather use 3 in that case.
post #11 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by daijones View Post

Apple will have to try a little harder with the iPhone in Europe I suspect. The market there is a little more mature, and the iPhone seems to be lacking some features that may be expected, for example multimedia messaging (MMS) as well as text messaging.
D

The iPhone does have text messaging - it's right there on the main screen - SMS! It threads the conversations in the nice iChat-esque bubbles too.
I don't think they will do MMS, as that is why the iPhone features real email - you can attach as many files as large as you want, and as much text as you want, without being imposed by size and character limits like MMS.

I'm glad it's Vodafone - they are the best network in New Zealand, and If I have to resort to a contract, I'd much rather be with them than Telecom.
post #12 of 54
NOT Vodaphone.......they are everything Apple is not. O2 maybe, orange even better but Vodaphone will kill the product. Lets hope Apples Market Research team are screaming at them....."No!"
post #13 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by mono View Post

Dear Apple

Please ensure you look closely at Vodafone's customer service record and satisfy yourself that the "200 million subscriber base, broad country coverage, and investment in advanced technologies" aren't blinding you to the one reason I would not choose this company unless I absolutely had to.

I really want an iPhone, but I really, really don't want to be on a contract with Vodafone. I hope you can convince me that you make the right choice for what *I* need from a mobile comms company. If you must go with this operator at least let me have the option to pay full whack for the handset and just have a monthly contract, as I did with O2 and my Sony Ericsson K800i. I don't like to be tied to anyone - it gives them free reign for shoddy service. (O2, I have to say, though, are very good, even if their website and Safari sometimes aren't on the best of terms).

My sentiments exactly. Vodafone may have the best signal coverage here in UK, but not very good customer service. I am happy to forego the coverage for the excellent service and support from O2. On rare occasions they make a mistake, usually on upgrade time, but they are always happy to compensate financially as a goodwill gesture, and/or offer a product such as a bluetooth dongle free, as well. In the many years I have been with them, I cannot fault them, unlike Vodafone when I was with them.
post #14 of 54
I live in the UK, and I've been on O2 for years. They're alright, but a bit of a scam. I recently switched to T-Mobile who are good, but because they are based in the US also that would cause alot of problems with AT&T I guess.

The #1 network in the UK for Apple I guess is Orange, because they are cheap in some ways, easy to deal with and have lots of customers who trust them and enjoy using their network. Orange also extends to parts of Europe, as I see when I'm roaming.

Another network they could use is 3, but I think that it's based in the UK only and for anything 2G, it uses other networks (Orange, switching to O2 soon I think).

Meh.

-tj
post #15 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by the_snitch View Post

The iPhone does have text messaging - it's right there on the main screen - SMS! It threads the conversations in the nice iChat-esque bubbles too.
I don't think they will do MMS, as that is why the iPhone features real email - you can attach as many files as large as you want, and as much text as you want, without being imposed by size and character limits like MMS.

I'm glad it's Vodafone - they are the best network in New Zealand, and If I have to resort to a contract, I'd much rather be with them than Telecom.

If Vodafone is the best in NZ - I feel sorry for you, because they are utter *&^%$% here in Ireland.

Unfortunately, I am a Vodafone customer and I would love to ditch them but there is one spot in the country I need to use my phone where you can only get a Vodafone signal - otherwise I would dump em quick.

Vodafone in Ireland do not let you use an email client on your phone unless you have a contract. They wont let you use your mobile as a IRDA modem for your laptop either unless you are on a contract.

I wouldn't put it past them to try and insist the WiFi is nobbled as well - actually I 'expect' them to insist on it.

If you are on pay-as-you-go, they basically try not to let you do anything except talk and text. Their business model seems based on trying to force as many customers as possible onto monthly accounts/contracts.

Much as I would love an iPhone, I wont be getting one until I can buy one that is unlocked.
post #16 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomozj View Post


Another network they could use is 3, but I think that it's based in the UK only and for anything 2G, it uses other networks (Orange, switching to O2 soon I think).

It exists in Sweden too, with fallback to Vodafone/Telenor for GSM.
post #17 of 54
I've never had a problem with Vodafone. They have a decent coverage, much better than the other networks and have a reasonable pay as you go plan for everything but data. A lot of my friends who are on O2 or Orange have problems getting a signal even so I have no problem. Mind you Mainland Europe has a much better signal than the UK. T-Mobile is my next choice at the moment due to their excellent pay as you data plan. However T-Mobile's coverage has a problem with their crap coverage.
post #18 of 54
awww.. not vodaphone...
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post #19 of 54
As a UK resident and a user of all the providers (bar 3) at some point I have to agree with the majority here. Vodafone's customer service and reliability are dire. I was with T-Mobile for quite a while and found them good but with pathcy coverage. O2's service was less good, coverage better. But I've been a very happy Orange customer for 3 years now. Really excellent in everyway. I think Apple choosing Vodafone is the one thing which might prevent me buying an iPhone.
post #20 of 54
A phone without SMS/text messaging. They'd sell three (ok, perhaps four) units in the whole of Europe.
post #21 of 54
it would be a great pity if Vodafone get an exclusive deal with the iPhone.
in Ireland O2 is a retail seller for Apple products and it would seems only
natural that they sell it.

no way am I switching to Vodafone
post #22 of 54
If Apple are going to stick with EDGE for the initial European release of the iPhone, it would make sense that Apple goes with Orange. MacFormat states that Orange is the only network (at least in the UK) that offers an EDGE service.
post #23 of 54
Looking at the iPhone Specs, T-Mobile would be an ideal partner:
They can offer an excellent data plan and WiFi Coverage in most of their Markets with their 10000+ HotSpots and also (at least in Germany) are the only carrier offering EDGE. Something the iPhone will definitely need as long as it is not 3G
post #24 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by oberpongo View Post

Something the iPhone will definitely need as long as it is not 3G


i reckon it would be better if they supported 3G (UTMS), it is more widely used in Europe. i can see why EDGE was chosen in the US but that shouldn't be reason to to the same for Europe.

regarding networks, as i mentoined above, O2 would seem like the obvious choice. However, choice is nice! and it would be better if it was not just one carrier. iPhones for all networks... bring it on!
post #25 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Morris View Post

A phone without SMS/text messaging. They'd sell three (ok, perhaps four) units in the whole of Europe.

did you even read any of the posts in this thread?! \
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post #26 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by the_snitch View Post

I don't think they will do MMS, as that is why the iPhone features real email - you can attach as many files as large as you want, and as much text as you want, without being imposed by size and character limits like MMS.

But you can't address them to a phone number. That's an annoyance for me. I want to send pics to someone whose email I don't know... with iPhone, I'm screwed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tomozj View Post

I live in the UK, and I've been on O2 for years. They're alright, but a bit of a scam. I recently switched to T-Mobile who are good, but because they are based in the US also that would cause alot of problems with AT&T I guess.

The #1 network in the UK for Apple I guess is Orange, because they are cheap in some ways, easy to deal with and have lots of customers who trust them and enjoy using their network. Orange also extends to parts of Europe, as I see when I'm roaming.

Another network they could use is 3, but I think that it's based in the UK only and for anything 2G, it uses other networks (Orange, switching to O2 soon I think).

Meh.

-tj

If they go with Orange, they'd get all the Apples and Oranges jokes into their ads.

I'm on 3 now. Quite happy with them -- they can roam on both Orange and O2 (I was on a far-flung Scottish isle recently and 3 had the best signal, because they weren't tied to one company's transmitters). I'd switch to Orange if needed, but not Vodafone. Orange had great customer service, and I only left them for price. Voda were cheap but the service was shit.
post #27 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by sennen View Post

did you even read any of the posts in this thread?! \

Yes, I did. A careful reader would have seen the word "they'd" in my post and understand I don't think Apple would be so stupid to launch a phone without SMS.
post #28 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider

Meanwhile, reports obtained by both AppleInsider and other Wall Street analysts have suggested that Apple could introduce a version of the iPhone based on 3G wireless technology in Europe during the first half of 2008.

Don't you mean.. meanwhile Apple is just going to release only a 3G version in Europe in the fourth quarter of 2007, doing a similar move which Sony did when they decided not to release the crippled version of its product in Euopre.

In the US Wi-Fi is much more ubiquitous than 3G, so Apple had good reasons to go with Edge there. The same does not apply to Europe, at this moment in time Wi-Fi is basically non-existent here, so 3G is needed.
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post #29 of 54
Three in Australia is massively better and cheaper for mobile data (x series) than anyone else (i.e. Telstra/Optus/Voda). 3G is being pushed big time by all the telcos, as is mobile broadband.
post #30 of 54
Vodafone seems a 'sensible' choice for Apple.

It allows for a broader release across Europe and potentially the rest of the world. One company to negotiate with, rather than 20 smaller companies. Vodafone are both a big 2G player and big 3G player (otherwise Three would also be worthwhile). I guess T-mobile could be problematic due to US competition.

That said - if Vodafone isn't much good in the UK that's bad. In Australia they're quite good, in NZ they're great. Unfortunately I'm on prepaid so I can't get data allowances for any internet connectivity or email... then again we can be pretty sure that the Apple phone is not targetted at the prepaid audiences!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rot'nApple View Post

They talk about 3G technology for the iPhone in the first half of '08. Can someone please clarify, is 3G technology something that would be internally related to the iPhone as a hardware component or software component.

3G is a hardware requirement, it is a substantial improvement.
post #31 of 54
I find it interesting that bothe the biggest network in the US, and outside of the US are both vilified here.

Despite the fact that people here don't seem to like them, they ARE the biggest networks, and they are picking up new customers at a good clip.

Obviously, someone likes them.

Apple would be foolish to go with a small service just because some people think they are better.

And as there isn'r even an agreement as to which smaller service is better here, you all disagree with each other!

Apple is still better off going with the biggest.
post #32 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I find it interesting that bothe the biggest network in the US, and outside of the US are both vilified here.

Despite the fact that people here don't seem to like them, they ARE the biggest networks, and they are picking up new customers at a good clip.

Obviously, someone likes them.

Apple would be foolish to go with a small service just because some people think they are better.

And as there isn'r even an agreement as to which smaller service is better here, you all disagree with each other!

Apple is still better off going with the biggest.

I think it is the case that each network has it's own pros and cons. Everyone is different. No one network will be able to cater for everyone. This is why there is competition.

Currently I do not use the phone enough to make it worthwhile having a contract, thus I'm on pay as you go.
post #33 of 54
What no one seems to have noticed is that Vodafone recently embarked on upgrading their entire 3G network to HSDPA. They call it 3G Broadband and its rated at 1.4Mb/s download.

I'm from the UK and I have an Orange handset (K800i) and also a 3G Broadband USB Modem from Vodafone. I use it on my MBP for business when I'm away from my office (which is quite a lot).

The difference in coverage between the two networks is quite noticeable. Vodafone just get to places that Orange don't, especially with 3G (HSDPA). And as for the speed; well I've got MenuMeters installed in the menu bar, and it's not uncommon for me to see 175KB/s (yep that's bytes) download speed over my 3G Broadband mobile link.

Everyone goes on about Vodafone customer service. But if your phone and network are working properly, why do you even need to call them? I can't remember the last time I had to talk to a customer service rep from either network.

I'm hoping that Apple choose Vodafone as this will give them the opportunity to implement HSDPA. Only then will the iPhone realise its true potential as an Internet Appliance.
post #34 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

In the US Wi-Fi is much more ubiquitous than 3G, so Apple had good reasons to go with Edge there. The same does not apply to Europe, at this moment in time Wi-Fi is basically non-existent here, so 3G is needed.

http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20061206-8369.html

This article indicates the UK and Ireland have the largest number of hot spots per capita in the world.

oberpongo pointed out in this thread that T-mobile had 10,000 hotspots - that article indicates the US has 26,000

I rented an apartment in Switzerland in Jan/feb that had a wireless network.

So exactly how does all that equate to non-existent?
post #35 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I find it interesting that bothe the biggest network in the US, and outside of the US are both vilified here.

Despite the fact that people here don't seem to like them, they ARE the biggest networks, and they are picking up new customers at a good clip.

Obviously, someone likes them.

Apple would be foolish to go with a small service just because some people think they are better.

And as there isn'r even an agreement as to which smaller service is better here, you all disagree with each other!

Apple is still better off going with the biggest.

I agree. I think these big networks are popular with businesses, tradesmen, the self employed because they have the greatest signal coverage - that has to be the single biggest factor if you are one of these types of users and are selecting a network.

It is the ONLY reason I am with Vodafone in Ireland.

On this forum we are all mostly savvy cost conscious individuals (cheapskates) whereas I suspect for a lot of users of these two networks (cingular, Vodafone) they don't really care because it is all tax deductible to them.
post #36 of 54
The BIGGEST problem with Vodaphone and Orange for that matter too, is their data charges. Neither offer an all in plan. You pay £2.35 per MB. That will kill an internet phone. T-Mobile charge £7.50 for unlimited data per month. Unless Vodafone change their pricing structures there's no way I'm getting an iPhone on Vodafone.

As to which is best, I generally find Vodaphone has slightly better coverage and Orange much better customer service. I'm on both currently.
post #37 of 54
I must be missing something. Here, in The Netherlands all phones are offered at varying prices by many phone operators coupled with contracts.
These can also be for prepaid contracts. The telco's provide the Sim card.
Why would Apple restrict itself to only one provider when no other phone maker does this?
post #38 of 54
Grrrrr also being in the UK I echo the NOT VODAFONE sentiment very strongly. If this is all Apple will allow in the UK then I'll certainly not be buying an iPhone.

Why? Because Vodafone specialise in screwing the customer, that's why. I took out an 18 month contract last year that included a 100 text / 33 MMS / 5.5MB data package. 15 days later they took away the 33 MMS messages from the package because apparently "consumer research" said that many people were unaware that they had them therefore they weren't needed and we could pay extra for them .

A couple of weeks ago they sent a mail saying they are taking data out of the text bundles as well - at the moment 100 texts is roughly 5.5MB data and I use some data each month (around 2-3MB spread over the month). So now they want me to pay for that as well for alledgedly the same "consumer research" reasons.

So basically, when you have found a contract with Vodafone that does what you want, it's worthless. They chop and change it as they like with total contempt for their existing customers. I've never experienced anything like it in 10 years of mobile phone contracts.

I really hope this is just a very bad rumour...
post #39 of 54
from my point of view, this cannot be true, as vodafone wants to have its vodafone live offerings inside the phone, which has been refused by Apple.
post #40 of 54
All the mobile phone networks suck one way or the other, so it is a matter of which sucks less and this will depend on your own circumstances.

3 (aka. Hutchinson), only do 3G and not 'ordinary' GSM, this would preclude iPhone users being able to roam between the US and Europe for example, and would logically rule them out.

Orange (aka. France Telecom), the only one to do EDGE in the UK so that's a plus point. Also has some Wifi hotspots, but like all the other commercial Wifi providers charges bankrupting prices to use them. Orange charges the most expensive data roaming prices of them all. For example someone worked out that a UK Orange customer roaming to the US and then downloading an iTunes music track would be charged nearly £100!!! (and that excludes the £0.79 Apple charge). See http://news.zdnet.co.uk/communicatio...9234846,00.htm

T-Mobile. Has the advantage of having their own Wifi hotspots, but like all the other commercial Wifi providers charges bankrupting prices to use them. For an individual T-Mobile offer the best 'unlimited' data tariff which on a cost per bit basic works out to be a sixth the cost Vodafone charge.

o2 (aka. Telefonica). Has no Wifi hot-spots of its own but is a bigger player than Orange or T-Mobile (at least in the UK). Very expensive data costs.

Vodafone. The biggest network company in the world. Historically has been 'Mac friendly' in supplying Mac compatible datacards earlier than its competitors and is currently the only one offering a USB 3G/HSDPA data 'card' which works with MacBooks in the UK (the other networks still only offer PC-Card devices which will not work with MacBook or MacBook Pro laptops).

If I was looking at this as an individual then T-Mobile on paper would be the best, however they along with Orange here in the UK use the 'wrong' frequency (900MHz instead of 1800MHz) which means they don't work in my cars built-in phone system.

From a business point of view all of them without exception suck big time in terms of data costs when you are looking at multiple users. O2 and Vodafone for example charge about £12 per month per handset on top of which you then pay for the data allowance, so this means I would have to pay HUNDREDS of pounds a month (thousands a year) before I even get to pay for or use any data for our companies users.

It is the fact that all the network companies suck that lead to a lot of people hoping originally that Apple was going to setup their own network or become an MNVO (Mobile Network Virtual Operator), sadly events since have shown this is not going to happen and we will still be stuck with the brain dead idiots running the current networks.

Here in the UK the same idiots who run the mobile phone networks also run the majority of Wifi hotspots and will likely also run [or more accurately ruin] WiMax which mean WiMax will also be crippled with extortionate fees and not turn out to be the 'great white hope' that I and others had been hoping for.

Note: 'free' Wifi in the UK is practically non existent, apart from of course the 9 Apple stores . The UK may have plenty of Wifi hotspots but they are nearly all commercial and cost literally a small fortune to use. To show you how outrageous the costs are, an Internet Café charges an average of £1 an hour, for this they have to rent office space, pay for lighting, heating, furniture, staff, computers, electricity, and Internet bandwidth, whereas for a Wifi hotspot the only costs are Internet bandwidth, a little electricity, and possible a small rental to stick their equipment on a lamp post or building (i.e. a fraction of the costs of an Internet Café), and yet Wifi hotspots cost an average of £8 ($16) an hour with lots of limitations!!!
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