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Report: 400,000 unlocked iPhones loose on Chinese network

post #1 of 110
Thread Starter 
Nearly half of the 800,000 to 1 million iPhones that are believed to have been unlocked for distribution and use outside Apple's sanctioned networks may be in China, according to a new report.

Market research firm In-Stat reported Friday that China Mobile, the nation's largest wireless carrier, said there were 400,000 unlocked iPhones using its cellular network service at the end of 2007, representing approximately 10 percent of the touchscreen handsets sold at the the time.

"The figure surprised us as it is fourfold of that we estimated before," the firm said. "We have never doubted that the iPhone will achieve greater success than iPod in China if Apple teams with China Mobile to launch its Chinese version."

The surge is credited to a fundamental difference between American and Chinese buyers. Where most US buyers confine smartphone purchases to the workplace, Chinese customers often use their phones for entertainment or Internet access, such as playing music or e-books. Apple's focus on this last usage pattern for the iPhone, especially with its user interface, makes it a logical fit for the market.

Chinese are also more likely to spend larger amounts of money on their phones, In-Stat says, despite lower average incomes. A full fifth of all phones sold in the southeast Asian country cost at least 4,000 Yuan Renminbi each, or $533.

Separate reports in recent days have pointed to China as the heart of a thriving gray market economy in unlocked iPhones. With as many as one million of these devices on the market around the world, the country is potentially a hotbed of supply chain leaks that sees iPhones reach unofficial hands before ever reaching territories officially slated to receive the shipments.

Analysts have wrestled with tracking the missing devices themselves and, in one case, estimated that the number of iPhones in use outside of Apple's official bounds could total 1.5 million, or more than a third of the entire supply as of last month.

In the short term, however, Apple is unlikely to convert this semi-underground trade into legitimate business. China Mobile, the dominant carrier in the country, claimed to have ended talks regarding an official iPhone in January. Company chief Steve Jobs later contradicted these claims and said that the provider had only made one visit to Apple headquarters to discuss the possibility of a Chinese iPhone.
post #2 of 110
Real iPhones or ClonePhones?
post #3 of 110
So much for everybody's theory on here that is was a "French Connection". I've always thought it a bit presumptuous that people would think the French were planning trips to the USA just for the iPhone as if Europeans are that dumb and obssessed. They've had amazing cellphones in Europe that we've never even seen for years and are probably yawning about the whole thing - hence the less than stellar French sales figures.
post #4 of 110
No teckstud, the French are waiting for iPhone version 2 with 3G. Just like millions of other potential buyers.

Oh, and I would like a link to these "amazing cellphones in Europe that we've never even seen". They must be quite something if Europe is "yawning" over the iPhone.
post #5 of 110
Jeez. Apple could really do everyone a bloody favor by breaking the at&t contract and making the iPhone available to everyone.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply
post #6 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


the country is potentially a hotbed of supply chain leaks that sees iPhones reach unofficial hands before ever reaching territories officially slated to receive the shipments

.

Does this mean they fell of the back of a truck. Is Apple getting money for these 800,000 iPhones? Maybe Apple should have supply chain overseers installed, or is that embedded.
post #7 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Jeez. Apple could really do everyone a bloody favor by breaking the at&t contract and making the iPhone available to everyone.

EXACTLY! This locked phone business is silly.
post #8 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Jeez. Apple could really do everyone a bloody favor by breaking the at&t contract and making the iPhone available to everyone.

I think Apple already knows that it would have to unlock iPhone at some point. I believe they knew since the beginning. So I am guessing they're already working the fine details of their agreement with AT&T.

By deciding to go with an unlocked iPhone, it would seem that Apple will be basically screwing AT&T, which helped (considerably?) when the iPhone was launched. But, AT&T also made profit from all the customers re-newing their contracts.

I keep on wondering why Apple entered into such an agreement, and now the more I think about it the more sense it makes.

Use AT&T to get it off the ground -> Launch it to the masses with their help -> Screw AT&T by going on as free agents.

Makes sense, doesn't it?
post #9 of 110
Wouldn't AT&T then be able to sue for damages. Isn't there a 5 year exclusive agreement. And the damages would be easily accounted for. The greater the success of the iPhone, the greater the damages. If the iPhone were to be unlocked, wouldn't that be the end of the revenue sharing as well. Remember, Apple is profit driven, not market share driven.
post #10 of 110
Don't know the figures, but lots of iPhones even in the Philippines. Check out the local MUG...
http://www.philmug.ph
post #11 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by one9deuce View Post

Oh, and I would like a link to these "amazing cellphones in Europe that we've never even seen"........

Me too! (And, it would be even more impressive if it was multitouch, because that is really the only basis for comparison).

Or, Mr. Tech Stud, are you just blowing smoke?
post #12 of 110
AT&T only have an exclusive in the US. They can sell them unlocked for use outside the US if they want... I imagine they may be forced down this route if the number of networks willing to make AT&T style deals dries up. It seems likely it's high up Apple's list of priorities right now - they need to have a stable set of outlets for the iPhone before iPhone v2 is released I'd say.

Let's just hope the 400,000 iPhones in China are bought from Apple and not stolen.

Apple ideally would like a world where the phone is king - and the networks implement the iPhone specific features based on customer demand (and as an incentive to use their network). Currently, an unlocked iPhone doesn't get Visual Voicemail which is an obvious differentiator. What really needs to happen is for the whole industry to open up - using open standards for things like visual voicemail and allowing any handset the customer wants.

I think the industry might get there eventually.
post #13 of 110
as someone who always respects IP, this locking of phones is a joke and I'm on the verge of buying an iPhone on my next trip to London. With Apple's policy of tying to a telco, it's going to be forever before it reaches me here in Singapore (still no iTunes capability here so still stuck to buying CDs).

Wake up Apple - there is a TRUCK load of business out there waiting for you.
post #14 of 110
it is only fair for Steve to set iPhone free ...

Nov '09 | iMac 21.5" C2D 3.06 Ghz | Intel 330 240GB SSD | ATI

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iPhone 4S| iPad 2 wifi

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Nov '09 | iMac 21.5" C2D 3.06 Ghz | Intel 330 240GB SSD | ATI

Sep '12| Toshiba 14" 1366 x 768! | i5 3rd Gen 6GB| Intel x25-m 120GB SSD | Win 7|  Viewsonic VX2255wmb 22" LCD
iPhone 4S| iPad 2 wifi

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post #15 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by eAi View Post

AT&T only have an exclusive in the US. They can sell them unlocked for use outside the US if they want...

Have you seen the contract between Apple and AT&T?

Just because A is true, doesn't mean B is true.

It's obvious that Apple selling unlocked iPhones outside of the US would affect the US market through gray market imports. There is almost certainly a clause in the Apple AT&T contract that says that Apple cannot sell unlocked phones anywhere without prior AT&T consent.
post #16 of 110
I can also verify that there are heaps of iPhones in Russia, mostly Moscow obviously. They have their own sources for hacking software and applications and the phones seem to work fine. I never asked about visual voicemail.

Save your friends from Skynet - whoops, Google.  Recommend they use StartPage for search..

...and no, I am not paid to say this..

Reply

Save your friends from Skynet - whoops, Google.  Recommend they use StartPage for search..

...and no, I am not paid to say this..

Reply
post #17 of 110
>may be in China...

Wish Google could release more detail regarding iPhone searches.
They ought to know the location of those iPhones.
post #18 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by eAi View Post

AT&T only have an exclusive in the US. They can sell them unlocked for use outside the US if they want... I imagine they may be forced down this route if the number of networks willing to make AT&T style deals dries up. It seems likely it's high up Apple's list of priorities right now - they need to have a stable set of outlets for the iPhone before iPhone v2 is released I'd say.

Let's just hope the 400,000 iPhones in China are bought from Apple and not stolen.

Apple ideally would like a world where the phone is king - and the networks implement the iPhone specific features based on customer demand (and as an incentive to use their network). Currently, an unlocked iPhone doesn't get Visual Voicemail which is an obvious differentiator. What really needs to happen is for the whole industry to open up - using open standards for things like visual voicemail and allowing any handset the customer wants.

I think the industry might get there eventually.

Apple not only has an exclusive contract in the US, but also in Germany, Great Britain and Italy. In France Orange sells an open iphone for 999 as opposed to the locked down iphone for 399...
vista = virus inside switch to apple
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vista = virus inside switch to apple
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post #19 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by Delfoniq View Post

I think Apple already knows that it would have to unlock iPhone at some point. I believe they knew since the beginning. So I am guessing they're already working the fine details of their agreement with AT&T.

If they did, then I can only guess that the current approach was the only way the could encourage the networks to change their business model. See it as a compromise. The question is whether expected there would be an underground market this fast?

In the meantime us Canadians are having to get the iPhone on the gray market too. Telus will probably be 4G GSM by the time Roger gets the clue stick.
post #20 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajmas View Post

If they did, then I can only guess that the current approach was the only way the could encourage the networks to change their business model. See it as a compromise. The question is whether expected there would be an underground market this fast?

In the meantime us Canadians are having to get the iPhone on the gray market too. Telus will probably be 4G GSM by the time Roger gets the clue stick.

Is Telus preparing to switch to GSM? Toronto Star, Feb 16, 2008

http://www.thestar.com/article/304105
post #21 of 110
It's really negative that Apple is going more and more protective, it MUST trust itself and its products and the market to sort itself up to deserving success. Apple can still get some control over the software etc., where they are good, and let the market show them how amazingly well it appreciates Apple's products.

The time has come for products like Apple's to reach mass audience. And Steve has placed Apple at the right spot in the [almost] right moment.

This article is very illuminating and so was the one with the list of countries where the iPhone is unlocked. It is just amazing how a product can be so unbelievably successful and equally amazing how its creators can be so unwilling to let go and profit from it. Loosen up, Apple!

---

People, for the last time, the iPhone is not expensive, it is in fact cheap at these prices! Wake up and smell the coffee! The cheapest WM6 based model HTC is just about going to launch, a very basic GPRS-GPS model, will be going for more than 440 and I'm pretty sure it's going to be a huge hit, I tell you. Compare the iPhone to Nokia or HTC prices and open your eyes, my friends. The iPhone could very easily be sold for 650 and it would still be a hit in Europe, should it be operator-free and 3G. It's Euros, not USD. Only cheap bastards can complain of the iPhone being expensive and its price being success limiting. Maybe it's a matter of US market perception and maybe Steve was fearful and tried to secure the product through AT&T like suggested. If it wasn't for that 'security' and fear factor, the iPhone would now be an overwhelming success, at least quadruple of what it is right now, and really have taken over the world.

All this to get to the biggest problem - if it has one - with Apple in this opening up to the cellular market: it's that it's a US operation! It launched the product biased on US [mis]conceptions and perceptions and, if it weren't for the product's brilliance, it would be failing miserably because of that.

Just register this in your minds: the de facto world center for cellular phones and mobile products is Europe, not the US, the same way the Mobile World Conference was held in Barcelona, Europe and not in the US or anywhere else! Having changed from Apple Computer to Apple Inc., i.e. from computer centric to mobility/home/consumer centric [see the MBA?], should have in itself justified Steve to have bought Apple an operations building in London and center his working life on his jet plane, flying back and forth between US & EU. That would have been smart[er].

As an European who's ever been in love with the US and its technology, I have never ever quite figured out why American companies, save for a few exceptions, seem to generally be so lousy in marketing products 'overseas' when they can do so much better if they build and think their business globally and not as US-centric. The simple word 'overseas' says it all. It's a gross management error and, should Steve Jobs not see to it quickly, it may really mark Apple's future.

The world has gone de facto global, moreso when you have set your business, like Apple is doing, in order to make every established giant in the world your adversary. Think about it.

This is yet another reason why Apple should consider buying Sony [and, why not, HTC], per a Bloomberg analyst suggestion. It's within their reach, it's a wonderful synergy and it would be an instant channel opener
- Japan's huge market where people are used to spend big sums in handheld gear and
- all of Europe where it is really well implanted with factories, stores, etc. etc. etc.
HTC would simply be a case of buying out competition and genius, it's a small company and yet it's done a huge success. They are in fact the manufacturer's for Sony' Xperia1 who is a real potentially iPhone killer.

Thank you for your attention.
post #22 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajmas View Post

If they did, then I can only guess that the current approach was the only way the could encourage the networks to change their business model. See it as a compromise. The question is whether expected there would be an underground market this fast?

In the meantime us Canadians are having to get the iPhone on the gray market too. Telus will probably be 4G GSM by the time Roger gets the clue stick.

Is Telus preparing to switch to GSM? Toronto Star, Feb 16, 2008
"Moving to GSM, some argue, would give Telus quicker access to the latest mobile phone designs at a lower cost per unit. That's because GSM has emerged as the global standard in mobile phone technology outside of North America." http://www.thestar.com/article/304105

As for 3g

European 3g Penetration Passes 10%
"The penetration of 3G services in Europe's connection base reached 10% in the latter part of October 2007, having stood at 9.75% at the end of the third quarter. W-CDMA net additions reached a record 9.1 million in the third quarter, up more than 1 million on the previous high of 8 million recorded three months ago, to leave the total customer base at 68.3 million." http://www.cellular-news.com/story/28153.php
post #23 of 110
Could someone explain one thing to me, please..

I thought that iPhone was only sold with 2 year contract, right.

So, does it mean then, that :

- all those unlocked iPhones owners, did actually subscribe to at&t for 2 years just to use their iPhone somewhere else.
- they did subscribe to at&t just to get the phone and then terminated their subscription.
- you can buy iPhone without the subscription. But it remains locked until you either subscribe to at&t or "jailbreak" it.

Sorry if this is an obvious question and slightly off topic, but since iPhone is not available in here yet, I wasn't really paying attention into this sort of details.

Cheers,
post #24 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by j.max View Post

Could someone explain one thing to me, please..

I thought that iPhone was only sold with 2 year contract, right.

So, does it mean then, that :

- all those unlocked iPhones owners, did actually subscribe to at&t for 2 years just to use their iPhone somewhere else.
- they did subscribe to at&t just to get the phone and then terminated their subscription.
- you can buy iPhone without the subscription. But it remains locked until you either subscribe to at&t or "jailbreak" it.

Sorry if this is an obvious question and slightly off topic, but since iPhone is not available in here yet, I wasn't really paying attention into this sort of details.

Cheers,

Simple answer: Your last point, i.e., "- you can buy iPhone without the subscription. But it remains locked until you either subscribe to at&t or "jailbreak" it." is the closest.

You can but an iPhone from AT&T, Apple, on-line (EBay) and it is 'locked' in a number of ways, i.e.,
  • It will only run on one Network
  • There is no replaceable battery
  • There is no upgradable memory
  • There is no third-party software
As such subscribing to AT&T only 'unlocks' iPhone to run on its network. 'Jailbreaking' refers to running 3rd party apps. You can 'unlock' the iPhone to use it on another provider other than AT&T or 'activate' it to use it with another provider.

http://babygotmac.com/a/iphone-jailb...ctions-within/
post #25 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by XamaX View Post

It's really negative that Apple is going more and more protective, it MUST trust itself and its products and the market to sort itself up to deserving success. Apple can still get some control over the software etc., where they are good, and let the market show them how amazingly well it appreciates Apple's products.

The time has come for products like Apple's to reach mass audience. And Steve has placed Apple at the right spot in the [almost] right moment.

This article is very illuminating and so was the one with the list of countries where the iPhone is unlocked. It is just amazing how a product can be so unbelievably successful and equally amazing how its creators can be so unwilling to let go and profit from it. Loosen up, Apple!

---

People, for the last time, the iPhone is not expensive, it is in fact cheap at these prices! Wake up and smell the coffee! The cheapest WM6 based model HTC is just about going to launch, a very basic GPRS-GPS model, will be going for more than 440 and I'm pretty sure it's going to be a huge hit, I tell you. Compare the iPhone to Nokia or HTC prices and open your eyes, my friends. The iPhone could very easily be sold for 650 and it would still be a hit in Europe, should it be operator-free and 3G. It's Euros, not USD. Only cheap bastards can complain of the iPhone being expensive and its price being success limiting. Maybe it's a matter of US market perception and maybe Steve was fearful and tried to secure the product through AT&T like suggested. If it wasn't for that 'security' and fear factor, the iPhone would now be an overwhelming success, at least quadruple of what it is right now, and really have taken over the world.

All this to get to the biggest problem - if it has one - with Apple in this opening up to the cellular market: it's that it's a US operation! It launched the product biased on US [mis]conceptions and perceptions and, if it weren't for the product's brilliance, it would be failing miserably because of that.

Just register this in your minds: the de facto world center for cellular phones and mobile products is Europe, not the US, the same way the Mobile World Conference was held in Barcelona, Europe and not in the US or anywhere else! Having changed from Apple Computer to Apple Inc., i.e. from computer centric to mobility/home/consumer centric [see the MBA?], should have in itself justified Steve to have bought Apple an operations building in London and center his working life on his jet plane, flying back and forth between US & EU. That would have been smart[er].

As an European who's ever been in love with the US and its technology, I have never ever quite figured out why American companies, save for a few exceptions, seem to generally be so lousy in marketing products 'overseas' when they can do so much better if they build and think their business globally and not as US-centric. The simple word 'overseas' says it all. It's a gross management error and, should Steve Jobs not see to it quickly, it may really mark Apple's future.

The world has gone de facto global, moreso when you have set your business, like Apple is doing, in order to make every established giant in the world your adversary. Think about it.

This is yet another reason why Apple should consider buying Sony [and, why not, HTC], per a Bloomberg analyst suggestion. It's within their reach, it's a wonderful synergy and it would be an instant channel opener
- Japan's huge market where people are used to spend big sums in handheld gear and
- all of Europe where it is really well implanted with factories, stores, etc. etc. etc.
HTC would simply be a case of buying out competition and genius, it's a small company and yet it's done a huge success. They are in fact the manufacturer's for Sony' Xperia1 who is a real potentially iPhone killer.

Thank you for your attention.


Damn, you 'da man!

A better persuasion, I have not heard.

As for contracts, it amazes me that NO ONE is talking about PREPAID activation of iPhones. I have a friend who bought one and to bypass the 2 year deal, activated his thru prepaid minutes. The minute a new option opens up, he's there!
OMG here we go again...
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OMG here we go again...
Reply
post #26 of 110
i think the prepaid option GoPhone and pick a phone plan is earlier also available only that it is super expensive than iPhone plan when including data plan ...

with out data plan iPhone is iBrick

Nov '09 | iMac 21.5" C2D 3.06 Ghz | Intel 330 240GB SSD | ATI

Sep '12| Toshiba 14" 1366 x 768! | i5 3rd Gen 6GB| Intel x25-m 120GB SSD | Win 7|  Viewsonic VX2255wmb 22" LCD
iPhone 4S| iPad 2 wifi

Reply

Nov '09 | iMac 21.5" C2D 3.06 Ghz | Intel 330 240GB SSD | ATI

Sep '12| Toshiba 14" 1366 x 768! | i5 3rd Gen 6GB| Intel x25-m 120GB SSD | Win 7|  Viewsonic VX2255wmb 22" LCD
iPhone 4S| iPad 2 wifi

Reply
post #27 of 110
Quote:
It's really negative that Apple is going more and more protective, it MUST trust itself and its products and the market to sort itself up to deserving success. Apple can still get some control over the software etc., where they are good, and let the market show them how amazingly well it appreciates Apple's products.

I think you are only looking at this from one perspective and not from a whole business perspective. No matter how brilliant they could be, products do not market and sell themselves. Their are lots of great ideas that failed because they were poorly positioned or poorly marketed.

The iPhone came to a market that was already saturated with choices. In the time the iPhone has been available their have been a lot of new phones. In tying the iPhone to partner carriers Apple has given the iPhone a supportive foundation. As that carrier is now invested in the success of the iPhone.

This also gives the iPhone a sense of cache and exclusivity which I think many of you here are complaining about. But the result of that is people want it even more. I know people who weren't even thinking about buying an Apple product a year ago who are lusting after an iPhone.

Quote:
This article is very illuminating and so was the one with the list of countries where the iPhone is unlocked. It is just amazing how a product can be so unbelievably successful and equally amazing how its creators can be so unwilling to let go and profit from it. Loosen up, Apple!

The iPhone isn't successful simply because Apple put it out there. Its successful because of how it has been positioned and marketed. Especially in the crowded mobile phone market.

There was no guarantee of the iPhones success. It could have been as easily ignored as many products have been.

Quote:
Just register this in your minds: the de facto world center for cellular phones and mobile products is Europe, not the US, the same way the Mobile World Conference was held in Barcelona, Europe and not in the US or anywhere else!

You have to also realize what happens in Europe doesn't necessarily effect us in the US. We don't really use the same phones. We mostly use phones from companies based in the US. Just as Europe mostly uses Nokia and Sony/Ericcson.
post #28 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by one9deuce View Post

No teckstud, the French are waiting for iPhone version 2 with 3G. Just like millions of other potential buyers.
.

Oh I thought they've been booking Air France by the millions all along just to buy unlocked iPhones!
Read on:
http://www.alleyinsider.com/2008/01/...ectations.html
http://www.alleyinsider.com/2008/01/...elow-plan.html
post #29 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Or, Mr. Tech Stud, are you just blowing smoke?

You've never seen a cellphone for European release only?
post #30 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by one9deuce View Post

Oh, and I would like a link to these "amazing cellphones in Europe that we've never even seen".


http://cellphones.about.com/od/buyer...ean_phones.htm
post #31 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

(...) No matter how brilliant they could be, products do not market and sell themselves. Their are lots of great ideas that failed because they were poorly positioned or poorly marketed.

The iPhone came to a market that was already saturated with choices. In the time the iPhone has been available their have been a lot of new phones. In tying the iPhone to partner carriers Apple has given the iPhone a supportive foundation. As that carrier is now invested in the success of the iPhone.

This also gives the iPhone a sense of cache and exclusivity which I think many of you here are complaining about. But the result of that is people want it even more. I know people who weren't even thinking about buying an Apple product a year ago who are lusting after an iPhone.

The iPhone isn't successful simply because Apple put it out there. Its successful because of how it has been positioned and marketed. Especially in the crowded mobile phone market.

There was no guarantee of the iPhones success. It could have been as easily ignored as many products have been.

You have to also realize what happens in Europe doesn't necessarily effect us in the US. We don't really use the same phones. We mostly use phones from companies based in the US. Just as Europe mostly uses Nokia and Sony/Ericcson.

TenoBell, you have just proven me right - all your talk is US centric talk. Why do you Americans think you are the world and the rest is 'jungle'? Can't you see that, just in terms of population, the EU alone is almost twice as big as the US?! Can you not see that EU cellular penetration is much higher than US's, that many people buy unsubsidised-unlocked cellphones, that most non-smartphone people in the EU carry two or more phones with pre-paid/pay-as-you-go sim cards with them the whole time? With this kind of self-centeredness you lose sight of it all. Oh, I forgot, Europeans don't pay for any communications we receive, only for the ones we make...

And you mean that Motorola doesn't sell here? You also mean that US cell operators are not turning to european de facto world standard GSM (over 85% and increasing phones in the world are GSM)?!

The EU happens to be the world center for cellphones the same way it happens to be the world center for the travel industry. So what? It's not to say our grass is greener than yours, it means that if you're doing business in the global market and setting yourself global with the products you sell but still you outright ignore this in terms of marketing and address your biggest markets with your rear, you're setting yourself up to a big tumble. Japan is also much bigger than the US, not just in terms of volume but of value too, they're crazy about their technology and phones, used to spend big money on bells&whistles. And, contrary to any expectations, so it seems China is.

You know why the EU is a bigger cellphone market than the US and people of all classes have so many phones? Because it's a far more competitive environment. I'm saying the US is a far more protective dinosauric environment in terms of telecoms. Why do you think the 700MHz band rules that are now being auctioned were formulated to create freedom of choice?

Steve knows all this, I'm sure, and I'm sure he simply couldn't launch a 3G iPhone to date thus not launching the iPhone globally. Still, 6 months after the US launch, he went to push the same 1st generation models to Europeans? Why do you think they're not selling that much?!

Do you mean being from AT&T gives "cache"?! Maybe that's why over 35% of them are bought to get unlocked, maybe that's why so many are screaming about having to be forced into using such a "cache" network.

The iPhone needed support from a carrier to get noticed: could you be more mistaken?! Are you telling me the iPhone got noticed because of AT&T?! HTC, for example, which sells 3 to 4 times what Apple sells (if I'm not mistaken), is a tiny company compared to Apple and they didn't start selling "supported by carriers", they started selling their phones unlocked and they are still at it for almost every model if not all. There are some carriers that rebrand HTC but those same models are available unlocked for not much more.

Sure there are phones that are subsidised by operators but then it's your choice if you want to buy it cheaper upfront only to pay the difference on the huge monthly obligatory fee, with 18-24 months contract duration. You lose your freedom AND it's not cheaper, it's just cheaper upfront. I mean, would carriers lose money on you? How could they afford their own absurd salaries?

The fact that the iPhone was coming to a saturated market only helped it become successful, why do you present it negatively as if it was an adversity? It was really the best possible scenario for a "think different" company such as Apple and the main reason for its success - not only was the iPhone different from the large majority of (crappy) phones but it had the chance to teach everyone how a cellphone these days is supposed to be.

Forget about the difference between smartphones, dumbphones or plainphones, they're all turning into media players + personal digital assistants + gps devices + internet/email/sms/voice communicators - ALL of them! Studies have just now shown it, even the cheapo guy is ditching its lackluster voice only cellphone to go run buy a MID - mobile internet device, iPhone or otherwise.

At the end of the day, success in this business is all about timing, really. Steve has set himself up against every major tech manufacturer there is on Earth - not just computers anymore - and he's still thinking "US and the rest of the world"?! If he doesn't wake up pronto - and I mean until mid-year at the most - and launches an array of new products with a globally centric marketing strategy, he will be in for a big surprise.

You see, Bill Gates needed Apple to innovate so that MSFT would emulate, they even invested 150 Million USD so that Apple would survive at one point in time. HTC doesn't need Apple, Nokia doesn't need Apple, HP doesn't need Apple - the future of the industry is already clear for every player: it's a computer+tv+phone+music+gps+games+... convergence. Having established that set-in-stone truth, it's only a matter of designing beautiful and effective GUIs and believe you me, there are plenty of designers in the world and plenty of cheaper high quality electronics manufacturers out there. After all, Apple doesn't manufacture anymore, they have it done in Taiwan. So does everybody else.

Even if they would need Apple to invent what they would emulate and improve, history will repeat itself because Apple doesn't really have a presence in all those markets that really matter and this time the man is not just up against MSFT but also SONY, Nokia, Samsung, Phillips, Toshiba, HTC, LG, MSFT, Google, Siemens, DELL, Garmin (formerly a GPS only company, do you thing TomTom will wait much longer?), I can't recall all the names in the electronics industry, etc. etc. etc. Oh I forgot about VODAFONE, with this loony approach to sales, VODA has become an Apple competitor too, rebranding exclusive Samsung models [F700]!

Even Asus will have a cellphone sometime soon. Why not, it's all turning into a handheld computer, it is Mobile Internet Devices (MID) and every computer and tablet and phone and piece of hardware will soon have a radio module that'll do 3.5G, GPRS/Edge/GSM, FM Radio, TV, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi etc. in every frequency there is on Mother Earth, it's not just a tiny phone anymore.

Even TV set manufacturers will eventually become competitors of Apple and manufacturers or rebranders of computers, handheld, laptop or desktop - HDTVs are computers! HP has a 50" HDTV Media Center, i.e. an HDTV with a computer built-in. Hello, where's the 50" iMac?! Anytime soon?

All this because it's is a global world and global means convergence and when you don't think global + convergence but convergence only [even not that much if you note there's no 40"/50" iMac still], you have already lost.

Want more proof it's a global world? The iPhone is working in more than 40 countries when it is only sold in 4. That's 10 times! It should be otherwise, it should now be that the [current model] iPhone would be sold unlocked in 165 countries in the world and should any cellphone operator be willing to subsidise it, well let'em do it, why the heck not?!

Let's trust Jobs has some kind of card up his sleeve and shows it soon.

PS: months ago, I mean months after the iPhone launched, I went to the AT&T web site and struggled to find the iPhone there. I didn't, not even in the professional area. And this was many months after your so-called AT&T supported iPhone launch. Don't you know AT&T hates the iPhone? They hate it because it represents the market revolution which will make them/cell operators obsolete. They hate it because it's coming from a computer company. They hate it because it means they must give up being utterly incompetent and monopoly driven to actually have to try and look competent. Do you mean that since AT&T was all that supportive of the iPhone, the public was unfair by only 1 in 5 iPhone buyers [or fewer] going to AT&T shops/web site to buy?

Disclosure: author is long AAPL and hurting big time. Demands Steve to 'innovate' his way out of downfall immediately.
post #32 of 110
By the way, it's not by chance that cellphone frequencies are always different from European ones, even if from the same GSM standard. Call me paranoic but I believe yes, it is conspiracy.

It reminds me of the hundred years old difference in width between France and Spain/Portugal rail tracks, that out of security [read train based invasion] reasons. It's only now being changed to standardized widths on account of the 300kmph+ high speed train. What, you don't have that too?! ;-)

UMTS/3G held that promise but then again they decided for different frequencies.

And have you noticed that new American products took about 6 months to reach Europe via legal distribution only a few years back the same way the iPhone did now?

That's one reason why I have always paid hommage to HP and other truly global firms that launch their products almost simultaneously - it doesn't make any sense otherwise! Is it to keep the US at an advantage? What one, not making as many USD in sales?!

What gives?!
post #33 of 110
Apple should forget about having contract with China Mobile.

Just sell unlocked iPhone for $900 (that's how much it is selling there anyway) with native Chinese apps. It will make a killing from that.
post #34 of 110
Cant speak personally about Europe, but in my travels throughout Asia, people have been watching live TV on their handsets for years. Korea is a wet dream for lovers of amazing mobile phones. Unfortunately, there are a lot of Americans who dont travel much overseas (as we see in threads like this one) and dont realize that Americas focus has always been on landlines while the rest of the world has focused on cell phones.

None of my friends in Thailand or Vietnam are getting Verizon FiOS any time soon, or any any other fiber optic service for that matter. They make up for it with their cell phones. I too have seen amazing (tiny as hell, to exotic as hell) handsets by manufactures Ive never head of here in America. The Asians I meet overseas have never drooled over my latest American, antiquated looking handsets.
post #35 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by ramsey123 View Post

Cant speak personally about Europe, but in my travels throughout Asia, people have been watching live TV on their handsets for years. Korea is a wet dream for lovers of amazing mobile phones. Unfortunately, there are a lot of Americans who dont travel much overseas (as we see in threads like this one) and dont realize that Americas focus has always been on landlines while the rest of the world has focused on cell phones.

The problem with Korean mobile phones with their live tv is that nobody makes any money on it. The business model is a big dead end.

http://www.businessweek.com/globalbi...083_146756.htm
post #36 of 110
Quote:
TenoBell, you have just proven me right - all your talk is US centric talk.

Certainly not all. How a company positions and markets a product is a pretty universal concept.

Quote:
Why do you Americans think you are the world and the rest is 'jungle'?

I don't recall saying the rest of the world is a jungle.

Quote:
You also mean that US cell operators are not turning to european de facto world standard GSM (over 85% and increasing phones in the world are GSM).

Verizon is the only US carrier going GSM. That is to share 4G technology with Vodafone.

Quote:
The EU happens to be the world center for cellphones the same way it happens to be the world center for the travel industry. Japan is also much bigger than the US, not just in terms of volume but of value too, they're crazy about their technology and phones, used to spend big money on bells&whistles.

That's all well and good. My point was that we in the US are not really doing the same things Europe and Japan are doing. I don't think that is US centric, its just the truth.

Quote:
You know why the EU is a bigger cellphone market than the US and people of all classes have so many phones? Because it's a far more competitive environment. I'm saying the US is a far more protective dinosauric environment in terms of telecoms.

Europe isn't an entire country like the US is an entire country. Europe is made up of smaller countries. Different carriers service each country. The carriers in those countries have a smaller population to service and smaller geographic territory to build infrastructure. So its easier and cheaper to update the network.

US carriers have the entire US population to serve and the third largest country in the world in which to build its infrastructure. Updating the network is challenging and takes more time.

Quote:
Still, 6 months after the US launch, he went to push the same 1st generation models to Europeans? Why do you think they're not selling that much?!

Europe already has many choices of advanced phones.

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The iPhone needed support from a carrier to get noticed: could you be more mistaken?! Are you telling me the iPhone got noticed because of AT&T?

Strawman argument.

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HTC, for example, which sells 3 to 4 times what Apple sells (if I'm not mistaken), is a tiny company compared to Apple and they didn't start selling "supported by carriers", they started selling their phones unlocked and they are still at it for almost every model if not all.

Has HTC sold one phone at a premium price at a premium tariff and in eight months earn nearly half a billion in revenue?

Quote:
HTC doesn't need Apple, Nokia doesn't need Apple, HP doesn't need Apple - the future of the industry is already clear for every player: it's a computer+tv+phone+music+gps+games+... convergence.

I think Apple has clearly shown the way for the use of data on the phone. iPhone data use is multiple times higher than every other phone on Apple partnered networks.

Quote:
Do you mean being from AT&T gives "cache"?! Maybe that's why over 35% of them are bought to get unlocked, maybe that's why so many are screaming about having to be forced into using such a "cache" network.

Theirs that strawman again. The estimates are more around 25% of the iPhones are unlocked. Those phones are mostly unlocked in countries with no official carrier. AT&T doesn't care if someone in Budapest is using an unlocked iPhone. The number of unlocked phones in the US is likely insignificantly small. AT&T is not worried about it.

Quote:
The fact that the iPhone was coming to a saturated market only helped it become successful, why do you present it negatively as if it was an adversity?

Its common sense that introducing a new product into a saturated market with no track record and no loyal customer base is highly risky. Apple had to find some advantage for the iPhone that would make it stand out and desirable. Just existing wasn't enough.

Quote:
PS: months ago, I mean months after the iPhone launched, I went to the AT&T web site and struggled to find the iPhone there. I didn't, not even in the professional area. And this was many months after your so-called AT&T supported iPhone launch. Don't you know AT&T hates the iPhone?

Do you make this stuff up as you go along?

Quote:
Disclosure: author is long AAPL and hurting big time. Demands Steve to 'innovate' his way out of downfall immediately.

There is no way to innovate your way out a national mortgage crisis and a slowing economy.
post #37 of 110
Quote:
That's one reason why I have always paid hommage to HP and other truly global firms that launch their products almost simultaneously - it doesn't make any sense otherwise! Is it to keep the US at an advantage? What one, not making as many USD in sales?!

What gives?!

Many companies do this. In the US we don't receive most Nokia or Sony/Ericcson phones at all. What we do get comes months after Europe.

Japanese and Korean companies also often launch products on home turf before releasing it to the rest of the world.
post #38 of 110
Quote:
By the way, it's not by chance that cellphone frequencies are always different from European ones, even if from the same GSM standard. Call me paranoic but I believe yes, it is conspiracy.

Mobile phone carriers in the US use different frequencies and technology in an attempt to lock customers into their service and make it difficult to leave. I don't know how much of a conspiracy it is as everyone pretty much knows this is what they are doing,
post #39 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

Mobile phone carriers in the US use different frequencies and technology in an attempt to lock customers into their service and make it difficult to leave. I don't know how much of a conspiracy it is as everyone pretty much knows this is what they are doing,

It has nothing to do with conspiracy theories about locking in their customers.

(1) American military is a big user of spectrum space.
(2) Americans use different frequencies because Americans started using those spectrum FIRST.
post #40 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by petermac View Post

Wouldn't AT&T then be able to sue for damages. Isn't there a 5 year exclusive agreement. And the damages would be easily accounted for. The greater the success of the iPhone, the greater the damages. If the iPhone were to be unlocked, wouldn't that be the end of the revenue sharing as well. Remember, Apple is profit driven, not market share driven.

I've not seen anything authoritative as to the length of the Apple/at&t contract... could be ten years for all we know.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply
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