Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Mobile rumours bearing fruit for Apple?

In the US press at the moment there are a lot of rumours (sorry rumors!) that Apple may open up the next iPhone to mobile operators other than AT&T, such as Verizon. This is pretty unlikely in my view. However I suspect Apple is in negotiation with a number of mobile providers around the globe. And what better time when there is a new iPhone coming out, just to keep them all interested. But my money is on Apple including a SIM card of choice in its line of notebook computers at their next refresh. This will push forward the connectivity of their laptop platform and offer options of subsidising (ok, subsidizing!) hardware, and therefore reducing the price of their range of MacBooks considerably. This will bring them into line with the price of other much lower spec PC laptops and again extend the Apple product range to more people, through more affordability without hitting margins.

In Europe, where the 3G UMTS networks are more developed across different mobile providers, Apple may well decide to open the iPhone to more network providers once any exclusivity deals are up for grabs, again to widen the potential penetration of its mobile platform. But this will be on a geography by geography basis and there's no desperate hurry given how the demand for iPhone is going so far, even in a recession!

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