Wednesday, January 10, 2007


Apple blows it

Apple's new iPod phone is locked to a carrier. Apple, which owes much of its market power to sheer excellence, could have produced it unlocked, thereby calling the tune. Instead, Apple now cedes to a much less elegant form of power. In addition, by shackling up with Cingular, it loses the ability to address the customers of Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile.

Second mistake: it'll be a closed platform. Third party apps will be extremely limited. Jobs does have good intuition about how things should be done, for sure. But is he smarter than his customers? Suppose, for example, some third party figures out a more elegant, zero-cost VOIP/Wi-Fi communications suite, a Skype on steroids. Could Apple's usual delightful design redeem it.

I guess there's a chance that iPod will be un-shackled in the rest of the GSM world. But if Apple was going for the open, global play, why'd they announce the closed, U.S. deal first?

It is of more than passing interest that Apple chose Cingular mere days after the AT&T-BellSouth merger brings Cingular under monolithic control. Big questions remain . . .

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closed in many ways...

The Cingular/Apple deal was struck about two years ago by published accounts.
Mr. Isenberg,

Take a look at the OpenMoko project:

This information was received on the PLUG( Phoenix Linux Users Group ) discussion list. thanks, Joshua Zeidner.
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