The iPhone will dominate the top end of phone sales
Even if you are a fan of other platforms, we can all appreciate that Apple has bought new levels of usability to the phone. It’s most obvious in the seamless connection with the App store on iTunes – a system that makes building, selling and buying applications simple.
For me it’s like 2003 and iTunes all over again – remember the plethora of MP3 players? They are still out there, but Apple grabs almost all of the revenue, and one imagines almost all of the profit as the others compete out any margin.
I sometimes see a future for Blackberrys, simply because of their installed user base and Apple’s unease with selling to giant corporates, but I also remember that everyone used to have Palm Pilots back in the day.
I am predicting that Apple’s iPhones will grab 40-70% of the top end of the phone market over the next 3 years.
Vodafone NZ iPhone data rates will always be lousy
It’s complicated [Geekzone], but worth going through. All of the network providers are upgrading their networks, and from about June everything will be different.
Vodafone are the sole sellers of the iPhone in New Zealand – they have a monopoly. Their 3G network is currently only in cities, and it is excruciatingly slow compared to, say, Telstra’s Next G service in Australia.
In the next 2 months:
- Vodafone are rolling out a new NZ 3G network – but it will not work at 3G speeds for (current) iPhones.
- Telecom are rolling out a new 3G network, which will work for iPhones. (similar to Telstra’s Next G)
- Telecom seem to indicate that they will not be selling iPhones.
Nobody seems to know anything about NZ Communications.
Buy an iPhone from Vodafone, use it on Telecom
Vodafone, to their credit, are selling the iPhone in unlocked state. You can buy it for about $1130, or for cheaper if you sign on a contract.
But you wouldn’t sign a contract – instead the logical move will be to transfer your iPhone and number to Telecom, grabbing a new SIM card and using it on their new 3G network.
If Vodafone starts locking phones then you will need to crack it – the Dev Team are on to that and I am sure there will be plenty of options for those not nerdy enough to do it themselves.
But for now – just wait
We don’t really know what is going to happen in June, and it gets quite fuzzy thereafter.
- Telecom may launch with the iPhone in June.
- Apple may emerge with a new iPhone that is compatible with Vodafone’s new network. They are due for a new one soon, and the timing is auspicious
- NZ Communications may surprise us all by carrying the iPhone
- Data rates will be in a state of rapid change as the carriers compete
- I could have some of these facts wrong
Summary and implications
Apple doesn’t really care about New Zealand – as we are so tiny. But if they wake up then they will realize that either they need to give Vodafone a phone that works at high speeds here, or else they will have to sell the phones to Telecom as well.
Vodafone will fight to retain exclusive rights to sell iPhone in New Zealand, but the slow data rates will mean a much poorer experience versus overseas.
Telecom will try to add iPhone to their list of Phones – as not doing so would be a move equivalent to their decisions to go and then stay with the obsolete CDMA standard. Imagine leaving out 70% of the premium iPhone market.
Vodafone will be hoping that Apple deliver a phone that will work at 3G speeds on their new network. Unfortunately for Vodafone, hope is not a strategy. If they have delivered a high speed network that Apple has no intention of supporting, then I have to say that they have just commited equivilent of the CDMA blunder. If they know something that we don’t – then good on them.
The best answer for all of us consumers the iPhone working on all three networks, and sold by all three networks.