Apple's iPhone defended

A nice article tearing holes in most of the common “The iPhone isn’t going to be successful” arguments.

By “nice”, I of course mean that it takes the apple-fanboy point of ciew, and argues it very well.

The most interesting part though relates to why Apple are selling it exclusively through Cingular:

When a phone is unlocked it loses its privileges on a provider’s data network. An unlocked phone can make GSM calls and send basic SMS. No MMS, no Internet, no iTS.

Essentially, the article argues that if they didn’t lock the phone to Cingular, they’d not have the ability to use any of the carrier’s data features.

Here in .AU, that’s not an issue – carriers will happily let unlocked phones use their data features – just as long as you’re on a many-month contract and paying through the nose. The only locked phones I know of that get sold here are sold with pre-paid plans, and they’re only locked to present some small barrier to switching prepaid carriers easily.

So, does that mean we’re likely to get unlocked iPhones here? I have a feeling we won’t, for two reasons:

A) The article also mentions that by forcing the phone to be bundled with a two-year plan, Apple are effectively hiding part of the cost of the phone from the consumer – the rest of the cost is hidden in the cost of the contract. If they weren’t bundled, they’d have to have a higher price. The same is going to happen here.

A-counter) That said, Australians are quite comfortable with the choice of either getting a phone cheaply on a plan, or paying much more and paying for it up-front. Perhaps the higher price will be more bearable as an option here.

B) The phone uses EDGE for high-speed access; as far as I know, only one carrier (Telstra) in Australia has an EDGE network, so it makes sense to have a deal with that carrier.

I hope I’m wrong. My loathing of Telstra is sufficiently strong that if it’s a choice between an inferior phone on a superior carrier, or the iPhone on Telstra, I’m going to have to choose the inferior phone, and that’s going to upset me.

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