There is a lot of talk right now about whether Apple is about to launch itself into the mobile phone market with the revered iPhone.
Yesterday I was chatting to Avi Greengart, a mobile analyst at Current Analysis (expect to read more about our conversation soon). Avi mentioned a few of the challenges Apple may face in entering this market. He also explained how some of the characteristics of Apple could help it meet with success.
One of Avi’s observations was that it would be easier for Apple to be a mobile phone success in the UK. This is because of the way our mobile phone system works. In the UK if you want a particular phone, chances are it will be available on any network. In the US phone models tend to be tied into a particular supplier. Remember that the Motorola Rokr was launched with cingular? This meant that only the Americans on the cingular network could have the Rokr. Ok, they are the largest wireless carrier in the US and cingular has better coverage than the others – but that’s the point, in the US you might be tied into a particular network because they are the only one that cover your area.
In the UK we chop and change network providers because the next one might offer us a better deal – say, more minutes for our money – not usually because they have a particular phone (because normally they all have that phone anyway). If the phone is good enough then people will get that phone on whatever network they sign up to.
And, judging by Apple’s reputation as a product designer, we can expect it to design a good phone… But more on that later.