Analyst: Apple has choice of four main ‘iPhone’ strategy options

“There’s much discussion about mobile music phones and how they relate to the iPod,” Ian Fogg blogs for JupiterResearch. “Apple is clearly making plans for how to tackle mobile, how to enter the area, or how to compete with mobile music phones…. but what should Apple be planning, specifically?”

Fogg explains, “Apple has four main options, but only the first three have been seriously debated by Apple watchers:”

1. Continue licensing software to established handset vendors
2. Create its own iPod mobile phone handset and sell via mobile operators
3. Apple could chose to bypass current operators by launching one or more MVNOs
4. Apple could sell its iPod mobile phone in retail

Fogg writes, “Apple will most likely pursue a multi-track approach as it enters the mobile market. I’m sure retail sales of Apple’s iPod mobile phone should, and will, be one part of that strategy, perhaps even the main one.”

Full article, with explanations of the four options above, here.

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  1. analyst, shmanalyst,

    MVNO is the MOST Apple-like approach. Isn’t it Apple all about controlling the whole widget?

    Macs/OS X

    They get it. Apple would MVNO with Cingular, and probably be a Mac only cell phone too. They did it with iPod initially.

    The iPhone would be so tight with OS X via bluetooth/usb you wouldn’t even notice a quirk.

    No 3rd party sync software, no conflicts in sync… full iCal, full address book sync, heck even ichat txt support.

    Apple Mac users would buy sight unseen. it wouldn’t even have to play music to sell well.

  2. It could well be that Apple takes a multiple option approach. In the US the mobile operators cripple the phones so they can only be used on their network, making the MVNO approach a good option – especially since it will rid us of their horrid menus.

    Overseas things are different. I was able to buy a mobile for business use in Australia and also use it in the UK. In these areas the opportunity to work with existing operators is far higher (and easier) so I believe that Apple will go this route.

    The key for me is that Apple will go with the easiest method of going into a country AS LONG AS they are able to maintain the look & feel that they have been working on. All you have to do is look at your mobile’s menu to see why.

  3. ken is right.

    When I was looking to upgrade through T-Mobile, the phone selection really stunk, so I bought an unlocked Sony Ericsson K510i. When my I was in Bulgaria this summer, I bought a pre-paid contract through Globul, popped the SIM card into my phone and I was up and running.

    Now I even have a Bulgarian phone number… the last few digits? 911-666! I just HAD to get that number! LOL!

    Apple should just sell unlocked phones through the Apple Store and be done with it.

  4. MVNO would be the kiss of death. No way Apple does that. Tney don’t want to own or brand the network.

    For the same reason iTunes works on Windows, Apple will work with as many providers as possible with iPhone.

  5. I hate cell phones. I hate every last one of them, because of their horrid UIs and clunky ergonomics. I have a Cingular/Moto phone that I hate to use. I can’t even hold it against my ear comfortably for very long without it feeling awkward.
    If Apple is going to do this, they’re going to do it all, so I gotta go with MVNO on this one, too. For the simple reason that the network is *part* of the user experience, therefore Apple, being Apple, would want to control that as well as the actual phone. It will be a lot more work for them, but I haven’t seen Apple shy away from a challenge like that in a while. If it works well, they will completely revolutionize the mobile market, if it doesn’t, it will flop bigger than Gigli or… Zune. There isn’t going to be any in-between, I think.
    We’ll see.


    MW: ‘general’ (needs a tune up, Cooter)

  6. MVNO? please… does apple want to get into the messy world of being a mobile phone operator? huge start up costs… there are so many MVNOs that are failing miserably… ESPN mobile, amp’d mobile, disney mobile, etcetcetc

  7. iPhone= Chinese water torture= drip-drip-drip of if-but-maybe

    Can’t staaaand it any looonger!

    No more iP info for me until it’s in the shops and burning my wallet.

    ps. Can it be mobile broadband please.

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