“Apple Computer Inc. faces some tough hurdles if it decides to roll out a mobile phone built around its popular iPod music player, Microsoft Corp.’s entertainment chief said on Monday,” Daisuke Wakabayashi reports for Reuters.
Wakabayashi reports, “Robbie Bach, president of Microsoft’s entertainment and devices division, said it too is considering a mobile phone integrated with its Zune digital music player, but launching such a device is not at top of its priority list.”
MacDailyNews Take: It’s not at top of Microsoft’s “Me-Too” priority list because they can’t even get the digital music player part right after half a decade of trying — first with the “too many cooks in the kitchen” so-called “partnership” route and recently with the ill-fated Zune.
Wakabayashi continues, “Analysts have said Apple may sell the phone with its own branded cell phone service via an MVNO, or mobile virtual network operator, under which Apple leases excess capacity from other carriers… ‘The latest rumor we hear is that it is going to be a MVNO phone and there hasn’t been a lot of successes in that MVNO space for a lot of different reasons,’ said Bach, who oversees the Zune business and Microsoft’s video game division.”
Wakabayashi reports, “Bach said MVNO phones often have difficult relationships with the mobile operators. One of the few successful MVNOs in the United States so far is Virgin Mobile. ‘Historically, working with partners hasn’t been a strong point for Apple, so maybe it will find a way to work around those relationships,’ he said.”
Wakabayashi reports, “Putting together a phone with a media player raises many design questions, including how to manage various inputs, the optimal screen size and battery life, Bach said. ‘You have to find out what it’s great at. Is it great as a phone or is it great as music player? If it’s great as a music player, then it’s just another iPod trying to be a phone,’ said Bach.”
Full article here.
No, Robbie, it’s not “just another iPod,” it’s The iPod. You know, the one that you can’t figure out how to copy successfully? The one that utterly dominates the market? A person in Bach’s position should understand the power of the Apple brand, but, clearly, with his questioning of a potential Apple MVNO, he doesn’t get it. And his line, “historically, working with partners hasn’t been a strong point for Apple,” is straight out of Microsoft’s talking points memo as evidenced by Microsoft sycophant Rob Enderle’s frequent use of nearly the same line, for some examples:
• “Apple historically has not been a good partner…“
• “Apple also has a reputation for being one of the nastiest partners around.“
• “Apple partners very poorly.“
Nobody in their right mind gives a zune what Robbie Bach thinks about the possibility of an Apple iPod phone.