CEO of Dutch telecom KPN: Apple’s iPhone is ‘pretty useless’

“Apple’s iPhone is ‘pretty useless’ and sales in Germany have not dented new customer numbers for E-Plus, the German mobile unit of KPN, said Ad Scheepbouwer, chief executive of the Dutch telecoms company,” Michael Steen reports for The Financial TImes.

MacDailyNews Take: We own Apple iPhones. They’re about the most useful devices we own. Of course, we’re not facing the prospect of trying to compete against them like Mr. Scheepbouwer.

Steen continues, “However, speaking after KPN reported fourth-quarter results in line with expectations and an upbeat outlook, Mr Scheepbouwer also said KPN would be interested in selling the iPhone in the Netherlands, where it has yet to be launched.

“‘I had one and I thought it was a pretty useless phone, to be quite honest,’ he told the Financial Times. ‘The battery ran out in no time. I didn’t like the touch screen,'” Steen reports. “‘We’d be more than happy to sell it,’ he added. ‘We have half the market in the Netherlands and we hope we will be the party of choice.'”

MacDailyNews Take: iPhone’s battery does not “run out in no time.” Everyone we meet is enthralled with the iPhone’s multi-touch screen. Scheepbouwer’s statements simply do not match reality. Now, what kind of businessman thinks a product is “pretty useless,” but has no problem trying to sell it to his customers? Answer: A sleazy salesman who has no respect for his customers. If you think iPhone is “pretty useless” why would you want to sell it, Mr. Scheepbouwer? We can only conclude that you either do not believe that iPhone is “pretty useless” and are therefore lying to The Financial Times or you have no respect for your customers and will try to sell them “useless” products? Which is it, genius? Oh, and don’t hold your breath for a deal with Apple. On second thought, do.

Steen continues, “KPN’s E-Plus unit in Germany competes against Deutsche Telekom’s T-Mobile, which has exclusive rights to market the phone there. But Mr Scheepbouwer said the 70,000 iPhones sold since November in Germany was ‘not a particularly impressive number’ compared with the 700,000 net new customers E-Plus gained in the fourth quarter, its fastest growth since 2000.”

Full article here.

This Scheepbouwer character sure has a funny way of laying the groundwork for a deal with Steve Jobs – or anybody, for that matter. “Your product sucks. Where do I sign so I can sell it?” That’s an, uh, interesting strategy. For some reason, we’re doubtful it’ll work.


  1. they only got that many new customers because they have an aggressive pricing strategy. they are now one of the the cheapest provider here in germany with 10 cents a minute and are not susidizing phones a lot of phone models anymore. no problem to add 700.000 new cheap customers with an average monthly bill of 10-15 euros versus the now probably 100.000 t-mobile customers with monthly bills of approxametly 75 euros. which customers would you like to have?

    mdn word: “science” as in “this is not rocket science”

  2. …Guess this means that KPN did not get the deal in Holland – which might mean that someone else did…

    Good news: KPN sucks anyway, and I’ll go with whoever else sells it…
    (maybe not in the line on day 1, but certainly on day 2)

    DD from Belgium – but living in the Netherlands

  3. Typical socialist guy, who apparently married the boss’s daughter. Double-dutch maroon. He’s been living below sea level for too long.
    When the finger is taken out of the dike, iPhone will flow in to Holland.

  4. I am a Dutchman and of course I very much enjoy my hacked iPhone. (now running version 1.1.3 ) I know lots of Dutch people already enjoying their iPhones. Mr. Scheepbouwer is pretty good in what he is doing but I can’t see him making the deal. Especially after these remarks. I guess t-mobile will get the deal as they are already Apple’s partner in Germany

  5. I’ll have to say that i’m sure that there are much more functional phones than the iphone in Germany… I would say 3G more popular, stereo bluetooth on there cellphone. A video camera, and faster internet access. The iphone is good but it’s lacking lots of good features. I mean honestly i love my iphone, but has anyone seen what the Nokia N95 can do. I mean fanboy or not of apple, you have to know that the iPhone does NOT do everything…

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