“The Feds have been examining exclusive wireless carrier deals with handset makers—think AT&T and Apple—but the effort is a bit of a farce. Bernstein analyst Craig Moffett says it’s laughable that the wireless industry is anticompetitive and the Feds don’t have to worry about wrecking the wireless industry—Apple already has,” Larry Dignan blogs for ZDNet.
The argument that handset exclusivity is anticompetitive also comes at a curious time. Indeed, a case can be made that handset makers – well, Apple, actually – have played one carrier off against the other in virtuoso fashion, and are on the brink of stealing the wireless business from the wireless carriers. It wasn’t that long ago that AT&T’s exclusive agreement with Apple’s iconic iPhone looked like a customer relations masterstroke for the carrier. AT&T Mobility, a brand that had once been cingular-ly stodgy and tired, was suddenly, well, relevant again. Apple’s iPhone meant that AT&T was the place for cool handsets. Better, it was the place for wireless data.
Somewhere along the way, however, Apple has stolen the march, and in the process has recast AT&T from hero to villain… Something more profound than just short term economics is afoot. Apple has radically tilted the strategic playing field away from the network operator in favor of the device manufacturer. Remarkably, Apple has so thoroughly stolen the customer relationship – who would argue that Apple iPhone customers’ first affinity is to the device rather than to the network – that the network is not only irrelevant, it is rather a source of derision.
In short, the iPhone seems to be doing just fine at wrecking the Wireless business without the government’s help.
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Things alter for the worse spontaneously, if they be not altered for the better designedly. – Francis Bacon