“The Apple-AT&T partnership for the iPhone and iPad hasn’t gone exactly as well as planned,” Mike Schaffner writes for Forbes. “AT&T has stumbled more than once. Most recently, there have been problems with iPhone 4 order fulfillment, including indications that customers’ private data was exposed to other customers, iPad e-mail addresses were hacked and the on-going problem with dropped calls. Arguably, some of these problems resulted from the surge of demand when the iPhone 4 came out, but it shouldn’t have been unexpected, given the experience with prior product launches. Couple all of this with Verizon’s very effective ‘map’ ads, and it’s clear that AT&T is not in a good place right now in terms of marketplace perception.”
Schaffner writes, “In talking with iPhone owners, just about everyone seems to love the phone except for one aspect, the locked arrangement with AT&T. In my conversations, admittedly not a scientific sampling, the carrier is the thing people would most like to change about the iPhone. As real as all of these problems are, the constant media attention to yet another issue that further lowers the market perception of AT&T. And as we all know, perception can be as important as reality.”
Schaffner writes, “By limiting carrier choices, Apple has given competing products an easier entrance into the market. I believe that if Apple had not tied the iPhone to just one carrier, the iPhone’s market share could have been even higher and would have been that much more difficult to displace as competing products come out.”
“All of this is a life lesson for IT leaders. If at all possible don’t give up control of core components of your operations,” Schaffner writes. “If you must, as Apple had to because it’s not a network carrier, keep your options open and I’d strongly recommend shorter contracts with multiple providers, even if it costs a little more.”
Schaffner writes, “I’m sure Jobs and all the iPhone users would rather be talking about all the good aspects of the iPhone rather than the problems with the carrier. Letting your partner define you is a risky proposition. Let’s hope Apple ends all of this soon by giving us some better options.”
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Even if he can’t, or won’t, see it, hopefully Mr. Jobs can at least hear it. The drumbeat grows stronger with each passing day.
For reference, please see Walt Mossberg’s review of Apple’s iPhone 4.