Welcome to the rabbit's hole. A blog on pulp.
T-Mobile has the winning bid. Apple’s iPhone is sold at T-Mobile. Well, in that case the first possible date I’m buying one is somewhere around march 2009… I never really thought o2 would come to the fall of the hammer… but hope dies last.
But that line of thought certainly goes or will go on in many people’s mind. Less people will buy the iPhone because Apple’s strategy of exclusiveness would force them to change their mobile provider. I don’t know how easy it is to change your provider in the U.S. but here it’s a lot of fuss as far as I know. The last time I switched I tried to take my mobile number with me. Confronted with a small pile of formulas I instantly abandoned that thought.
On the other hand: a smaller provider than T-Mobile would have led to an even smaller amount of possible user’s. The iPhone is, as the iPod was, designed for mass-usage. And as the iPod forced Apple to something you could call a open-door policy towards Microsoft (in making iTunes compatible with Win32-Systems), the iPhone has already led to contributions towards the mass market: the iPhone is a combined everything. A little bit like the Nokia-ad: there’s a thing in my pocket – it’s not one, it’s many.
With the iPhone you’re not only be able to phone, surf, e-mail and use GPRS – you’re able to combine those functions. Which is on the one hand a fantastic idea – I personally dreamed years of such a wonder – but on the other hand it’s not a certain promise. The iPod in some ways has become the ultimate audio-player, it even replaced Sony’s Walkman which at a certain point was just another word for ‘portable music-thing’. The iPhone already is one of thousands of smartphones. Maybe it’s the best (which I doubt) and of course it’s an Apple – but the question promptly arises: is an Apple something for everybody?
To cut a long story short: placing the iPhone at T-Mobile in fact may be a user-friendly development. For, although T-Mobile is the worst case for service-fanatics and a horrible threat for all those exotic Mac-Hipsters – it’s the provider with the biggest and best working network and the furthest in building up network supporting UMTS. It’s still written in the stars whether the European version is provided with an additional UMTS-support, but for Apple, whose marketing-campaigners face laments about slow EDGE-connections by now, it would be a relief.