Friday, July 08, 2005

Is Apple Your Next Mobile Phone Carrier? -

Everybody In The Pool - "The solution could be for Apple to launch its own cellular network, doing an end run around carriers and providing the company with revenue from both selling phone handsets and from the resale of cellular service. "

It's no secret that the latest iTunes release (4.9) is riddled with references of phone support, such as:

  • Eject mobile phone.
  • Phone>Podcasts
  • iPod>iPodmobile
  • iPod Phone Prefs
  • iPod>Phone>iTunes Setup
  • Phone>Updating contacts
  • The name of my mobile phone is:__
  • The mobile phone cannot be ejected because it contains files that are in use by another application.
  • Set Up Your Mobile Phone
  • Automatically choose songs for my mobile phone
  • iTunes will automatically fill your mobile phone with a random selection of songs from your library. You may fill your mobile phone with a different selection of songs by pressing Autofill in the mobile phone playlist.
  • No mobile phone connected.
  • Open iTunes when this mobile phone is attached.
I, like most, figured this was just a precursor to Cingular releasing the much discussed/much delayed Motorola iTunes phone. But, Apple as a MVNO (mobile virtual network operator)? It had never really crossed my mind before, but it seems like it could be a good oportunity for them. Apply Apple's flair for "cool" industrial design to a combo phone/iPod, and then subsidize the hardware with a carrier contract (private-labeled Cingular network perhaps?) and you've got a pretty compelling offering.

I'm going to have to keep my eyes and ears open on this. This is one of the more industry rumors I've heard in a while.

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