Sunday, December 17, 2006

Why Apple can't let carriers subsidize the iPhone

Brian Tiemann wonders if Apple can orchestrate a brilliant strategy of convincing mobile carriers not to subsidize the iPhone, and thus protect its baby from the fate of Nokias and Motorolas, where marketing and pricing is in the hands of telcos rather than phone makers, devaluing the product into a mere commodity, and even defacing it with huge, unsightly logos.
But really, Apple has no other choice. As a Think Secret report explains, the iPhone will be "an iPod with phone capabilities," and if it were havily subsidized by carriers, it may end up being (relatively or even absolutely) cheaper than a comparable iPod, adversely affecting the latter's perceived value – and even its sales. I think Apple has enough of a superstar status to play hardball with yet another industry. But we'll see, some say as early as tomorrow.

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