Euro iPhone launch will reveal 3G handset for Vodafone, T-Mobile
Ignore the US launch...
A new 3G (European) version of the iPhone will be launched Monday in the UK by Apple - in a joint promotion with Vodafone, T-Mobile of Germany, and Carphone Warehouse. It should answer the disappointment with the US version of the iPhone which has been widely slammed for its poor performance as a phone.
Hints of the European launch emerged yesterday when Bill Condie of the London Evening Standard tipped Vodafone to be the official carrier, which will be confirmed Monday. But Voda is just part of the picture, with Apple going for a three-pronged European strategy with carriers - again, responding to disappointment in America with the exclusive deal with AT&T/Cingular.
Shipment date is still unknown, but "on course" for the year-end date predicted last October by Apple CEO Steve Jobs.
Vodafone is currently in an ideal position to take on the iPhone, because its 3G network is hugely under-utilised. Pricing on mobile data is normally prohibitive, but Vodafone has recently revised its 3G data charges down, following "rip-off" complaints from users.
It may even be possible that European data prices will match, or be an improvement on the eye-watering charges announced by AT&T in North America.
The iPhone requires a high speed Internet connection to function properly, both because of its excellent Internet browsing capacity, and also because of its requirement for high quality video, which limits the appeal of the US version.
Writer Condie quoted sources inside Credit Suisse which suggested that France Telecom was in line for a franchise. That is unlikely to be fulfilled, possibly because of Orange's insistence on "strong branding" on any handset it carries. Orange has irritated several phone makers by insisting on disabling technical and user-oriented features which didn't sit with Orange commercial policy.
The appointment of Carphone Warehouse as a virtual network carrier will be a big surprise, however.
T-Mobile CEO Rene Oberman was reported to be "ecstatic" at getting a joint contract, according to insiders. He's expected to be present at the Apple party Monday when the new device is unveiled.
The American version, using only 2G phone technology, goes on sale today. Queues have been forming outside Apple (and other) retail outlets in New York since Tuesday this week.
Copyright © 2007, Newswireless.net
No announcement yet. And Monday is over. Could the register be wrong? Surely not....
3G capability doesn't help when no 3G coverage
I don't know how much the 3G capability matters that much. Nearly everywhere I have needed remote data capability I have found that there is no 3G coverage. Coverage in the UK is patchy to say the least. So I have normally been running on GPRS.
However, my SonyEricsson W810i has EDGE capability, and Orange have an EDGE data network. I have found that the EDGE coverage is better, and when I am in an area with no 3G, the EDGE phone beats the 3G phone when it drops back to 2G.
I don't find the speeds too bad when running EDGE.
I actually find I am more likely to get a WiFi connection than a 3G signal....
2G USA vs 3G Europe...
With regard to this debate, would the fact that, as the US residents have a tendency to take excessive legal actions against such stupid things as a domestic cat crossiing a road in a district some 40 miles down-wind which passes wind and is claimed to have altered the growth rate of a Magnolia bush in a back yard that is north-east facing; then as the 3G network in the US does not provide 100% coverage of the coverage rates stated in then AT&T and Apple are protecting themselves from a legal mine-field.
But then again, I might be wrong.
I'm just glad to see that Apple have realised that there is a world outside of America, and they are actively seeking to introduce their newest devices around the same time as in the States.
Or looking at it another way, thank you America for providing a UAT facility for the RoW. :)
An attempt reducing hacking?
Right now people all over the world are waiting for their iPhones to arrive so they can be the 1st to hack an iPhone to work with a non-US network. The announcement of a 3G phone will side-track a large number of these people which means fewer people poking about inside their firmware.
3G and the rest....
If the iPhone releases here without it it will be digging itself an early grave, with a lot of similar phones going very cheaply that do 3G & Wifi releasing an expensive handset without it will just seriously impact it's lifespan to a few days beyond the initial hyped rush. Your average person going into a store that isn't fixated on an iPhone, when looking at it side by side with some of the offerings from Nokia, Sony Ericsson etc would struggle to justify to themselves why the iPhone is better (read the US iPhone is substantially worse on a technical level than several phones you can get right now from Voda etc).
As for fixing to one network it happens all the time with phones, normally they're special editions or they see full release towards the end of their lifespan, but realistically it has happened quite a few times.
Ultimately to see success beyond the very shortterm, in the UK atleast, the iPhone needs a significant spec upgrade, the US release model is, poor generally let alone for extreme price they've attached to it, I'd rather buy an iPod and get a pretty much free N95, or blackberry tbh at this point, I did have high hopes for the iPhone but it's just not good enough, esp. not at the price that I fear Apple will try to palm it off onto us for.