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iPhone Europe: Don't Hold Your Breath

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on July 06, 2007

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that despite a flurry of rumors, no announcement of an iPhone deal for Europe is imminent. Fortunately for us, writing about the iPhone is very different from most products: Given Apple’s obsessive secrecy, no one who knows anything will talk, and no one who talks knows anything. So we get to write unfettered by anything resembling actual reporting.

But relying on logic rather than facts, here’s my analysis. European carriers Have demonstrated a profound lack of interest in anything but a 3G version of the iPhone. Unlike the U.S., 3G service in Europe is ubiquitous but underutilized, and carriers are anxious to generate traffic to justify multi-billion-euro investments.

Technically, it might not be hard for Apple to cobble up a 3G iPhone. But to announced an enhanced iPhone just after several hundred thousand people put down $600 apiece for a poky EDGE iPhone might be more of a slap in the face than even Apple’s loyal fans could tolerate.

Since Apple doesn’t plan to ship an iPhone in europe until close to the end of the year, there is no eprcentage whatever in announcing one now. QED

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Reader Comments

Roger Beyssat

July 12, 2007 06:25 AM

Did you not write :"no one who knows anything will talk, and no one who talks knows anything" and you are speaking about the iphone.... what does it tell me??
Speak about somethin you know please!!!

Casper B. Hansen

July 20, 2007 11:38 AM

Why should iPhone purchasers of the US be upset about a European 3G version being released? The US carriers doesn't provide the network capability anyways, so what's the big problem about that? I'll tell you what and why the problem is, it's the carriers of the US, and if they HAD 3G, the iPhone probably WOULD be 3G in the US.

I don't see why anybody should be upset about a 3G iPhone for the Europeans, and still, nobody at Apple has announced this, so why are people making up these stories? .. heh, those people are only disappointing themselves i think :)

Casper B. Hansen, Devoted Mac User


July 22, 2007 11:27 PM

Apple has no problem stabbing their costumers on the back with sudden price changes and other marketing tactics, this is a well documented fact often cited by apples loyalist themselves. In fact, if their phone is not out in Europe is only because they couldn't get it out despite their best efforts not because they didn't want to.


August 23, 2007 03:03 PM

I agree that 3G for Europe shouldn't bother the Americans, but I think that there is more to this than just the wireless standard. My guess is that apple wish to introduce a new concept of revenue sharing model in return for, among other things, locking in consumers to one or a handful of carriers. In some ways this may be nothing to do with Europe and instead a country by country contract approach, where the highest national bidder gets the iphone. It is hard to argue against such a new type of revenue sharing model, except that it will be the consumer who will end up paying the price. However, I find the whole issue of locking people into networks a little problematic, while Apple is not open source, they have enjoyed the persona of the 'emancipator' when in fact there is very little, philosophically, separating Apple and Microsoft. I looks like they are taking the bite out of their own apple.


August 28, 2007 03:49 AM

Uhm, wanted to correct the misconception here. 3g is very much alive in the US. ATT/Cingular has a 3g enabled network. The Samsung blackjack is a 3g enabled phone. The US carriers most certainly have 3g capability and while it is not available everywhere, here is a link which details where it is available . Also, 3g phones are usually downward compatible, ie, they usually work with Edge as well.

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