EU operators bemoan Apple's iPhone arrogance

Apple might choose a retail-only strategy when it launches its iPhone in Europe, as operators are complaining about the firm's arrogant demands. "Operators consistently told us – not for attribution, of course – that they had spoken to Apple and found the company 'unbelievably arrogant,' making demands that 'simply can not be justified, no matter how hot the product is,' Avi Greengart, a principal analyst covering mobile devices for Current Analysis wrote in an advisory report on Monday.

"Several [operators] were adamant that they will never offer the iPhone." The operators didn't disclose to Greengart what demands Apple imposed on European operators, he said in a phone interview. Apple is preparing a US iPhone launch on 29 June. The company has previously promised an European release in the fourth quarter of this year.

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News source: Vnunet

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Many gearheads have made the mistake of judging the iPhone on raw specs rather than the user experience. As with the iPod, it's the groundbreaking interface that will set it apart from its competitors.

It's already won. Cingular has already changed it's plans based on the iPhone (they beefed up EDGE, added visual voicemail, etc.).

I really do hope that the iPhone helps change the US cellphone industry because right now everyone is getting ripped off.

QuarterSwede said,
It's already won. Cingular has already changed it's plans based on the iPhone (they beefed up EDGE, added visual voicemail, etc.).

I really do hope that the iPhone helps change the US cellphone industry because right now everyone is getting ripped off.

SO $599 is NOT a rip off?

QuarterSwede said,
It's already won. Cingular has already changed it's plans based on the iPhone (they beefed up EDGE, added visual voicemail, etc.).

I really do hope that the iPhone helps change the US cellphone industry because right now everyone is getting ripped off.

The EU cellphone network is already way ahead of the US one, Why would we want to downgrade our tech so the iPhone can work?

Maybe if Apple upgrade their phone to support EU requirements it might go somewhere, but otherwise, forget it.

I have the suspicion that the revolutionary thing Apple is shooting for here isn't purely with a jaw dropping iPhone feature set, but with groundbreaking deals for the customer... Anyway, Apple will probably see that this market is unlike markets they've previously tried to compete in...

The iPhone being sold without any "carrier" means that the customer will have to pay whatever apple charges for the phone. So that one bit is bad the the customer.
Companies usually cripple IR ports and such things, which sucks. Apple's demands were probably money. I doubt they asked the companies to not cripple the conectivity of the phone, considering the phone is also an ipod. There are plenty of mobiles sold out there free of any carrier that don't cripple anything...


No carrier to me is a good thing... it will drive the price of the iPhone down. It will also mean the mobile phone providers don't take a hit on their profits.

There are plenty of good mobile phones out their made by excellent manufacturers who don't seeminlgy pull these sorts of stunts. I don't see why Apple think they are any different.

Hmm.. A thought occurrs... IF Orange take it on, then there's every likelyhood that it'll come to where I work for network validation....

/me rubs hands evilly.

Validation: FAIL

The phrase, "adapt or die" comes to mind... They're blatantly going to release a European version with 3g instead of EDGE, heck, I'm from the UK and I hadn't even heard of EDGE until the release of the iPhone.

to say the truth here, that phone sucks. The problem here is if europe allow that a "corporation" like apple do what they want to do, europe would end like us. And *WE* DONT WANT THAT.

I am surprised that cingular (refuse to call them at&t) is carrying it here. There are many phones that cingular sells that can do the same things. hck I can buy a cheap laptop for this price that does the same things. I really hope that the iphone bombs. If it doesnt this will set a dangerous precident .

Pure speculation.

The iPhone will work fine in the EU. Someone will support it in each country, maybe not the biggest companie, maybe someone like Virgin. But if it sells well in America, it will sell in the EU. Companies usually dont turn down potential profits.

Except that EDGE support in the EU is VERY limited; and if Apple are after some of the providers profits as a %, I think they have little hope.

The phone is designed for the US market; it's missing key features that EU consumers are used too and I struggle to think they will spend a huge amount of money on a phone containing mostly outdated technology that doesn't do all they want just because of the Apple brand.

There's also the issue that the phone is a closed environment; which seriously limits 3rd party developers. One of the reasons Windows and Symbian based phones are so popular in the EU is due to their open platforms for 3rd party devs.

Its only hope of selling is as a fashion accessory. It offers bugger all else over many phones we already have.

Style over substance, the Apple way. But it looks good so it will sell... especially to footballers and their bints.

Well Apple refuse to let Vodafone or T Mobile to put any of their crap on iphone for one.
Apple require Network to work with them to get Visual VoiceMail work.
Apple demand a better Edge services ( Like At&T Fine Edge )
And later being apple want xx% of money from the subscrption....

T-Mobile, as an example, hasn't put any crap on my N95. The only thing that even hints at it being T-Mobile is the Web n Walk link which is just the browser (and the gateway settings for HSDPA connection).

I have a Sony Ericsson W800i with T-Mobile, and it didn't come with any crapware.

Apple can demand better Edge infrastructure if they want. Europe uses 3G, and we're not going to change anything for Apple.

if apple are having problems getting into the european market i can't imagine them getting anywhere in japan... apple really have no right to be arrogant if they're producing a pretty poor product in its features, and its their first time going into the mobile phone market.

when you've got phones out there at the moment that have more features, are more powerful and are cheaper or the same price range then being arrogant isn't going to get anywhere. the other problem will be that at least in the UK you'll get terrible reception with an iphone because its on edge, probably in most other european countries too.

troist said,
if apple are having problems getting into the european market i can't imagine them getting anywhere in japan... apple really have no right to be arrogant if they're producing a pretty poor product in its features, and its their first time going into the mobile phone market.

when you've got phones out there at the moment that have more features, are more powerful and are cheaper or the same price range then being arrogant isn't going to get anywhere. the other problem will be that at least in the UK you'll get terrible reception with an iphone because its on edge, probably in most other european countries too.

You're exactly right about Japan, as far as I know Apples don't sell well there, even iPods aren't that special there, so I don't know how they're planning to sell their sub-par phone there. One thing Japan loves is it's phones and the more advanced the phone, the more they'll love it.

Kushan said,

You're exactly right about Japan, as far as I know Apples don't sell well there, even iPods aren't that special there, so I don't know how they're planning to sell their sub-par phone there. One thing Japan loves is it's phones and the more advanced the phone, the more they'll love it.

Don't know about that. Remember the movie about the apple store opening in japan......

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9TyR3fyLO_I check it

Japan is one of the best markets for apple

Ifoow said,

Don't know about that. Remember the movie about the apple store opening in japan......

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9TyR3fyLO_I check it

Japan is one of the best markets for apple

One store, gigantic population... really doesn't prove anything without real statistics. Also, one day of a huge lineup doesn't mean they love apple, for all you know they went in and said "wtf is this?" and left.

Apple arrogant? Impossible. Apple is the best thing which could have ever happen to our universe.

Good thing my one year old HTC Tytn has every single feature of the Apple's iPhone + an extractable keyboard, 3G, Video-calling, no artificial limitations, flash memory and third party software support and still costs less than the iPhone.

2.8 wtf? Why do we want a older tech mobile phone here having cheap 3g already?

If they bring a mobile without the most modern tech in a market that goes so fast as this one they are going to fail. And if they sell it without the providers support it's going to sell even less.

Apple arrogant? Noooo, it can't be. They want extortionate contract lock-ins and cash back that won't fly with EU operators or it's customers.

They really have no idea what they are getting into with the Euro (let alone if they even attempt Japan/Korea) phone market.

Designing it for the US infrastructure was a bad idea in this market, it's just too different.

Maybe Apple wants operators to keep the firmware intact instead of crippling the device and filling it with their own crappy features?

theyarecomingforyou said,
Maybe Apple thinks the product is so good they can get operators to accept awful deals with little in it for them?

Maybe, but the thing is I just hate when you only can get certain phone model from certain operator, who has conveniently branded the phone (which I can stand) and removed some of it's features (usually related to connectivity).

ichi said,

Maybe, but the thing is I just hate when you only can get certain phone model from certain operator, who has conveniently branded the phone (which I can stand) and removed some of it's features (usually related to connectivity).

Thing is, those removed features are usually removed for a very good reason, such as incompatibilities with that providers network.

FloatingFatMan said,

Thing is, those removed features are usually removed for a very good reason, such as incompatibilities with that providers network.

Sometimes it is, but eg. removing IR connectivity between phones seems hardly a matter of network compatibility. Same for the possibility of uploading your own java games from your computer. The only point of removing that kind of features is forcing the customer to spend more money on operator's services.

ichi said,
Sometimes it is, but eg. removing IR connectivity between phones seems hardly a matter of network compatibility. Same for the possibility of uploading your own java games from your computer. The only point of removing that kind of features is forcing the customer to spend more money on operator's services.

Well yes, there IS that side of things too, which is really just another bullet in the guts for Apple really... Phone providers want ways to leach the maximum cash from their customers; the iPhone won't let them do that, so why should they carry it?

"Thing is, those removed features are usually removed for a very good reason, such as incompatibilities with that providers network. "


Hmmm, every feature I've seen that has been disabled has been to increase operator revenue. Why else would Orange disable the ability to get photos off the C600 except via MMS or email (or putting on memory card, taking the memory card out of the phone and putting it into a PC) which are both revenue earners (when I flashed the phone with a standard HTC ROM it works fine).

well certainly would be possible for Apple to just sell it in retailers such as Carphone warehouse so that people could choose their own network. in Europe the network is standardized so people would be able to use any provider.
the problem is Europe doesn't have great EDGE coverage. most providers just went straight to 3G so most people most of the time are going to get a really low speed service. they really should put 3G in it for Europe.
i wonder what these demands that Apple could be making are that can't be justified. it's hard to imagine them being so arrogant that Vodafone or T-Mobile would turn down an exclusive EU wide contract. :S

mad_onion said,
well certainly would be possible for Apple to just sell it in retailers such as Carphone warehouse so that people could choose their own network. in Europe the network is standardized so people would be able to use any provider.

Actually, they can't. In the UK at least, phone service providers have to validate the phone operates correctly on their network before they'll allow it to connect to their network. This validation process can take quite a bit of time and frequently requires them to modify the phones firmware to make some functions work correct. The firm I work for carries out some of this validation for Orange in the UK.

mad_onion said,
the problem is Europe doesn't have great EDGE coverage. most providers just went straight to 3G so most people most of the time are going to get a really low speed service. they really should put 3G in it for Europe.

Indeed, EDGE isn't used here, 3G is. If they want it to sell, they'll have to get with the program and follow EU standards.

mad_onion said,
i wonder what these demands that Apple could be making are that can't be justified. it's hard to imagine them being so arrogant that Vodafone or T-Mobile would turn down an exclusive EU wide contract. :S

It's almost certainly down to the firmware. EU providers like to brand phones with their own software, and if Apple won't let them, there's plenty of other phone makers who will! The EU phone market is booming, and doesn't need the highly overpriced iPhone. Plus, it's missing basic features such as MMS, and MMS is a massive profit maker in the UK at least.