Breaking: Vodafone vs. T-Mobile! FIGHT!
I was all ready to do my iPhone-Mail.app review. Then I heard screams across the internetz. The news fresh out of Germany is that Vodafone is trying to break free the iPhone from T-Mobiles sweaty hands! Vodafone has applied for a court injunction against T-Mob on the grounds that its unfair to consumers, unethical, and that there is a real threat that other manufacturers (Nokia, SE, Moto etc) could do the same tie-in to a contract that Apple has done with the iPhone.
On the surface this looks like a chivalrous action by Vodafone. But, this is the company that firstly lost the contract with Apple to be ‘exklusive carrier’, and secondly has the most horrid branding and walled-garden approach to mobile internet you can get. Now T-Mob is no angel here, they are actually no better really. But Vodafone….please…cry me a river because a SINGLE handset from a brand new player in the market has put the shits up you BIGTIME. Checked Vodafone lately? hmm…I see a few ‘exklusive’ deals with other handsets that are not available on other carriers. This is common practice in the Mobile industry.
So why pick on the iPhone? Because as I have said before, this little unassuming device has ripped a big gash in the mobile industry, and it’s bleeding money. And not into the usual suspects hands either. Vodafone wants, needs, DESIRES some of that cash like nothing else. Do I believe other manufacturers would all start doing the same as Apple with the iPhone? Nope. The other manufacturers just want to shift handsets, they don’t give a shit who wants them, as long as they are getting paid.
The technical aspects come into play as well. You see, the iPhone has a function called ‘Visual Voicemail’. As in that if you get a voicemail it is sent to you as an actual file, to be played locally on the device. And how does it get to your iPhone? Via EDGE. And who has EDGE in Germany? T-Mobile. And who else? No one else. So if the iPhone is free to roll onto any network it desires, you also must willingly forfeit some services from the product. This also includes the always-connected data for email retrieval (EDGE). Would you go out and buy a Nokia E90 if you could only use it with GPRS? Most probably not. But the iPhone has WiFi right? True, but being realistic..just how far back are you willing to strip the iPhone of its original advertised intended purpose, in order to make it cheap as chips?
What the hell are you buying an iPhone for if you don’t need any data / voicemail???? To pose? To look hip?
If the iPhone is freed from network tie-in, I think this will be detrimental to not only the product, but the original concept of getting people to become used to truly having the internet in their pocket everywhere they go. And that will be a shame.