In the US and UK one mobile network carrier has exclusive rights to the market on the iPhone, but with the launch of the new 3G iPhone in another 70 odd global markets Apple is looking to offer the handset to as many carriers as possible.
According to an article on WSJ.com Apple might be taking a big gamble with their new pricing policy for the iPhone, a strategy that might eventually pit them against the wirless carriers. In the new business model the iPhone will be cheaper to buy for the user while Apple will be giving up the profit sharing on the wireless service against a one off payment from the wireless carrier for every handset sold. Apple will be looking to shift as many handsets as possible, create the relationship with the customer, and then cross-selling through their new application services. Its a risky strategy that could shift the power from the wireless carrier over to Apple when it comes to pricing of future distribution deals.
But Apple will also see fierce competition from the other phone providers in the market. The new 3G iPhone might be the hot accessory for the Apple fans and the fashionable crowd, leading on design and functionality, but the like of Nokia and a few others have been offering 3G and many other popular mobile services (multimedia messaging etc.) for a long time already, so it is not like the iPhone is revolutionizing the mobile market.
In our opinion Apple still has a lot of work to do in the market as far as keeping in the forefront of developments and delivering new user focused services. It will be very interesting to follow their developments on the application front, an area that could potentially be a big winner.