Like I’m sure many people did yesterday, I checked the upgrade availability for the new iPhone 5 on Apple’s site, but I was surprised to see that unlike previous years, there is no early access. Instead, what I found was that I am “eligible” for the unsubsidized price until May which is obviously disappointing.
I have no intention of paying $649 for the 64GB phone or even $449 for the 16GB option. I can’t imagine I’m the only one in this situation as I bought the 4S when it was initially released. Not sure what this might do to those anticipated holiday sales, but it’s likely to slow a large portion of the potential upgraders into next year as a result.
Now would be a great opportunity for another carrier (hello, VZW, Can you Hear me now?) to swoop in and offer a competitive switch opportunity. It could generate a great deal of good will, brand love and of course a new base of recurring payments on the network. This is common in car sales where a competing brand might offer a dealer incentive to get you out of another car’s lease early. I don’t believe there is any precedent in wireless for this, but hey no time like the present!
Take a peek on Techmeme and you might think the only story in tech news is the upcoming and likely release of a Google Phone. Â I’m sure it will be decent enough but am starting to question the logic a bit given the rumor that the Nexus One as it seems to be called will be sold as an open device, yet on T-Mobile.
I’m definitely a fan of open. Â I absolutely prefer that my mobile devices not have restrictions based on operator business development initiatives and instead offer all that the hardware and OS can deliver. Â I just don’t see how this device is going to really make that much of a difference for the mainstream consumer – or for T-Mobile. Â According to the FCC leak the supported bands will be global and specifically TMO’s (1700) in the US.
If T-Mobile sells and supports the device it will really be a T-Mobile device. Â Even if you buy it elsewhere you will need to run it on T-Mobile (again in the US) to actually take advantage of the 3G services and why would you buy an advanced smartphone otherwise?
I would love to be a fly on the way at Verizon Wireless right now. Â They just spent gobs of cash launching the Droid which is strongly co-branded Google and has little to no Verizon anywhere. Â Maybe they jumped the gun on going for Droid so quickly when big G had this cooking (to compete) all along …
I’m wondering whether Google might be looking to upend the subsidy market by Â taking on the cost directly in exchange for all the lovely data they track … assuming a Google phone is like the G1 in that you must have a Google Account for it to work. Â I tend to agree with Ewan that this really is going to be a price play. Â It’s unlikely that this will be the phone for me, and I do wonder who an open Android device is for just now … Looking forward to seeing how this all plays out.