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Thursday, September 20, 2012



Could iPhone 5 be losing proposition for Operators?
So the biggest thing to happen to iPhone since iPhone has just happened. Forget the mad rush of PR stunts, right from invisible bodies, rubberband electronics, mini-iPad, keypads and what not. And how it could invigorate the US Economy [Supported, no less, by a JP Morgan research piece. Didnt realize Mr Cook was on the Board over there as well.]

The LTE, A6 chip, 4” Screen et al apart, the design, as the universal sigh suggested, was something… well, underplayed. Wethinks Ashish Panjabi, Chief Operating Officerat Jacky's Electronics said it best in his blog “Apple clearly has done a lot of work with the guts of the device and it's always fascinating to see how they've gotten all the critical components packed in so that they can ultimately make the phone lighter and slimmer. ….What most consumers wanted to see was an iconic design. What Apple has given them has been a RD engineers dream project.”

And while weve been hearing reports of Grey Market availability at AED 4,000 plus [even up to 10k, though we would discount that as a silent, moola-leaking minority], Strand Consult has voiced its reservations on what the iPhone could mean for Mobile Operators.

One of the two key points raised in the Strand Consult study play on the viability for mobile operators: “…the new iPhone will negatively stimulate the operators churn and result in operators costs for subsidies and dealer commissions to skyrocket. This happens because customers cancel contracts when a new phone comes along. To get new iPhone 5 customers, operators have to pay Apple and its distributor dearly for the privilege to carry the iPhone, a cost that is difficult to recover from new subscriber revenue.”

The report also talks about users of the older models “…where will all the new users of old iPhone models purchase their SIM cards and thereby their traffic? The answer is they will purchase their voice and data where it is cheapest, and in many countries that will be from a no-frill MVNO or from operators such as T-Mobile USA that sell SIM-only products to iPhone users.”

In conclusion? “We believe that the larger and older a mobile operators iPhone customer base is, the more costs they will have from the new iPhone. We are certain that many of Apple's original and largest partners will experience an explosion in churn and that the money they will need to spend on subsidies and dealer commissions will have a negative influence on their revenue during the coming months. At the end of the day there is no doubt that the launch of the iPhone 5 has been very successful for Apple and its shareholders. But shareholders of mobile operators will not be so pleased. The new iPhone 5 will not expand the market for new users and will likely end up being an expensive proposition for many operators.”

Fingers trembling at the heresy of what we implied? Let us know what you think...


Following Apples $356m bid for security firm AuthenTec, new rumors have surfaced at the possibility that the new iPhone 5 could feature fingerprint scanner technology.

If AuthenTec decide to accept Apples bid on October 4th, this would be one of Cupertinos largest acquisitions, signaling extra security built into future Apple devices. AuthenTec specializes in mobile phone security and, according to merger documents, is already developing 2D fingerprint scanners for Apple. The results could appear as soon as Apples iPhone 5 launch on Wednesday.

The integration of AuthenTecs security technology would see an extra layer of security added to the iPhone 5s unlock feature, running applications or authenticating payments from the device.Integrated into iOS 6, Apple plans on launching a new service called PassBook. This lets users store loyalty cards, coupons and boarding passes for flights.

The inclusion of these two features PassBook and AuthenTec security will most probably feature in-line with NFC and future contactless payment options, transforming the iPhone 5 into an electronic wallet. Several airlines in the US Delta, American Airlines, United Airlines and Virgin Atlantic have adopted this new technology and have confirmed that Apple users will be able to use an iPhone to store bookings, boarding passes and check in.

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