Friday, June 29, 2007
The Shape of the Appleconomy
"...We started off thinking we should do an MVNO (mobile virtual network operator)".
I would bet a significant amount of cash that Apple in fact might be forced to do exactly that - vertically integrating exactly the same they have been forced to in retail.
How much more would most people trust Apple to offer a (truly) superior mobile experience? How much would it explode the growing strength of Apple's brand and relationships?
A great deal indeed. The pressures may be inexorable - and the opportunity to create a mobile comms experience without the fears of cannibalization and channel conflict which force most carriers into an utter and total strategic paralysis may be simply too great.
If that happens, expect a secular shift of value from, well, everyone in the mobile space to...Apple.
It is interesting. In some ways it makes the teaming up with AT&T valuable. Apple get to have first hand experience in running a mobile service without having to put brand value on the line.
I expect in two years Apple could easily start an MVNO and avoid many of the pitfalls of other MVNOs. Or rebrand Virgin USA as Virgin Apple. :)
// Simon Cast // 9:38 AM
Hey Umair - good to see you blogging again. Hope you've been having fun.
Isn't this the mistake Virgin made in the UK by shackling their brand to the train network? If you take your trusted, even beloved, brand and then associate it with an infrastructure you don't really control, then every time that infrastructure breaks down your brand takes a negative-association hit.
Not convinced of the wisdom of such a move. Perhaps if Apple MVNO'd with a provider that really delivered (I keep hearing good things about Verizon, but I've no real experience of US mobile nets myself) they might just be OK. But on balance tying their brand to a whole infrastructure that is probably rightly associated with infuriating failure looks like a loser to me, with Virgin trains the case in point.
// Seamus McCauley // 12:25 PM
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