In this week’s edition of The Fonecast, Iain Graham talked to Faisal Sheikh from London-based Fone Doctors about the new Apple iPhone deal with Orange and Vodafone in the UK. As well as connecting mobile phones and selling accessories, Fone Doctors also repairs and unlocks smartphones.
Iain: Has the new iPhone multi-network deal put a big hole in your business plan and your revenue stream from unlocking?
Faisal: I’m absolutely devastated by it – not! To be honest, the iPhone’s been fantastic for us. Not only is it a great product, it’s created massive hype for our industry – the like of which we haven’t seen since we [Fone Doctors] launched in 2003! It’s got people who weren’t interested in mobile thinking about mobile phones again. It’s ironic that it’s Apple who had that great Superbowl ad from 1984 – when they launched a Mac that was so different, so against the grain – and now Apple are trying to stop the [iPhone] unlockers and we’re the ones trying to be against the grain.
Mark Bridge writes:
A few months ago I was at the launch of DataWind’s UbiSurfer netbook, a device that includes 12 months of internet access with the surprisingly low purchase price. A light-hearted presentation compared the UbiSurfer's web access with the Apple iPhone’s “there’s an app for that” TV campaign – and reminded us that many popular web-based iPhone apps cost money whilst web pages were free to access. Pay for a currency converter – or access one online for nothing. Pay for a train timetable application – or go to the mobile web for free.
Commonsense may send consumers straight to the web… but convenience and marketing has still sent plenty to the Apple App Store, which celebrated two billion downloads recently. I didn’t think much more about this until I saw a report in Newsweek earlier this month.