One of my readers emailed and asked the question: will iTunes phone ever see the light of the day? Given that both Sprint and Verizon, following Gecko’s credo, have decided that they are going to pass on the iTunes, it is a good question. Those are two of the three largest wireless carriers and the trepidation of iTunes fans is understandable. Like everyone else, I am worried about the mlackmail carriers and record companies are going to force on us.
I think Verizon and Sprint just missed an opportunity that would have guaranteed them at least a million new users. At $50 a month per user, that would have meant an additional $600 million in annual revenues, but never mind. You might be wondering why a million users. I am assuming 10% of us iPod lovers would love to own an iTunes phone. You know the same folks who were among the first million to rush out an buy an iPod back in the day when white headphones were a sign of iPoddery!
I think this is a perfect opportunity for T-Mobile, currently the laggard in the US mobile sweep stakes to step in and pick up a lot of switchers for really no cost to them. They won’t even have to spend the money to get the word out – Mac and iPod websites will do the job for them.
And then there is the question of their woeful network, starved of bandwidth and on a spectrum diet. There is clearly no 3G or for that matter 2.5G network in sight, and instead the company is betting that its WiFi network will do the trick. (Fat chance!) My sources in wireless world tell me that the Germans see T-Mobile USA as a cash cow, only to be milked and not fed enough. Frankly it does not have the spectrum or the money to buy the spectrum to roll out a high speed network.
Which brings me to the iTunes phone. Since it doesn’t have the spectrum that can support a downloadable music service, the company should have no problems in supporting an iTunes phone, that perhaps uses a USB or a Bluetooth connection to hook-up with the PC. Even through my gimlet colored eyes, this is a can’t miss opportunity for them… they should take it.
Motorola CEO Ed Zander in a conference call today said that it will release the iTunes phone within next few months,”despite ongoing speculation that Motorola might delay the launch of its iTunes phone because of lack of enthusiasm among US network operators.” ThinkSecret doing its thing predicts June One as the D-Day for iTunes Mobile.