p2pnet news | Mobiles:- Telstra is “dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s on a deal with Apple to bring the coveted iPhone to Australia in the new year,” says The Age, naming Telstra as Apple’s monopoly partner there.
It’s already done it’s dotting and (double)crossing in North America and Europe, with the notable exception of France.
But there’s an excellent change it’ll come unstuck in Oz —- thanks to Datawind, a Canadian company.
It’s not as “sexy” as the iPhone, says SmartOffice, but Datawind has taken to heart the maxim, You Can’t Compete with Free.
Datawind.picks up the cost of access,” says the story.
Canada doesn’t have iPhone either due, to some extent, to the fact it doesn’t own the iPhone name, here.
So can we expect free mobile Net as well?
Not any time soon.
With Rogers as the only GSM operator, quoting wholesale data rates approximately 25 times higher than what’s available in most other countries around the world, “we’re unable to offer free usage in Canada,” company spokesman Suneet Singh Tuli told p2pnet, going on:
“At those rates, the monthly cost would be in the $100 range.
But over in Oz, “All most customers will pay is the $399 price of the PocketSurfer2 itself, at least for the first year,” says SmartOffice.
“For that they score 20 hours of browsing a month: if you want more you can opt to pay $9.99 a month for 50 hours, or unlimited access for $19.99 a month. In the second year, users pay $50 for basic access for the full year.”
At yesterday’s Australian launch at the Canadian Consulate in Sydney, “Datawind sales veep Derek Kopke compared the PocketSurfer2 with an Apple iPhone,” the story goes on.
But, “The iPhone, which connects via WiFi, took four minutes to load an eBay page, compared with PocketSurfer’s seven seconds.”
The PocketSurfer comes with a SIM card and GPRS antenna and, “Datawind reckons it will work anywhere a mobile phone works,” says SmartOffice, adding:
“In Australia it’s connecting via Vodafone – but not directly to the Web. The connection is to Datawind’s servers in Canada, which compress and relay Web pages as requested. GPS location information is available via Google Maps, but viewing video streaming is impossible.”
Some stores will have supplies by tomorrow, others by late next week, says the story.
Cool. But what about Canada?
For now, “we’re primarily launching in markets where we can offer free-usage,” says Tuli, continuing:
“This is based on wholesale virtual operator deals we do with Mobile Network Operators in each of these countries, coupled with our patented compression/acceleration technologies to reduce data consumption and then subsidize them through sponsored-links/advertising.
“The pre-requisite is the deal with the operator.”
Datawind first launched in the UK in October, and now in Australia and in the new year, it’ll be launching in Germany, Spain and India, followed by other countries.
Apple is trying to position the iPhone as not just a phone plus ipod, but as the first handheld providing the real web to a mobile user, says Tuli, adding, “we benefit from their presence in various markets.
“Superior speed, better web experience and a cost advantage are key issues we use against them when pitching consumers for whom the primary requirement is the mobile-internet.
“Apple expects the iPhone to reach 2% or 3% market share in each of the developed countries – this allows us a significant open market that are either pre-paid, or unwilling to sign-up another contract etc, or where the web is the primary application.”
Definitely stay tuned.
The Age – If you hated the Boonie you’ve been Warned, December 7, 2007
SmartOffice – Apple iPhone Loses Download Battle To…., December 6, 2007
doesn’t own the iPhone name – Canada`s iPhone, January 26, 2007
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