Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 11th Jan 2011 16:45 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless While everybody outside of the US has been able to mix and match iPhone and wireless operator, the iPhone was still tied to a single carrier in the US. Today, Verizon and Apple announced the much-hyped Verizon iPhone 4. While the rest of the world collectively yawns, this is good news for American consumers, since there will be more competition, and thus, more choice. Edit: Eh, the other way around. First choice, then competition.
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RE[5]: Over hyped
by hankheathen on Wed 12th Jan 2011 05:55 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Over hyped"
hankheathen
Member since:
2009-05-13

Gotcha - sorry, I didn't want to make the assumption.

I hope I didn't come across as a pedantic jerk re: the monopoly thing... As an Australian, I've had some experience with monopolist telcos.

Until the mid-1990's, we basically only had one national carrier for landline/mobile - Telstra (originally government owned and just called Telecom Australia).

On paper, Australia now has 5 'national' mobile carriers, but in reality Telstra still effectively owns the landline market (copper), and the lion's share of the mobile market.

The other 4 players - Optus, Vodafone, Three and Virgin Mobile - are in reality only 2 players. Virgin Mobile is a wholly owned subsidiary of Optus down here (Sir Richard gets some nice licensing fees for the branding), and Voda and Three merged their Australian interests last year.

Fortunately, they all use the same 3G UMTS/WCDMA tech (mostly), and thus all carry the iPhone (and many Android-based handsets obviously).

They will all unlock the iPhone for you for a fee (Optus and Virgin don't charge anything). In addition you can buy the iPhone unlocked directly from Apple - both online and in their bricks and mortar stores.

The interesting thing is the difference between the Australian smartphone market breakdown compared to the US, with regards to the whole iPhone versus Android schtick - it's around 40-45% iPhone, versus 2-4% Android.

That's with all carriers using the same network tech, all carriers willing to unlock handsets, and both iPhone and Android handsets readily available (legitimately) unlocked from manufacturers for a price...

Australia may be a much smaller market than the US (pop 20,000,000 vs 300,000,000), but our mobile phone uptake averages to something like 1.5 to 2 handsets per capita!

It'll be really interesting to see what happens in the US when the big 4 carriers ALL carry the iPhone...

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