iPhone Exclusiveness Is Part of Its Appeal

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2010-12-06 Print this article Print


5. The 4G consideration 

If Apple inks a deal with Verizon and then needs to decide if it should bring its smartphone to other carriers' networks, 4G must play a role in that decision. The future of wireless connectivity is firmly rooted in 4G. Verizon is already heavily invested in that space going forward. Granted, Sprint is as well, but Verizon is well on its way to besting its competitor. That's a factor Apple must keep in mind. 

6. It's not what consumers want right now 

Let's face it: Consumers don't want to see Apple announce that its iPhone will be made available to T-Mobile and Sprint customers. The average consumer has been waiting for Apple to announce that its iPhone will be coming to Verizon's stores. That should be Apple's focus right now. Then Apple will have all the time in the world to consider whether there will ever be a good time to bring its smartphone to T-Mobile or Sprint. 

7. It speaks to its uniqueness 

There is something to be said for offering the iPhone on all carriers. After all, by doing so, Apple can maximize its market. But as its history has shown, Apple doesn't necessarily care about maximizing its market. The company cares most about providing a high-end device in a way that makes it unique, possibly less attainable and thus more attractive than competing products. It's another factor that makes its iPhone so compelling. Apple shouldn't lose sight of that as it considers whether it should bring the smartphone to T-Mobile and Sprint. 

8. Prior to Verizon, it would be a letdown 

Although speculation abounds that Apple will first bring the iPhone to Verizon and then think about other carriers after that, the company would make a huge mistake by first announcing availability of its smartphone on another carrier, like T-Mobile or Sprint. Verizon has been the subject of rumors for years, and it's what the market expects. By not offering the Verizon option, Apple could put itself in a very bad position among consumers and enterprise customers. 

9. A new and improved iPhone is more important 

Every year, Apple offers a new iPhone with updates over the earlier model. And each year, even though it's offering the device to one carrier in the United States, it faces challenges-just look at the white iPhone for proof of that. But by adding three carriers, Apple's design and quality control challenges could increase exponentially Apple may just have to accept that as a necessary evil. Make no mistake that the more carriers Apple works with, the more it could hurt the quality and reliability of its products. 

10. Investors would take issue 

At the end of the day, Apple is a public company that needs to consistently provide value to its investors. But it can only do that if it makes sound business decisions that benefit investors. Right now, it's hard to imagine that investors who have been waiting for Apple to partner with Verizon would be all that happy to see it choose Sprint and T-Mobile first. If Apple confirms a Verizon deal, the addition of Sprint and T-Mobile probably wouldn't impact investor demand much. That's something that Apple should keep in mind. 

Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.

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