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Old Nov 27, 2007, 05:56 PM   #1
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German Carrier Paying 600 Euro Bonus for iPhone Switchers



With the new unlocked 999 euro iPhones in Germany, at least one wireless carrier is taking advantage of the opportunity to try to win over some iPhone customers.

German mobile phone provider Debitel AG is offering customers a 600 euro sign-up bonus to iPhone buyers to switch from T-Mobile to their service.

T-Mobile was forced by an temporary injunction to offer an unlocked iPhone in Germany without a required contract. The normal German iPhone costs 399 euro but requires a 2 year contract. For 999 euro, customers can now buy an unlocked and contract-free iPhone. Debitel's bonus is meant to offset this unlocking cost to get customers.

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Old Nov 27, 2007, 06:21 PM   #2
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Wow. Just... wow.

I wonder how long you have to sign up for?
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Old Nov 27, 2007, 07:34 PM   #3
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Actually debitel is more a MVNO than a carrier - they resell subscriptions from all major carriers.

This move is great for consumers and finally brings back the free market conditions Apple did try to surpress.
  • People can buy into all plans, including T-Mobile
  • People that already have free hotspot access because they pay for it with their Telekom landline, do not need to pay for it again
  • People talking a lot and using little data can save big money - a domestic flatrate and a small data package from T-Mobile cost less through debitel than the Complete XL package from T-Mobile
  • Mostly younger people sending tons of SMSs can save substantially
  • debitel does handle changing of tariff plans a lot more flexible than T-Mobile, especially iPhone customers get lousy service (cannot even change freely between the 3 iPhone tariffs)
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Old Nov 27, 2007, 07:39 PM   #4
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Old Nov 27, 2007, 08:05 PM   #5
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Just goes to show what a little ingenuity can do!
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Old Nov 27, 2007, 08:54 PM   #6
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will these other proveders be able to offer visual voicemail. Or just t-mobile???
was that part of the court ruling?
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Old Nov 27, 2007, 09:10 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Drumjim85 View Post
will these other proveders be able to offer visual voicemail. Or just t-mobile???
was that part of the court ruling?
As per now, not even people buying a T-Mobile tariff through debitel will be able to access visual voicemail, because it is exclusive to the T-Mobile iPhone tariffs (not offered by MVNOs). I do not know what the patent situation is, but I would bet that Apple has this protected. As long as they hold on to their exclusivity model, they will certainly not license it to competitors - but things might change fast. Not a single market outside the US is favouring these exclusive deals and deliberate tying of device and service - in Asia they will not even get a nod.

As somebody who has voicemail always deactivated - I do not call back - I really do not care for that feature, and a lot of business people don't. Call-redirection is offered by every carrier here - let the secretary have it.

Apple will acknowledge at some point (without saying it, but by changing conditions) that the rest of the world is different and that they limit their success instead of supporting it.

The iPhone has recently been tested by the German Xonio.com site, one of the most important resources for people investigating mobiles. The iPhone did not impress - it is now on rank 78 of their all-time list (http://www.xonio.com/artikel/x_artik..._20443109.html - led by several models that are years older.

With rankings like that, T-Mobile runs out of selling points for talking people into an overpriced long-term contract. And as the sales figures from the UK indicate - they will have to bundle free Ferraris soon...

P.S. No, that was not and cannot be part of a court ruling - the court can ensure fair competition by disallowing mandatory vertical bundling - it cannot tell a company to give it's intellectual property to others, unless - in distinct cases - there is a monopoly. As the iPhone is not the only phone on the market (far from it) - this is not a monopoly.

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Old Nov 28, 2007, 01:22 AM   #8
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You are about five hours late...
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Old Nov 28, 2007, 01:52 AM   #9
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You are about five hours late...
Unfair! You have to consider the time difference
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Old Nov 28, 2007, 02:27 AM   #10
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Unfair! You have to consider the time difference
Pffft... when I posted this, it was bright day in the USA.
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Old Nov 28, 2007, 02:32 AM   #11
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Wow, lucky Germans!
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Old Nov 28, 2007, 03:04 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Dreyfus View Post
With rankings like that, T-Mobile runs out of selling points for talking people into an overpriced long-term contract. And as the sales figures from the UK indicate - they will have to bundle free Ferraris soon...
Link for those poor sales figures? All the ones I've seen state that it's selling well in the UK and exceeding expectations (like here, here and here).
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Old Nov 28, 2007, 03:18 AM   #13
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Link for those poor sales figures? All the ones I've seen state that it's selling well in the UK and exceeding expectations (like here, here and here).
Well, all the links you have provided point to reports issued after the first weekend of sales and mainly reflect pent-up demand created by real Apple-fans (pretty much the same in Germany).

This weeks reports sound like this: http://www.appleinsider.com/articles...ne_supply.html

And, watching Bloomberg, BBC and German n-tv - this seems to be not too far off. Of course, only Apple, O2 and T-Mobile do have the real figures, but: whatever they are, they are below the devices potential. The consistent coverage on lawsuits, problems etc. will ultimately make cautious buyers wait - if there is a glimpse of a chance to get it a few bucks cheaper in January, a lot of people will wait. While they wait, they will read reviews (which might be critical), get favourable information on other devices (true or not), etc. Without that whole contract mess, the iPhone would be a normal consumer device, just like an iPod. People could buy it and give it as a present - a present that comes with a mandatory 24 months contract at mediocre conditions (even worse in Germany) might not make spirits bright.
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Old Nov 28, 2007, 03:37 AM   #14
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Great deal.
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Old Nov 28, 2007, 04:01 AM   #15
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Proof that an unlocked free market is better for the consumer. Imagine what this company could offer if the 600 wasn't going to cover that ridiculous unlocking fee.
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Old Nov 28, 2007, 04:23 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Dreyfus View Post
This weeks reports sound like this: http://www.appleinsider.com/articles...ne_supply.html

And, watching Bloomberg, BBC and German n-tv - this seems to be not too far off. Of course, only Apple, O2 and T-Mobile do have the real figures, but: whatever they are, they are below the devices potential.
That AppleInsider story is from an "anonymous source", which isn't very credible. The linked Register story is similarly without attribution.

Maybe you're right and sales are lower than expected, but I don't think we'll know for sure until we get official Q1 figures from Apple. Also, you have to remember they have only ever said they are aiming for 1% of the market: I'd be surprised if they don't get that.
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Old Nov 28, 2007, 08:45 AM   #17
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Despite all these network workarounds and unlocking issues, in the end it's more iPhones sold. And that's good for iPhone users everywhere. More focus on this young prodigy of a device. With all the worldwide intrigue surrounding its many launches, it's looking like this device is really going to be the iPod of the mobile phone market.

Any guesses on how many years before the iPhone to other phone ratio matches the iPod to other digital media players ratio, (roughly 70%)?
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Old Nov 28, 2007, 09:26 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by zombitronic View Post
Any guesses on how many years before the iPhone to other phone ratio matches the iPod to other digital media players ratio, (roughly 70%)?
how many iphones have been sold so far ? let's say until end of year 2 million ... the current per year market for mobile phones means roughly 1000 million phones
the biggest fish is nokia with a 35% marketshare or 330-350 million phones per year

that means for a 70% marketshare apple would have to sell 700 million (since the mobile phone market is still increasing in china, india/africa etc. very likely more)
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Old Nov 28, 2007, 11:02 AM   #19
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Any guesses on how many years before the iPhone to other phone ratio matches the iPod to other digital media players ratio, (roughly 70%)?
Never happen
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Old Nov 28, 2007, 03:19 PM   #20
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Never happen
Okay, maybe 70% is an overshoot. But why not the biggest player, at least? Before 2001, Apple had 0% of the portable media player market. Six years later, they're at the top. I know the mobile phone market is much larger, but 6 years down the line, why couldn't we have a similar picture? True, the mobile phone market is growing much faster than the portable media player market (isn't it?), but the two are converging, and Apple already has the advantage in the media player market. Just an estimate based on current trends, but it seems to me that by 2013, Apple could be as huge a part of the mobile communications and multimedia device market as they are in the portable multimedia device market, right now.
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Old Nov 29, 2007, 10:41 AM   #21
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Okay, maybe 70% is an overshoot. But why not the biggest player, at least? Before 2001, Apple had 0% of the portable media player market. Six years later, they're at the top. I know the mobile phone market is much larger, but 6 years down the line, why couldn't we have a similar picture?
Simple. Because Apple does not offer a low priced phone. They need something that can be either free or under $50 if they want that huge market share. Only a very few people will spend $300 on a phone. Most expect to get them for free with a contract.

Same for macs. The Mc noteboks sell well but they just can not compete with notebooks selling in the $400 to $600 range. These low priced products will always outsell Apples'

No the lower priced products are not as good as Apple's but people look at the $500 gateway and compare it to the $1200 macbok and notice the macbook as a way-smaller screen and go with the cheaper unit. Apple is clearly not going after market share with either their computrs or their phones

With music players we are starting to see people get smart too. My brother just bought a player that is like the Shuffle for $18.
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Old Nov 29, 2007, 05:17 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by zombitronic View Post
Okay, maybe 70% is an overshoot. But why not the biggest player, at least? Before 2001, Apple had 0% of the portable media player market. Six years later, they're at the top. I know the mobile phone market is much larger, but 6 years down the line, why couldn't we have a similar picture? True, the mobile phone market is growing much faster than the portable media player market (isn't it?), but the two are converging, and Apple already has the advantage in the media player market. Just an estimate based on current trends, but it seems to me that by 2013, Apple could be as huge a part of the mobile communications and multimedia device market as they are in the portable multimedia device market, right now.
The partable media player market was in it's infancy when Apple entered. Apple's entry to the MP3 market was like Microsoft releasing Windows. They were in the right place and the right time with a great product.

The cellular industry is a whole different ballpark. It's already well developed and established. Apple would have to climb an enormous mountain, and radically change the approach they are currently showing if they ever believed that could reach that goal.
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Old Nov 29, 2007, 11:15 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Otaviano View Post
The partable media player market was in it's infancy when Apple entered.


Quote:
Apple's entry to the MP3 market was like Microsoft releasing Windows. They were in the right place and the right time with a great product.
That's true. They released a differently and well designed product into the market at a time when current design was weak.

Quote:
The cellular industry is a whole different ballpark. It's already well developed and established. Apple would have to climb an enormous mountain, and radically change the approach they are currently showing if they ever believed that could reach that goal.
But the state of current phone interfaces was in a rut, which is why the iPhone was received so well. The higher price and being locked to a network will be a barrier, but hopefully that will have been remedied by the time iPhones have been around as long as iPods.
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Old Nov 30, 2007, 07:06 AM   #24
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But the state of current phone interfaces was in a rut, which is why the iPhone was received so well. The higher price and being locked to a network will be a barrier, but hopefully that will have been remedied by the time iPhones have been around as long as iPods.
With this I don't really agree. The interface of the iPhone is not all that different from other phones, with the exception of a touch screen. There is a main menu with a icons leading to all the features and applications. Just like my Nokia, I press the menu button and come to a grid of icons with all the phones functions. The only thing Apple did was merge the back and home buttons. Then removed a select button in favor of selecting on the screen. This is basically an evolution of an existing standard. Compare that to the scroll wheel and tell me which one is really revolutionary. And while this touch screen makes for a device with great screen abilities, they've sacrificed in other areas. Typing on the iPhone is not all that easy. To send an SMS you need to hold the phone in one hand and type with the index finger of the other. On a normal cell phone I can type a quick SMS walking with one hand, I would never be able to do that with the iPhone.

Furthermore with the cellular industry being quite developed, Apple won't have the easy path it had with the iPod. Apple releases a new iPod every year, but it hardly had any competitors to force them to progress faster. If they really wanted to take 70% of the market, Apple would need to release a new cell phone every other month. Something I don't believe they can do. Nokia, Samsung, Motorolla are all releasing phones every month, in many different price brackets. The success of the iPhone will affect them, and many of them will focus on interface elements from now on. Also let's not forget that a company like Nokia only has to focus on phones. Apple has a lot of products it's developing and can't let the iPhone become their only focus. If Nokia develops a new phone that has interface that rivals the iPhone they will be much quicker to deploy it into a wide range of phones at various price brackets. So when Apple releases the iPhone 3G we could see Nokia releasing a new set of phones with an interface that rivals the iPhone and it could come in the form of 100 dollar phones that everyone can afford, buy it directly unlocked and use it as you will. It will lack some features but at the same time they release the bigger brother at 500 dollars which most people will by subsidized.

Last edited by Otaviano; Nov 30, 2007 at 07:12 AM.
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Old Dec 14, 2007, 02:29 PM   #25
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With this I don't really agree. The interface of the iPhone is not all that different from other phones, with the exception of a touch screen.
So you think since a yugo has 4 wheels and a windshield, a Bently with 4 wheels and a windshield isn't all that different?
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