A clash of cultures..

In the Retail industry the growth of Apple Sores has really stood out, as a success story in the electronics sector, and anyone who has ever visited a PC World or Currys Digital (Its still Dixons to me) cannot but comment on the different experiences, knowledgable enthusiastic staff, slick processes, great design etc.

Well the wheels have come of the Apple Store shine for the past two weeks, following the launch of the iPhone 3G. What a shambles, from The Unofficial Apple Weblog, Chris Mac Morrison took this photo in the Regent Street Apple store of the queue of people waiting to buy their iPhones.

Rather than continue the ground breaking activate your iPhone at home process from the old iPhone, it would appear that Apple has given in to the demands of the mobile phone operators and are selling iPhones in the same way other phones are sold on the high street, with the required ID checks, credit checks, DNA samples and general humiliation.

And of course we all know how well the O2 online store worked !

Not the usual Apple store

The tragedy is that Apple had the opportunity to change an aspect of the mobile phone industry, one of many aspects people dislike, actually its difficult to find anyone who has much positive to say about their mobile phone operator. 

I personally believe the whole industry would be in a better state if all phone were sold sim free, users would of course have to pay the full price for their devices but would then have the freedom to change operators more easily and in the process through competition drive up the standards of service provided by the operators.

Would you be happy to buy a car subsidised by a particular oil company, with the agreement that you would only buy petrol (Gas) from that companies service stations ?

A real missed opportunity, and Apple as a brand has been tarnished by association.

Written and submitted from home, using my home 802.11 network.

2 replies on “A clash of cultures..”

Is the subsidy a useful tool for the network operator forcing lock in? Or an expensive pain in the rear, a hang over from the days when mobile phones were novelty and unproven, and the subsidy made the sale?

I think it might be a case of the latter?

The network operators find themselves in a bind, as the western consumer all too often chooses to buy now and pay later. As you say, Apple did have the chance to change this, but those who demand payment upfront will lose in the short term; of course as markets the world are now learning, someday, everyone has to pay up.

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