updated 11:55 am EDT, Thu July 19, 2007
Vodafone wants 3G iPhone
The interenational phone carrier Vodafone is saying that while it would like to distribute the iPhone in Europe, its major issue is the lack of 3G in the device. Reuters writes that in a recent Vodafone conference call, during which it reported healthy third-quarter finances, the company expressed doubts about success for the iPhone in Europe using its current design -- its cellular broadband comes in the form of EDGE, a "2.5G" technology that even Apple CEO Steve Jobs has admitted can be slow.
"It's clearly a good, software-driven device," said Vodafone CEO Arun Sarin, "but we're concerned about wideband area coverage so that 3G (third-generation) or HSDPA (upgraded 3G) connectivity with the iPhone is something that we look forward to."
The difficulty is that much of Europe, particularly Scandinavia, has long been accustomed to 3G services and would likely see the current iPhone as a step backwards rather than the great leap forward promoted by Apple. "Every product, every alterative, every choice here has a price and we just have to be conscious of what it is that we're doing for our customers and our shareholders," said Sarin.
While Vodafone has been pointed to as a serious contender for a pan-European iPhone contract, its recent statements and a general lack of news may indicate that Apple is heading elsewhere, possibly to T-Mobile. Apple is notorious for having coerced AT&T into many concessions, in exchange for an exclusive iPhone contract.