Telstra has all but ruled itself out of the running to carry Apple’s new iPhone mobile when it is released here next year with a senior executive launching a withering critique of the device.
Telstra’s operations chief Greg Winn, considered the telco’s second-in-change and the man who oversees most of its big product decisions, believes the iPhone may meet some significant operational challenges when it makes its market debut.
“There’s an old saying – stick to your knitting – and Apple is not a mobile phone manufacturer, that’s not their knitting,” Mr Winn told AAP.
“You can pretty much be assured that Nokia, Motorola, Samsung, Sony Ericsson and ZTE and others will be coming out with devices that have similar functionality.”
In addition to mobile calling, music portability and email capability, the iPhone boasts a vastly enhanced design that significantly challenges most mobiles’ current approaches to user interface.
The phone’s touchscreen is also considered a significant drawcard but it’s technology Mr Winn does not believe makes the device truly revolutionary.
“I think people overreacted to it – there was not a lot of tremendously new stuff if you think about it,” he said.
“It was maybe kind of cool on the touchscreen technology but touchscreen technology is another domain, so it’s only a matter of time before it went to the device.”
His comments were all the more surprising given that Telstra was originally touted as being hot favourite to cut a deal with Apple.
The iPhone uses a GSM wireless technology called EDGE, which is widely known as “2.5G”. It is not clear why Apple did not decide to support faster 3G technologies, although this has not been ruled out of product revisions.
In Australia, only Telstra uses EDGE, making its network the only one that the iPhone could be used on – based on the device’s current specifications.