A very senior executive at Australia’s leading telecommunication carrier, Telstra, has slammed the iPhone, telling Apple that it should “stick to its knitting”.
“There’s an old saying – stick to your knitting – and Apple is not a mobile phone manufacturer, that’s not their knitting,” Telstra’s Chief Operating Officer and second in charge, Greg Winn told AAP in a report carried by local papers Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.
It had been generally thought that Telstra was the most likely carrier to distribute the iPhone in Australia as it operates the only 2.5G (also known as EDGE) mobile phone network (the present model iPhone works with 2.5G).
Winn pointed out that rival mobile phone makers Nokia, Motorola, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, ZTE and others will be coming out with mobile phones that offer the same or similar functionality as Apple’s iPhone. Winn was even dismissive of the iPhone’s much-raved-about touch screen.
“I think people overreacted to it,” Winn is reported as saying, explaining that touch screen technology was always bound to come to mobile phones eventually.
Apple’s problems with Cisco over the iPhone name, also didn’t impress Winn, who saw it as a “marketing oversight”. Neither did Winn understand how Apple was intending to roll out the iPhone globally when it had made an exclusive distribution agreement with US-based Cingular.
“Cingular is not a global company,” Winn noted dryly.
Winn was also worried by the lack of a replaceable battery, and the associated lifecycle management and upgrade issues.
However, Winn did say that the iPhone would probably be a successful initially.
Based on Winn’s lack of enthusiasm, and given that Apple hasn’t ruled out a 3G iPhone, it’s more than likely that one of Telstra’s competitors will be handling the iPhone by the time it arrives in Australia next year.
Greg Winn, along with CEO Sol Trujillo, and marketing chief, Phil Burgess, are all US citizens, who all worked together at US West. They are dubbed the ”three amigos” are well known for their forthright, take no prisoners approach to doing business and very public attacks on competitors and even the Australian Government.