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Daniel Sitter, Idea Seller

I like great hardware with lots of "buttons & knobs" as much as any guy Katie, and the exciting, new Apple i-Phone is as hot a product as I can remember. From a marketing standpoint, it's going to be hard to beat!

BUT... the fact of the matter remains, that long after the "buzz" of the phone sale is made, you are going to have to "live with" and use a certain mobile service provider day in and day out. Not everyone is very excited about that fact. That's reason enough for me and legions of others to hold back on our purchase, at least for now.

Over the years, I have experienced most all of the cell-phone companies and a variety of plans. For my money and sanity, I have returned to Verizon as the best service provider. I am hopeful that Apple will see the "error of their ways" and offer this incredible product through a variety of channels, including Verizon, in the near future. I sure hope so!

As far as Apple's competitors are concerned, I'm certain that there will be many sleepless nights, heartburn, headaches and general anxiety experienced over the coming months, but things will settle down. I expect that we'll be seeing some very creative offers and plans from many of them in the near future!

Hi Daniel, Thanks for writing in to talk about why many customers won't be switching to AT&T. You're right, there's so much hype about the iPhone right now that everyone seems to be forgetting that many customers won't choose to switch providers just to get a fancy new phone.

One thing to note before condemning Apple for making their product too exclusive: Verizon actually turned down the iPhone!

http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/2007-01-28-
verizon-iphone_x.htm
(http://tinyurl.com/yntlu8)

And, by the way, I'm looking forward to seeing new creative phones and plans too!

Mark True

Great question, Katie:

I see another option: since Sprint and Verizon are service providers - they don't make phones as a core competency - why not offer Apple a deal they can't refuse to be the next provider of service for the iphone, when the exclusive arrangement is expired? I see in the comments that Verizon evidently turned down Apple, it's still an opportunity for Sprint and Verizon in the future...if the price is right and the newness begins to fade.

Yet another option: create a network that is unbeatable, one that reaches everywhere, one that is reliable, one that people will not leave no matter the coolness of the phone.

These are options that are based on their brand and don't put them at the whim of the next cool thing.

When organizations understand who they are, and make decisions based on who they are - not on what they're competition is doing - it seems like they can be much more successful. They can control what they do, but they can't control what the competition does.

-Mark

Mark, some very wise words there about how companies can only control their own future. I definitely hope that Verizon and Sprint start looking ahead to create theirs.

Also, I like your ideas. Instead of focusing on creating the next big thing (which can be fleeting), you concentrated on how those companies can create a sustainable competitive advantage. Very smart.

Want to get together and pitch some of those phone companies with our ideas? ;-)

~Katie

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  • Katie Konrath loves fresh ideas.

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