Someone Isn't Getting The European Mobile Market...

Full disclosure: I work for Vodafone Portugal. here’s my disclaimer.

You gotta love non-news like this Financial Times piece, in which we learn two things (i.e., rumors that anyone sane would only believe in after they actually saw anything show up on the O2 press releases page):

1. That Apple intends to limit the Autumn European Launch to Germany, France and the UK (which means they will not be launching on the most innovative mobile markets in Europe).

Odd to see no mention whatsoever of Italy, Finland, etc.

Italy is a tremendous market in terms of SIM card penetration (something nearing 120%, if I recall correctly), and Portugal is supposed to be second. Plus Nokia high-end devices sell like hotcakes there, it being a very healthy high-end device market.

2. That the European iPhone to debut in that Autumn launch would also be 2.5G.

Which is pretty much suicidal as far as web surfing is concerned, since plain GPRS does not provide a good HTTP browsing experience, period.

Then comes data usage, pricing plans, etc. Nowhere else but here in my neck of the woods you’ll find similarly aggressively priced data plans for 3G and HSDPA data access. And even in the UK (where things are a bit less dynamic in that regard), 3G pretty much wiped the floor with the Wi-Fi business.

Although I can see this coming true – in the same way the AT&T deal came true, regardless of what people thought about their network – I can’t help but wonder.

Or, rather, I did wonder, until O2 denied the whole thing.

Then again, what I (and other people in the mobile business) take for granted doesn’t necessarily have to make sense for Apple.

But the Financial Times piece (and, more to the point, the O2 denial) confirms that Gizmodo is absolutely right on the whole mess (including the rumor Guy Kewney started a few days ago):

  • We are all (mostly) clueless.

Again, let’s wait and see.

In the meantime, if you feel up to it, I’m keeping track of all of these in my iPhone – Post-Launch page.