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Telstra Tells Apple ‘Stick to Your Knitting’

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I read with amusement  about Gregg Winn, the 2ic at Telstra telling Apple to "stick to your knitting" in respect to the new iPhone.

At first glance the article heading aired of hypocracy given the telco now delivers movies and other content against local video, CD and games stores.

Tesltra, who stated in it’s public strategic direction want to move upstream in the information pyramid towards rich media content and application services – to in effect become another media and software company – a Yahoo/Seven, a Nine MSN, a Google/ News Ltd – to repeat the digital transformation achieved by British Telecom (BT) and many other telcos around the globe – to also expand it’s interests in Yellow Pages and it’s other investments.

In more detailed reading Winn appears to be saying do not get carried away with the i-phone hype. This is good advice but without doubt Apple has acheived the "innovators" tag in the market. The marketing is slick and it has create a devoted customer culture. The Ipod created a new batch of consumers beyond its historical computer user base – with the Ipod it acheived the MP3 player market leadership and the dominant position. Today there are thousands of other MP3 players on the market and as competition increases so will profit margin pressure. From a manufacturers point of view they need to find the next wave. How many Ipod users will migrate to the Iphone?

The next big wave is around the convergence of computers and telephony – in particular wireless telephony or *VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) – this is where the Iphone comes in.

As Winn says there will be hundreds of these devices to choose from by the time the I-phone launches here in Oz. There’s a lot of things that can happen with technology in a very short time. This week we have seen landline revenues drop something like 21% and Telstra Next G announce an increase in speed to the wireless network to over 14mbps – fastest in the world.

All these devices have to run across wireless networks.

After the device war settles it will be leveraging this technology on top on social and business community web sites such as MySpace, Ebay and BANGitUP where the real advancements will be made.

Footnote

*If you weren’t sure VOIP enables you to make phone calls over the Internet and has been around for a few years with the likes of Skype. The original call quality was pretty poor but has improved significantly over that time and is near business operation grade. The problem or greatest barrier to adoption for most people and businesses is that it is yet another device of communication you and I have to deal with – another number – another address on your email signature or business card – another bit of technology – another address book that needs to be maintained. Many times it easier just to pick up the phone.

As we enter into the next wave of technological evolution then there will be multiple devices – what we want is the seamless transfer of information across multiple devices. We want to keep our existing telephone number and simply have that VOIP enabled.

Telstra to Apple: ‘stick to your knitting’ – BizTech – Technology – smh.com.au

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Scott Maxworthy is the CEO of BANGitUP and the author of the BANGitUPTV blog.

Telstra Tells Apple ‘Stick to Your Knitting’
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