24 August 2009

Apple, AT&T and network capacity

I have written about this before (see this) so this article in BusinessWeek is an interesting follow up. This article highlights several things that I find interesting to note:

  • The relationship between product development and service development. In the wireless market, handsets are provided by companies that do not provide services. Especially in the case of the iPhone, Apple made a considerable investment in developing a user experience and singular branding that required investment from AT&T to implement.
  • The differing investment life cycles of products, software and infrastructure services. Apple has gone through at least three generations of its hardware, more than three generations of its software (if nothing else than to break jailbroken phones). In the same time period, AT&T has still been implementing its original network technology (HSDPA/HSPA) throughout its network. The cost and complexity of delivering infrastructure support is far higher than the product that users directly see and interact with.

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