WWDC: Dissecting the 3G iPhone

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AR Communications Senior Vice President Carmi Levy sits down with BetaNews' Ed Oswald to make sense of Apple's announcements at WWDC 2008. In the first of two parts, the enterprise and data features of the iPhone are discussed.

Ed Oswald, BetaNews: Carmi, thanks for taking the time to help us sort through the news today. It's been a big day for Apple, especially when it comes to the distribution. What do you make of that?

AR Communications Senior Vice President Carmi Levy

Carmi Levy, AR Communications: Not a problem. We should remember though that it's one thing to announce a product, and quite another to actually roll out a working device and service and get it into the hands of paying consumers.

BN: How so? Shouldn't we just be counting our blessings that this thing is for real, or does Apple have other things to worry about?

CL: Well, it took Apple close to five months after announcing the first-generation iPhone in January 2007 before real people could actually buy it. Minimizing that lag this time around will be critical as Apple works to establish a strong beachhead in the embryonic 3G handset space.

BN: I see what you're saying. Do you think this is important now that its transitioning into the enterprise sector?

CL: Exactly, they're playing in a different sandbox now, so it's time to update their sales and fulfillment processes. They likely have only one chance to get it right because now is when the influencers who might consider the iPhone as a legitimate enterprise platform are mulling over their options.

BN: Sounds like the pressure is on Apple to perform. Transitioning back into the consumer space, and data -- obviously the key draw of the new iPhone. With first-gen iPhone users already using more bandwidth and AT&T and other providers seemingly struggling to keep up, doesn't the 3G iPhone make it worse?

CL: Wider pipes and richer services will only accelerate the trend, which will put pressure on carriers to bolster the back end to avoid bottlenecks. Ubiquitous availability of 3G devices like the iPhone will push carriers to rewrite their data plans to make them more affordable and less management-intensive for consumers and enterprises alike. No one wants to micro-manage their online usage.

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