Apple pulls an ‘iTunes’ on AT&T

Craig Moffett from Bernstein Research on the iPhone-AT&T relationship (via ZDNet):

Apple has radically tilted the strategic playing field away from the network operator in favor of the device manufacturer …Remarkably, Apple has so thoroughly stolen the customer relationship – who would argue that Apple iPhone customers’ first affinity is to the device rather than to the network – that the network is not only irrelevant, it is rather a source of derision.


Apple’s direct-to-consumer end run around the wireless industry is in many ways simply a repeat of its brilliant negotiation with the music industry at the dawn of iTunes back in 2001. Less than a decade later, Apple has managed to capture considerable value from the music industry as it sells ever more iPods.

This isn’t a new discovery, but I love how long it takes big business to see the error in their ways.
I also hate the irony in the fact that the ‘phone’ part of the iPhone is the weakest link in my owning an iPhone.