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Research Firm Sees Apple Launching its 'iPhone' With MVNO Helios
Wednesday, April 19th, 2006 at 1:00 PM - by
British research firm Visiongain has released a report in which it predicts a 78% likelihood that Apple will release the fabled 'iPhone' in conjunction with the launch of the MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) Helio this spring. The company gave an 85% chance that it will happen in the third or fourth quarter of this year.
The report's executive summary, a copy of which was obtained by iPodObserver.com, states that Helio "is a sharp departure from MVNO trends, which lean heavily on prepaid or very narrow specialty niches." The report cites Helio CFO Todd Tappin's plans to sign three million customers and create over US$2 billion in revenue by 2009.
In addition to utilizing 3G cellular networks and offering music, video, and games, Helio "is also promising handsets never before seen in the U.S., and services that go beyond the basic music and video offerings of mainstream carriers," the report said. "Helio's top executives have publicly voiced frustration with mainstream carriers and appear to be on a crusade to radically shake-up the industry."
The executive summary also points to built-in ties between Apple and Helio: executive Rob Gelick developed the iTunes Rokr phone at Motorola before leaving, and Disney, which recently purchased Apple CEO Steve Jobs' other company, Pixar, has its own MVNO that could become part of the mix.
"The iPod's existing parental control and automatic 'allowance' features will easily translate to a phone device and will readily appeal to Disney's market: the concerned parents of under-aged kids demanding a cell phone," the report said.
"Eventually," the report added, "Apple will also offer free WiPod to WiPod calls, using a Skype-like software application. If this manifests, it will be highly disruptive to the current carrier market."
Visiongain's complete 82-page report sells for £1,299. It delves more deeply into the topics touched on in the executive summary.
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