Tag Archives: T-Mobile

Google finds out retailing is harder than it looks

It looks like Google is finding out that being a retailer selling hardware is a bit harder than it looks:

“Google is being inundated with complaints about its Nexus One phone. The touchscreen smartphone was launched on 5 January and can be bought direct from Google and used on almost any phone network. But confusion over who should answer customer queries has led many to file complaints on support forums. Many people are unhappy with Google only responding to questions by e-mail and are calling for it to set up phone-based support.”

Of course, that’s even if customers are sure who they’re supposed to be calling:

“If you buy a Nexus One manufactured by HTC, directly from Google’s Web site, and use it with T-Mobile’s wireless network–who do you call when you have a problem? Google is only accepting support requests via e-mail, and users are getting bounced between T-Mobile and HTC as neither seems equipped to answer complaints, or willing to accept responsibility for supporting the Nexus One.”

One of the reasons that I was convinced that Google wouldn’t be stupid enough to try going into the business of selling its own-branded phone was exactly this: it has no support infrastructure, and no real experience of customer service:

“Google doesn’t have the infrastructure or experience to support a sizeable consumer hardware project. It has no support system, no outlets, no distribution – in short, none of the things that what would be a major hardware launch actually requires. Neither does it have any experience in consumer hardware products.”

The bit that I got wrong was underestimating Google’s hubris – it was, in fact, stupid enough to try selling its own-branded phone via its own website, supported by itself.

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Proof that thinking about the Apple tablet makes you stupid

Gregg Keizer draws the short straw with this story:

‘”The tablet will be supported by multiple [mobile] carriers,” said Brian Marshall of Broadpoint AmTech, citing unnamed sources he said were close to the situation. “Verizon and others,” he continued. “Definitely Verizon. I’ve been told that’s a certainty.”‘

Yes. Because the one thing that Apple will do with a product which it wants to sell globally is tie it to a CDMA network, rather than the global standard of GSM. Because Apple is renowned for not giving a damn about economies of manufacture, and so will build two versions of a product for different markets, or sabotage its ability to build to a lower cost (or increase its margin) by equipping it with dual CDMA/GSM radio capabilities.

There is more chance of an Apple tablet being available only on T-Mobile than Verizon. Seriously.

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T-Mobile UK selling iPhones – to some lucky customers

T-Mobile UK starts shifting iPhones on the quiet • The Register:

“T-Mobile UK has started supplying iPhone 3G handsets to selected customers, while O2 UK continues to believe it has a UK exclusive on Apples last-generation handset.Apples 3G handset wont be available to just any T-Mobile customer – only high spenders who threaten to leave need apply, and only 150 of those a week will be lucky enough to get their hands on an officially-supported T-Mobile iPhone, though even that risks annoying Apple and will certainly have O2 up in arms.

So T-Mobile has imported an unknown number of iPhone 3G handsets from a European distributor, which it will be supplying to customers paying more than £75 a month if they threaten to leave – the latter clause enforced by allocating the handsets through 50 agents in the retentions department, and limiting those agents to three a week each.”

Ironically, I left T-Mobile and was one of those high-spending customers. It’s a sign that T-Mobile is desperate, if they’re prepared to buy an undiscounted, unsupported phone.

Plus, it rather lessens the chances that T-Mobile will be getting the iPhone officially. I’m sure Apple takes a dim view of what amounts to the old practice of “grey” importing.