MediaFile

Demand for iPhone outstrips supply

Setting aside some relatively impressive Mac sales, Apple’s iPhone was the true star of the company’s earnings drama on Tuesday–though the the device might be a little tough for some folks to to get their hands on in the near term.******Apple said it can’t meet current demand for the iPhone 3GS, which launched last month. The 3GS is available in 18 countries and is being rolled out this summer to another 80-plus countries.******Overall, the company sold 5.2 million iPhones in the June quarter, ahead of many analysts estimates. That total includes sales of the reduced-price $99 iPhone 3G.******Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook said “the iPhone 3GS is constrained in virtually every country we’re shipping it in. So the demand has been very robust.”******He later added: “I don’t want to predict today when supply and demand will balance. I know that it will not balance in the short-term. And I don’t want to give a prediction because as you can guess, it’s very difficult to gauge the demand without having the supply there to find out what it is… In terms of affecting the country roll out, I believe the vast majority of the countries that we are selling the 3G in will be selling a 3GS by the end of the fiscal quarter. So it may move the date by a few weeks here or there.”******Cook also delivered some interesting factoids on iPhone adoption by large corporations. He said close to 20 percent of the Fortune 100 have bought at least 10,000 units or more.******But Cook stuck to the company line on AT&T, the exclusive iPhone carrier in the U.S. (“I think it’s an excellent relationship and we’re very happy with it”), and provided no new details on when the iPhone might launch in China.

Analysts question T-Mobile’s choice of myTouch over Hero

 Some analysts worry that T-Mobile USA may have missed a trick by opting for a new Android device, myTouch 3G, which is mostly the same as HTC’s first one, the G, except for its slimmer shape and lack of a physical keyboard.

According to T-Mobile USA Chief Technology Officer Cole Brodman, the No. 4 U.S. carrier currently has no plans to sell Hero, another HTC phone that runs Google’s Android but has an updated user interface that looks similar in some ways to Palm Pre.

From today until July 28, T-Mobile USA customers can order the myTouch online with the potential to have their phones deliverd before its national launch stores on Aug. 5. Brodman says myTouch, with its nifty travel case, personalizable covers and T-Mobile recommendations for hot applictions, will appeal to a broader audience than G1. The idea is that myTouch’s sleek shape and Android’s straightforward user interface will encourage T-Mobile customers who had never bought a smartphone before to now consider this one.

Apple reports some iPhone 3GS shortages

Haven’t got your hands on Apple’s new iPhone 3GS yet? In certain parts of the U.S., you may have to wait just a bit longer. Apple says retail stores in some states (such as Utah, Oregon, Alabama) and certain cities are sold out of the new device, which went on sale on June 19.

The full breakdown by location can be found here. The company notes that “shipments of iPhone 3GS arrive most days” and availability is updated hourly. The device can also be purchased at AT&T, Wal-Mart and Best Buy stores.

The news provides further evidence of healthy demand for Apple’s third-generation iPhone. The company sold more than a million of the devices in the first three days alone.

iPhone 3GS sales kick off

Hollywood has its blockbuster openings, and Baseball has Opening day: the gadget world has cellphone debut days — in particular iPhone launch days.

While the latest iPhone 3GS has not drawn the crowds that flocked to previous Apple phone debuts, a handful of shoppers were lining up a couple of AT&T stores in New York before dawn today.

AT&T employees at this store near Grand Central said that pre-orders would be satisfied at 7 A.M. and those walking in off of the street would get theirs at 8 A.M. if supplies last.

AT&T to customers: Have we got an iPhone deal for you!

Apple fans whooped it up yesterday when the company announced its first sub-$100 iPhone and a pair of faster, improved iPhone models.******But if you’re an existing AT&T customer and you’re looking to get your mitts on Apple’s newest gizmo, you might not be so excited by the fine print.******It turns out that the $99 iPhone is actually $499 for many existing AT&T customers. The new 16GB iPhone 3GS -0 the one that features video capture, faster throughput and a digital compass — which Apple unveiled for $199, will cost AT&T customers $599. And the new 32GB version is available to AT&T customers for the very special price of $699, which is significantly more expensive than the $299 price tag that anyone else can buy it for when they walk into an AT&T store for the first time.******The higher prices require renewing a 2-year contract with AT&T.******Update: AT&T said on Thursday that existing AT&T customers who renew their two-year contract can purchase the iPhones for $299 (for the 8GB model), $399 (16GB) and $499 (32GB), rather than the $499, $599 and $699 prices listed on Apple’s Web site. The higher prices are to purchase phones without any contract.******And the folks at AT&T also throw in an $18 activation fee. This activation fee applies to all AT&T customers who get a new device, whether it’s an iPhone or a more basic gadget. The problem is that the iPhone is such a high profile device that it brings everything from the carrier’s network quality to its contract fine print right into the forefront.******In fairness, it isn’t unusual for a carrier to hold off on selling its existing customers heavily subsidized phones until they’ve been a customer long enough to have repaid the debt. AT&T spokesman Mark Siegel explained:***

The key here is that the iPhone and our other devices are subsidized. The consumer is paying much less than the cost we will typically pay for devices.

***

As a way of offering those prices we ask them to enter a 2 year contract to cover the cost and give a return to our shareowners.

******Siegel noted that certain customers may still be eligible for the low iPhone prices, depending on how far along they’ve gotten in their existing contract and how promptly they’ve paid their bills. But he said there wasn’t a specific cut-off point in in the 2-year contract that guarantees the better prices — the terms are different for different customers.******So, if AT&T likes you, you’re in luck. Otherwise, you may have to shell out more duckets than your neighbor for Apple’s latest goodies.

from Summit Notebook:

AT&T: Beer keg, please phone home

Next time a bartender draws a long, cool German brew on tap at your favorite U.S. bar, you might be sipping beer that made a mobile phone call along the way.
At the Reuters Technology Summit in New York, AT&T's Ralph de la Vega, who heads its wireless division, described a firm that has fitted its beer with mobile devices.

"We had a customer in Germany that wanted us -- and we have found a way -- to track their beer kegs as they were shipped," said de la Vega. He said the wireless devices track how cold the keg is, whether it was properly pressurized and its location.

"It helps to run their business better," he said of the beer company. AT&T uses the GSM system, which is the same one used in Europe, has roaming agreements with European carriers, and bills its client for the calls. De la Vega said that's only the beginning.

from Summit Notebook:

AT&T: Netbooks key to expansion beyond cellphones?

AT&T says it sees a lot of promise for the netbook and the connection fees that come with the devices as a growing source of revenue as consumers look to take broadband connectivity on the road. But will consumers be as enthusiatic to sign another contract for the service? Click below to hear AT&T's President of Mobile & Consumer Markets talk about what he sees as the future of the netbook.

AT&T: Netbook popularity on the rise from Reuters TV on Vimeo.

Las Vegas telecoms show fizzles out

The CTIA’s annual U.S. wireless technology showcase in Las Vegas was quieter than usual this year as vendors sent fewer employees and rented less floor space for their booths in an effort to crimp spending due to the recession.

Aside from a lot of talk about cellphone applications and a software store launch from BlackBerry maker Research In Motion, the show offered few surprises.

A handful of operators and vendors, however, offered insights into their technology strategies — even if they were less than keen to indicate how their businesses were faring exactly. Some even launched new gadgets.
    
AT&T, the exclusive operator for the iPhone, used the show as an opportunity to talk up application sales for its less fancy phones, which have brought it $1 billion in revenue in the last few years. In comparison, it does not get a revenue share for iPhone apps, which kicked of the craze for application stores when they launched last year.

Fight on the blogs! Fight on the blogs!

There’s the story, and there’s always the side-story. The snarky, juicy, lip-smacking stuff. 

Case in point is last night’s news that Jerry Yang is stepping down as chief executive of Yahoo — which itself is an interesting tale. But we’d like to draw your attention to RealDanLyons.com, where you’ll find a wonderfully catty distraction.  

In his blog, Dan Lyons rips into Kara Swisher, the AllThingsD honcho and prominent tech writer, who apparently took issue with him for not crediting her with getting the scoop on Yang’s departure. 

An unclear future for DISH?

charlieergen1999.jpgWall Street sell-side analysts seemed to be unsurprised by AT&T’s decision to pick DirecTV as its video marketing partner for its version of the ‘triple play’ package, in regions where it hasn’t built out its U-verse digital service.

The final decision had seemed obvious to analysts after DISH said earlier this month that AT&T would extend its five-year relationship by just one month to Jan 31.

But what does it mean for the independent DISH and its maverick founder/CEO Charlie Ergen (pictured), with the No. 2 U.S. satellite TV provider already struggling with customer losses in a tough economy?