Recent industry chatter has once again raised the topic of owning the customer relationship Vs owning the infrastructure that sits behind the service.
I am of course referring to Apple. Sources close to the organisation say the company is privately trialing an MVNO service in the US, in addition to being in talks with telecoms companies in Europe about bringing the service there too.
A modern phenomena – which Apple currently provides a ringing endorsement for – is the ability to own the customer relationship (which is does extremely well) without the need to touch the infrastructure. Like Airbnb, like Uber, like Facebook – they own the customer touch point and have made their name this way.
So, to Apple – why get in involved in the business of managing connectivity (which can’t be guaranteed) and have to deal with customer care. A wifi only play like google and Republic wireless in the U.S. could be one approach?
Also with some of the largest profits in the industry why risk diluting margins, and unnecessarily annoying your biggest sales channels – the mobile operators.
Still stranger things have happened!