Thursday, November 27, 2008

It was only a matter of time ... the great branding machine that is Apple has been pulled up by the regulator. Only its the advertisting regulator (the ASA) not the telecoms one (OFCOM) that's done the deed.

Apple may be redefining the mobile user experience with the iPhone but it's also had to finally accept that it can't control the whole experience. It's dependent on the mobile operator and their network.

So what does this all mean? Well, Apple is taking a risk with its brand. Suddenly, the Apple experience (or is that the "i-xperience"?) isn't controlled end-to-end by Stevie J. There's a crucial link - the mobile network - which has a massive impact on the user experience and is beyond their control.

Not only that, but if you look at the stats being reported back by the likes of ATandT about the impact the iPhone is having on their network, and you realise that the mobile network is creaking under the strain. The mobile operator's getting hammered. The iPhone experience is getting hammered. And now, finally, the regulator has stepped in and pointed out to Apple that there is a real world out there, inhabited by real people who are using the iPhone to do real things.

So let's applaud Apple for doing what they do best ... creating and sharing a dream. But let's also remember that dreams can be interpreted in multiple ways. And how the subscriber interprets it will depend on the quality of service on the mobile network to which they are subscribed.

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