Will EDGE Kill The iPhone In Europe? - InformationWeek

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7/12/2007
01:03 PM
Stephen Wellman
Stephen Wellman
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Will EDGE Kill The iPhone In Europe?

Prior to the launch of the iPhone in the U.S., there was speculation that the slow data speeds of AT&T's EDGE network could impact sales of the iPhone. Obviously, that didn't happen. Now it's seems

Prior to the launch of the iPhone in the U.S., there was speculation that the slow data speeds of AT&T's EDGE network could impact sales of the iPhone. Obviously, that didn't happen. Now it's seems almost certain that the iPhone will launch in Europe, with rumors of an announcement next week in London. There is one catch. It appears that the European edition of the iPhone will also run on EDGE. This could raise a problem since there is very little EDGE coverage in Europe. So what networks will the European iPhone use?Here is a look at the issue from the article in question:

The Apple cell phone is expected to run on Edge networks in Europe, just as it does on AT&T's Edge network in the United States.

There are a couple of problems here. First, there isn't that much EDGE coverage in Europe:

While the Edge network is installed across the United States by AT&T (formerly Cingular) and T-Mobile, the network is currently available in the United Kingdom only to users of the Orange network. O2 would need to deploy the network for an anticipated pre-Christmas launch.

This isn't the only issue. Most European carriers skipped over EDGE and went directly to 3G. Not only does that mean there is little EDGE coverage, it also means that Europeans -- especially consumers in the U.K., who lead Europe and the U.S. in overall use of the mobile Web -- are are accustomed to using their smartphones on 3G networks. Since many Europeans are used to fast data speeds, they may not be as taken with the iPhone as Americans, especially after they fire up the Web browser over an EDGE connection.

If reviewers have trashed the iPhone for any reason, it's the poor data speeds provided by EDGE technology.

What do you think? Could EDGE kill the iPhone in Europe? Or is the iPhone simply irresistible?

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