Steve Harrop, technical architect for Vodafone’s mobile applications said “There is an obvious risk of disintermediation, and that’s a background business reason for us choosing this approach,”.
“At the end of the day we have 16 million customers in the UK and we decide which phones we are selling to them,” he warned.
Manufacturers, however, aren’t going to be so easily scared. A source said "Today’s fashion and technology conscious market look to purchase a handset rather than sign to a specific network. When a new phone is launched with exclusivity to a particular operator people will make the switch. Customers aren’t as loyal as Vodafone likes to think."
"If Vodafone want to remain on top when it comes to offering the most saught after phones, they’d do better than to dictate to the people setting the trends." he added.
In a further show of nonchalance, Motorola has announced a six-month technical trial using their end-to-end Mobile TV system in Hong Kong. The trial will run from September 2006 to March 2007 within Hong Kong’s Quarry Bay district and will include Motorola DVB-H enabled mobile devices.