War for the Wireless World is a lengthy article published in yesterdays Financial Post on the impact of Apple and Google's newest wireless plays — Apple with iPhone, and Google with their declaration that they wish to participate in the 700Mhz spectrum auction. A couple of choice quotes:
With demand for the iPhone bordering on rabid, Apple is daring to call the shots with wireless carriers. Google, meanwhile, has pledged billions of dollars to buy wireless airwaves in the United States in an effort to shake up what it sees as a cozy oligopoly. Apple and Google see the status quo in North America as holding back the spread of mobile Internet usage, and thus their own growth, so both are moving to fundamentally change the business. Given the gargantuan market capitalization and brand power of both companies, industry experts say a wireless future ruled by Apple and Google — not the likes of AT&T Inc. and Rogers — is imminent.
"They're looking at the [carriers] and saying they don't really provide any value, so let us go into that business, disintermediate them and get that revenue," says John Ruffolo, national leader of the technology, media and telecommunications practice for Deloitte. "They're looking at classic vertical integration."
The piece ends by optimistically noting that the US and Canadian markets are coordinated, and the impact of the changes south of the border will be felt here as well. It may well be so if Apple and Google can pull this off south of the border, and then partner with the likes of MTS Allstream or Videotron to enter Canada.