Pentaho and the iPhone

Today we announced that Pentaho can deliver BI solutions to the iPhoneWill Gorman & the rest of the team at Pentaho again did a great job here!

The announcement is great news for all those people that have one … or can buy one.

Until Friday, that excluded myself.  In Belgium there is a law against “coupled sales” of goods.  That means that you can not sell an iPhone together with a contract.  The same is true for a number of other European countries by the way.  The minute an operator would try to sell the iPhone exclusively with a contract, the other operators would go to court and win too. As a result of this law, most if not all phones are sold in Belgium without a contract and 100% of the phones are usable on all our networks.

This issue has led to the fact that Apple didn’t even bother to sell an iPhone in Belgium.  This in turn made our minister of enterprises Vincent Van Quickenborne angry. (Minister “Q” for his friends and voters)  So far, “Q” has been mostly known for failing to simplify the administration in Belgium.

Now, he is angry because he feels like it was such a shame that Apple “was unable” to launch the iPhone in Belgium previously because of the coupled sales law.  Things would be so much better without that law, people would be able to get their hands on various technological gadgets for very cheap prices.

Obviously this is not true.  Let’s compare prices shall we.  The minimum contract for an iPhone in the US is $70/month for 2 years.  That will set you back at least $200 for the phone and $1880 for the contract at a minimum. That’s in total a whopping $2080.

In Belgium, the price for the same iPhone is set at 525 EURO or $820.  You will still have to buy a contract but in fact you are free to do as you please.  If you just want to toy with it on your own Wifi at home and use it as an otherwise regular phone/iPod/picture viewer/whatever, you’re free to do so.  That itself can cost you from next to nothing with pre-paid cards to a lot more than the $52,5/month remaining.

Please note that I explicitly left out the data ($30) or text plans ($5) that AT&T has to offer that can crank up the cost tremendously ($2600, $2720).

Now, how many people would pony up the >$2000 if they had a big warning on the box, in the store or on the website?

Warning, will cost at least $1000 per year!

Exactly!  My feeling is that by charging for the actual price of the device instead of allowing people to get lured into all kinds of shady contracts, costs are probably lower for the customer on average!

In short, I think “Q” is dead wrong and full of it.  He would do better to investigate the ever ongoing and prevailing illegal coupled sales of Microsoft Windows and computers.

Until next time,

P.S. All this still doesn’t mean I’m going to buy one of these overpriced gadgets, but I just might. 🙂

7 thoughts on “Pentaho and the iPhone”

  1. Although still tied to one operator in the UK I recon its not too bad a deal, although the phone will set you back £99, the contract is only £30 a month for the basic package, which is no different to most phones of this type(touchscreen, internet etc) already on the market in the UK. But then in the UK O2 are allowed to subsidise the cost of the phone and they don’t mind doing it.

  2. @Matt,

    You could still buy one and just hack it…like so many other people do. But be sure to pick one up in the USA if you do, should save you a few $.

    You could of course wait until next year when the new iPhone comes out that is supposed to top out at $199, then at least it’s a ‘reasonable’ price for a phone..

  3. I’m in the US next week, I might just do that. However, since the 3G phone hasn’t been released yet, I have doubts whether or not it can be hacked and what the drawbacks are. Warranty in case something stops working is also an issue.

  4. Matt,

    the data plan that you mention for the iPhone 3G is no different than for any other plan that can use 3G from AT&T Wireless. Actually, the first iPhone’s data plan was deal, and dropped my total monthly by $10. The new plan will just bring it back to what it was. Especially as I’m not an heavy SMS user.

    I can’t wait to play with Pentaho’s iPhone app. Getting proper BI data visualization has been a dream of ours, since our first attempt with a PalmVx and Ominsky Modem back in 1999. 😉

  5. I don’t get it, sure Apple is great, and I have lots of Apple Hardware @ home, but there is nothing unique about the iPhone.
    And given the fact that everybody will be walking around with the exact same model… well it’s even less unique.

    What’s so special about the iPhone? Really…. Aside from the Multi-Touchscreen interface it doesn’t do anything
    Windows Mobile hasn’t been doing for years. The difference… Windows Mobile is open to ALL developers. It doesn’t
    cost them anything, they don’t have to learn Objective-C (which is a real pain) and they don’t have to wait for Apple to approve their application.
    Windows Mobile developers can use whatever language they want, they can put their current skills to use, a lot cheaper if you ask me.

    I bought an iPod touch because I hoped Apple would allow us to develop applications in a more “open” way, but no….

    This is exactly why solutions as Linux have a hard time getting to the masses (even Ubuntu…)
    People are willing to throw away there freedom without hesitation just so they can get a cool new gadget.

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