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ipadio: Sell me a MacBook Air, Vodafone

In reply to my audio podcast embedded above, here’s a comment contributed by Stefan Constantinescu on the audio blog page (I wanted to highlight his points):

What you’re asking for is a radical transformation of well established business models. Whereas before an operator subsidized a device over the length of your contract, note: a device you’d use with their network, and a bank gave you a small loan to do things like pay for school or renovate your kitchen, you want your operator to act like a small loans provider. In doing so, they risk being classified as a financial institution. This may or may not be a bad thing, especially considering the upcoming “mobile payments revolution”, which can best be described as a bar fight between operators, traditional debit and credit card issuers, banks, consumer electronics companies, and alternative payment providers such as PayPal or MoneyBrookers.

The question here is why would someone want to go with an operator for a small loan when they can instead just put it on their Visa card? If the operator offers better interest rates, then they become the more attractive option, but … it’s messy.

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

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