suraj.sun writes: Free Mobile is a company few Americans have heard of, yet it is up-ending Apple’s prospects in France. Analysts are blaming the firm for driving down iPhone sales by 10% in the past quarter alone. How? Free, a classic example of “disruptive innovation,” is offering unlimited domestic calls and texts, free calls to many international countries, 3 GB of data per month, and no contract commitment — all for $25 a month. Free doesn’t subsidize handsets at all. If you want a new phone, you buy one yourself without it being tied to any carrier. Free has won nearly 3 million subscribers in its first three months.
While carriers around the world have resisted becoming a “dumb pipe” for communications, Free has demonstrated the latent demand for a cheap, reliable, dumb pipe. It seems only a matter of time before the model is replicated in country after country. And this is a major problem for Apple. The most basic iPhone 4S sells for €629 without the carrier subsidy, while entry-level Android and Windows phones are priced around €299. Unsurprisingly, people who have to pay the full price for a handset flock to the less expensive, and technically quite solid, Android and Windows offerings.
Thus mathematics may be defined as the subject in which we never know
what we are talking about, nor whether what we are saying is true.
-- Bertrand Russell