This could be a factor as to why telecom carriers in the U.S. are soft-pedalling BlackBerry 10 phones while flogging iPhones.
A report from Bloomberg suggests Apple forces carriers to commit to heavy purchases years ahead of time. If sales of the iPhone tank, as they are beginning to, carriers are stuck with the bill. No surprise then that they are reluctant to promote other brands, including BlackBerry.
Other cracks in Apple's golden-boy image are beginning to emerge.
In May a U.S. Senate committee accused Apple of avoiding billions of dollars in taxes by shifting profits overseas. And just this week a U.S. judge ruled that Apple conspired with publishers to raise electronic book prices in 2010.
At this week's BlackBerry annual meeting, chief executive Thorsten Heins was reluctant to say anything critical about U.S. telecom carriers, though he must have been sorely tempted. One would assume he is aware of what Apple is doing, unless this is common practice. I would doubt carriers would commit to multi-year purchases of BlackBerry 10 phones at this point.
Another observation from BlackBerry's annual meeting. Wasn't the budget-priced Q5 phone designed for emerging markets only? This was the message when it was unveiled at BlackBerry Live in Orlando in May. Now the company is saying it will be sold everywhere.
PS: Unless I can squeeze another one in before going on vacation, this will be my last post for the next two weeks. Back to work on July 29.