The Android conquest of Telstra

When Telstra’s share price fell to record lows last week the talk was all about the NBN, but perhaps the real source of Telstra’s woe is that it’s being trampled in the elephant fight between Google and Apple. The NBN is worth 90c per share for Telstra and provides a clear future for the most difficult, shrinking part of its business – fixed lines. CEO David Thodey no doubt wishes Malcolm Turnbull would just shut up and pass the legislation.

But the bigger problem may lie in the more important, fast-growing Smartphone market: carriers like Telstra are being cut out as Google and Apple fight it out for the future.

Jean-Louis Gassée writing in the Monday Note says: “Google’s intent is clear: they want carriers out of the way. Schmidt, Brin, Page, and Rubin all think carriers are greedy bumblers, short-term thinkers, technically and culturally incompetent in matters of Smartphone OS and applications.

“Google wants to see Smartphones priced at $79, without subsidy, thus taking away the carriers’ opportunity to dictate features. At $79 and no contract, consumers can change handsets and carriers at will. This frees Google to have a direct relationship with the consumer, allowing their money machine – advertising today, entertainment and business services tomorrow – to run unimpeded.”

Read more here.

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