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June 06, 2008

3G iPhone Will Deeply Impact Mobile TV Market, Says Analysys Mason

By Anshu Shrivastava, TMCnet Contributing Editor

The much anticipated launch of Apple’s (News - Alert) 3G iPhone (News - Alert) is expected to provide Cupertino-based company a “window of opportunity” to have a significant impact on the mobile TV market, according to new report from Analysys (News - Alert) Mason.

Mark Heath, co-author of the report, “Analysys Mason Report iPhone Shows the Way for Mobile TV,” said that the iPhone could become the mobile video delivery device of choice for many consumers, by providing a compelling mobile TV and video proposition before mobile broadcasting networks, such as DVB-H become widely available.
For iPhone’s relatively modest take-up rate, the report blames Apple’s initial strategies of constraining worldwide availability, and launching exclusively with a single operator in each market. At the end of March 2008, iPhone had cumulative sales of about 5.4 million units.
However, the report believes that as Apple moves away from these restrictive distribution strategies, there could be “substantial growth” in the number of iPhones sold.
Users of the iPhone have accessed TV and video content with greater frequency in comparison to subscribers using other types of mobile handsets, according to market research.
“If the iPhone is able to achieve significant worldwide market share, it will be well-positioned to have a significant impact on the way mobile subscribers purchase and watch mobile TV and video content,” said Dr. Alastair Brydon, who also co-authored the report.
According to the report, the brand new 3G iPhone will bring additional “highly attractive attributes” to the mobile TV market.
These attributes include video-friendly specifications such as widescreen display, substantial internal memory and low battery consumption; access to an increasing range of TV and video content provided by Apple or specifically optimized for the iPhone.
An additional key feature, according to the report, is the ability to support multiple methods of delivering TV and video content, including sideloading, indoor WLAN and high-speed 3G cellular data access.
Report explains that sideloading and indoor WLAN minimizes the amount of TV and video traffic that needs to be carried on 3G networks, allowing 3G operators to support high rates of mobile TV penetration.
Currently, many operators are offering mobile TV services using 3G streaming. The report observes that these services are constrained by lack of coverage, relatively poor quality of service and 3G capacity limitations - as 3G networks may only support relatively low penetrations of mobile TV users.
Anshu Shrivastava is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Anshu’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

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