Strand Consult

Is the iPhone really the Paris Hilton of mobile phones?

September 7, 2009: 8:32 AM ET
Photo: parishilton.com

Photo: parishilton.com

"iPhone makes for worldwide loss" reads the headline in Sunday's Guardian, whose editors apparently missed the flurry of similar pieces that appeared three weeks earlier.

"Telcom operators hurt selling iPhones" was how Reuters handled the story, back on Aug. 17. "Who's screwing who? (sic)" asked Shanzai.com the next day. And from ITWire.com: "iPhone -- The Paris Hilton of mobile phones?"

That last one actually dates from Dec. 5, 2008, when the newsletter from Strand Consult that coined the Paris Hilton metaphor first appeared.

In fact, all the iPhone-is-bad-for-carriers stories that have turned up in the trade press since the third week of August -- and we counted at least a half-dozen -- stemmed from the same nine-month old Strand press release: "iPhone - an operators worst friend."

The money quote in that provocative report, picked up by every reporter who stumbled across it this year and last:

"Our research shows that there is not one single Apple partner in the world among the mobile operators that has increased their overall turnover, profit and market share due to the iPhone." -- John Strand

Does Strand, the Danish CEO of Strand Consult, know something that the carriers who are fighting to get their hands on the iPhone -- or desperately trying to hold on to their exclusivity deals with Apple (AAPL) -- don't?

Before we meet Mr. Strand, let's take a look at what some of the carriers are saying. From AT&T's (T) Q2 earnings call:

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