UK government not making democracy easy or fun – no "e-voting" for the UK


If you want to exercise your demographic right to say you’d rather have a blue politician representing you than a red one, you’re going to have to carry on with the tiresome old ‘ticking boxes with a pen’ system – there will be no “e-voting” for the likes of us any time soon.

Michael Wills, the minister for justice, told parliament that “The Government does not plan to introduce e-voting for the 2009 European or local elections,” meaning it’s off to the local primary school with your little postcard of power…

Apple iPhone announcement in London tomorrow: will O2 be confirmed as network provider?

I think we all know by now, don’t we. Since UK journalists were invited last week to the top secret press conference at Apple’s Regent Street store, rumours have been circulating over just what they’ll be announcing, and everyone’s finger keeps on being pointed in one direction – the iPhone.

The Guardian is reporting today that after months of wrangling, O2 has been chosen as the exclusive network carrier for the iPhone in the UK, a deal which one operator told the newspaper was “madly money-losing”. T-Mobile, Vodafone and Orange were all being courted by Apple as well, and reportedly pulled out when the stakes got too high and the figures being mentioned meant they wouldn’t actually earn any money from the deal whatsoever.

Infact, 40% of revenue gained will be returned to Apple, it’s being rumoured, leaving not much for the actual carrier to play with. Sources who spoke to the Guardian are claiming that all four networks were played off against one another by Apple, all believing they had an exclusive, confirmed deal for the iPhone…

Mobile operators dilemma: getting "digital native" youth to pay for services

mobile.pngAccording to a recent European research report, the biggest challenge facing mobile networks is going to be engaging, retaining, and squeezing money out of the younger generation.

Though the current crop of 15-24 year-olds is incredibly tech-savvy, it appears that over one-third (37%) aren’t keen on paying for any services other than voice and SMS.

JupiterResearch found that nearly one-quarter of European 15-24s are “mobile entertainment aficionados” who use more than two new multimedia services such as live TV, music or games on their mobile phones.

European iPhone deal nearing completion: O2, Orange, T-Mobile sign revenue-sharing deal with Apple, sources claim

When you see the headline “Apple secures Europe iPhone revenue deals” in a respected paper like the Financial Times, you take notice, because it reads as if a deal has been done with Apple and at least one mobile network to distribute the iPhone in Europe.

“Apple has succeeded in committing European mobile phone operators that want exclusively to sell its new iPhone to share parts of their revenues with the technology group,” the article begins.

“The contract, which was signed by three European mobile operators in recent days, requires that the operators hand over to Apple 10 per cent of the revenues made from calls and data transfers by customers over iPhones.”

“The contract was signed by T-Mobile of Germany, Orange of France and O2 in the UK, people familiar with the situation told FT Deutschland, the Financial Times’s sister paper.”

There’s the crunch. “People familiar with the situation”. In other words, “unnamed sources”. In other words… rumour.

Euro iPhone Rumours continue: O2 poised for UK launch?

With the US iPhone launch safely out of the way, attention turns to a European launch, and it’s as rumour-filled as anything the Americans could cook up.

On Tuesday, we reported that German company Deutsche Telekom were poised to clinch an exclusive iPhone deal, at least for German customers. In previous months, both Vodafone and T-Mobile were said to be favourites for winning the iPhone.

O2 were supposedly nowhere to be seen.

Yet a report in yesterday’s Financial Times suggests otherwise.

European iPhone launch at risk from arrogance – but whose? Apple's or the mobile operators

We already know that the iPhone won’t be legitimately found in Europe until at least the last quarter of 2007, but recent reports suggest that we could be waiting a lot longer than that.

While it may not have been the most popular choice, we were at least hoping that Apple were close to a pan-European deal.

Off the record, though, some mobile operators are saying that they’ll never stock the iPhone, thanks to Apple being “unbelievably arrogant” and “making demands that ‘simply cannot be justified no matter how hot the product is'”.

We’re led to believe that Steve Jobs talked tough to get his way with AT&T, and that Verizon refused to bow to the pressure.

Is the same true in Europe, or is the differing nature of European operators making it harder for Apple to get its own way? Is it possible that the operators are the arrogant ones, unhappy at being asked to agree to a new business model (who wants to share revenue, eh?)

What are the options?