★S is for Service
S is for Service | asymco
But that still leaves the question of why are those operators who do carry the iPhone willing to pay so much for it? I only assume that their decision process is likely to be rational. Mainly because we have a large enough sample but also because there is a lot of money at stake requiring quite a bit of internal consensus and vetting before committment. We have to conclude that operators place the orders because they obtain value from the iPhone even when it’s priced at a premium to the average alternative.
The question which follows then is how do they obtain value? I’ve argued that this follow-the-money process leads one to conclude that the iPhone helps in moving users to higher revenue data services. These are more profitable services for operators and the subsidy model creates more loyalty and thus reduces churn and creates a stable cash flow which can then be leveraged through debt to upgrade networks and attract yet more loyal iPhone users.