Vodafone in swipe at Apple

Steve Dinneen
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VODAFONE chief executive Vittorio Colao made a veiled attack on Apple yesterday as he called for greater openness in the mobile industry.

He said he was concerned about firms creating so-called “walled gardens” around content, stressing “the importance of avoiding dominance in any step in the value chain”.

Sources close to Vodafone confirmed the comments were intended to censure Apple, which dominates the mobile phone app industry.

The side-swipe came as Apple announced it will cream off 30 per cent of any subscriptions sold through the app store.

That means the likes of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp – which sells iPad subscriptions to the Times through the app store – will have to give almost a third of the virtual “cover price” to Apple.

Until now, publishers and other developers could keep 100 per cent of subscription revenue.

Colao went on to praise Google for creating another major player in the mobile sphere with its Android operating system, saying it is important to maintain competition.

Addressing Vodafone’s ongoing tax woes in India, Colao called the treatment of his firm “erratic” and “not healthy”.

He claimed the authorities were making a “misguided” attempt to tax his firm, which he said has invested heavily in the Indian economy.