Steve Alder Steve Alder has one of the best jobs in the world – leading the team that pick what devices we sell. And earlier on, he was interviewed on Twitter. Here’s the questions he got and the answers he gave.

Steve Alder, our General Manager Devices, is here answering your questions. Got a question? Use #askO2 and we’ll answer as many as we can.

MRAJPalmer: How hard are you working to get exclusivity on iPhone 5???
iPhone is mass market, unlikely to be exclusive again – we want to work on exclusives which add value and pioneer new service.

Miss_V_x: How would someone get a job like yours?! Sounds like fun!
Seeing & choosing new devices is fun! A deep understanding of consumers needs is key, like what they’ll want in the future.

Carlmelville1: when’s the iPhone 5 out?
Ask Apple! We’re sure whatever comes next will surprise and delight people all over again though.

AbstractPhoenix: Will you be carrying any of the 3G equipped tablets coming out this year?
We’re def excited about next-gen Android tablets. If you don’t buy from us we’ll support you with a great data plan.

Madpugger: When will you be doing a sure signal equivalent?
We have been trialling femtocell technology – it’s important to us to get the experience right before we launch though.

Ocen9x: Which mobile device(s) offer the best UX (User Experience)?
It depends on how you’re going to use your phone – we want to give you a choice of experiences.

TimWetter: Could better handset ££ be negotiated at manufacturer level & passed to customer, cheaper top end handset will attract new business
In 2011 we will see smartphones becoming much more affordable and giving people more choice in specifications.

Markda2000: With all the fantastic new Hardware coming from HP Palm is O2 going to be taking any of their new devices?
We really like webOS here – Palm/HP just need to find the right hardware to fit in the market now.

You can find part one of this story, here: Quiz the man who chooses our phones

Lewiscraik: Why networks insist on crippling phones with pointless branding software? Why not leave them as manufacturers intended?
We agree! We rarely add O2 software to the phones we sell.

TimWetter: Could stores have separate sales experts? Tablets/pc’s &mobiles separate
We want O2 Gurus to help with any technology question, avoiding going to separate people.

Abstractnoise: When will your WiFi service be up and runnring, and will this run alongside BT Openzone?
First O2 Wifi hotspots roll out in Feb. Our iPhone customers continue to get Openzone access too.

RecombuMat: What will O2 be doing with NFC? Stock forthcoming phones with inbuilt NFC, or go towards something on the SIM?
I think 2011 will be the year of NFC – it’ll be a big revolution in mobile.

WMJButler: Where have all the flip phones gone?
You’re right, we’d love to see radical new designs for phones! What do you think the next innovation will be in design?

Shehbaz_afzal: Why do phone makers release ‘unfinished’ buggy handsets that networks buy, isnt there a QA process? #SonyEric C902, ELM, etc
There is a QA/testing process every handset goes through, it’s a balance between ironing bugs and releasing phones.

Billmonks: Will you resell the Blackberry Playbook?
We’re excited about these types of devices and will bringing out a range of tablets this year.

Frasierbrighton: Is there a way for non O2 customers to be notified about when we can sign up for your new wifi hotspot service?
Don’t worry, we will be telling you here first! Keep following @o2 to find out when…

Amanmufc: Hello Steve, if you need someone to test a new iPhone 5 for you, I am willing to do that hard job! I’ll keep the handset too! 🙂
Thanks for the offer! There’s a pretty long queue for when the time comes though…

Chriswb: Will Tesco Mobile ever be allowed to have free calls between O2 and Tesco Mobiles, since they are on the same network?
Although we and Tesco use the same network, we’re seperate brands with different offers.

Abstractnoise: Do you actually *use* the devices you try to sell? Been testing non-iPhone options for work – Symbian and Android are so 1990’s!
It’s our job to put ourselves in the shoes of different customers when we test phones.

Bennersdesign: (I hope this is appropriate!) any news on the OS6 official release across all Blackberry handsets (particularly the Curve 3G)?
There’s a huge interest in new software like OS6, we’re working on way to keep everyone up to date on this.

Captainflashman: iPhone 5 … when and will O2 provide it? Also what developments do you predict in iPhone 5?
I can’t speculate on what Apple will do next… For me, I want a small device with a big screen experience and a fast way to get the words in my head into my phone.

Williamtm: Is the UK going to get 4G and/or HSPA+ this year? Have Ofcom approved it?
4G spectrum hasn’t been approved by Ofcom yet, we’re still hanging on.

Iceytoa1: dell venue pro?
We like Windows Phone 7 a lot, but weren’t fans of the Venue Pro’s design.

Realwillconvey: Steve,how come 02 isn’t in the new Argos book? got it the day, no O2 broadband dongles/very little O2phones?
If you want max possible O2, do check out our online store –

Gsihra: Will o2 ever get the desire HD or desire Z?
We won’t be selling the HTC Desire HD or Desire Z but we’re very excited about the next-gen HTC Android phones…more soon.

WMJButler: Personally, I think the world is waiting for someone to put a phone in the new PSP. Touch screen, games, controls, speed etc
Interesting idea. Mobile gaming is getting cooler. Things like fast processors and screen tech will make the difference.

Kitsang: Steve, android is big and getting bigger! Why not the desire hd or desire z?
Yes it is – we’re looking forward to the next HTC Android phones.


Thanks to everyone who submitted questions to Steve – here’s the full transcript of the interview. Watch out for more opportunities to interview O2 people in the near future!

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