However, Bach says there "hasn't been a lot of successes in that MVNO space for a lot of different reasons." MVNO operators tend to have difficult relationships with mobile operators, he claims, and Apple allegedly has a reputation of not being very good at working with partners. Bach also says putting together a music-playing phone is a design challenge. "You have to find out what it's great at. Is it great as a phone or is it great as music player? If it's great as a music player, then it's just another iPod trying to be a phone."
Interestingly, while Microsoft has stated in the past that a cell phone would "definitely be part of the [Zune] brand," Bach told CNet not to expect such a device just yet.