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Denis O'Brien: doing business with Apple is "like going on methadone"

The tycoon also said Irish people had behaved like adults during the recession.

Image: Bloomberg.tv

IRISH BILLIONAIRE BUSINESSMAN Denis O’Brien has spoken to Bloomberg TV today about doing business with tech giant Apple and Ireland’s current economic situation.

Asked about Ireland as a model for other bailout countries, the businessman said that although there is still a “hangover” from the banking recapitalisation, the country is “climbing out of this hole – we can see the sunlight”.

Citing the importance of exporting and foreign direct investment, he believes there are “small signs” that the recession is ending.

“There have been no protests in Ireland,” he added. “Everybody knows that we have this problem and everyone is being very adult in facing up to it.”

Commenting in his capacity as chairman of Digicel on doing business with Apple, O’Brien said it is “like going on methadone” because “you’re paying high prices for phones and they tend to tell you how you’re going to market the phone and what prices you can charge consumers for data and even for calls”.

I don’t see any sense for Digicel to do business with Apple.

He added that Apple is “brilliant” in terms of marketing but is a “ridiculous business proposition” for operators. The billionaire would not be pushed into calling the company “evil”, as the reporter asked, but described the firm’s management as “pretty savvy business people”.

Watch the full interview on Bloomberg>

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