Via, Dave links to an article from Tom Evslin which complains that Apple Computer Inc. has failed to re-invent the mobile telcom industry.

While I agree that Apple hasn't reinvented the way network operators and phone manufacturers sleep together, I will also agree with some of the comments under Tom's article which state that Apple couldn't have done this without first establishing a good track record and widespread success in the mobile phone area. They have to play by the rules in the beginning because the carriers hold all the users. Unlike internet service providers, these mobile carrier companies retain tight control over what devices use their network.

There is absolutely no incentive for a network operator like Cingular, Verizon, Sprint to carry a new, unproven phone that allows users to bypass their network when near a WiFi. Some "geek buzz" won't be enough to convince carriers either - they are very comfortable with the current business model. However, maybe there is still room for disruption. Apple needs to get their mobile legs first. In the future, if the Apple delivers on its promises, there might be an incentive for a network operator to carry a phone that absolutely everybody needs. The RAZR enjoyed a certain level of mass appeal and brand recognition like the iPod, but Motorola also played by the carrier rules too.

Update: Tom posted a response to many of his comments.

§329 · January 10, 2007 · Technology · · [Print]

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