I wish Apple had taken on the telcos
by Matthew Gast
The "control your customers and force feed them" model cuts against my entire experience, which is based on open systems and architectures. In theory, an upstart could design a cool GSM phone and sell it directly to end users, bypassing the control-freak middlemen telcos. I had hoped that Apple would do just that. They are the one company that could build a phone that they could sell directly to hordes of consumers without help from the carrier.
Instead, it appears that Apple is building a traditional phone, with all of the carrier lock-in. There's a big step forward in voice mail usability in the iPhone, and obviously a big short-term benefit to apple in working with the Cingular sales channel. In the long term, there is a much more diffuse long-term benefit of breaking the innovation choke-hold, though it is questionable as to how much of a changed market Apple could capture. Now that Steve Jobs has decided that DRM is evil, I'd like to see him come to a similar conclusion about the mobile phone business.
Until he does, at least I have a true open mobile phone platform on the way, even if it is slightly delayed.
|Isn't there a story in WSJ that claims that Apple will be sharing in the monthly revenue. This suggests that the cost of iPhone is more than what Jobs stated.|
Let me start by saying that this isn't a rabid attack from an Apple fanboy who feels your opinion is a threat to the Cupertino Empire. I simply wish to rebut.
|All in good time. He hasn't slain DRM yet, either, though it looks increasingly like he will.|
|One step at a time. Remember iTunes was in the razor and we all laughed. Now there is the iPhone and we ain't laughing. Now we have bad sex with Cingular. And tomorrow oor so (or in Europe or Asia) Apple may try an mvnm.|
Overall, I agree with you on the broad issue of more open platforms. What we don't know is the scope of the agreement between Apple and AT&T... or what Apple's plans are long-term.