This week’s headline story is the same as last week – the government’s investigation of the wireless carrier’s business practices. The NY Times released an article titled “The Irksome Cell Phone Industry,” by David Pogue that discusses the government’s investigation into the cellphone industry. The article goes on to say that the handset exclusivity deals are really just a minor annoyance and the real anti-trust issues are with the carriers’ billing practices. The article is very insightful and definitely worth a read. Here are some of the key takeaways: (1) text message fees have doubled in two years but there has been no big technology shift, (2) we get double-billed in the US so we have to pay for both inbound and outbound calls/texts but for landlines, we only pay for outbound calls, (3) international calling rates are excessively high when compared to technologies like Google Voice or Skype, and (4) poor customer service. Verizon’s CEO took exception to the article and sent a letter to the NY Times, but his arguments seem a little defensive. I feel like he’s telling himself “if I keep saying it and believe it in my head, it will become true”. Unfortunately for him, we don’t live in a fantasy land…it’s time for change!
In other news, it’s earning season with both Apple and AT&T announcing their quarterly results this week. AT&T saw their profit drop by 15 percent, but they successfully added 2.4 million iPhone subscribers that helped the company beat expectations. It will be very interesting to see the impact on AT&T as the iPhone exclusivity eventually winds down…
Apple continues is proliferation into the mobile market. They announced their 3rd quarter results and said that they sold 5.2 million iPhones, representing 626 percent unit growth over the year-ago quarter, when it sold 717,000 handsets. No big surprise here… we all know the iPhone is popular. But like we’ve discussed in our previous posts, Apple cannot be both a hardware and software provider, so their current totalitarian control of software and applications could signal their demise just like they experienced with home computing in the past. An interesting article this week by an app developer details his trials & tribulations in getting a very simple app released. This is very eye-opening but is a good example of why Aumnia is focused on mobileSites and cloud-based mobile apps.
And… the soap opera continues with Apple and Palm. This week, Palm updated the Pre’s webOS and iTunes synching is back. I am very interested to see how Apple reacts to this latest update.
There were a number of handset announcement, reviews and articles this week. Here are the major highlights:
- A recent article by Digitimes, HTC’s handset portfolio may be 50% Android in 2010. It seems like they are doing something right based on this recent review of the myTouch they developed for T-mobile.
- A review of the recently released BlackBerry Tour 9630 for Verizon.
- RIM to offer Mac version of its BlackBerry Desktop Software.
As always, I like to end the weekly wrap-ups with interesting articles, stories or analysis that I found during the week:
- First real-estate app launches in California
- Universal Studios transforms iPhones into remote controls
- Samsung offering S9110 watch phone later this month
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