Phones…

Been too busy to blog. Also did not feel like I had anything to say really but I am really intrigued by what is happening in the mobile ecosystem.

I think a lot of what I said in this post still applies: http://www.nokpis.com/2010/05/08/the-mobile-web/

I was mostly not thinking about this until a few recent articles. It started with this one:

http://eliainsider.com/2010/09/14/fighting-the-wrong-fight/

But this pipe dream is being crushed quickly. The carriers, after giving up ground initially, are fighting back. They are using Android’s openness against the company. The carriers refuse to carry the Nexus. Verizon cuts exclusive deals with Skype. Slowness in “approving” new Android OS releases. AT&T locked devices from side-loading and the removal of the Google Marketplace. Secret (and ridiculous) deals on net neutrality. And now, insult to injury to Google who expected to make most of their money from selling ads like they do on the web, removing Google Search in favor of Microsoft Bing as the only and default search option on certain Android-based smartphones.

My goal here is to re-focus the conversation, put the attention back where it belongs. This is war. And this war will go nothing like Apple v. Microsoft. This is about who controls the experience; who gets to interact with the customer.

The stakes are a lot higher.

What I don’t get is why people don’t see some of these symptoms as being the way it is in America or Europe where carriers are allowed to play with consumers. In Singapore if I buy an iPhone it is unlocked. I plug in any service provider or any SIM and go. The service providers compete on prices, features and speed. As it should be. The reality is the regulatory environment is calling all the shots.

So when you read this you think that Android or Google is trying to save the planet but in my opinion they have moved from do no evil to actually being evil – http://daringfireball.net/2010/09/the_welcome_to_android . Google seems to be doing what MSFT did in the PC days and pretending they are not doing it at the same time. It is nuts – they are protecting their turf by playing hardball – I can get that but when they try to say they are being open or helping the world – who believes that bullshit?

I am not sure where all this is going but the war is real and the consumer is at stake. I am not sure who to side with or who to support. Would love to see HP make a play with Palm – Nokia was so lame for not buying Palm. They needed a real OS and it would have provided that. If Nokia thinks Windoze mobile will help that is well, shocking but maybe they just want MSFT to buy them.

Carriers are going to come out swinging soon – but who can fight them?

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