As a followup to my posting about why "Smartphones Still Stuck", here I present an argument about why the carriers are the real problem with overpriced mobil data packages and ripoff required data on "smart" devices that connect to the dumb pipes offered by companies like AT&T in the wireless market.
The Verge is a technology culture website, and Verge editor Nilay Patel recently wrote an interesting editorial piece about how American wireless carriers are ripping off their customers while hindering technological innovation at mobil device companies like Apple and HTC.
Five years after the iPhone, carriers are the biggest threat to innovation
Warning: Data Package Required
Have you ever wondered why a data package is required when you try to connect a smartphone to a wireless carrier? Greed. The greedy wireless companies want to lock you down to a 2 year contract with overpriced data bundles that create obscene profit margins for these companies: meanwhile their slow spotty overpriced data connections are weak in comparison to the service created by a quality wifi router on a home/business cable/optical internet connection.
The iPod Touch was really the first high quality pocket sized mobil computer that works over wifi while eschewing wireless cell phone connection requirements and lockdowns from the greedy wireless companies. Other devices have followed in this wifi only free innovation spirit.
The recently announced and soon to launch Google Nexus 7 tablet for example is wifi only. Apple's most popular iPad (for all three generations) are the wifi only versions. Almost all laptop computers and most tablets sold are wifi-only.
Why have companies like Apple, Sony, Toshiba, Dell, and others focused on selling wifi-only mobile devices? They do this because the wireless companies have so many greed inspired rules and lockdowns that they hinders the device makers ability to produce competitive products in the intensely time sensitive mobile consumer electronics sector, where innovation and change is rapid.
Smartphones Still Suck
While smartphones may have evolved rapidly over the past few years, one thing remains the same, the slow battery hogging spotty required mobil broadband packages.
People using apple products can now sent text messages over the internet with iMessage, no costly text package required. This was one of the first major software insults to the wireless carriers who have relentlessly overcharged their customers for text messaging services. Now liberated, anyone with an iPod Touch can send text messages to anyone else with a iPod Touch over wifi networks: no cell company, data package, text package or any other ripoff required.
Wifi better Call Quality
Google Voice/ Facetime | Wifi :)
Using google voice through the TalkTouch app on an iPod Touch renders superior HD voice quality that makes the voice quality on a cell phone seem archaic (low bit rate, limited dynamic range, strange echo, spotty coverage, ect). The wifi based calling also uses less power = greater battery life. The tiny battery in my iPod touch can google voice for hours and hours on end with little impact on the batteries state of charge, while giving superior voice quality!
Free wifi is available at an increasing numbers of public places. Even grocery stores have free wifi now! Almost all coffee shops, hotels and libraries have free wifi. Bellevue Outdoor Connect where I live is provided in the Urban core section of downtown: and while it is slow, it is also pervasively accessible and free to use! Free wifi- access is continuing to penetrate retail spaces, parks and other places. If you need to look something up online, all you need is a few minutes, a wifi friendly device like a Kindle or iPod Touch/ laptop, and a free wifi spot to connect for the info: just be careful, these free wifi connection locations are targets for hackers.
We could solve these problems~!
"the wireless spectrum AT&T and Verizon use to build their networks is a scarce public resource literally leased from the people of the United States — shouldn't we have some say in how this market operates? Shouldn't the rules be set up to favor consumers instead of blocking innovation and increasing prices?" Nilay Patel
The airwaves belong to the people, not wireless companies: these wireless carriers pay big bucks in order to lease this space from the FCC. As a citizen you have every right to demand better mobil broadband for less money every month. We need the market to innovate and optimize: business as usual is failing because it is ripping off the American public and hampering technological innovation!
To who's benefit is this? A quadopoly of the Big 4 wireless companies? Do these companies represent the interests of the American people? Has money corrupted public policy, bringing real democracy to its knees? Special interests, lobbying: one philosophical step away from outright bribing.... back door deals: wall street banks, the sleaze is bad for everything! Let move forward with fair and honest business practices that create mutual wins for the public and private sectors!