I've long chastised the wireless operators for trying to be something they're not, for building walled gardens, putting their silly logos on handsets, and branding themselves as hip media companies (vis-a-vis Vodafone with David Beckham).
Douglas Rushkoff similarly takes them to task for these misguided notions of self-importance -
"The wireless strategy, as currently espoused by this admittedly biased wing of the cellular industry, is to “move up the food chain” away from wireless access and into what they believe is the rarefied and more profitable realm of content creation. Or at least content deals. So they spend their time, energy, and money trying to woo branded content providers – from sports leagues to television networks – into exclusive contracts to distribute some scaled-down version of their entertainment enterprises."
Like I've said before, it's a recipe for disaster. We don't care about the data pipes any more than we care about where our electricity is coming from. A utility company is a utility company.
"Wireless companies will, one day, be able to charge their customers for the minutes they use. The object of the game is not to turn into another kind of company, but to do the job of fostering good communication, the sharing of data and programs, and the development of self-organizing communities of users. "
AnchorDesk's David Coursey is still a luddite when it come to camera phones and only grudgingly and condescendingly acknowledges them as a huge success story. Who made this guy a technology pundit? Talk about a fence sitter - "I'm not exactly calling camera phones a fad, but I'm not exactly not calling them a fad, either." Sheeesh!
And what about this for a cop out on his previous acerbic dismissal of Bluetooth -
... but I think Bluetooth is probably a better alternative. This could be one of those times when Bluetooth actually becomes useful. I've been skeptical about the wireless technology in the past, but I'm feeling better about it these days, for reasons I find hard to explain rationally.
"Symbian's licensees shipped nearly four million high-end mobile phones running the company's operating system during the third quarter of this year, which ended on 30 September, the company said on Thursday - nearly quadrupling last year's figures."
In my never ending quest to find the perfect RSS aggregator for my Nokia 3650 I noticed today that Feedster now allows a 'QuickSub' to an aggregator called mobilerss.net. While it's designed for PDAs it reformats the feeds beautifully for a mobile phone too and goes straight to the top of my chart!
"The GSM Association (GSMA), the global trade association for GSM mobile operators, confirmed today that more than 100 GSM network operators – the vast majority of those currently deploying Multimedia Messaging Services (MMS) - have already implemented agreements to accelerate MMS evolution. By committing to follow the same MMS standards specification and implementation paths these operators will ensure international roaming and interworking between networks to allow the transfer of messages on a national and international scale."
Most sane people still don't know what a first generation smart mob is but we already have second generation smart mobs appearing! This one is using camera phones and other mobile tech to disrupt George Bush's UK tour and spoil his stage managed PR photos.
"We have been described as a second generation smart mob. We are encouraging people to use camera phones and send us e-mails with photos," campaign co-organiser Richard Wild explained to BBC News Online."We are trying to spoil the PR, so we are not doing anything directly, but encouraging people to protest by turning their backs in press photos so they can't be used."
Whatever your political leaning you must admit this is darn funny and clever :-)
Alan points to a USA Today article telling us that, "camera phones are set to become the fastest-ever selling consumer device -- beating DVD players." When you think about it's not too surprising. These devices are cheaper than DVDs were at first but also, most importantly, their viral, in the sense that you have them on you most of the time and love showing them off to friends. And once your friends see them they understand that they need to get one to receive your MMS photos and videos. In fact, as viral as PSTN telephones, faxes, and mobile have been in the past I'd say that camera phones must surely qualify as the most viral hardware devices of all time?
WERBLOG makes perfectly the point I've repeated ad-nauseum about ubiquity trumping bandwidth when it comes to wireless connectivity -
"These days, I expect a WiFi connection wherever I go. But the reality is that hotspots are far from ubiquitous, even in major cities and high-traffic locations in the US. The cellular network, through a powerful device like the Treo, provides an ideal fill-in mechanism for near-ubiquitous connectivity"
And remember that's coming from the US where connectivity is nothing like as ubiquitous as here in Europe.