MobileWhack points to Zidango which "boasts the ability to send an MMS message to devices on all carriers that do MMS, such as Cingular, T-Mobile and AT&T Wireless", even if the carriers themselves aren't up to the job. Nice one.
"A Zelos Group report predicts that the mobile electronics sector will be redefined as nearly half of all mobile handsets will be based on full-feature operating systems by 2008. "The mass adoption of full-featured handsets will be disruptive," said the author of the report, Mr Seamus McAteer."
Having used a Symbain 6 based Nokia 3650 for 8 months I can only say that there's no doubt about this. As the reports goes on to suggest, consumers will substitute use of PDAs, digital cameras, gaming consoles and music players. Right now my 3650 plays all those roles, albeit modestly. The camera is obviously limited as is the gaming functionality, and even though I can play MP3s it's not exactly an entertaining experience. However, I'm sure that by 2006 (never mind 2008) I'll be able to replace the phone with a new Nokia model that ups the ante in each of those departments, offering a perfectly adequate all-in-one gizmo.
Coincidetally, in following on from my post below about Douglas Rushkoff's article, I'm just after reading this Jon Udell entry which expresses similar ideas in a slightly different way. He reference Jeremy Rifkin's book The Ages of Access and summarises it thus -
[The] basic premise is that the defining principle of capitalism is now no longer ownership of property bought and sold in markets, but rather access to services leased within networks of suppliers and users.
Douglas Rushkoff churns out thought provoking essays like no other journalist in the mobile media sphere that I know of. In this TheFeature article he extends his 'contact not content' theory with an examination of the trend, among younger people in particular, away from the desire to own and hoard media towards merely wishing have control of their access to it.
Central to his hypothesis is the idea that the more we accumulate and store digital goods the more of a chore it is for us to organize and access them. As long as we have ubiquitous access we shouldn't need to hoard.
So what does this mean for the wireless industry? A lot. It means that the next shift in content delivery and marketing may be as extreme as Steve Jobs' recent innovations in music distribution for Apple's iTunes (now imitated or soon-to-be imitated by the entire music industry).
It's a gamble, for sure, but the best place to invest in the future of content may be to focus on temporary delivery and always-on libraries. Kids are coming to believe that the person who takes responsibility for storing and maintaining the data is the one who deserves to be paid. And they're smart enough, at any rate, to realize that it's a job they don't necessarily want to be charged with, themselves.
Ruskoff also quotes from a Joi Ito piece that illuminates the relevance of these trends to the mobile industry even further -
"Attention is moving from commercially produced content to dynamic or contextual content. An example of this is the shift of Japanese youth spending from CD purchasing to karaoke to cell phone messaging. CDs let you passively consume content produced by companies. Karaoke is more interactive - you are part of the content. With Cell phone messaging, the customer creates the content."
I can back up these ideas with evidence from my own experiences. I used to accumulate browser bookmarks but now just use Google. Google has become my access gateway to the internet. As long as I have a map I want I don't need to store signposts. Neither will I buy CDs any more when iTunes and Napster come to Europe. I have no desire for the liner notes, jewel case or artwork, I just want the vibrations in my ear. As for movies, I use Netflix like DVDRentals.ie, no longer buying DVDs because convenient access to a large library of movies is so much better. Neither do I buy magazines any more, preferring instead to digest the vast sea of quality journalism (like Rushkoff's articles) available on the internet.
Actually thinking about these trends reminds me of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" where Jean-Luc Picard's ready-room was relatively minimalist with no clutter. There was no need for clutter of course because most things could be instantly materialised in the replicator. "Early Grey, hot!"
AgileMessenger is definitely one of the best apps I've found for my Nokia 3650. That's why I was so disappointed when it stopped working recently as it did for numerous members of the All About Symbian forums. Happily though they've sorted out the problem with a new version which your are automatically prompted to download on connection. A smooth process and its working like a dream again. Hard to believe its for free! :-)
But it's only for corporate customers at the moment with smaller business to be brought in later. I think this slow and easy approach is the right one when compared with '3' who have made a bit of a meal of it really.
"The photos are grainy, blotchy and blurry, but for millions of people now toting cell phones with built-in digital cameras, it doesn't seem to be about the megapixels -- or at least not yet. Tens of millions of these less-than perfect pictures were snapped and e-mailed from cell phones in the United States during 2003, the first full year such services were available."