(pardon a little geek rage but I find nothing more frustrating then when company's make boneheaded business decisions)
A Mock Business Strategy Meeting Between Apple and AT&T
Apple: "Hey we've got an ultra dedicated fanbase that does our marketing because they love our technology and products so much."
AT&T: "We're a big telecommunications company that has wireless internet."
Apple: "So what?"
AT&T: "We'll cut you in for some of the money if you lock us in as the sole provider of wireless Internet access."
Apple: "We have this App Store concept where we're the sole provider of approval for software so that philosophy sounds great."
AT&T: "It's a win win!"
What we as customers end up with is a terrible choice.
We can buy the best hardware, but only if we
- lock in with Apple's OS
- accept App Store censoring software
- lock in with AT&T as the only method of phone and wireless networking.
As a fan of the hardware, and the software that doesn't restrict my decisions or choices, I picked up the original iPhone and recently the 3Gs. Now I'm actively looking for another way to get my phone/wireless support. The smart phone is in all regards a personal, and ultra portable computer. It has an attached camera, speaker and microphone. It's important to me as a consumer, to have choices in my service, independent of the computer hardware I choose. The good news I think I found a method that will work for me towards the end of the post (but T-Mobile service is spotty in my area...).
A Step in the Right Direction
The Pwnage tool is a step in the right direction (here's their latest post). But how many users will actively find and install a method to unlock/hack their phones in order to have a choice of providers?
This is a Video of a Linux Install On iPhone Late in 2008. I look forward to more progress in this area as purchased hardware can be "reclaimed" by it's owners.
There is some competition coming to the smart phone market inthe form of the HTC Hero. A short review article compares the iPhone to the HTC, but the iPhone 3Gs still has an edge on processing power (although no multitasking support with the OS), and the video camera option.
TechCrunch fills us in on the FCC's interest on the AT&T, Apple and Google situation