Fantastic Walt Mossberg Rant: Carriers & iPhone
Update: Of course, it goes without saying that Walt steals his best content from us. Case in point, Dieter ranted about this way back in February. Really, though, we're just glad that Walt (or at least Katie) is reading us on a regular basis.
Pre-eminent technology writer Walt Mossberg excoriates the mobile carriers in a recent article he posted to the Wall Street Journal and his personal site, All Things D. In terms of rants, his cup runneth over. Ranging from comparing the mobile carriers of the U.S. to communist-era "Soviet Ministries" to acknowledging the iPhone as the first U.S. cellphone to break the current mold, he throws many darts and hits the bulls-eye every time. Well, almost every time. He does gripe about the lack of official third party applications on the iPhone, which strikes me as impatient. Walt knows as well as anyone that third party apps should be available in February, so the ding against the iPhone there seems a bit disingenuous. It takes time to put an application developer's toolkit together; especially when the device itself breaks so many new grounds. I'd be surprised if Apple was even done with the SDK they used internally; it's likely still a work in progress. But, I digress. It's a fantastic piece of work, and if regulation (or the threat of regulation) is what it takes to get mobile carriers to clean up their collective acts, then I welcome it. The money quote, or perhaps his thesis statement:
"A shortsighted and often just plain stupid federal government has allowed itself to be bullied and fooled by a handful of big wireless phone operators for decades now. And the result has been a mobile phone system that is the direct opposite of the PC model. It severely limits consumer choice, stifles innovation, crushes entrepreneurship, and has made the U.S. the laughingstock of the mobile-technology world, just as the cellphone is morphing into a powerful hand-held computer."