Dude, go eat a bag of dicks. Seriously. You are, in 2012, STILL making $1,250 dollars per MEGABYTE of text message data. If there's anything that requires "disruption," it's the disgustingly gross excess of the text messaging business model. Long live capitalism and innovation.
What do large companies gain by not being the first to disrupt their own markets, aside from obsolescence?
They can continue to extract massive profits from their existing market.
Considering Apple's success I'm inclined to say that disrupting yourself before anyone else has the chance to is the right long-term move, but I haven't studied the topic in enough detail to be sure.
In some ways I think they even helped keep the iPod concept alive longer by giving the impression that using a phone for an MP3 player was a compromise not a replacement. Yea, your phone can do this, but why waste the battery life?
Instead, Apple is making OS X behave more like iOS, reducing the differentiation and creating opportunities for the iPad to steal MB Air sales.
I believe they came at it from another way: if someone is going to eat at your sales (iPod), it might as well be you (iPhone). That's been Apple's mantra for a while.
And although anecdotal, most people I know with an iPhone (or Android smartphone) don't buy new iPods. And if they do, it's a lesser model (i.e. for excercise); not to the same value as before.
The moment both Apple and Google embrace an interoperable messaging standard and include a native OS app, SMS will suffer a quick death. In the meantime, consumers will continue to be gouged. It's truly a shame that Stephenson's nightmares have not yet come true.
AT&T, along with most other carriers, made a tremendous amount of capital investment in the last few years to improve the service they provide to smartphone owners. iMessage is a threat to their margin-stealing model.
If they made text-messaging free—or just counted its data use against your data plan—but raised the price of your data plan by $15/mo, how would you feel?
If it meant I could use my own system instead of being firewalled to their weird broken service? And everything acted like a dumb pipe? I'd feel pretty great actually.
One older, indirect reference I found: http://www.androidpit.com/en/android/blog/397226/Why-is-Data...
Carriers made significant amounts of money because of the iPhone that arguably they would not have found any other way to make. Very few of their personal investments led to this success (except perhaps things like Cingular's agreement to invest in "visual voice mail" at Jobs' behest, before AT&T bought Cingular).
From my point of view the complaint from AT&T is a little like an investor trying to socialize his losses while keeping all his capital gains. AT&T enjoyed Apple's success when it benefited them, and now that it's working against them they're worried? Well, tough.
I totally agree. This business model needs disruption badly.
You should tell everyone that pays for sms that.
I refused to pay 15/mo for unlimited sms on my contacts. I rather not have it.
Now, you go eat that or cancel you sms plan. If i were him, I'd charge even more from you suckers. You just keep paying.
Those features were unusual in the dumb-phone dominated industry at that time, but were omnipresent when it came to smartphones.
I also had a Treo 300 (and a 180, a 600, and 750p)--so I maybe be confusing this with one of the later ones. The apps were easy enough to delete, IIRC, but there were some on there. And, as all crap apps, they were completely useless.
That said, sprint did offer unlimited data (and text) for far less than AT&T. I'm still bitter about that.
What begs a question, how can cellular phone providers even think, that their team of 12 underpaid code monkeys capable of producing software that's on par with google? AT&T places, map searching apps, etc are utter crap and you can't even get rid of them unless you flash the OS.
Unfortunately this problem isn't tied only to cellular phone providers. Network card manufacturers for Windows (yes, I'm looking at you Intel) come with their own crapware utilities who think their monitoring app is better than default windows wifi manager. Similarly, consumer routers that race to offer more and more features DMZ, QoS, etc but have millions of bugs because they're not software shops and still refuse to use DD-WRT or Open-WRT which are clearly better and have been developed, used and supported by thousands of professional.
Having used a Motorola Backflip before this, I certainly know the perils of crappy phones crippled with crapware. I just don't think the SGS2 is one of them.
Perhaps being a software engineer I have a spoiled sense of what it means to do thing well. The native AT&T apps don't just fail to do things well but clearly have a message "We don't give a damn about you nor this phone. This is our crapware and you have no choice but to use it".
Smartphones quite frankly sucked until halfway through 2007. It's been a nice climb ever since, and you can see the effect the iPhone had on other companies designs and policies. Pre 2007 smartphones looked like they were going after the Blackberry crowd.
Mobile internet access is a commodity, just as wired internet access is a commodity. Most ISPs today advertise UNLIMITED LIGHTNING FAST DOWNLOAD SPEEDS, knowing that their network can't support everyone downloading at that speed at once.
It's like gym memberships. Gyms can't support all of their members showing up at the same time. In fact, they profit on the fact that most people underutilize their membership. What gyms don't do, is harass, limit, and double charge members who show up every day, to work out and get their money's worth.
More users downloading more stuff requires more infrastructure.
At some point enough users downloading enough stuff will saturate the hardware, and they'll have to throttle usage, or spend a boatload on new infrastructure.
The problem is that when customers stop caring about how many watts of power they are using and start purchasing products made by manufacturers that no longer are serving a market that has any notion of efficient power consumption you will get the exact same situation that is happening with mobile data.
Specifically, products that use an immense amount of power for a killer feature (such as electric cars; analog being gigabytes/day data usage for things like Netflix) will start proliferating, increasing the average power usage of each person above the floor used to calculate the cost of the unlimited plan.
In that situation, it is fairly obvious that the power company is then going to have to change their rate scheme, as otherwise they are just subsidizing electric cars: neither the users nor the electric car companies (again, Netflix) are otherwise paying for the increased societal power usage.
The temporary initial reaction will then simply be to ban electric cars from the power grid (as happened with Netflix: did not work over 3G due to the bandwidth cost) while the rates are restructured, a return-to-sanity would occur where unlimited plans are dropped, which then will allow those high-power-using products to actually be distributed to users.
The whole while, of course, people will be whining on forums about how power companies have already laid out the cable, and how the marginal cost of power is effectively zero at some points during the day, and how unfair it was for the power companies to take away the unlimited plans; and, when a representative from the power company points out that it was a mistake, he will be lambasted.
I'm no fan of AT&T, but the childish, whiny sense of entitlement that's increasingly prevalent online is really disgusting.
Here's my post on + about it: https://plus.google.com/117025825144195468236/posts/KEj5e3nk...
0 - http://www.engadget.com/2012/03/01/atandt-announces-throttli...
1 - The same soft cap applies even if a subscriber is in a non-LTE area or using a non-LTE device, but has at some point activated an LTE device. The differentiation is the plan. Activating an LTE device with grandfathered unlimited will put the LTE version of unlimited on the account, even if the subscriber lives in an area where LTE is not yet offered.
telcos suck.. lets start one
Your business model is ripping people off, I hope you die of insomnia (not literally). Phone bills have skyrocketed in the past 5-10 years as everyone has a cell and as salaries more or less stay the same. Let's not even talk about customer service.
For what it's worth, if you want to use your phone in exactly the same way you did 10 years ago (occasional short voice calls), you can do it much cheaper today than then, with a TracFone.