Saturday, December 19, 2009

Google vs. Apple - Stross on the phone wars

Charlie Stross is a literate geek who makes a living inventing plausible worlds. That's why he can write one of the best tech posts of 2009 ...
Charlie's Diary: Gadget Patrol: 21st century phone

... I think Google is pursuing a grand strategic vision of destroying the cellco's entire business model — of positioning themselves as value-added gatekeepers providing metered access to content — and their second-string model of locking users in by selling them premium handsets (such as the iPhone) on a rolling contract.

They intend to turn 3G data service (and subsequently, LTE) into a commodity, like wifi hotspot service only more widespread and cheaper to get at. They want to get consumers to buy unlocked SIM-free handsets and pick cheap data SIMs. They'd love to move everyone to cheap data SIMs rather than the hideously convoluted legacy voice stacks maintained by the telcos; then they could piggyback Google Voice on it, and ultimately do the Google thing to all your voice messages as well as your email and web access...
Please go now and read the entire essay ...

... Fun, isn't it? Charlie can write.

Charlie compares Apple to high end and luxury auto companies. It's an old metaphor, but it works. Extending that metaphor, what Google wants to do is deliver the Model T platform -- a super-cheap internet-connected phone and netbook for use in Detroit, Seoul, Kabul and Kampala.

2010 will be a very interesting tech year.
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