"what we really need is to break the carrier’s stranglehold on devices" #wymhm

We should free the makers and small companies of the world to make devices without having to negotiate with carriers to get their approval.

Say you wanted to make a phone just for weekend nights, say one that included a lighter and a slot for holding whatever kind of cigarette you like. What carrier would offer that phone?

Or how about ones designed for kids, the elderly or the disabled?

A company could make a phone with guts that mesh with a number of networks, making the wireless companies have to compete for your business.

Google made a half-hearted effort to break the carrier’s grip with its Nexus One, which they wanted to sell directly to individuals who could then choose their carrier. Among the problems leading Google to close its online store was that the carriers soon decided that playing that game wasn’t in their long-term interest. Verizon and Sprint backed out of their commitment to support the device — leaving U.S. customers with only T-Mobile.

The carriers’s lobbying association likes to point to all the cool new phones and ask “Where’s the harm?” The problem is the harm comes from the devices and services that haven’t been invented yet, because wireless isn’t an open platform.

We literally don’t know what we are missing.

I worry that this piece, while I agree with it, is too idealistic in its suggestions. Perhaps my cynicism is showing too much in this regard, but given how the FCC and the Obama administration have (mis)handled net neutrality, I haven't much hope for this kind of revolution for wireless.