There's a natural break on that behavior too, Kim; the guy who cuts below cost withers and dies. Ultimately the market weeds out extreme behavior, but it's better for regulations to build safety nets around the fatal decisions so nobody falls in!
As far as "other ways", the difficulty in differentiating phone service in a meaningful way is the reason why we have so much emphais on handset deals.
I think regulators would step in on that one pretty quickly, Mitch. There's no justification for it and the consumer's benefit is obvious. The problem here is that it is unfair to get, hypothetically, a couple hundred dollars off a handset on the condition you stay with a given operator, and then switch. Right now, the ambiquity in just when it's fair to demand unlocking makes things hard. How do you make a phone "conditionally unlocked"? The FCC has been looking at the subsidization issue anyway, on the grounds it discriminates against smaller operators who can't cut deals with the handset vendors.
If we presumed a world without subsidies, then there would be no need to lock a handset to recovery a subsidy, and there would be no valid push-back against regulations to demand all handsets be "unlocked" period. As soon as you have a subsidy, you have the valid presumption that the operator paying it can insist the customer stay with them long enough to recover the subsidy. How long is that? Even if there were a specific contract period, the operator could argue that they actually presume that the customer will stay longer in the way they calculate the deal. That makes it hard to define just when it's reasonable to say that the phone could be unlocked, and the FCC isn't going to get involved in mediating every one of the deals.
Another quote from ALW ("Jesus Christ Superstar"): "It doesn't help us if we're inconsistent, they only need a small excuse to put us all away!"
That was The Space Merchants, by Frederik Pohl and C.M. Kornbluth. A satire of the ad industry, published in 1953 and still relevant today. Pohl is still alive, past 90, still writing, and he blogs at "The Way the Future Blogs." I think his last novel came out in 2011.
That's a great analogy, Bilingbroke! I also recall an old scifi story where marketers created products that produced cravings for the next of their products, which then produced another. Drink a blitz and it makes you want a zippie, which makes you crave hammies, which make you thirsty for a blitz! They called it a "circular trust"!
Tom, in a way it reminds me of the robber baron cable/wireless companies who got together and carved up ( locked ) locales leaving most of us with no real choice and a technology lagging well behind much of the world.
The whole Amazon.reader debate is a double-stupid. It's stupid to think that there's any e-book buyer who doesn't know Amazon's URL, and it was stupider to let ICANN launch the whole free-form TLD initiative to start with.
YouTube's move to a partial pay-for-view model could help relieve a dearth of good new content but it could also complicate debates in many parts of the world over payment by content providers for delivery of their material to customers.
That's what Larry Page said on Google's earnings call, referring to the conjunction of mobile and the cloud. Well, let's chart it then! We need to be thinking about an Internet where 90% of our traffic goes to 70 destinations within 40 miles of us.
Facebook's Graph Search may face some profound challenges and risks, first, because Facebook users haven't been thinking of their posts as product reviews; and second, because Facebook will now have to contend with the social-network equivalent of SEO "gaming" of results.
EU operators are considering joining up to create a pan-European network to reduce competitive overbuild and cost. This might lower costs and focus operators on higher-level, more interesting services.
Many enterprises view high-speed broadband connections as ubiquitous. Yet in about 20 percent of the country, businesses and their employees do not have access to even DSL connections. This shortcoming diminishes enterprises' ability to support their employees.
A survey by JD Powers found that customer interest in product features is lessening as phones evolve. Rather than features, price is driving purchases, and that change could have a dramatic impact on how IT departments secure these devices.
Microsoft's buy of Skype could revitalize Phone 7, give Microsoft a social, gaming, and collaborative strategy, and spell the end for old-fashioned telco voice. It will also certainly give Google a headache in its Voice, Chat, and even Android strategy!
Companies used to be confident they'd know exactly what a cellular OS would look like out of the box. Today, that confidence should be fading. Reiter discusses how a cellphone OS's looks could be deceiving, and why businesses need to understand it.
When Reiter gets incensed over incompetent Verizon FiOS order-taking and support, he broadcasts it via Twitter. Did it do any good? How should your company offer Twitter support? Watch this for all the answers.
You've heard the expression, "Out of the frying pan, into the fire?" Amazon lives in the fire. The e-tailer wins by keeping things hot for its competitors, employees, and itself, according to a new book.
Linux Journal recently released its 2013 Readers’ Choice Awards. As an Ubuntu convert in recent years, I was glad to see Ubuntu took the top spot for "Best Linux Distribution" (at 16 percent, edging out Debian, which took 14.1 percent).
Expert Integrated Systems: Changing the Experience & Economics of IT In this e-book, we take an in-depth look at these expert integrated systems -- what they are, how they work, and how they have the potential to help CIOs achieve dramatic savings while restoring IT's role as business innovator. READ THIS eBOOK
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