Canada, Japan: iPhone Go Home

Hey, read this:

The greatest threat to mobile innovations like the iPhone isn’t consumer behaviour, cultural differences or reception to features, but epic and unregulated telco pricing. What’s needed is nothing less than a telecommunications revolution in which mobile developers and consumers join together to demand better data plans that are both competitive and realistic for these thoroughly mobile times.

…and that’s not just me talking, either. It’s Melanie at SmartMobs. Glad to start seeing high profile blogs giving this problem its due notice (I’ve been on about this here, here, and here, and as far back as I can remember…).

Having access to advanced Nokia smartphones for research purposes (thank you Nokia!) I can also sympathize with the reasons why the iPhone has not been a seducer of Japanese folk, either:

Japanese handset users are extremely into video and photos — and the iPhone has neither a video camera nor multimedia text messaging.

Yep. Agreed.

More to the point, though – to get over this divide, Apple (and other handset manufacturers) needs to take some respectable risk on and stand up to Canadian carriers just like it once stood up to the music industry oligarchy. Or, he threatens, we’re all going Android/Openmoko/Village Telco sometime in the next five years.

(…with nods to the fact that Apple’s music industry fight, over the “one price fits all” model for iTunes, has now been made obsolete in the light of the newest compromise to achieve a DRM free music store, acknowledging the greater good realized in freeing music…).

recent MIT mososos

MIT students are developing some really interesting mobile apps, on various platforms. I especially like Mobile Trader (no link?) – there’s much potential for enabling microeconomies using its “craigslist/1.5 mile diet” mashup for Symbian. However, CashTrack seems designed for cheap people, though. C’mon? Do we really need to track who owes whom what based on serial unevenly-paid dinners? Maybe if you’re Kenny Bania – where the question of whether the soup counts matters – this logic makes sense. Also at odds with the Android (for which it’s written) ethos?

Just saying.

Android

Exciting times. Right on the heels of our Open Mobile event, the first Google Android handset has been released on T Mobile – the HTC Dream, announced just this morning in NYC.

And it’s wi-fi (!!!)

Now if only I had an in over at HTC, or if a Canadian provider had this handset available – I’ve been using their 6800s a bit on Bell. Any rumours going around about Rogers or Fido picking this up, perhaps? Anyone?

Of course, the most hilarious bit in all this is that it’s the first open platform handset, but it’s “locked” to the T-Mobile network. Maybe T-Mobile doesn’t quite understand that paradox?