Category Archives: Carriers

I’m All For Competition – Where Competition Meets Hypocrisy

As the title says, I am all for competition.  Competition is what makes America great.  You can succeed and / or fail.  Most of us, if not everyone, has done both at some point in their lives.  If you succeed, that’s great; If you fail, keep trying or find something else to try.  

Ok, so what’s your point author?

For over a year now, when I wake up, and have checked my twitter feed, I read stories about Apple suing X company or X company suing Apple over various patents. I’m not a fan of pointless lawsuits, but if a company feels that one or more of their patents is in use in other companies products unjustly and the original patent holders are not getting a fair share for their hard work, then by all means, get some compensation. 

I am an Apple fanboy, but what I said applies to Apple too.  If Apple is violating someone else’s patents, then Apple should be held accountable and have to pay compensation.  Period.  That’s how it should work.  And if someone is violating Apple’s patents, then Apple has the right to defend themselves in court and ask for damages.  

I can see just from design that Samsung is violating Apple’s patents left and right, blatantly I might add.  I mean their charging bricks look identical to Apple’s!  That’s just taking an easy design route .  I’m sure there’s a plethora of combinations you can use to design a tablet charger.  

I hear people saying that what Apple is doing within these lawsuits is hurting the competition, stifling it to keep the iPad on top.  Maybe if the competing companies (I’m looking at you Samsung) would innovate instead of imitate, then I wouldn’t have to write a blogpost regarding competition.

I’m sure you can design a tablet with a different hardware design and yet make it functional for people too at the same time.  Google was able to achieve this!  They unveiled their new Nexus 7″ tablet and it doesn’t look anything like the iPad nor does the software interface either.  It looks original, hardware and software.  So if Google can pull it off, so can other companies.  Personally, I don’t like it.  It looks ugly with the large bezels.  

While I’m on the subject of Google, in relation to competition, I have a bone to pick with Google.  

As I said, I’m all for competition, but when does hypocrisy become competition or vice versa?  Let me explain what I mean.  

Google this morning announced a Siri-like competitor.  On multiple occasions, Eric Schmidt, former CEO and current co-advisor to current CEO, Larry Page, is quoted as calling “Siri a threat to competition.”  He testified in a congressional hearing that Siri is a “significant development” and says it is an “entirely new approach to search technology.”

Yes, I agree with him that Siri is a new approach to search technology.  But you’re just scared that Google will become less relied upon among iOS device users.  Yes, Siri does go around google.  When you tell Siri to look up a restaurant review, it doesn’t use Google.  Instead of going straight to Google, it goes straight to the most reliable source, Yelp!.  That makes perfect logical sense.  Siri takes Google out of the middleman position and instead directs your query to the most relevant site out there.  In a technological world, that makes perfect sense.  And by going straight to the relevant source, users won’t have to expend as much data (since data is becoming a precious mobile resource like water is to survival) as they would have if they had to go to google first and then to the relevant website. 

But Mr. Schmidt was at Congress, saying that Siri will hurt competition.  How can it?  Apple took search to a whole new level!  That’s innovation, Mr. Schmidt!  So in other words, Mr. Schmidt, you want to punish Apple for being innovative just so Google can stay the number one search engine in the world?  

So today, Google launched a Siri-like competitor.  Ok Google, is it powered by Nuance, the same people that power Siri?  Does your program understand and extract the key phrases of a sentence or question and pull in the necessary words to perform a specific function?  Is it powered by Google search, taking users straight to Google for answers and then do the end-users have to tap on the relevant answer or issue another voice command, or will it bypass your search engine completely and take your users to Yelp! for restaurant reviews directly?  

So Google called Siri a threat and a few months later, they release their own version of it.  If their Siri-like program takes users straight to Google search or other Google app before taking the user to their desired result, is that innovation?  I guess so, but it’s backwards because Siri takes users straight to their relevant answer right away bypassing search.  If Google’s Siri-like app takes users straight to the relevant source like Siri does for iOS users, then that’s straight up imitation.  Schmidt’s testimony at Congress should be repealed at this point since they developed something to compete with Apple, when they said that it would hurt competition.  

Schmidt should not have said that it is a threat to competition, but rather have just let it be and developed your own app or program.  The way he used Congress makes it look like a huge publicity circus.  Our government has more important things to worry about rather than turning the congressional house floor into a place of clowning around.  

Google, make your app, but know this…by making your Siri competitive app, you can no longer call Siri a threat to competition.  You’ve lost that right.  

And Samsung, hire some people who are creative and who will innovate for you rather than imitate other produces.  I’m sure you can produce great things with the right people in your company.  

What do you think?  Agree?  Disagree?  Do you feel like enough is a enough with the lawsuits?  Do you believe that if a company feels wrongly violated with a patent misuse, it should be able to defend itself?  What about Google?  Do you feel like they are hypocrites for launching their own Siri competitor when they called that new search method a threat?  

Please feel free to post intelligent comments.  I also invite my readers to do your own research and formulate your own opinions.  I hope I was able to spur some thought for you as you read this.  Let’s all be well informed readers.  

The VeriPhone!

Good afternoon/evening everyone! I hope your day was productive

Unless anyone has been hiding in a cave for a the last couple days, you undoubtedly heard a couple day ago, Verizon announced that the iPhone was coming to their network. I’m sure many of you have read similar blog posts, so I’ll just quickly sum up what we all know currently.

First, we know that the iPhone will be available on Verizon on February 10, 2011 for anyone who does NOT have a current Verizon contract. If you are a Verizon customer AND are eligible for a phone upgrade, you can pre-order the iPhone from Verizon’s reserve inventory starting on February 3, 2011 via their website. Apple and Verizon stores will start carrying it on February 10. The 16 GB iPhone will sell for $199 and the 32 GB iPhone will sell for $299, same prices as the AT&T iPhones.

Second, the Verizon iPhone is a CDMA phone. It does NOT support the LTE 4G network. This means that you will NOT be able to talk and use data at the same time, so I can’t say I warned the early adopters.

Thirdly, the iPhone Verizon is getting is the iPhone 4 and nothing more or less. Other than a CDMA modem (Versus GSM modem) nothing has really changed about the phone. The one big difference is at the software level where there is a new feature called Personal Hotspot. It allows you to share your iPhone’s cellular data via your iPhone’s WiFi connection with up to 5 devices around you! Now that is a cool feature!

We really don’t know much else about the VeriPhone currently such as pricing for voice and data, texting plans, how much Personal Hotspot, etc will cost. One thing that I can say is that Verizon says their iPhone will work in 40 countries around the world, with data available in 20 of those countries.

My Person Reflection:

In my opinion regarding the VeriPhone, I’m just not interested in it. 1. It is an iPhone 4. 2. Verizon doesn’t have coverage at all where I need it most. 3. Verizon’s 3G does NOT allow simultaneous voice and data (Simultaneous voice and data is something very important to me as a heavy data user). 4. The VeriPhone will only get 7 hours of talk time because their iPhone can’t fall back on a 2G network, versus (if you turn 3G off on an AT&T iPhone) you can get 14 hours of talk time on AT&T’s 2G network.

I’ve also been very satisfied with AT&T. When I’ve had problems, they resolved them quickly. And if the problems weren’t resolved quickly, they credited my account. (NOTE: It helps being nice and polite to the customer services representatives when explaining your problems/issues). AT&T also has coverage where I need it where Verizon doesn’t have coverage. Now, believe me, I understand that having good luck with a carrier comes with a flip of the coin. You’re either lucky or not. In my case, AT&T is and has been a great company to have as my carrier.

Having said all of that, let me say this. I’m glad that the iPhone is coming to Verizon because that means that AT&T finally has competition. Hopefully with that competition AT&T will step up their game and fix coverage holes & gaps, delivers 3G when they’re supposed to, etc. Several of my friends are mad that AT&T has not delivered 3G to Kalamazoo and Battle Creek, MI. AT&T promised a year and a half ago that they’d bring 3G to that area. 3G is still missing from that market. I don’t blame my friends for being mad and I’d be mad too if I lived in that market. So, AT&T, I hope you’ve learned a lesson…don’t announce coverage enhancements until you fully know for sure that I’ll roll out in 6 months time or so.

So I’m happy that AT&T will have competition. Because that means we, the consumers, will win out in the end. And, after 4 years of the iPhone’s existence, people now have a choice.

To conclude, the iPhone coming to Verizon is great for others, but not for me. Hopefully you find this resourceful.

What do you all think about the VeriPhone? Are you going to jump off the AT&T ship and join Big Red? Are you staying with AT&T? Are you satisfied with your AT&T experience? Feel free to leave insightful and intelligent comments please. 🙂

T-Mobile To Get iPhone? Doubtful

Will T-Mobile be acquiring the iPhone later this year?  I really don’t think so.

Good afternoon everyone.  Hope you all are having a nice day. 🙂

About a week and a half ago, I blogged about how Verizon wouldn’t be getting the iPhone anytime soon. Well I’m back to discuss a new rumor floating around the Tweetverse and the web.

If you’re an avid iPhone news junkie, I’m sure you heard the rumors of T-Mobile getting the iPhone later this year.  Rumor departments are all over this one just like they are about a Verizon iPhone.  Why?  Why are people even speculating this?  I guess there’s a lot of people who really don’t like AT&T.  I do like them, but I wouldn’t mind seeing some competition between the carriers over the iPhone.

T-Mobile is a German based company.  So?  What does that have to do with anything?  That’s just it.  It’s a German based company.  They are not a US company.  What I’m saying is that T-Mobile doesn’t have the coverage footprint of other US companies like AT&T or Verizon.  Look at their coverage map, sure, their voice network is comparable to AT&T’s voice network, but look at their data coverage.  You ROAM most of the time on their data network.  You’re pretty much safe in large cities but once you leave the large cities or go out west, you’re going to be roaming.

Unlike a Verizon iPhone and what I was explaining in my Verizon iPhone blog entry, making a iPhone work on T-Mobile wouldn’t be that hard because the necessary hardware for the phone to operate is already in the iPhones Apple makes.  T-Mobile uses GSM, the global standard for mobile communications.  So from a hardware standpoint, T-Mobile is all set to acquire the iPhone.  But there is one more [big] hurdle to leap over.

Ah yes, how can we all forget about THE EXCLUSIVITY AGREEMENT?  Well it looks like the rumor department staff blew this one.  AT&T is STILL the exclusive iPhone contract holder for another two years.  2 YEARS PEOPLE!  Had this rumor come out a year later, then I might buy it a little bit more.  Why don’t you retweet that rumor in another year.  Oh, and change the possible release date too while you’re at it.  Make sure it coincides with a 2012 release date ;).

However, at least this rumor is a bit more plausible than a Verizon iPhone because at least Apple wouldn’t have to change the hardware inside the phone.  But remember, 2012 is the magic number for ANY future iPhone being released on another carrier in the US.

Will T-Mobile get the iPhone?  It is possible, but not for another two years.

Would you all like to see the iPhone come to T-Mobile?  Sprint?  Verizon?  How about an iPhone with Nextel direct connect?  Ewwww to the latter in my opinion.  But feel free to comment and let us know what you think.