The U.S. handset market is all about exclusivity, notes RCR Wireless News. AT&T Mobility has dibs on Apple’s iPhone; Sprint Nextel has the Palm Pre; T-Mobile USA has the Android-based HTC G1; and Verizon Wireless has their Blackberry Stormx. Exclusivity is partly how carriers differentiate their offerings.
“Openness is a lofty goal, but innovation and competition play pretty important roles in driving wireless adoption too,” says Ford.
Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer said OS developers probably wouldn’t share common APIs when introducing new features to their platforms.
Still, De la Vega, CEO of AT&T Mobility, outlined a case study for the late but very dramatic acceptance of SMS in the US market only after messaging became inter-operable between carriers. He also said that 13 million iPhone users had downloaded more applications than 1.1 billion other handset users. The big challenge, he said, is to balance what he called, the ‘mobile ecosystem’ of multiple suppliers, vendors, handsets and network equipment providers.