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Old 02-15-2007, 12:02 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Why the U.S. is last in mobile technology

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Interesting article about why our cell phones and service are the way they are and why all those neat cell phones coming out overseas may never see the light of day here in the U.S.

Why is U.S. always last in line for new phones? - The Practical Futurist - MSNBC.com
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Old 02-15-2007, 03:01 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Thx for posting. Great article.
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Old 02-15-2007, 04:07 PM   #3 (permalink)
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While we may have one of the most powerful economic systems in the world (yes, this can be debated), the open-to-anyone competition that makes us such a great nation also hinders the notion of innovation in the world of technology. Networks struggle with communicating with one another, competitive standards seem to halt forward-moving growth. This is nothing new and is one of the only downsides of free enterprise.
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Old 02-15-2007, 05:07 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default The dark Ages

Are we the only ones with this free enterprise system?
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Old 02-19-2007, 10:20 AM   #5 (permalink)
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It also has to do with the 'not invented here' syndrome.

The US is usually slow at adopting anything that originated elsewhere.

Best example is the car industry. US manufacturers are actively fighting European standards like the side-body turn repeaters and amber turn signals, much safer, but no a US idea.
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Old 02-19-2007, 10:56 AM   #6 (permalink)
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It also has to do with "we want the cheapest phone with the best service at minimal cost". I was in Asia a few weeks ago. Went to an electronics mall. Saw literally hundreds of different phones - 3G, advanced MP3, BT everything. $300-$600. No way the "average" Joe (or family) is paying that for a phone. They want the cheapest one on the family plan with My Faves or whatever. Don't just blame the networks or manufacturers. They are building what the customers want.
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Old 02-28-2007, 07:19 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJBlackBerry
It also has to do with "we want the cheapest phone with the best service at minimal cost". I was in Asia a few weeks ago. Went to an electronics mall. Saw literally hundreds of different phones - 3G, advanced MP3, BT everything. $300-$600. No way the "average" Joe (or family) is paying that for a phone. They want the cheapest one on the family plan with My Faves or whatever. Don't just blame the networks or manufacturers. They are building what the customers want.
The phones are so expensive because they are not subsidized by carriers. In most part of the world, GSM phones are sold independent of the carrier service. You buy the phone you like in some store, then you go out and pick a carrier. Since the carriers are not burdened with part of the hardware cost, their plans tend to be cheaper.

Because phones are not tied to carriers, phone manufacturers have total freedom to sell whatever product they have. This phenomenon alone makes it possible for them to launch high-end products cheaply and quickly, because they don't have to design & manufacture different versions of the same phone for different providers.

But I guess making payments is an American way of life. We like paying in small installments, even though it would cost us more in total.
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Old 02-28-2007, 09:48 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Paying in small installments is sooo true.

My parents are still back home and spend everything in cash. From buying brand new cars, to building apartments and anything small.. all in hard cold cash. When they wanted to visit me here in California, they could not get in to visit me because the embassy required credit history. They didn't owe a single cent so was forced to get a credit card just to be able to visit me.

Actually, back home...mobile phone prices is not really the deciding factor of their purchase. They are more of a brand-conscious consumers. They change phones there so fast, it is like changing shirts.
 
Old 02-28-2007, 10:13 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default GSM vs CDMA

Does the deciding factor also include whether the carrier's radio service is GSM or CDMA or some other type?

I seem to notice this when I went phone shopping with US carriers. Is Sprint more expensive because its radio band is CDMA and Cingular is cheaper than Sprint 'cause Cingular uses GSM as a bandwith.

I am really confuse on this, and why some US carriers charge more for services than others? Insight anyone?
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Old 02-28-2007, 11:59 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chinesecatt
Paying in small installments is sooo true.

My parents are still back home and spend everything in cash. From buying brand new cars, to building apartments and anything small.. all in hard cold cash. When they wanted to visit me here in California, they could not get in to visit me because the embassy required credit history. They didn't owe a single cent so was forced to get a credit card just to be able to visit me.

Actually, back home...mobile phone prices is not really the deciding factor of their purchase. They are more of a brand-conscious consumers. They change phones there so fast, it is like changing shirts.
Well, in just about any country in Asia a cell phone is used to project your "image", much like clothing. Price does make a difference, because price is very much part of that image. People look down on you if you have a cheap cell phone. I came from Asia myself, and I actually dislike that practice. I would see people spending an entire month's worth of their salary to buy a new cell phone, just to maintain a particular image of themselves. It's absurd, but it's very good for cell phone manufacturers.

I'm not saying that Americans don't buy particular cell phones to look cool, but the prestige factor here is nowhere near as influential as it is down there. Here T-Mobile sells a "D-Wade Edition" Sidekick for $299, which is more than even BB 8700G and about twice as expensive as their BB Pearl. I wouldn't buy a sidekick even if it's priced lower than Pearl, but for certain demographics, that sidekick projects a favorable image. So that's exactly what they buy: the image of having the most expensive gadget available from t-mobile. But here it's the exception rather than the norm; most Americans buy a cell phone based on its features, not based on the cool factor.
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Old 03-01-2007, 12:11 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by septahedra
Well, in just about any country in Asia a cell phone is used to project your "image", much like clothing. Price does make a difference, because price is very much part of that image. People look down on you if you have a cheap cell phone. I came from Asia myself, and I actually dislike that practice. I would see people spending an entire month's worth of their salary to buy a new cell phone, just to maintain a particular image of themselves. It's absurd, but it's very good for cell phone manufacturers.

I'm not saying that Americans don't buy particular cell phones to look cool, but the prestige factor here is nowhere near as influential as it is down there. Here T-Mobile sells a "D-Wade Edition" Sidekick for $299, which is more than even BB 8700G and about twice as expensive as their BB Pearl. I wouldn't buy a sidekick even if it's priced lower than Pearl, but for certain demographics, that sidekick projects a favorable image. So that's exactly what they buy: the image of having the most expensive gadget available from t-mobile. But here it's the exception rather than the norm; most Americans buy a cell phone based on its features, not based on the cool factor.
That's where you are wrong.. price of mobile phones does not make a difference. And what I mean with this, they go more with Brand rather than price. And it is not about practice, it is about lifestyle. And if they spend their one whole month salary and it's good enough for one phone? LOL.. man you are hanging with the wrong people then. And that I would say that's sad indeed if they can only afford a phone for a month's salary. Right there, you are definitely right. Those kind of people have bad "buying habits" -- and manufacturers make money out from consumers with that kind of mentality.
 
Old 03-01-2007, 06:41 AM   #12 (permalink)
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True CC. I too go for Brand not price. I am financially able to do this. It is totally for me about lifestyle. The phone has to have the features to fit my lifestyle. I guess the months salary it relative to how much you are making. Of course the market in that particular country drives the consumer. If they are limited as to the choice of cellular provider and conversly the choice of phone, they are in a pickle. I would think in my limited experience in dealing with international trade, that with the internet they would be able to find a better deal through places such as eBay. I have purchased items via eBay from China, Korea, and Japan. You are right though CC. If consumers are willing to buy at that price, the manufacturers will be willing to sell to them.
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Old 03-01-2007, 08:01 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Interesting article in the Practical Futurist

Thank you for sharing this article. I have sent a reply to the author and have included it here because I would be interested in all your opinions on this.

Best regards,

Chris Macsween.
Attached Files
File Type: doc The Practical Futurist.doc (82.5 KB, 12 views)
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Old 03-01-2007, 09:27 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Well here's my two cents.

I agree with some of the article, but the USA has an a considerable land area to cover and comparing the services of densly populated countries that are the size of a couple of states to the entire USA isn't reasonable. That and the fact that we don't have a national policy forcing one type of system or another is very, very expensive.

The carriers have to choose technology that changes so fast, as you start deploying there is a better/cheaper solution available. Buildout costs in the tens of billions of (private-nongoverment) dollars and you have to buy local power and phone service from your competition to get your towers talking. Look at what is available now in data standards, it makes your head spin.

I also agree most people don't want to spend big bucks on a phone as they use it mostly to make voice calls. Look how long it took for the USA to use sms compared to the rest of the world. We don't use as many features in a phone and the carriers aren't going to spend on infrastructure until there is a market. Personally, I think video streaming a waste of bandwidth but it probably gets people using 3g that would be unused and therefore considerably more expensive to get my laptop online.

I think Verizon Wireless is doing a dis-service to its customers only permitting its phones on the service, crippling features and enforcing TOS that are unreasonable. However, the service is very good and that isn't important to people who need a phone to make a call which is the vast majority of Americans. It isn't a matter of "cheap" as it is what do I use it for, IMHO.

What is going on in Canada, China, Russia, Brazil and Australia which have comparable land size; well Russia is much larger. I don't think we're doing too bad here at all.

Regards-Michael G.
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Old 03-01-2007, 11:05 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by virusboy286
Are we the only ones with this free enterprise system?
i don't think that there is a lack of technology but more telecom politics.
Look at the adoption of 3g; cingular is just now rolling out its 3g network, while at this point they are almost two years behind verizon. If they were to scrap the 3g race and focus on the future (wimax or a 4g solution) i think that we could see technology take a turn in this country.

another example is limitations on great working technologies, prime example we are just seeing tethered modem capabilities when phones have had these capabilities for a while. bluetooth has had some big limitations, and for what so cell companies can sell a few more ringtones. This is the way free enterprise is killing us we need one company to buck the system and offer up what we really want, not what they think we need.
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Old 03-01-2007, 11:24 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Default technology

Then what I see as carriers actually making it is
A
The world adopts one bandwith and the US lives with it.
B
Carriers get together and work together on supplying each other with their bandwith technology so that all we have to worry when choosing a carrier is service and price and availibity.
C
We see the new carrier break the system and provide kick ass service and price and coverage, and provide all the bandwiths in the world.

Other than that, this economy will suck rocks for years to come.
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Old 03-01-2007, 11:35 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by virusboy286
Then what I see as carriers actually making it is
A
The world adopts one bandwith and the US lives with it.
B
Carriers get together and work together on supplying each other with their bandwith technology so that all we have to worry when choosing a carrier is service and price and availibity.
C
We see the new carrier break the system and provide kick ass service and price and coverage, and provide all the bandwiths in the world.

Other than that, this economy will suck rocks for years to come.
i don't think i would blame this problem on the economy but more on Microsoft's of the world. because i would hate for some one to tell me i had to switch to GSM and thats the only choose i have. Been there done that and didn't like it all that much. I just wish the company would have all the consumers in mind in the development process. because i don't mind paying more if im getting more but paying more for not much more is senseless. And that seems to be what is happening here, we are paying about the same for service that are not the same. look at data plans from cingular, for the modem service and the unlimited data are about a 30 difference for the same thing. can anyone explain?
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Old 03-01-2007, 11:53 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Default ignorance

The good ol ingorant market ploy. They put faith that when you buy or are comparsion shopping, they're hoping you don't know they're the same thing, one for pc, one for your phone. Yet they hope you have a pc and no wireless card. They're commission based so they want to sell the more expensive then pit all the effort in making that one service the best and the hell with the rest.

Sad.
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Old 03-07-2007, 03:18 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Wirelessly posted (BlackBerry8100/4.2.0 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/123)

Yes it is strange seeing as you guys get most technology firt however over here in the want for mobile web etc is greater or maybe the networks are too lazy to make any improvements.
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Old 03-15-2007, 09:46 AM   #20 (permalink)
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If we as Americans, stop toying with high tech (the best) guns, watch too much TV's, play too much games, we can buy higher tech mobile phones!
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