12 September 2007

Walled gardens and the telecom industry

There is an interesting juxtaposition between this article and the articles referred to in this earlier item on this blog.

The previous post discussed Apple's possible desire (or not?) to build a wireless infrastructure. The rationale for this is the desire on their part to completely control the user experience, as the company does through its iTunes/iPod combination and in the hardware/software bundling of its Macintosh platform (see this item for more). Doing this, in essence, creates a "walled garden" of a sort ... a space in which user activities are controlled (at least to some extent) by the service provider. While this enables the development of a peerless user experience, it also provides many avenues for the service provider to profit.

Another related thought ... some of the motivation behind the "wireless Carterfone" is to eliminate these "walled gardens". Is regulation necessary? Should Apple be discouraged from building one? Should government have anything to do with this whatsoever? If carriers are eliminating them anyway (according to the article), is "wireless Carterfone" dead?

More generally, which direction do you think the industry will go? Is Apple swimming upstream by wanting to move in this direction while the rest of the industry is moving away from this direction? Who is the visionary?

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