Saturday, August 18, 2007



Hi Michael, please add your blog to our new directory of Indian Blogs, thanks!



I think its time for these Ma Bell derivatives to move over and companies like Google give them a run for their money...


Alex Tolley

The report "Behind the Curve: Japan's PC Industry" is interesting for its historic context - just look at how the market and players changed since it was written in 1995!

Your analogy about the similarity to the Japan PC market in the 90s is interesting, but I think it really only captures part of the story. Certainly, each phone is like a different platform and this makes creating common software a real problem.

PCMagazine hit the nail on the head when they note that the problem is that programmers do not get to compete on a common platform.

I've read that independent programmers cannot make any money because of the fragmented mature of the platform.

However, I think that the greater issue is that carriers have kept the phone and its system closed. had it been open, this would have forced a common platform, much like the availability of software forced the shakeout of the competing hardware and software in the US market in the 1980s. "Killer apps", written for a particular platform forced consumers to make a choice and then network effects took over. Even in the consumer electronics market, the user's choice of available titles sealed the path of the VHS format wars.

Phones do not really offer that. Users have no choice but to accept what is offered. Moreover, carriers have made switching costs painful.

I think Apple has recognized this and that is why the iPhone's web browser is the Trojan horse. It will provide the common platform as WiFi starts to penetrate. Users will be able to use their iPhones as a computing platform/comm/entertainment platform running the apps of THEIR choice, rather than a carrier's. This will allow iPhones to interoperate with other web attached computers, which makes them much more useful IMO.


But what about the fact that Japan, which probably (nay, definitely) has even stronger carrier control over handset distribution, is one of the leaders as far as the mobile internet ecosystem is concerned?

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