Mobile Carriers Are Trying To Control Your Texting

mom-textWho owns your telephone number? According to Section 251(b) of the Communications Act of 1934, you own your number and can move it to the carrier of your choice. But who owns your texting phone number? It’s the same number, just used for a different purpose. The law says nothing about texting so the major wireless carriers (AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon) are claiming that number is theirs, not yours, even if you are the one paying a little extra for unlimited texting. And the way they see it, unlimited is clearly limited, with carriers and texting services not offered by the Big Four expected soon to pay cash to reach you.

Prediction #4: Motorola buys TiVO

What’s going to happen with TiVO?  The pioneering Digital Video Recorder company is still in business with around a million subscribers and it has lately been settling patent infringement cases with big companies like Echostar and — just this week — with AT&T, but the longer term prospects for the company are dim. Yes, they’ll likely rake in hundreds of million more in settlements from companies including Verizon, but at the same time their subscriber base is dwindling and a point will come when their hardware will simply disappear as the company loses manufacturing economies of scale. That is unless they want to start shipping each new unit with a $100 bill attached — something […]

By |January 3rd, 2012|2012|64 Comments

Ivan the Terrible?

If you were Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg, faced with suddenly becoming the number two mobile phone company in America following an AT&T/T-Mobile merger, what would you do?  You could try to buy Sprint, and for all I know Seidenberg will do just that.  You could make a counter-offer for T-Mobile, but that would just be too darned expensive. If I was Seidenberg, though, I would try to poach customers — millions of customers — from T-Mobile.

AT&T is paying $1300 per T-Mobile subscriber and by the time the deal is finished extra costs will probably raise that to $1400 or more.  Were I Seidenberg, then, I’d spend right up to that level to snag customers from […]

By |March 22nd, 2011|2011|42 Comments

Fool me once, shame on you…

Apple has a long history of milking early adopters. Even the crappy products (remember the Newton? the Mac Cube?) would sell a few hundred thousand units to the faithful before those faithful learned the sad truth. But just as they were learning that truth, along would come Steve Jobs (okay, not in the case of the Newton, but generally) gleefully proffering the real fantastic product people had been expecting months before. Then those same early adopters, reenergized, would buy all over again, whether it was an iMac, iPod, MacBook, iPhone, whatever. Why should we think this week’s Verizon iPhone announcement is any different?

Where’s the Long Term Evolution (LTE) network? Where’s surfing while talking? Where’s the […]

By |January 12th, 2011|2011|90 Comments

2011 Prediction #2: The white iPhone IS the Verizon iPhone

No other explanation makes any sense.

Certainly there is no supply problem that could keep Apple from introducing a white iPhone.  But what if white is a Verizon exclusive in the USA?  That would to a certain extent pull the branding rug out from under AT&T and even put a bit more oomph behind those iPhone users who might choose to jump carriers.

It’s silly, I know, but as Mrs. Cringely always says, “Husbands die every day.”

By |January 4th, 2011|2011|108 Comments