Carriers Conspire To Cage 800lb Reindeer

Over the weekend The Register posted an article looking at the ongoing struggle between carriers and handset makers. To date, especially in Europe, the dominant brand wireless subscribers identify with is the brand of their handset. Traditionally handset makers, particularly market leader Nokia, have leveraged their brand power to tell carriers what they are going to sell. But ever since the explosive growth of NTT’s Docomo service more and more carriers have attempted to emulate Docomo’s holistic approach by packaging devices, content and service under the operator brand. Vodafone Live! and SprintPCS are probably the best examples of western operators going down this path. As of yet though neither side has found the right balance. However fast followers such as Samsung and struggling handset maker Motorola are trying to work more closely with carriers and offer them custom options to gain market share at Nokia’s expense. The Register makes the interesting point that compelling content maybe the missing piece that helps carriers and equipment makers redefine their relationship.

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