Time To Make Mobile Platforms More Open

from the slowing-down-development dept

Here’s an issue that we’ve been complaining about for ages at Techdirt: mobile phone platforms need to open up. They’ll get there eventually, but in the meantime, the old carrier mindset remains in control, where they’re not letting anyone write applications for mobile phones without making sure that they get cut in on the action. You would think that they would take a look at the history of personal computers and what made them catch on – but there’s this inability to see past the idea that they could get a small piece of every software transaction that occurs. Instead of thinking that by opening up the platform and allowing anyone to design useful software they might get more users who sign up for heftier plans, they focus on slowing down adoption and grabbing a small piece of small transactions. It’s short-sighted thinking that slows down the industry.

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Comments on “Time To Make Mobile Platforms More Open”

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Oliver Wendell Jones (profile) says:

It's carrier specific

While what you say applies to certain carriers (like Verizon for instance) other carriers like Sprint PCS allow their users to download any app, game or ringer that they find on the web and there dozens of websites devoted specifically to that.

Verizon, on the other hand, has a special “gateway” called Get-It-Now and everything that is sent to your phone has to pass through that gateway and pay a toll. If you want to develop apps/games for the Verizon phones you have to buy a developers kit and then pay to have your app/game approved/licensed by Verizon before their gateway will allow it to pass through.

I use Sprint PCS and I’m very happy with the fact that I don’t have to pay for everything I want on my phone, and the few things that I have ‘bought’ from Sprint (I get a $5 monthly credit towards purchases from Sprint) have all been of decent quality.

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