by Mike Masnick

US Wireless Carriers Missing The Point Of The Camera Phone

from the how-many-mistakes-can-you-make dept

It looks like the early success of camera phone sales in the US is more in spite of the wireless carriers' actions, rather than because of those actions. Forbes has a good piece describing all the mistakes they've been making. First, they're advertising some wonderfully easy system with high resolution photos that can be sent to everyone you know with a single click of the button. Of course, it doesn't work that way. The photos are tiny, low resolution shots, and it takes many clicks to send it to just the few folks you're sure are on the same network you're on. Furthermore, the industry still hasn't made much progress on interoperability to allow you to send photos to others. The carriers still believe that interoperability encourages people to change carriers - rather than realize that it just encourages adoption of the technology. They have the perfect example too: SMS took off once interop was offered, but carriers still don't seem to grasp that the same thing would be true for photo messaging. Seems obvious, and yet the carriers are slow to realize. Also, most of the carriers are actively encouraging people not to use the service to send pictures (part of what makes it valuable). One analyst points out that he doesn't have a data plan on his phone, but simply takes pictures, then pulls them off the web for free and sends them via email. If he were to send them via the phone, it would cost money. So, the current pricing policies encourage people not to send the pictures by phone. Sooner or later they'll get this figured out, but it's amazing how badly the carriers seem to deal with any data service.

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  • identicon
    WD-40, 27 Aug 2003 @ 1:04am

    Yeah, but, they do this with everything

    Corporations are only ever interested in maximizing profits. So for some reason, whenever anything new comes out, they always take the short view, price it high, and limit interop. Then they wonder why, often times, it doesn't catch on as fast as they thought.
    Same thing happened with broadband a few years ago. It got priced out of the market, so few people signed on. Then the telecoms had all this excess capacity, which really hurt the industry. Had broadband been competetively priced, we'd all be using it now, and they would have earned back their investment, and then some.
    As it is now, broadband is only beginning to grow, and growth is projected at a slower, steadier pace than the industry had hoped.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Chris falco, 27 Aug 2003 @ 2:08am

    MY phone

    I've got a color Sidekick from t-mobile and I'm able to send color photos as an attachment to anyone with an e-mail address, and with my unlimited data plan for $20 it doesn't cost me anything! So some companies get it www.hiptop.com

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike (profile), 27 Aug 2003 @ 9:07am

      Re: MY phone

      I also have the T-Mobile sidekick, but I'm not so sure they "get it". The picture quality is dreadful, and it's not real MMS messaging - it's over email. It's not designed to send to another phone.

      Furthermore, the biggest issue with the Sidekick is the fact that they STILL haven't opened it up to the developer community. T-Mobile owns everything on your sidekick and can delete programs at will. You can't download new programs unless T-Mobile says it's ok. This is a huge mistake, and is why I've been keeping my out for something to replace my Sidekick.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    aumouse, 27 Aug 2003 @ 8:04am

    wireless telecoms management

    bottm line: most major telecoms management are lawyers or accountants with a very short term approach. they have no fecking idea about the future. they just roll with what ever shite the ad agency / telecom gear wholesaler throws at them. god forbid asking what the consumer wants or having a long term strategy apart from buying a new beemer every year.... incumbant carriers do the minimal necessary. who are they competing against ???

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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