(Mis)Uses of Technology

by Carlo Longino

More Carriers Eye Laptop Lock-In

from the we-love-contracts dept

A few months back, Sony started selling a laptop with the functionality to connect to Cingular's EDGE network built in. We pointed out then that when people are already annoyed by the fact that their phones are generally locked to one carrier, they probably won't want their laptop tied to one too. It now looks like carriers find the idea of laptop lock-in appealing, as now Dell will sell laptops with built-in connections for Verizon Wireless' EV-DO network, while that carrier's parent, Vodafone, is in talks with computer manufacturers to build in access for its 3G network to their machines. Our original objections still stand, and it's still unclear how building in access to a single network from a single provider is really very useful at all, or preferable to using data cards. Again, maybe if the operators were subsidizing the laptops like they do handsets, this scheme might be slightly less bad. But why should users let themselves be locked in to one carrier for no real benefit? Update: Verizon Wireless has announced a similar deal with HP as well. Another Update: Lenovo makes it three for Verizon.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Jon Gales, Sep 19th, 2005 @ 8:32am

    Lenovo too

    Lenovo announced a similar deal as well... New Z-Series is shipping with Verizon Broadband ACcess starting next month. Three big names in one day, a big win for VZW. But not for consumers. Imagine if the WiFi card in your notebook only worked at T-Mobile HotSpot.

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

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 19th, 2005 @ 1:00pm

    No Subject Given

    What still pisses me off is that all the carriers have so many completely separate networks. We're doing triple/quadruple (however many carriers there actually are) the investment/effort going on yet there's not a single carrier that doesn't suck depending on where you are. If these fuckers had worked together to build a common network, your phone would work from anywhere, plus there wouldn't be any need to fuck around with wifi or even have Comcast in your home. You'd have cellular broadband that you could pickup and move ANYWHERE with. Think about how great things would be if this had actually happened. (IE, the carriers pooled their resources and had truly complete coverage across the US...) I hate how companies get so overly excited about locking in their customer base that they end up hurting consumers and stifling technological advances...

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

  3. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 20th, 2005 @ 10:38am

    No Subject Given

    Comrade, that is why capitalism sucks...=P

    in all seriousness, companies are so clueless, some hacker will break this crap wide open and they are back to square one while pissing off their customers who are too stupid to do anything about it in the first place.

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

  4. identicon
    Anonymous of Course, Sep 20th, 2005 @ 6:24pm

    Re: No Subject Given

    I miss the monolythic Ma Bell quality and the wonderful Bell Labs developed equipment. Sometimes.

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

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