The Wireless War

3rd Gen: BlackBerry Tour, Apple iPhone, Nexus One, HTC Touch 2

It is pretty accurate to say that these days you can go anywhere and see someone operating a wireless phone, a trend has become increasingly prominent since the start of the decade. But what a difference time makes, as technology continues to hurdle its former limits. Take a look at the early 2000s when most cell phone users boasted the Motorola RAZR, the T-Mobile Sidekick, or a Nextel push-to-talk phone as the fashionable device, all of them seem so quaint now.

Step into 2010, the wireless game has jumped to a whole new level and the big players are  Research In Motion’s BlackBerry, Apple’s iPhone, Google’s Android operating system (featured on the Nexus One), and Microsoft’s Windows Mobile OS. These operating systems and their devices are members of the smartphone generation, wireless devices that take the best features of regular cell phones (calls, texting, voicemail) and complement them with the power of web-browsing, email access, applications, and media consumption into a hand-held device. Quite frankly it’s amazing technology but, is it for everyone? I would like to believe not because not everyone is tech-savvy or desires a phone with so many capabilities.

My service provider is Verizon Wireless and I have a smartphone, I was one of the early birds. I bought my Motorola Q9M music phone in 2008 when smartphone trend was beginning to pick up, the network capabilities were vastly limited at the time due to a lack of service towers providing internet access for smartphones. But since it is a smartphone, I still take advantage of its superior organization skills. Now after 2 years as a smartphone user and a few months of active use of the web browsing features I am questioning whether I want to buy another smartphone or go back to a “regular phone” (there is nothing regular about a wireless device these days). In the few months I did have internet access on my phone it was highly addicting, I was constantly on Facebook and ESPN.com for no-good reason, it was impossible for there to be an equal amount of updates to match the amount of times I checked those websites. I also have an iPod Touch which has replaced the web browsing from my smartphone and on my iPod the things I check are Facebook, ESPN.com., our Twitter page, and the blog.

I consider myself to be an average person, the point being that most of us are average people and we are the primary consumers of the smartphone technology. I wish I had the statistics on this but I would bet that most smartphone users fall within the age of 18-34. Now realistically how many of us need to be constantly connected to our email, Facebook, and twitters. Most career persons are in the office at their computer so email access shouldn’t be an issue and during the work-day Facebook & Twitter are nothing but distractions. So why do we need the technology? All the iPhone apps that exist and the BBM technology are just distractions toys for us to play with.

So now let’s be honest and answer the question. Why do we need this technology? The answer is we don’t but that we have been convinced that we need access to these  resources toys 24/7 – 365 and when we don’t have access everyone flips like Judgment Day has come. Here is an example in regards to the 2-day failure of BlackBerry’s famed Blackberry Messenger (BBM) system. FYI, BBM is an instant messaging/text messaging software that operates exclusively between BlackBerry devices by exchanging pin numbers. My sister has a BlackBerry and when the system crashed a few weeks ago, she stormed the house in a fit-of-annoyance because she couldn’t BBM…but as a cousin pointed out it’s just glorified texting. Aside from the BBM software there are now other apps available for the phone via an online store but I think the BlackBerry is more business minded, as are it’s best apps.

On the other hand, the Apple iPhone offers superior technology & versatility to most all other smartphones because of the countless apps available in the iTunes App Store, and without a doubt you have seen one of Apple’s commercials boasting the slogan, “There’s an App for that” and that could be true with more than 100,000 apps to choose from. Let’s also not forget that the iPhone has superior mp3/music ability to all other phones because it also draws on iPod technology. Quite frankly, Apple’s operating systems are at the top of the industry now…granted Windows still maintains greater use/influence in the workplace but more people are purchasing the Mac desktops, laptops, and soon tablets.

Returning to the phones, the biggest issue for these devices and their networks  is the range of access and bandwidth to the volume of users on the network and the strain of streaming & downloading content…hence Verizon and AT&T have engaged in a marketing war over whose company boasts the most coverage and the strongest networks. Don’t be fooled because both companies have their issues so realistically it comes down to what phone you want, iPhone or BlackBerry. The Google Nexus One, the first 3G-type mobile device to be sold unlocked will definitely add a new element to the Wireless War since consumers won’t have to choose sides for a high-end & high-tech phone.

To me it’s crazy that the new standard for consumers is the ability to have a device with equal-or-superior technology as a computer in the palm of their hands. More amazing is that as the demand increases the phone companies Titans are supplying the people with bigger and better results. There’s a war going on outside, pick a side. Rev’s a Blackberry Tour.

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2 Responses to The Wireless War

  1. TRANS3ND0R says:

    I side with the Android devices and Verizon Wireless. No I am not joining the band wagon but as an avid gadget fan and reader of sci/tech/gadget blogs everyday, Verizon is closing in on AT&T’s fame and range of devices. Matter of fact, the fastest growing cell carrier was Alltel, and we all know that Verizon acquired MOST of their users so that Verizon now is the largest carrier. First step complete.

    Second step: Android stands as more than a operating system (OS), it stands for a way of thinking that all things should be open. Open as in, no one truly owns something in the technology. Now, Google owns what’s called the kernel or heart of Android, but besides that, users (pretty code savvy users) are able to change any and everything about their phone. PLUS, you can use the Android OS on computers, namely netbooks. What’s also becoming over saturated is the tablet and/or ebook reader market, which every, EVERY manufacturer is looking for an OS that is light (low in code, prefer just the kernel), open source (because it’s free) then code the rest because it will be fit to exactly what they want to do. (That’s why WinMo is not looking so hot right now.) Android, and another OS called Linux wins so much in that market. And all companies are moving this way.

    Thrid step: Verizon has confirmed getting the Nexus One, and also Palm’s Pixi and Pre which also run an open source OS called WebOS, which has a Linux kernel. Verizon’s posting to get all major operating systems and smartphones (iPhone has been tossed around since iPhone was released). It’ll be a while before Verizon catches up the 3G experience that AT&T has, but if Google keeps releasing Android versions on a regular basis and devices then Google will truly be posed to take iPhone prowess. If Verizon keeps the Droid line going, and keeps open source phones away from AT&T then they could definitely start running things.

    Oh yeah, I’ve been an unhappy Samsung Omnia (WinMo) user, trying to get a Motorola Droid.

    • Rev.R says:

      Thanks for your input! I agree when Verizon absorbed Alltel, it was a big power move that put them a good bit ahead of AT&T in regards to coverage range and resources. This summer there was actually a case (I think the Federal Gov’t was running the case) but pretty much the focus was on opening up the iPhone to other providers and somewhere in the process Verizon said that they didn’t need the iPhone because they would acquire equal and more technology to rival the iPhone.

      I think Google is poised for more than just a take-over of the wireless world but when they finally complete their OS for computers and release the tablet Google could enter the ranks of Apple and Microsoft as tech-titans.

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