Friday, December 23, 2005
Back in the USSA ... you don't know how lucky you are, boy!
Well, I've been quiet for quite a while, mainly because I was doing lots of last minute work before my trip back to the states. I've been back for a week already, and I managed to make it to a Seattle Mobile meet-n-greet, where I met some pretty savy mobile cats, that included the Seattle Mobile founders David and Mario. I've already made quite a few trips up and down the PACNW, hitting up the big malls, and having some low-key meetings with mall property managers about deploying Jellingspot. My first thought that comes to mind is that mobile has come a LONG way in the US since I first returned from Europe back in 1999 for a visit. Back that, analog phones were still all the rage ... now, it seems, most people are using GSM or some varient, where you can send SMSs (Texting, as in the UK, it's called here in the US). I've even manged to con some girls I know into "texting" me mainly (I hate phone calls generally, as they're intrusive). They're getting hooked.
However, there is still a LONG way to go. While a lot of people are wearing Bluetooth headsets, I see that Motorola still maintains a large monopoly on the phones being sold at carriers, and these phones straight suck. There is a commerical on TV or the radio every 2 seconds for the Motorola Razor, but that phone stinks. You can't do much with (from a Jellingspot, or just Java/Flash perspective) ... it's being pitched as the next best thing next to sliced bread, but man, it's a laughing stock in Europe. I briefly tested the Razor for a few days (psuedo tester for a friend), and I couldn't stand the phone. I've been lucky enough to be carrying around and testing a new HTC Wizard, and that's a real phone (although Pocket PC Windows Mobile edition is straight buggy and lacks a lot of features ... can't even Bluetooth a picture to a friend -- have to use IrDA or MMS/Email -- stupid) compared to the Razor. In fact, it's light-years ahead of anything else out there really, minus the few Nokia Series 60 phones floating around out there. Motorola must have a monopoly on the network equipment sales to the carriers, and so they're pushing their crappy phones via this blackmail method -- that sucks. :(
Whatever the case, hang in there USA -- things are getting better ... rumor has it that Nokia is gonna start aggressively pushing their products there (not sure how...) ... and Sony-Ericsson is eye-balling the US market more aggressively, too. Let's hope -- because Motorola hasn't impressed me at all thus far and the US mobile market is suffering because of it!