Monday, January 11, 2010

Getting Real about Smartphones and Media Delivery

I've been reading a lot more 'Daily Patricia' (Patricia Handschiegel) lately and while I share her excitement and tend to agree with many of her predictions in this post, I'm betting her timelime is off a bit.

The same can be said for all the excitement surrounding Google's Nexus One and the ongoing 'smartphone wars' (although the various carriers' advertising has been a boon to regional TV stations that had been lowering ad rates all of last year).

Those of you that know me .... know that I'm far from a snob and maintain friendships at all ends of the economic spectrum.  I enjoy this interaction with many of you immensely.

There are two obstacles to all of this techie excitement and the so-called 'next chapter', and both seem pretty obvious.

One: Contracts.

Whether it's your cell company or TV satellite provider, most users won't be willing (or able?) to pay earlier termination fees.  It's no coincidence that Verizon recently doubled theirs

Two: The economy.

While it's probably safe to say that smartphones have already, or are definitely in the process of going mainstream ..... many simply can't yet afford the tab of unlimited web access.  While it's smart for these companies to position, it's unlikely that the upgrade curve will be dramatic ... for a while.

The worldwide economy has a long way to go before smart cellphones or Internet-delivered-everything is in everyone's hands.

3G, 4G and Broadband in the US still have a long way to go as well.

Very simply, while many have abndoned their old credit habits, others remain unemployed. 

The worldwide economy has a long way to go as well and should be simmering on the front burners of our governments' priorities. Hopefully a short-term solution to the still huge unemployment problem in the US can be addressed soon.

When perceived value enters the picture for these devices and wholesale changes and/or much lower prices, the Internet connected world will be on it's way.

That may be a good thing as with any luck, some standards will emerge and everyone can get on the same platform.

edited Jan 11 1:30 PM