October 19, 2006

The Big Shift in Voice -- the deadly embrace of handset manufacturers and telcos

In the sometimes related world of mobile telephony, Dave challenged an off-the-cuff prediction:

"The reason for this is that there are enough rebel handset manufacturers out there now"

I'm curious about this Ian, could you expand a little? Because of the way the market works, the handset manufacturers sort of have to work with the operators who subsidise their handsets. Won't this serve to limit what "rebel" handset manufacturers can do?
Posted by: Dave Birch at September 20, 2006 04:36 PM

In today's Lynngram, finally, an answer worth posting in this article, VoIP revolution leaves US behind:

Nokia's decision to include a SIP stack in its E-series Symbian phones has created a small explosion of start-up service providers. Kinks abound - and the number of devices available on the market is still limited - but the benefits are tangible. As I noted yesterday, since trialling VoIP on Symbian a month ago I haven't used any cellular minutes at home - except by accident.

Forget the US part of the article, look at what Nokia is doing (this rumour has been around for some time). Basically they are shifting themselves to a supplier of handsets to the people ... and making the telcos realise their optional position in the new world order.

The other rumour I heard was that it is now possible to buy in reasonable numbers (like a thousand) handsets for $20 unit cost from Asia. That is, if you have a need for a particular phone, you can get it custom made for reasonable costs. Want Skype? $20. Want SIP? Same thing ... Want WebFunds? Where's your code... (now think hard about what the article says about Symbian!)

Put it all together: Internet, VoIP, Skype and maybe even SIP, are starting to bite. The old dual cartel of handset manufacturers and telcos starts to look like a deadly embrace, one which Nokia at least is trying to exit before the end result.

Posted by iang at October 19, 2006 09:58 AM | TrackBack

Thanks for these invaluable posts.

Posted by: TB at October 20, 2006 05:15 AM
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