I just came across an interesting post by one of my favorite tech columnists: Walt Mossberg. He writes for the Wall Street Journal in his column "Mossberg Solution". He also has a blog called ‘All Things Digital". It was on the blog that I found a post titled "Free My Phone". I have been frustrated for a long time about how cell phones are sold in the United States: hardware, software and the "network" is all bundled together – so the consumer is a slave to the cell phone companies.
I was using one cell phone service – but really wanted to upgrade my phone to the BlackBerry Pearl. The cell phone carrier I was using did not carry the BlackBerry Pearl (and was not going to that I knew). So I had to CANCEL my account with the first carrier (and pay a closing fee). Then move over to a second cell phone carrier – just to get a different piece of hardware (the BlackBerry Pearl). I am also not happy with the overall internet surfing capabilities of any of the carriers and I think that may all be tied into wheeling and dealing that is going on….
"But, in my view, they shouldn’t be allowed to pick and choose what
phones run on their networks, and what software and services run on
those phones. We need a wireless mobile device ecosystem that mirrors
the PC/Internet ecosystem, one where the consumers’ purchase of network
capacity is separate from their purchase of the hardware and software
they use on that network. It will take government action, or some
disruptive technology or business innovation, to get us there."