Have you ever wanted a new piece of electronics (or some other kind of toy) for a stupid reason? That’s where I am now.
Before this, I loved the iPhone and the phones like it, but I didn’t feel the burn to get one myself. The only thing I wanted in a phone update is a full QWERTY keyboard and a better camera. When we go on vacation, I like mobile blogging and those features would make it easier and better. Then, I found this while searching for webcams:
From what I see, you can down do your webcam from your phone and it’ll go to your ustream.tv setup. (Of course, if you have that embedded on your blog, your readers will see it there too.) Most people who comment on it are using it to view other people’s webcams on their iPhones, but I’m really interested in the broadcasting. I like having our webcam set up when we go somewhere, like these from Disney’s Fort Wilderness, and this would really expand on this. Now it wouldn’t just come from the cam on the PC, but wherever we are. When I was on the beach in Barnetgat, LBI, I could have had live video.
My phone won’t let me use the app, so I looked up the compatible models. Here’s the But! I can’t use any of them with Verizon Wireless. After some research, I found out why — and an interesting fact. To avoid using the technical details, Verizon uses a different network software than companies like AT&T, and their network won’t let me use anything like the Nokia phone I liked. If I got an unlocked Nokia E series or an iPhone from eBay, Verizon would let me use it, but I wouldn’t have any of the functions like getting and using these apps.
According to some posts, Apple actually offered exclusive contract for the iPhone to Verizon first and Verizon turned them down. Also according to these reports, Verizon is calling customers who said they left to go to AT&T for the iPhone, and asking them would they come back if Verizon Wireless got the iPhone. They said if Verizon allowed full usage of the iPhone, then they would come back.
Of course, it’s silly that I want that functionality not so I can do email or some cool other app (I can do email and web surfing with Verizon phones), but so I can do a webcam from it. And my phone and the Verizon network works great for making and receiving calls, which is the purpose of a cellphone.
It reminds me of the bad decision made by the company where I worked in the mid-90s. An Exec VP applauded Microsoft’s idea of making MSN to compete with the Internet; when a company signed up to have content on MSN, they had to agree not to have a Web site. “Who needs the Web, like Bill Gates says!” this VP said to all of us. “Even a reporter for the Wall Street Journal said that in 10 years, the Web will be a wasteland except for a few personal homepages. Our company does great on CompuServe and we could always go on Gates’ version of the internet, the MSN.”
Well, in 10 years, the Web still thrived. Gates admitted defeat in getting people to abandon the Internet to be on MSN. Our company had to close every office but one because business tanked with no web presence, and that VP got fired. (I bet the Wall Street reporter did too.)
So that experience makes me think that Verizon had better wise up. We may want the equivalent of the Web for fun applications as well as all the business uses, but it still means big business for the people who provide it. Verizon better figure that out before it rides their own MSN to the bench with that VP and reporter.
Don’t be chasing the iPhone market with something that has less functionality. I don’t have to have an iPhone, but I want something that allows for those apps.
Apple sells about 16 iPods for every 1 Zune that Microsoft sells according to recent reports. The important thing to me in that statement is: iPods and Zunes will both play mp3s, both use software to download those mp3s and videos. They wisely didn’t block each other (granted, they can be awkward with each other’s software, but it’s not blocked) or only allow their propietary audio and video formats. That allows them to compete in the market. If Verizon had its own apps AND changed their network to allow these other apps and phones, they have a bigger business.
And I get my app. 😉