A year ago I blogged about Rogers bringing Android handsets into Canada and I was wondering about Rogers/Google pushing out ads over the OS and the cost of the handsets. A year on, it seems that my fears of ads being pushed out over the OS were a bit unfounded (for the moment) on the part of Android/Google – that “honor” goes to Apple and iPhone4 – and the fretting about < - it is at this point, about 9:15am April 13th, that I was told that I am being laid off - >< - Resume April 14th -> the cost of handsets being about the same as those from other providers.
Well, the handsets are certainly expensive if you want to keep up with the last and greatest, but if you are willing to wait for handsets that are a few months old, thanks to the currently fragmented state of Android, you can get some nice deals on unlocked handsets. Having the Google flagship Nexus One available cheaper than what the carriers are offering their flagship devices (locked). Having Wind Mobile offer data only plans hasn’t hurt things either.
All this change has made the idea of ubiquitous computing (together with rocket/net sticks and 3G netbooks) move from the geek space to the sheik space quiet readily. In another year, this might be so common, to the point where people will start seeing what mobile data can do for them in their everyday lives and once that happens, maybe we’ll actually start seeing “smart” use of mobile technology in Higher Ed and in Div IV.
Not that the presentation that I wrote about last week was really predicting this, but the rumour that is running around that suggests that Telus may be moving to GSM! (GN). So that convergence to a single 4G technology in Canada is certainly a reality. Why is this something that came to light today? Well, there are also thoughts floating around that the iPhone may come to Canada today as of the Steve-note. The only GSM carrier in Canada is Rogers, but as much as Rogers would have the monopoly based on technology, Telus has it made with it’s “image” – at least when it comes to advertising. I remember saying once that I would never buy an iPhone if it came out in Canada on Telus… confident that the company was stuck to the CDMA technology, but the storied floating around suggest that my iPhone fear may come to pass.
Yesterday I was in a presentation with a number of companies including Telus and RIM. It was comical to watch Telus try to push its “services” to a group that was largely hostile to the company because of its lame handset selection and Internet service (blocked ports and all). It was interesting to see what Telus has planned for the next few years, especially as it seems that after 2012, there will be some manner of convergence with CDMA and GSM technologies as telecom enters 4G and a single point of contact for all the ways and means of communicating. RIM also showed some interesting tools that can already start to make this happen through the BlackBerry.
But what about the congrats? Well, I asked – what about Mac support? Will Mac users be left to questionable third party solutions that are not always functional, but sanctioned or unsanctioned third party solutions that are far more useful, but don’t support the full feature set. And what about at least being able to upgrade the software on the Mac? The answer, flat out… You’re stuck with crappy third party solutions.
I appreciate the frank response, but I can’t imagine that they can still ignore the Mac for much longer.
It seems that in the US, Google is getting ready to get into the wireless biz, If it happens, it’s going to blur the lines between technology and communication companies, something that in the States was prevented in the ’50s by a consent degree and likely was enacted in a similar manner in Canada. But if you think about it, Apple is kinda doing that already with it’s end to end control of many media and delivery (well, if not Apple, certainly his Steveness). But in Canada, I wonder if Google isn’t interested in our auction as well. If so, that could really make some changes on the Canadian wireless scene, certainly that will make the current wireless crowd nervous.