Final Jeopardy question is....
What are two things that people should not see made?
( ... even properly phrased in the form of a question... )
While I am a HUGE proponent of unlocked wireless phones, it appears that the US House of Representatives has decided to take a perfectly good market driven idea and screw it up with regulation.
Hopefully, the silver lining in this exercise will be that the established wireless telecoms will offer unlocked phones themselves before this type of regulation reaches reality. Allowing market forces to decide which phones people want and how they want to pay for them is a good/great idea. It will increase innovation in the handset market and allow people to have greater choice.
The potential downside to this would be an even more expensive iPhone, and similar smartphones, than is currently available. However, I would find it difficult for ATT and Apple to justify a higher price than the current $500 for a 16GB iPhone when a 16GB iTouch goes for $400. While ATT would be excited to force that type of pricing arrangement, I doubt that Apple, who makes their revenue off of "units sold" and not subscription pricing, would allow that to happen.
Another upside to the proposed regulation altering the behavior of the established telecoms would be adjusted rules on contract termination. While telecom contracts will never come with an "easy button", perhaps this legislation will make them "easier".
NOTE - Even if this regulation gets pass the House and Senate, it will never be signed under the current administration and it would be at least Spring 2009 before any type of legal action would be taken.... :)
Oh... by the way... Happy Leap Day! Not to be seen again until 2012.
Posted February 29, 2008 8:00 AM
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