Feb 23, 2008 (03:02 PM EST)
Smartphone 2010: What Your Future Phone Will Be Packing

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InformationWeek Daily Newsletter |Smartphone 2010: What Your Future Phone Will Be Packing| 02.23.2008

InformationWeek Daily Newsletter

www.informationweek.com
Saturday, Feb. 23, 2008


In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: Voice Is Officially A Commodity
2. Today's Top Story
    Smartphone 2010: What Your Future Phone Will Be Packing
3. Highlighted Coverage:
    - 5 Desktop Search Apps That Make Finding Files Simple
    - Google, Cleveland Clinic Partner On Personal Health Record Service
    - Black Hat Conference: Experts Develop Cybersecurity Recommendations For Next President
    - Consumer Technology Spending Slowdown Forecast
4. Eye Candy: Featured Image Galleries
    - A Buyer's Guide To Digital Cameras
    - In India's Villages, A Morsel Of Broadband
5. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
6. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

"There art two cardinal sins from which all others spring: Impatience and Laziness." -- Franz Kafka


1. Editor's Note: Voice Is Officially A Commodity

Verizon Wireless, AT&T, T-Mobile, and U.S. Cellular proved it this week when they all unleashed unlimited voice plans for $99 per month. It's a service that we all just expect to have at our disposal. The real epiphany will occur, however, when the carriers come to the same realization about wireless data.

Many already consider voice to be a commodity. With plans offering customers buckets of talk time ranging from 450 to 2,000 minutes per month, it's hard to argue that it isn't. This week's announcements put the matter to rest. Voice is now just voice. There's nothing the carriers can do to make it any better or special than its competitors. There's no further way to dress it up. Everyone already offers call forwarding, voice mail, call waiting, and so on. Going unlimited is the only way to differentiate. And now that everyone has gone unlimited, that's it. Done deal. Commoditization has occurred.

Of course, the entire wireless industry is still waiting with bated breath on word from Sprint. Will it join its competitors in offering unlimited voice services, too? Analysts seem to think so. In fact, they think Sprint will undercut the industry with much cheaper unlimited plans, costing $60 for all-you-can-eat talking, compared with $99. Whatever the price point Sprint decides upon, it already has been trialling an unlimited service in four test markets. Its plan, however, bundles in free messaging and Internet data. The trials have been under way for months now. Too bad for Sprint that Verizon pulled a brilliant strategic move and beat it out of the gate.

Now that the carriers have commoditized half of their businesses model, what about data? It's already happening. Carriers already offer unlimited data plans. Sure, many force you to go through their respective decks. But with the trend toward "open" networks (whatever that turns out to really mean), people will be going off deck for content more and more. Eventually, most content will be consumed off deck, and the carriers will simply be the bit pipes necessary to reach it. What's your view of the commodity issue? Submit comments at my blog entry.

Eric Zeman
eric@zemanmedia.com
www.informationweek.com


2. Top Story

Smartphone 2010: What Your Future Phone Will Be Packing
Over the next two years a new generation of mobile processors and faster mobile networks will combine to put the power of a PC onto the smartphone in your pocket.


3. Highlighted Coverage

5 Desktop Search Apps That Make Finding Files Simple
We look at offerings from Google, Copernic, ISYS, X1 Technologies, and at Microsoft Vista's native indexed search system.

Google, Cleveland Clinic Partner On Personal Health Record Service
Google says the system is secure, but several groups warn that entrusting health information to an e-health provider opens potential privacy risks.

Black Hat Conference: Experts Develop Cybersecurity Recommendations For Next President
The Cyber Commission has loose ties with each of the remaining presidential campaigns, yet members admit they don't expect all of their recommendations to be followed.

Consumer Technology Spending Slowdown Forecast
A disappointing holiday season as well as economic concerns are taking a toll on consumer technology revenue growth, analysts with NPD Group said.


4. Eye Candy: Featured Image Galleries

A Buyer's Guide To Digital Cameras
Find the right DSLR, point-and-shoot, or ultra-compact digital camera for your needs from Nikon, Olympus, Sony, and Canon.

In India's Villages, A Morsel Of Broadband
The Indian conglomerate ITC, a big crop buyer, has satellite-linked computers in 6,500 villages in a project called e-choupal. Farmers mostly access market prices and weather information-- but they'd like much more.


5. Get More Out Of InformationWeek

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