Dan Gillmor’s off-hand reference (“Palm frittered away its long lead, giving Microsoft and the Symbian alliance the time to catch up and in many ways surpass the pioneer”) sent me searching for info on Symbian, which turns out to be the OS of choice for mobile phones, especially those with 3G. Now there’s been a lot of wailing about the imminent demise of 3G thanks to the WiFi bubble, but early returns don’t support that thesis:
“M1 says its customers did not like the Wi-Fi service because it is not really mobile since users must stay within a coverage area 50-100 metres of the hotspot,” we learn. MobileOne will instead invest $150 million on 3G next year.
Beset as it is by technical problems, and suffering from dot.com-sized expectations, 3G has a compelling reason to roll into the market because it gives the operators fourfold efficiencies over the 2G digital networks. They can close off the old transmitters, and save themselves a lot of money. In the UK, the 3 network is branding itself by offering the cheapest calls of all.
No blog, or Pringle Can, can counter the harsh economics: public Wi-Fi doesn’t pay.
So it’s deeper and deeper into the doo for Palm.
UPDATE: Distinguished Valley Old Fart Tim Oren says it’s all over but the shouting.