Too many mobile operating systems, says Verizon

By Justin Mann on April 2, 2009, 6:43 PM
Most techies embrace the idea of choice in mobile phones and, for the most part, choice is what we have in both hardware and software. There is RIM with BlackBerry, Apple with the iPhone OS, Android, Symbian, Windows Mobile and more. Is too much choice a bad thing, however? Verizon believes so, and a recent statement by its CEO indicates that they want less operating systems for mobile phones. Without naming names, Lowell McAdam says that of the nine or so operating systems Verizon currently uses on mobile devices, they really only need three or four.

He went on to say that over the next few years, they hope to reduce that larger profile and slim down to just a small handful. If that is the case, what sort of metrics will define what operating systems they carry? And, perhaps more importantly, will other vendors follow suit? We can be sure that companies Apple, RIM, Microsoft and Google would never let themselves be pushed out of a market, so you can imagine it's the smaller players that will get shoved aside.

Many people don't care what OS they run on their phone and a large majority may not even know. What they do care about, however, is what programs run on their device and what functionality it offers. Could a reduction in the number of operating systems available actually increase the pool of software for them and make new functionality a priority?




User Comments: 8

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DarkCobra said:
Well I'm a Verizon guy myself and while I can see why it would be easier for Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobil or any other carrier to only want to carry/support a few operating systems as opposed to a half dozen or so . . . in the end it will be the marketplace itself that decides which systems survive . . . not any CEO from any of the above carriers.
viperpfl said:
[b]Originally posted by DarkCobra:[/b][quote]Well I'm a Verizon guy myself and while I can see why it would be easier for Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobil or any other carrier to only want to carry/support a few operating systems as opposed to a half dozen or so . . . in the end it will be the marketplace itself that decides which systems survive . . . not any CEO from any of the above carriers.[/quote]I wouldn't consider the marketplace deciding since all the cellphone companies have the same features and rules. The cell phone companies will be deciding what the consumer should have and not what the consumers want. It's been like this for years and nothing has changed.
DarkCobra said:
[b]Originally posted by viperpfl:[/b][quote]I wouldn't consider the marketplace deciding since all the cellphone companies have the same features and rules. The cell phone companies will be deciding what the consumer should have and not what the consumers want. It's been like this for years and nothing has changed. [/quote]ALL the cellphone companies do NOT have the same features and rules. There are many differences between them. Plans, pricing, phones, termination rules, tethering rules, coverage footprint and so much more varies. Verizon is based on a CDMA system. AT&T is based on a GSM system. Some carriers have roll-over minutes and some do not. Actually, the differences are great the more you look at them. There are some similarities but a lot of differences.Consumers are indeed the usual deciders on what products survive in the market. If we don't buy a product in sufficient numbers it goes away.
PanicX said:
I'm not surprised here. Verizon is known for their strict requirements on what software their phones can run. Ever try to put ringtones on a Verizon RAZR? Or enjoy their cut down java version Brew? They limit most of the fun features the phones use as selling points. Anyone remember the horrible mess that was Wireless Sync? that one still makes me cringe.
Julio said:
This sounds to me like for carriers it's becoming more difficult and costly to develop and cater for all mobile operating systems, so they can include many so-called features that give them advantage or leverage over their own consumers to have them pay more (built-in ringtone portals would just be an example).So it's just them complaining for increasing costs and complexity, definitely NOT with the consumer choice on mind.
DarkCobra said:
Exactly . . . "Julio" has it right.
Badfinger said:
Having to support all OS's, is a major chore, I hated having to support the internal phone systems where I worked all of a sudden, can't even imagine being expected to deal with all the busybodies with their personal phones?I'm out of the loop on this one, I want to receive and make calls, and have phone number memory, that's it.
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