Prepaid services are on the rise with companies like Boost (Sprint brand), MetroPCS and LEAP. These services are strictly voice and text, with very little intention to use the wireless Interent at the moment. One exception is American Movil which is testing a $30 a month plan that includes browsing.
For the large players world wide the story is a mixed bag. On the positive revenue side the smartphones are on the rise to by 12% worldwide. On the negative side the overall worldwide market fell by 9%. (statistics courtesy of IDC in the article).
While almost half of the market lost revenue worldwide domestically ATT is up almost 10% and its all thanks to Apple. Mind you I am not sure those dollars translate to the net given the contract with Apple but we have to tip our hats to them. Solid growth and from what I can tell loyalty. I have not see the numbers, but I am guessing that 3GS has a lot of first generation iPhone users coming back.
Its seems for a great many consumers we should have a sign that says "Its the text stupid". Their connectivity is about SMS. For me, this feels like a market ripe for arbitrage which brings me back to the real value of the Internet. The ability to evolve applications that grow the community.
From a 4GWE perspective the obvious question is what should we expect for the data needs. As people are texting like crazy should we expect the data side to segment into low end services as well? That will on my mind with our community in September 1-3 in Los Angeles.
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