Yesterday I was speaking to an influential PR representative who was implying one of his handset manufacturer customers was not really thrilled by the amount of power the wireless carriers wield. Generally this sort of talk is done behind the scenes but I have been noticing record levels of discontent among device-makers.
Perhaps this is the reason for my surprise at an article in the Wall Street Journal this morning where Motorola Ed Zander is on record as saying, “I love my job. I hate my customers.” It is surprising to see these thoughts going on record.
The article is a chronicle of how Motorola lost its top spot in the cell phone market and the soap opera that got them from where they were to where they are now.
The situation wireless handset manufacturers are in is similar to what Wal-Mart suppliers deal with as the nation’s largest retailer also dictates product specifications and pricing. I suppose you can’t blame wireless carriers for exerting their influence to do what is best for the bottom line.
Over the next few years as WiFi and WiMAX become more popular it will be interesting to see if consumers are swayed by a new generation of WiFi telephony devices and service providers subsidized by today’s handset manufacturers.