Mobile Video: It's Not About the Phone

In addition, in the U.S., Verizon has moved backwards by eliminating its unlimited data card service, bringing data plan service prices down but also limiting monthly throughput to 500MB before a per-kb charge is assessed for overages.

Consider, then, this other bit of news out of the iPhone world this week: According to a Forbes article, "T-Mobile had slashed the price of the 8GB iPhone from 399 euros ($625) to a surprising low 99 euros ($155). There’s a catch, of course. Buyers at that price must commit to a two-year contract at 89 euros ($140) a month—something they may come to regret down the road."

"Apple’s European partners have been under pressure to lower iPhone prices to compete more effectively with RIM’s BlackBerry," the Forbes article noted, and the potential emergence of a 3G iPhone in mid 2008 also puts pressure on diminishing 2.5G inventories.

Finally, though, it's all about the service usage patterns by consumers. It's worth looking at a set of numbers that came out this week, talking about smartphone usage in general and iPhone in particular. Come to find out, John Doerr was right a few weeks ago when he proclaimed the iPhone and iPod touch as another computing platform. Turns out that 33% of iPhone owners carry around another phone, with almost 10% of iPhone users also carrying a BlackBerry. While it's possible that this is due to iPhone's current lack of enterprise support, which will be addressed with the release of iPhone's 2.0 firmware, it also may prove the point that iPhone is used as much as a PDA/computing/entertainment devices as it is a phone. The numbers from the study bear this out, showing that 70% of iPhone users read email and surf the web, 60% of them listen to music, connect to the Internet with WiFi and check calendars and contacts. Video viewing still lags a bit, at 30% but seems to be rising.

So, in the end, all those new Windows Mobile 6 devices announced this week, plus Microsoft's move to put a full browser in Windows Mobile devices within the next few months, leads to a realization that the carriers have firmly cemented data services as both a carrot and a shackle for the next few years of mobile entertainment.

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