July 11, 2007

Dems and the iPhone

I guess Congress is all out of things to worry about.

The iPhone "highlights both the promise and the problems of the wireless industry today," said Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., chairman of the House Subcommittee on Telecom and the Internet. "This cutting edge technology breaks new ground [but] consumers can't use this service with other wireless carriers" and those in areas not reached by AT&T cannot use the iPhone at all, he said.

Apple signed an agreement with AT&T to serve as the sole cell phone service provider for the iPhone. Those who purchase the iPhone, therefore, must switch to AT&T in order for their phone to work, incurring cancellation fees from current providers and locking themselves into a two-year contract with AT&T.

"Consumers feel trapped," Markey said at a hearing about regulation in the wireless industry.

"The iPhone could still change the world and be available for any consumer on any network, but we won't know until 2012, the year that AT&T's American exclusivity runs out," said Rep. Mike Doyle, D-Pa. "I think it's time the consumer becomes a decider, not the cell phone carriers."

Michigan Republican Fred Upton has a sensible rejoinder.
"Competition spurs carriers to innovate and build a better mousetrap," he said. "The iPhone is the newest mousetrap and now other carriers will be working to top it."

Amen... and I say that as an iPhone owner.

Apple - Reality Distortion Field Congress Posted by AlexC at July 11, 2007 8:54 PM

Even the Republicans can't get it right. Innovation is completely irrelevant. It's about choice: you don't have to buy the thing in the first place. You also do not have the right to force someone to sell you goods or services on terms the seller doesn't want.

Now pardon me while I go complain to XM that I need to buy a satellite radio unit in order to receive their broadcasts.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at July 11, 2007 10:35 PM

Fine for you guys to be flip. When Rep Markey and I think of those poor children, outside of the AT&T service area, who have to settle for Razrs and Chocolate phones instead of iPhones...(sniff)...having to have an iPod and a phone...it's almost too much to bear.

Posted by: jk at July 12, 2007 9:21 AM | What do you think? [2]