There is no shortage of news over the past week in the mobile space. Much like the splash that Apple made with the iPhone when they originally released it this summer is shaping up to be the first round of a titan battle that will continue thru into 2011.
First up we have of course, iPhone mania. The folks in Cupertino seem to be playing games with AT&T. After reporting good numbers for the quarter the other news was around AT&T working to extend their exclusive contract with Apple for the iPhone thru 2011. Then the games begin with the rumors flying that Apple is in talks with Verizon to release not just one, but two devices on their network including a entry level iPhone and what their long rumored tablet/media device.
Of course what fun would it be if it was just three companies in this biz-dev dance…, enter rumors yesterday of Microsoft and Verizon working together to release a next gen smart phone based on Microsoft’s stealth mobile project dubbed Pink. I am leaning towards a Microsoft/Verizon pairing, and AT&T to continue their Apple partnership for the next couple years. Verizon would love to have the iPhone on their network.., who wouldn’t, but the truth is they don’t need it after kickin butt with their FiOS offering.
Next up in the mobile space of course is the long awaited release of the Pre from Palm and Sprint. In case you have been living in a cave for the past six months with your eyes shut and fingers in your ears the Pre is Palms move to go all in after losing relevancy over the past several years. Frustrated on lookers are awaiting for the release day announcement, latest rumor is it will be the day before Apple’s WWDC happening in SF at the beginning of June.
Sprint is the exclusive carrier for the Pre, which has WAY too many people complaining and calling the Pre a failure because of that fact. After starting with their new "Now Network" TV spots Sprint is ramping up starting today with an online blitz taking over a lot of space on sites such as Yahoo!, AOL, CNet, ESPN.com, WSJ.com, People.com, YouTube and MySpace. You can bet with this campaign launching now things are pretty much ready for prime time for late May with Sprint stepping up an out of home campaign coming this summer.
Of course we can’t forget the Big G and the whole Android scene. After a so-so launch of the G1 on T-Mobile Google prepares the latest version of their operating system and several more handsets to be released around the world by the end of the year.
Exiciting times for the mobile industry…, and don’t forget about all of those software folks out there cranking out new applications for these devices.
My money is on the Pre and I will be switching from AT&T as soon as it comes out. I had the pleasure of attending CES when Palm unveiled the phone in January and have since had a chance to check it out in the wild. The design of the device is great and their new webOS is absolutely ridiculous and a user experience that I believes meets and surpasses in some areas that of the iPhone.