Looking Back, Looking Forward (Part 1 of 3)

2007 will go down as a monumental year for cell phones and mobile devices. Whether you own a smart phone or not, you at least became more aware of them and their capabilities. Further, people were generally more informed and cognizant of the industry in general. Think about it. Did your local newspaper ever have pictures of people lining up for a ‘phone’ before? Let’s take a look back at some of the bigger topics in the mobile industry from this year. After that, we’ll use our magic powers to help predict how 2008 will go down. This is the first of a three part series to wrap up 2007.

The biggest headlines of the year belonged to Apple. Hands down. We saw the iPhone revolutionize the way hardware manufacturers and network providers did business together. Never before was a carrier told how they were going to sell their own products and services. Never before was a company on board with something so quickly without even seeing a working prototype. When it came out, it was lusted after like no phone before it. Prior to the launch, analysts were speculating that it would galvanize the market and force manufacturers to produce revolutionary devices in order to keep pace with the iPhone.

It was not all peaches and cream for AT&T and Apple though as they were criticized for locking everyone down with only one place to go. In order for you to get an iPhone, you had to leave your current provider and risk upwards of $200 worth of early termination fees. You couldn’t even buy an unlocked version because of the overall stranglehold the carriers had on consumers. It took some tweaking and ‘jailbreaking’ before you were able to get it to work on another provider. Even then, in the US, your only choice was T-Mobile. As time went on, other countries began to roll the iPhone out with just as much fanfare and controversy. Litigations and injunctions are apparently not just for Americans.

The best thing this little phone did was show just how flawed the system is when it comes to consumers and their choices. It opened up the door wide enough for people to peek in and see what is on the other side. Even though the door remains shut today, Google is standing there ready to bust it open like a SWAT team with a battering ram. Enter Android.

Be sure to check back for part 2 of this series!

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