Your wireless provider wants you to buy ringtones. It wants you to buy wallpaper, Bejeweled and MP3 ringbacks (we hate that crap, really). It wants you to watch sports clips on a one-inch screen, and it wants you to pay for the privilege.
You, as a country, as tech-savvy individuals, as consumers in the most important and influential economy on the planet, as those that know best and drool over new technology, you have collectively said, “STFU!” to your wireless providers. The problem is, they haven’t listened.
Despite a new report from IDC concluding that you don’t want entertainment from your handset (you have iPods for that, don’t you?), Verizon, T-Mobile, Cingular and Sprint keep churning out ideas to keep your eyes and ears on your phone. Of course, they do this to make money. The MVNOs are worse offenders, offering market-targeted content, like Disney for families, and the now-defunct ESPN Mobile for sports nerds. The demise of ESPN Mobile should itself be evident of the fact that you don’t want their crap.
That may change, however, as handsets evolve. We see on the horizon features we might want, like live TV, YouTube integration, enough memory to hold more than a token handful of MP3s. The question here is this: do you not use your handsets to the extent of their ability because you don’t know how or because you don’t care?
IDC’s study says it’s both. It’s worth a read, as we learn that, sure, the occasional customer downloads a ringtone or watches a CNN clip, but by and large you’re paying for bandwidth and services you don’t use. We think, however, that it’s not a complete lack of interest on your part, but rather on the networks not offering what you want or need. (EDIT: Or accessing it is such a frustrating experience it makes you want to hurt the person that sold you your handset.–JG) But, in the end, we have to ask a follow-up question: Why don’t you use wireless entertainment?
Report: Wireless Entertainment Falls Flat [Playlist]