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Calling Cards 4.0 – part 4 January 9, 2011

Posted by themobilephoneconnoisseur in Uncategorized.
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Mobile applications boosted thanks to the iPhone in 2009. I am not sure but I suspect Apple named them apps to associate them with Apple. Interestingly enough mobile applications are nothing but a much more extended user interface than what you can find on the traditional mobile optimized web sites. The main difference is that applications use the mobile properties of a handset better than anything done in the past 20 years of handset development. Most of this improvement is of course due to better processing power and battery capacity, but the creation of Apple’s Appstore truly revolutionized the mobile handset industry.

Interestingly enough the most popular and used application is still the regular built in phone, and users are still willing to pay a substantial amount of money to have a reliable service for making their daily calls. We simply want to be able to talk to and interact with other people by voice. Not video, text, Facebook or other media.

With the evolution of what I refer to as the Calling Card 4.0, international voice calls are made much more affordable, but now with the difference that they are dead simple to use too. Previous generations of calling cards were either simple to acquire but tedious to use, or complex to get started with but easy to use. With just a few clicks you can install a Calling Card 4.0 application and you need no other knowledge than how to make a regular call. And paying for international call services are now made even simpler with iTunes, just click a button to add more credit to for example your Operator One account.

There are however major differences between the platforms. On the Android and Blackberry smart phones, there are applications that make it possible to make calls without any other effort than making calls in the regular way, and the call is intercepted and routed differently. With Windows Phone and iPhone you need to start up a separate application and call from the application. Apple and Microsoft blame this limitation on usability and security, while it is more probable that it is actually due to the strong alliance with the mobile network operators and keeping control of their own platform.

I think it is just a matter of time before the iPhone team simply will be forced to open up to allow more and more, as they will see a decreased market share towards mainly Android (Google). But it may have to wait until a future separation with AT&T in the USA. And at that time Microsoft will be forced to follow, probably taking too long this time as well.

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