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DEEPLINKS BLOG

Dumb Mobs

June 1, 2004

Why offer technology that empowers people to do cool things when you can hobble it to force them to buy cool things?

So asks a report by Mako Analysis on SymbianOS phones, which are evidently too smart for their own good:

New mobile devices based on a version of the Symbian OS are a serious threat to mobile operator revenue streams, according to consultancy Mako Analysis. Savvy users can use devices running on Symbian's Series 60 operating system (OS) to completely bypass a range of services that are normally charged for by their mobile operator, the UK-based consultancy warned on Monday. While the threat is currently minimal, the loophole has the potential to cause major headaches for operators.

"Savvy user"/EFF Staff Attorney Wendy Seltzer responds: "Open handsets let users choose their applications, which have to compete on pure value. Sure, lock-in is nice for sellers -- until buyers bypass the locked-in route altogether. Companies who take the path Mako recommends are just clearing the way for others to listen to their (former) customers."

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