Tuesday, 26 February 2008


Pity the poor Americans. They have so much going for them until you look deeper: A world-leading democracy where elections are decided by the courts or by who decides to turn up; An enlightened modern liberal society with freedom of religion where atheists are persecuted in public, private and military life; An automobile manufacturing industry that hasn't yet been destroyed by Asian opposition despite the fact that all their cars suck, and so on.

And yet despite all this they still have a mobile phone environment where they aren't allowed to choose their carriers and their handsets separately. Yes, that's right. They can't decide that they like a phone, buy it, have it unlocked and then stick their old SIM card in it. This so astounded me when I heard about it that I couldn't immediately believe it, and then thought "Oh, yes, this is America we're talking about", laughed at their expense, and got on with using my Telstra-co-branded Samsung with Vodafone.

But this leads to a problem with us here in Australia. Or at least a problem with others, because I don't actually want an... I'll start again.

Apple, who aren't used to the rules for mobile phones, try and make up their own. They're used to this, they do it all the time with computers, so why not? Except that the exclusive agreement they signed in the USA, and the agreements they've been negotiating in parts of Europe, won't actually work in Australia. They're not legal. Which is a problem for Apple, and has probably provoked howls of frustration throughout the land. Except from me, who is laughing because I agree with our laws on this one.

Oh well, you can still buy a iPod Touch.

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