Sprint and Google Expand Relationship to Enable Richer Mobile Experience and More Choices for Sprint Customers
Sprint Handsets to Feature Easy Access to Google Mobile Search, Google Maps for Mobile, YouTube and More
OVERLAND PARK, Kan., May 07, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Sprint (NYSE:S) and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) today announced a partnership aimed at more deeply integrating Google applications and services into Sprint customers' mobile experience. As part of the deal, Google will become Sprint's preferred mobile search provider and Sprint users will have easier access to Google Maps for mobile, YouTube and more.
Sprint and Google are committed to providing users with the most dynamic mobile experience possible. Both companies have actively advocated the importance of an open mobile ecosystem and understand that users should have more choice when it comes to selecting and accessing content on a mobile phone.
I dislike business relationships such as this: they limit consumers' choices and open up a pit of possibilities that lead to "data corals" where the users inside the fence are forced to pay extra if they want to communicate with those outside.
Sprint might advertise Google as their "preferred mobile search provider", but that preference may expand into a de facto prohibition against using any other search engine, or into subtle advantages for those choosing Gmail, and penalties for those who choose other ISP's.
These announcements are the proverbial tip of the iceberg: the Internet is fragmenting into multi-tiered, more expensive "gated communities" which will choke the flow of ideas from the larger net to users inside the corals.
Bill Horne Temporary Moderator
(Please put [Telecom] at the end of the subject line of your post, or I may never see it. Thanks!)