Verizon and AT&T Actually Compete

If the business of America is business, then the business of American business is advertising. Installing and maintaining a robust infrastructure that can handle the needs of your customers is expensive. Super Bowl ad time is cheap by comparison. And redefining unlimited to mean limited is free!

Wired’s Lore Sjöberg is annoyed at the barbs being traded by Verizon and AT&T, now that each carrier is selling the iPhone.

Sure, it’s generally annoying to have to be subjected to ad campaigns designed to convince you how terrible a competing cell phone carrier is.

But there’s an important key word in that last sentence — “competing.”

For the first time ever, two cell phone companies are trying to sell you an iPhone. They’re marketing is not just based on the fact that they have an iPhone, but also on the argument that their service — or pricing plans — is superior to the other guys’. That’s a good thing.

This is why competition is good, and hardware exclusivity agreements are frustrating — they remove the incentive for carriers to compete over service, allowing them to overcharge for underpowered service.

Such agreements allow carriers to hold new, innovative phones hostage, using them to lure customers — like 21st century Hansels and Gretels — into their candy house.

Now, there’s another witch in another forest with an equally tasty candy house. It’s more choice than we had before.

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