I remember back when the iPAQ first came out and it had those ingenious sleeves. One sleeve they showed in some marketing glossies was the GPRS sleeve. It gave you GPRS and GSM phone coverage. It never made here into the states but was big in the UK, I heard.
That got me thinking today.
Cellular chipsets are mighty small today and it should be relatively easy to put them into a Compact Flash form factor. Heck, they’ve got Wi-Fi radios in SD cards, this shouldn’t be an issue! The best part of this would be you wouldn’t have to trash all your money on the hardware of the phone and not get all the features you wanted but just change out the CF card between providers! Yes, grab a Pocket PC running Microsoft’s Mobile 5.0 (built-in phone software now) and plug in your Verizon card. Not liking them? Go Cingular. Oh, how ’bout Nextel? Just swap cards!
So why don’t we have this? It’s probably the same reason why we don’t have the iTunes phone yet; the carriers don’t want us to have it. Like me, they realize how much power this gives the consumer and thus takes it away from them. No more forcing us to download cruddy sounding ring-tones at $2 a pop. No more charges for backgrounds. Nope, we can do all that with syncing and we can change providers with a simple yank of card. We’re not stuck with a $500 brick otherwise.
I think there needs to be something done here and give us this “freedom of carrier choice”. I really hope someone, heck even Congress, does something. Maybe a lawsuit would do it. Look what happen down in Texas with the 911 support on VoIP. Someone sued and now all the RBOC’s are announcing they’ll open up their 911 centers. Money talks…both ways!