Rob Beschizza at Wired's Gadget Lab just offered a rundown of why cellphone carriers are essentially evil. His most intriguing argument is that cell carriers operate under a rigid power structure that not only controls prices with an iron fist, but also limits the creativity of hardware makers in the features they offer consumers.
I agree with his argument that Sprint's $5 billion backing of WiMax over the next five years is one of many moves that will send progress of the American cell market into gridlock. Any company throwing that kind of money around will do whatever it takes to squash any future (and potentially better) technologies.
On the other hand, I disagree with Rob's stance on other points such as locked phones. While the freedom to use your phone with any carrier is nice to have, the average price of cellphones would also be much higher because they would no longer be subsidized by carriers. It's a give and take relationship between the carriers and customers.
In any case, the piece is food for thought about an industry that has quickly come to affect the daily lives of billions of people. [Gadget Lab]