In 2007, Apple took the control from the carriers and put it in the hands of device makers when it launched the original iPhone. Here is an excerpt from a Wired article.
For decades, wireless carriers have treated manufacturers like serfs, using access to their networks as leverage to dictate what phones will get made, how much they will cost, and what features will be available on them. Handsets were viewed largely as cheap, disposable lures, massively subsidized to snare subscribers and lock them into using the carriers’ proprietary services. But the iPhone upsets that balance of power.
This was short lived as Google gave the control back to the carriers to compete with Apple. As Jason Hiner notes…
Here’s the dirty little secret about Android: After all the work Apple did to get AT&T to relinquish device control for the iPhone and all the great efforts Google made to get the FCC and the U.S. telecoms to agree to open access rules as part of the 700 MHz auction, Android is taking all of those gains and handing the power back to the telecoms.
It took Apple to take the control back again with today’s announcement of Verizon iPhone.
I see a similar story panning out. This time with online video.
It took Apple & Jobs to get rid of Flash for online video. Based on reports, a large percentage of video is already moving to H.264. But with today’s announcement from Google about discontinuing H.264, it looks like Flash is more likely going to stay relevant again as they support both H.264 and WebM.
As a user, this looks like another Google’s move to fight competition, masqueraded under ‘openness’.