Phoneboy dishes on EQO this morning in a piece titled Why I Think EQO is Doomed. I agree with him that the hardest mobile strategy of all involves convincing carriers to put your software on their deck. Carriers move slowly, and view the deck as a distribution platform that the software developer should be paying for. Never mind that many services live in the cloud, and the software is simply an enticement to use that service. Never mind that there are many models for getting paid for the service that don’t involve an upfront payment. Never mind that there are far more applications for mobile than can possibly be put on the handset deck. To a carrier that’s all moot. Most carrier’s thinking around business models for the deck hasn’t progressed past 1995 when PC manufacturers first started charging for access to the desktop. Today the practice is widely decried in the computing industry, and PC manufacturers are starting to move away from it.
The one ray of hope in all of this is that handset manufacturers will start to emulate Apple’s App Store approach. It’s been shown to be a clear advantage for Apple, and as a result many others are starting to copy the Apple approach. Hopefully EQO and the other pioneers in this space can hold on long enough to be able to benefit from these developments.