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That's a good article. I especially agree with the sentiment expressed concerning the need for niche services provided to market segments. There is far too much talk about which "standard" will be the dominant world-wide. Standards are important, no doubt about it but they do not define services, although they impose limitiations.

If you read into the so-called "backlash" against WAP, you will see that the criticisms which have been levelled all concern things like the screen size and the fact that you can't really do much with it at the moment because you mostly just get news in a different format to your web browser, or newspaper - but still the same news.

The device screen size has nothing to do with WAP standards as such. That's a device issue. Consider this: a laptop has a smaller screen size and different keyboard layout to a desktop PC but that doesn't negate it's value. People like laptops because you can buy a whole load of software and other stuff, including services, that makes them useful.

Consideration no 2: you can't do anything with WAP. You can do a whole load of stuff that is really useful. It's just that in the rush to simply get there, very few people are developing useful, valuable services.

Final consideration: WAP Vs emergent platforms / standards. WAP is already here and given the not insignificant investment in this technology, it's unlikely to slip away very quietly. It has undoubtedly suffered from over-hype and a misguided attempt to "glamourise" it. Compared to a web browser on a desktop, a wap screen doesn't look like much. It's just not a seductive experience for it's own sake.

But does that mean it will fail to make money because people don't want to buy into it? Only if the services delivered over WAP are poor.

There is a misgiuded notion that WAP must be exciting and laden with features before it is a sucess. Have a look at this post to see an example of something that is entirely boring and still sells by the truckload.

The product in question is a lubricant. I use it on my bicycle. You also use it to free up squeaky hinges and the like. Not very exciting is it? And yet it is an internationally recognised brand and sells well.

I have a feeling that this is the way a lot of sucessful wireless services will be: not necessarily exciting, highly useful, valuable and something of a comodity (?). If that's the right word.
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