Over at Telephony Online Danny Briere has a good piece of opinion about the Verizon Wireless HUB. The opinions expressed are a close match to my initial impression of both the device and the associated service. It just smells of classic Verizon-style over-control, with a side order of under-delivery of capabilities.
Frankly, I like what OpenPeak has done with the hardware. Less is known about the software, but it looks like it has tremendous potential. It could truly be an “iPhone for Home.”
To deliver upon even a portion of that promise it’s going to need to do more than Verizon’s included set of services allows. And it needs to be open to third party developers. Mr Briere is not the first to call for “An app store for the HUB.” That such was a necessity was immediately obvious to everyone I know who has heard about the device.
Of course the contract terms are fairly silly as well. A two year commitment and you must already be a Verizon Wireless customer. I’d have to switch my cell phones from T-Mobile and buy the HUB. With new contracts all around. That’s extremely expensive!
On that basis alone there was no way that I was going to buy one. No, I would gladly pay more for the device but on more sensible contract terms. Why should I need to already be a VZW customer? You want all of my business or you’ll have none of it? No options to the terms. One plan, take it or leave it. That’s strange.
To be blunt, the Verizon Wireless HUB illustrates precisely the logic the lead the company to pass on the iPhone opportunity that they had a few years ago. I hope that other carriers don’t look upon the experience of the HUB and presume that all such projects are doomed to failure.
The residential market needs a dramatic reimagining of home phone service. OpenPeak seems to have nailed the hardware & software part. Whether the HUB is a success or not rests squarely on Verizon’s ability to get over it’s compulsive need to exert control devices on their network.
After all, haven’t they heard…they’re opening up their network to all sorts of devices!