Originally Posted by extremeskater
Well it wasn't until Apple starting making hugh leaps that the cell phone industry woke up. I am not sure it was incompetent more then no real competition. How bad is it that the Razr was the best selling phone around and everyone one earth seemed to want one. I mean what a joke. Blackberry was really the smartphone to have and the smartphone market was pretty dead except for business.
The thing about the Razr is that it was the best solution to a completely different problem: the problem of how to make a phone as small as possible, without making it too small (what was that tiny little phone Ericsson (I think) used to make, so small you could barely hold it?), and get decent phone performance out of it. As such, it was an extremely good phone. But it was a solution to a completely different problem.
Before the iPhone how many consumers actually had data plans, not many that I knew. Most of the data plans were for business users.
The Android market had no real effort put into it until recently. Which again goes to show that the best way to breed innovation is competition. Not to mention everyone saw how fat Apple wallet was getting off this cash cow.
Actually, I think your last sentence nails it. Competition isn't breeding innovation here. What's breeding it is one company producing a vastly superior product and then a bunch of companies are copying it trying to catch up and cash in on its success. I think the ability of competition, as a force in isolation, to produce innovation, is highly overrated and that it's an idea more strongly grounded in ideology and "the common wisdom" than in empirical evidence.
Edit: In fact, I would say that Android and Android phones represent no, or at most very little, innovation at all. The competition from Android represents a tacking on and refinement of features to the innovation that was the iPhone. It may result in better phones (better than preceding phones) but to call it innovation is to trivialize what innovation really is.