This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

2013: Google Leads a Phone Price War

With a Nexus starting at $199, the price between totally constricted contract phones -- requiring laughably expensive monthly plans -- would be blurred with a SIM-unlocked, contract-free Nexus enabling a user to cut the monthly expense by two-thirds.

It's easy to dismiss competition against the outstanding iPhone 5 but, at some level, price does matter. If an iPhone 5 will cost three times as much to own and operate over two years, it has to impact market share.

Finally, Mobile VoIP

VoIP started over landlines with Vonage in 2002, and we hardly even think about it anymore. Flat fee landline calling has now been available from $0 to $30 per month for years. That war is over, and VoIP won.

The wireless VoIP war has not really started yet. Yes, there are VoIP alternatives in the marketplace, ranging from FaceTime to Google Hangouts to Skype, Tango and many more. They tend to be for "in-network calling" with some enabling calling outside for a fee.

The problem with "in-network" VoIP systems such as Tango and Google Hangouts is that only tech geeks tend to use them. Regular people want something that is universal. We have three such electronic networks today: email, telephone numbers (calling) and SMS on the same telephone numbers.

On the PC, Google already offers free unlimited calling to regular phone numbers. It could do the same on cellular networks too, but pre-LTE cellular data has been shaky, yielding erratic quality. This is now changing, and by the second half of 2013, the buildout of LTE networks will be essentially complete by most of the major carriers.

This becomes Google's inflection point. When LTE is essentially universal, it can simply offer cellular devices such as smartphones the same kind of free calling as it now has been offering on PCs for years. This will happen by the end of 2013.

In principle, Microsoft (MSFT) could offer the same with Skype too. The question here is if Microsoft is going to be willing to compete on price. Skype calling to regular phone numbers isn't free on the PC.

What about Apple (AAPL)? It's got nothing significant on this front right now, outside iMessage and FaceTime. If Apple cannot compete here, it could be crushed by the end of 2013.

2 of 3

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 16,493.37 -69.93 -0.42%
S&P 500 1,925.15 -5.52 -0.29%
NASDAQ 4,352.6390 -17.1340 -0.39%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs