How the iPhone Zapped Carriers

Americans are glued to their mobile devices, obsessively calling, texting, emailing and downloading applications. So why is the U.S. wireless industry in such straits, as shown by AT&T Inc.’s crucial but failed plan to buy T-Mobile USA?A big reason is that carriers are losing power to the device and software makers riding the smartphone boom.They’re saddled with rising capital costs while much of the profit growth continues to accrue to Apple Inc., manufacturers using Google Inc.’s Android software, and companies making popular wireless apps. And carries haven’t figured out the most profitable way to charge consumers for their greater use of data.

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