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Dial P for porn

By Peter Nowak, CBCNews.ca

The internet is finally poised to take off on cellphones in North America (thank you very much, iPhone), which now begs the question: Will porn on mobile devices follow suit? It sure has in Europe - the industry there raked in $775 million U.S. in 2007, compared to a paltry $26 million U.S. in North America, according to this Reuters story. That's a huge discrepancy, so what exactly has held back mobile porn on this side of the Atlantic?

Two things, according to the story. First up, there are those who object to pornography on moral grounds. Telus a year ago backed off offering adult content -- pictures and videos -- for sale over its cellphones in response to objections from customers and the Catholic Church. Secondly, there were the technological limitations. After all, what sort of porn aficionado wants to watch their videos on a one-inch screen? There's also the issue of cellphone carriers tightly controlling what goes over their networks and what sort of content ultimately ends up on handsets.

Well, that second problem is about to go away. Not only are screens getting bigger (thanks again, iPhone), but cellphone providers -- in the United States, anyways -- are opening their networks and handsets to third-party developers, either by force or voluntarily. The porn industry is meeting right now to figure out exactly how to capitalize on this coming trend.

The first issue, however, is a tougher nut for the adult industry industry to crack, but mobile just might be the way to do it. While a prevalance of adult entertainment on the fixed internet hasn't changed North American conservatism toward sex, mobile porn could be different. After all -- watching dirty videos in the privacy of one's home on the computer is one thing, but watching them on a bus full of people is another. While only a daring few are likely to try this at first for fear of the nasty looks they are sure to attract, it could be something that gradually becomes more acceptable.

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Comments

Jason

Halifax

Well, media has its ways. Their is no stopping it, or avoiding it for that matter.

Posted January 30, 2008 03:15 PM

Jordan

Winnipeg

This should be the mobile phone industry's next goal imo. Nobody wants better reception, MP3 playback, or skeeker phones. They want 2 inch screens full of boobs.

Posted January 30, 2008 06:01 PM

Krummy

Exactly what we all need - doubt that is will be too successful, however. Who needs porn on a 2 inch screen? Nice to see the country's brightest minds working so diligently - still no cure for cancer?

Posted February 7, 2008 12:23 PM

GiveMeABreak

Reality

"The internet is finally poised to take off on cellphones in North America (thank you very much, iPhone)..."

Are you kidding me?

You do realize that the internet has been available on phones, and at cheaper rates even, for several years before the iPhone, don't you?

I swear apple fanboys are so easily duped into thinking apple invents everything they do.

Posted February 7, 2008 12:43 PM

Peter Nowak

Toronto

Me, an Apple fanboy? Hardly. The only Apple hardware I own is an iPod - I'm a firmly entrenched PC user.

Regardless, Apple and the iPhone deserve credit for bringing down data rates in and making the surfing experience pleasant. There is little doubt the iPhone has helped lower rates in the U.S., where "unlimited" data was a concept practically unheard of prior to its launch. Some analysts have also made the case that the iPhone has helped lower rates in Canada, despite it not even being here, as Bell and Telus have been gearing up for Rogers' eventual launch - do a search on iPhone, data rates and SeaBoard to see that report.

I've been covering cellphones for years and have yet to see one with a web browser as good as the one on the iPhone. Sorry if that makes me sound like a fanboy, but if you've seen a better one I'd love to check it out.

Posted February 7, 2008 01:39 PM

Jerry Todd

Canada

hmm, whats wrong with watching that stuff in a bus full of people?

Posted February 7, 2008 03:12 PM

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