Why Your Cell Phone Stinks...

Corporate egos and a free market put the U.S. behind the curve--and the Finns

Here in the U.S., we've got software gods, Web commerce wizards and computer-chip kings. But when it comes to wireless technology, the Finns rule. Just look at what they can do with a cellular phone: buy a Coke from a vending machine. Run a car wash. Zap a digital picture to a friend. On this side of the Atlantic, we're just glad when our calls aren't cut off midsentence.

And it's not just the Finns' phones we fancy. The Swedes use theirs to pay utility bills. The French use them to check flight schedules, reserve hotel rooms and scan the traffic...

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