I came across this while researching different mobile user interfaces, and I think it’s a good analysis of what drives user interface design in the mobile industry.
I love this part:
…as much as we’d like to forget, the U.S. is not the center of the mobile world. The devices we see here are usually designed for consumers in the UK or the Netherlands. (Asian phones rarely make their way to the States, with a few exceptions like the upcoming MVNO Helio)
Outside the U.S., people use mobile technology far differently than we do, often using SMS and mobile web features more than they do voice. Device UIs are designed for flexibility, to allow subscribers to use little apps and tools that we may find a little gadgety.