Posted by Ben Smith on Nov 26, 2014
And so to the slightly Alice in Wonderland world of wireless electronics. Smartphones may still seem like relatively new products for us consumers, but as far as the device manufacturers are concerned it seems they are already yesterday’s news.
A report from Caroline Gabriel at Rethink Wireless has highlighted how moves from Intel and Samsung have signalled an admission that they need to “look beyond handsets for growth in devices”.
So, farewell then smartphones?
Perhaps not as far as you and I are concerned, certainly for the foreseeable future smartphones will remain the dominant high-end mobile handset category. But for the manufacturers it seems they will start to be de-emphasised, along with tablets, as they look for the next ‘hero’ product that will create bigger margins and drive new growth.
Interestingly, when it comes to this ‘so what next’ question the reports don’t sound too promising. Of course manufacturers are looking at new ‘post-PC’ form factors, but there are also high hopes for new flexible screen technology.…
Posted by Alex Perryman on Jun 23, 2014
Amazon’s new Fire smartphone has been a popular talking point over the last week.
It must be said, the Amazon Fire has some interesting features; mainly its tightly-integrated purchasing and media services designed to hook you back into Amazon’s ecosphere and make it harder for you to get out:
- It’ll listen to tunes and buy them from the Amazon store
- It’ll automatically identify television series that you like and download episodes automatically for you in the background, so they’re always there, downloaded when you want them.
- It will automatically recognise objects and let you buy them from Amazon
Indeed, Chief executive Jeff Bezos portrayed the Fire Phone primarily as a gateway to Amazon’s own services.
So what’s the problem?
While none of this is hugely original, it’s all perfectly nice. It’s obvious that Amazon is making a play to own the whole end-to-end process from phone to app/object purchase.
However, there are a whole series of objections to trying to further this business model through this particular phone.…
Posted by Darren Willsher on Jun 19, 2014
Last week we were supporting the Small Cell Forum at Small Cell World Summit in London – a conference that explores part of the telecoms world dedicated to providing coverage and capacity wherever it’s needed.
Caroline Gabriel of Maravedis-Rethink has put together an excellent summary of the show, but for me what was clear this year is that small cells are starting to appeal to more than just the telecoms space.
You might recognise small cells in the form of the Vodafone Sure Signal, but this is a technology that is increasingly being used on a much larger scale, providing coverage and quick data rates in airports, busy city centres or stadiums.
It’s these deployments that open up small cells to a range of clever new applications, from measuring visitor flow in shopping centres to targeting special offers and services.
While these applications have been possible for some time now, at the show we saw several announcements that directly address this and it’s an area that seems to be gaining real traction.…
Posted by Joe McNamara on Mar 31, 2014
Smartphones are making their way through our collection of personal belongings and replacing their uses at a rate of knots. We’re relying less on bulky alternatives such as TVs and laptops and spending more time with our faces buried in those portable devices that give us every feature under the sun.
But will smartphones begin to replace other ‘things’? And, if so, how will this affect the way they are marketed?
Phone, keys, wallet…
These items are pretty much the only three things that non-smoking males check their pockets for before they leave the house. Well the good news for skinny-jeaned tech enthusiasts is that we may all have a lot more room in our pockets very soon – in fact we might not need them at all.
We’re already witnessing the smartphone being asked to hold more than just the more ‘every day’ requirements (messages, calls, photos and gaming). For example, Starwood Hotels & Resorts are trialing a smartphone app that allows guests to use their smartphone as their hotel room key. …
Posted by Darren Willsher on Feb 18, 2014
Many of the big names at MWC are failing to make the most of their social media channels, with some completely failing to engage with followers.
Ahead of the show this year, we took a look at ten of the ‘biggest’ names at the show to find out how they’re using Twitter and Facebook and where they’re falling short. Sony Mobile was the best consumer brand, with Ericsson topping the vendors.
Sony Mobile’s excellent Facebook page took it into first place overall ahead of Huawei and Samsung Mobile, with Ericsson impressing across both of its global Twitter and Facebook accounts.
Rather than looking at follower numbers or Facebook fans, we analysed how the pages were being used and the type of content being published, using the same scoring system from our annual review of the Deloitte Fast 50.
For mobile companies it’s fair to say that social media is an important channel and one that it pays to get right – just look at the response of O2 in last year’s network outage to see how your social media team can turn around a crisis.…