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A New Form Factor for the Phone?

photo @arubin via twitter The smartphone hasn’t changed much, at least in terms of proportions, since the first iPhone (the iPhone belatedly adopted the 16:9 aspect ratio most other phones had long assumed in 2012 with the iPhone 5). Yes, Samsung made it bigger, an idea considered dumb at the time but one which has largely become the norm. Phones have gotten thinner — anorexic, in the words of one writer — which has produced its own problems (and may hold back 5G). But the essential dimensions of the phone haven’t changed in more than 10 years.  That is, sort of, changing, with Samsung’s FoldContinue readingA New Form Factor for the Phone?

5G’s Achilles Heel: Heat

5G promises a lot. a mobile internet of things, new immersive VR and AR experiences, lower latency, washboard stomachs. But something the industry isn’t addressing is that the devices themselves heat up. A lot. This from Digits to Dollars‘ Jonathan Goldberg:  5G phones get hot. Really hot. Probably not hot enough to ignite your battery (probably), but enough to generate a definite burning sensation in your pants pockets. At Mobile World Congress in February, we spoke with an engineer from Sony who was demo’ing a phone (behind glass) that was clocking 1 Gbps speeds. Wow, fast. We asked the engineer why it was not goingContinue reading5G’s Achilles Heel: Heat

BBC World Service – Smell tech

At the end of this program is my piece on smell technology, if you like that kind of thing. BBC World Service – Business Daily, UK FinTech Mulls a Post-Brexit Future (with everything else going on it might seem a bit flippant, or maybe light relief.  Can the UK’s financial technology or FinTech sector maintain its global lead after Brexit? We speak to Lawrence Wintermeyer, the chairman of the industry’s trade body Innovate Finance, about what he hopes the British government will negotiate in a new deal with the EU. Also, Michael Pettis, professor of finance at Peking University, tells us what Brexit looks like from ChinaContinue readingBBC World Service – Smell tech

Connected cows, cars and crockery prod chip mega mergers

My Reuters piece attempting to place the recent chip mergers in a longer timeline. Yes, I hate the term internet of things too.  Connected cows, cars and crockery prod chip mega mergers | Reuters: SINGAPORE/TAIPEI | BY JEREMY WAGSTAFF AND MICHAEL GOLD Chip companies are merging, signing $66 billion worth of deals this year alone in preparation for an explosion of demand from all walks of life as the next technological revolution takes hold: the Internet of Things. As cars, crockery and even cows are controlled or monitored online, each will require a different kind of chip of ever-diminishing size, combining connectivity with processing, memoryContinue readingConnected cows, cars and crockery prod chip mega mergers

BBC: The Rise of Disappearables

The transcript of my BBC World Service piece on wearables. Reuters original story here.  Forget ‘wearables’, and even ‘hearables’, if you’ve ever heard of them. The next big thing in mobile devices: ‘disappearables’. Unless it really messes up, Apple is going to do for wearables with the Watch what is has done with the iPod for music players, the phone with its iPhone, the iPad for tablets. But even as Apple piques consumer interest in wrist-worn devices, the pace of innovation and the tumbling cost, and size, of components will make wearables smaller and smaller. So small, some in the industry say, that no oneContinue readingBBC: The Rise of Disappearables

Asha to Ashes: Microsoft’s Emerging Markets Conundrum

A piece I wrote with Devi in Delhi, and the help of a couple of other colleagues.  Asha to Ashes: Microsoft’s emerging market conundrum By Jeremy Wagstaff and Devidutta Tripathy SINGAPORE/NEW DELHI | Thu Sep 5, 2013 9:22pm EDT (Reuters) – Microsoft Corp’s acquisition of Nokia’s handset business gives the software behemoth control of its main Windows smartphone partner, but leaves a question mark over the bigger business it has bought: Nokia’s cheap and basic phones that still dominate emerging markets like India. Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer has said he sees such phones – of which Nokia shipped more than 50 million last quarterContinue readingAsha to Ashes: Microsoft’s Emerging Markets Conundrum

Smartwatches: Coming Soon to a Cosmos Near You

This is a column I did for the BBC World Service, broadcast this week.  There’s been a lot of talk that the big boys — by which I mean Apple and Samsung — are about to launch so-called smart watches. But how smart does a watch have to be before we start strapping them to our wrists in numbers to make a difference? First off, a confession. I’ve strapped a few things to my wrist in my time. Back in the 80s and 90s I used to love the Casio calculator watch called the Databank, though I can’t actually recall ever doing a calculation onContinue readingSmartwatches: Coming Soon to a Cosmos Near You

Smarter smartphones for smarter people

This is a piece I wrote for the BBC World Service.. So, the iPhone 5 is here, and while it will sell well, probably better than any phone before it, there’s a sense of anticlimax: this, we are told, is evolution, not revolution. None of the mind-bending sense of newness and change that the iPhone and iPad used to engender. This is a sign, we’re told, that the market is mature, that there’s not much more that can be done. I’d like to suggest another way of looking at this. For sure, not every new product that comes out of Apple HQ can blow ourContinue readingSmarter smartphones for smarter people

Forks in the Road Ahead?

Two interesting pieces in the past 24 hours that, almost in passing, look at a growing conundrum for Google: how to cope with the fact that Android is largely a profit center for Samsung and nobody else. Horace Dediu at Asymco (From bad to worse and from good to great) looks mainly at how the mobile world’s value is mostly going to Apple. Samsung is the only other one making any money out of the whole thing: In absolute terms the iPhone franchise created $244 billion in value while Samsung created $83 billion. The others destroyed $37 billion. Elsewhere Horace has looked at Android economicsContinue readingForks in the Road Ahead?

The Tablet is the Computer

One thing discussed often and at great length in nerdy circles these days is this: Is the tablet—by which we really mean the Apple iPad, because it created the market, and presently accounts for nearly two thirds of it—a computer. A PC, if you will? Some say that the iPad is not really a computer. It has no keyboard. People don’t sit at desks to use it. It lacks the horsepower of most of today’s computers. So they think it’s a big smartphone. I think they are wrong. They misunderstand what is happening. This is not hard to see in action. Wandering around an airportContinue readingThe Tablet is the Computer

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