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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

A Tale of Three Asias

Source: GfK data I’ve just been playing around with some smartphone data from GfK, which collects its data by point-of-sale (POS) tracking in 90+ markets and estimates values based on unsubsidized retail pricing — meaning I guess that these are not the prices that folk may be paying for their phones exactly, but ultimately. The chart above is me calculating the Average Selling Price by dividing unit sales with sales value.   Raw conclusions: Emerging APAC — India, Indonesia, Cambodia, Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam — have the cheapest smartphones in the world, and they’re getting cheaper. Two years ago they were above $200, now they’reContinue readingA Tale of Three Asias

Meshing and Stacking Away from Disaster

I’m often haunted by the folk in Wall-E, the movie where humans have abandoned Earth to trash, a small waste-collecting robot and a cockroach. That’s not the bit that scares me: it’s the space-bound humans who are ferried around on pods, their eyes permanently glued to a screen in front of them. Is this, I ask my worried self, our future? Or has it already happened? In some ways it has. But for what it’s worth I think it’s a blip. The future won’t in fact look like that at all. Right now we definitely have a problem. The problem is that screens have gottenContinue readingMeshing and Stacking Away from Disaster

The Rising Noise of Silence

This is a commentary piece for a semi-regular slot on the BBC’s World Service. It’s not content that appears on Reuters, nor does it reflect the views of my employer.  I’m here to report a new scourge of the public space: folk who watch video on their tablets in public without a headset. Just the other day someone sat next to me in a coffee shop watching a local soap opera on her iPad quite oblivious to the disturbance she was causing me and, well, just me. Now this may sound like a small thing, but I’ve canvassed friends and it’s clearly a problem thatContinue readingThe Rising Noise of Silence

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

Deconstructing Carrier IQ’s Press Release

I couldn’t find this press release on their website, and it’s a couple of weeks old, but I thought it worth deconstructing anyway. My comments in quotes. The rest is from the release. I don’t pretend to have got anything right here, but these might be the starting points for deeper questions. Carrier IQ Says Measuring Mobile User Experience Does Matter! – MarketWatch: MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Nov 16, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Carrier IQ would like to clarify some recent press on how our product is used and the information that is gathered from smartphones and mobile devices. Carrier IQ delivers Mobile Intelligence on theContinue readingDeconstructing Carrier IQ’s Press Release

Southeast Asia’s Third Mobile Tier

The mobile revolution is moving from second tier countries in Southeast Asia to the third and final tier. Whereas previously Indonesia and the Philippines were seeing the biggest growth in mobile Internet traffic, now it’s Burma (Myanmar) and Cambodia which top the list in terms of user- and usage-growth, according to the Opera State of the Mobile Web report for July: Myanmar and Cambodia lead the top 10 countries of the region in terms of page-view growth (6415.0 % and 470.1 %, respectively). Myanmar and Cambodia lead the top 10 countries of the region in growth of unique users (1207.5 % and 179.1 %, respectively).Continue readingSoutheast Asia’s Third Mobile Tier

Logitech’s Bluetooth pen

Logitech are about to bring out their io2 pen for Bluetooth: This summer, Logitech will launch a Bluetooth-enabled version of the io2 Digital Pen, designed to address the current data entry shortcomings of mobile data capture devices. Logitech’s Bluetooth digital pen, when used in combination with a Bluetooth wireless handheld device, will help an organization’s mobile workforce more efficiently gather, transmit and share important data. A press release gives a bit more detail: Using the Logitech io2 Digital Pen with Bluetooth technology, a mobile worker will be able to capture information by using a customized version of a standard paper form, such as for anContinue readingLogitech’s Bluetooth pen

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