Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
This legislation is important for mobile content publishers and device manufacturers because it ensures that network providers like AT&T or Verizon Wireless can't dictate which applications can be used on their network by either banning their use or degrading access speed (or conversely speeding up). Broadband providers would also have to let handsets not directly sanctioned by them onto the Network.
These measures would put the wireless ecosystem in the same position as the desktop world. Cablevision, my high speed provider, doesn't dictate that I have to use an HP computer or that I can't access MTV through their service. Why should the wireless carriers have that power?
The CTIA of course opposes the legislation arguing no problem exists. However given that their funded by the carriers I wouldn't expect them to say anything different.
Friday, February 15, 2008
That's going to present a problem for the number of cell phones predicted to be sold this year. The article states that analysts expect 57%-59% of handset sales to be for replacement/upgrade purposes because the market for new subscribers worldwide is tapped out.
So the big question is whether upgraders are going to sit out the year until phones with the new post-QVGA phones appear in the marketplace or rely on aging platforms such as the N-95 from the Nokia.
My prediction is if you need a phone you need a phone now. However if your phone is extension of "You" the brand.
One reason is that with its small screen size and low bandwidth using the Internet on the phone is a pain. Apple's iPhone is changing the experience, but one panelist at the World Mobile Conference in Barcelona, Spain says that one way to unlock the mobile experience is through Search:
Panelist Mike Yonker, general manager of worldwide strategy and operations for Texas Instruments terminals business unit, said that the way for the user to get the rich content now available on a mobile handset is through the "search" function. But this isn't so easy. He compared the limitations of a mobile handset to a full personal computer screen.
Searching on a computer, he said, is like going to a store, where the customers sees every product displayed, and can make comparisons, touch the products, even try things on for size. Doing the same search on a mobile, he said, but like trying to shop in the same store but "through a drive-up window." No matter how much stuff is in the store, you can only find out through the cashier at the drive-up window.
Yonker is right that one challenge to be solved is helping users find content, but if that content is still difficult to view on the device the experience will still be bad. Expressed differently, it's not only the content that needs to bubble up to the top, but the content has to match the capabilities of the phone.
With the iPhone one can get to a true web experience. But until there are more mini-computers like the iPhone users are going to have to make do with the Internet-lite. And that's not going to grow audience.