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Rich Tehrani
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Google Co-Founder Complains About Facebook, Apple and Splinternet

April 17, 2012

Google co-founder Sergey Brin recently explained that if the web was dominated by Apple and Facebook, his company wouldn’t have access to enough information to start its search engine. The idea is that the restrictive policies of Facebook make crawling its pages challenging if not impossible while Apple’s iPod, iPhone and iPad apps are generally not searchable.

He further explained the challenge to the internet from governments like Saudi Arabia, China, Iran and even the US where internet access is either limited or threatened to be limited very soon via regulation which is the case with proposed legislation like Sopa and Pipa.

In January of 2008 I discussed the rise of the splinternet – or a splintering of the homogenous internet we once were accustomed to using.

Is the Post-PC Era a Myth?

April 16, 2012

The way one should interpret the term "Post-PC" is "after PC" - implying that the world has changed from era to the next. Sarah Perez at TechCrunch does an admirable job of laying the case for what she calls the Post-PC era or alternatively - "PCs Everywhere" which I agree isn't quite as catchy.

In her article she discusses how Apple sold 37M iPhones in Q4, 15% of the official PC market is made up of tablets (mostly iPads) and Apple is now the leading "PC" vendor. Moreover smartphone shipments last year hit 487.7M while PC shipments hit 414.6M and the smartphone growth rate is 63% versus 15% for PCs.

So one would imagine once again that the phrase "Post-PC" means that there aren't going to be more PCs sold.

Gary Kim writes on IP Carrier that while global tablet sales are growing at 98% YoY for 2012, the PC market is expected to increase 4.4% and will increase to 10% in 2013.

The catch is - and there is always a catch, that most of these sales will be in emerging markets and will be for more portable computers - laptops, ultrabooks, etc. Kim makes the argument however that tablets may be 42% of total PC sales by 2016 - a staggering percentage.

The trend is clear however that portability and style trump virtually everything else when it comes to the tech space.









US Database of Stolen Cellphones to be Established

April 9, 2012

Today is a bad day for thieves, very bad. You see, electronics are the number one item stolen – even more so than cash and finally the US will be implementing a system to ensure stolen cell phones no longer work on US cellular networks. In December of 2009 I wrote about how eBay has become the world’s largest pawn shop of stolen goods and in fact gave an example to a person in the UK who tracked down $10,000 worth of stolen goods, taken from him on eBay – and was able to recover them.

As a result, in the post titled Tech Lubricates Theft, Can it do so For Law Enforcement? I proposed a central database where devices get unique identification numbers and are subsequently linked to consumers.

A Contrarian View on The Apple/Foxconn Labor Situation

April 5, 2012

A few weeks back when the New York Times wrote a story regarding workers making iPhones and other devices in China who aren’t being treated very well, I wondered, this is a story? In other words, is there a person on the planet who doesn’t know that working conditions in China are far worse than they are in the US?

And I absolutely respect the right of the New York Times to run such a story – I just think it shows a broader agenda of being anti-capitalist, and anti-business. After all, we in the US have been buying Chinese products made by people in poor working conditions for decades.

Goodbye Android, we hardly Knew You

April 2, 2012

New research is showing that Android has some real problems. Obviously Google knows this and it’s part of the reason they purchased Motorola and as Henry Blodget points out are opening an online tablet store. David Beckemeyer too weighs in with a chart showing just how dominant Apple is becoming.

But before we get into that I was at my accountant last week and while he was crunching numbers I decided to tell my wife it was time to get my oldest daughter a refurbished laptop because her netbook takes longer to boot than the time it takes for us to assemble all the documents for the IRS.

Samsung Galaxy Note Shipping at a Million a Month

March 28, 2012

Samsung did something unusual recently when it launched its Galaxy Note line of tablets starting at 5.3" and growing from there to a 10.1" edition which was unveiled at MWC 2012 in Barcelona. What was perhaps most unusual was the hybrid nature of the smaller device, allowing it to be not quite smartphone and not quite tablet. The challenge with such a design is that you have potentially created a Jack of All Trades and Master of None or basically a tablet too big to be used with one hand and too small to be used effectively with two hands.

To some degree I see the smaller 5.3" model appealing more to men because well men don' generally carry handbags. Point being you can fit the smartphone which could have been conceived by Lane Bryant in your pocket and have ample surface area to work on.

Then there is the smart pen or S-Pen which allows special functions to be evoked like screen copy and more - expect new apps to take advantage of the S-Pen capabilities according to the company.

So think about it - with the Galaxy Note line, Samsung designed not only a new form factor in hardware but also brought back the stylus - the exact same pointing instrument which Steve Jobs and Apple thought wasn't necessary.

Now it is way early to proclaim these devices a massive and lasting success in the market because the marketing push the company has been making is extraordinary.







Consumers Tell Mobile Carriers how to Save Millions

March 22, 2012

Wireless carriers spend millions on contact center calls related to device questions from their subscribers and to lean more Amdocs recently commissioned a survey which shows that while 83% of the 2,900 consumers surveyed are aware of self-service options, only 37% of consumers use them. Why? You may think because they don't have access to a PC or perhaps they have an Apple iDevice and are afraid the answer will be in Adobe Flash and all they will see is a series of question marks.

Well, if this is what you thought, you'd be wrong on both counts. The reality is that they expect the answers to be wrong or inaccurate.

So perhaps you are thinking, social media is the solution.



Aito Technologies Helps Carriers Leverage Sentiment Analysis

March 20, 2012

In the US, some of the most challenging times for carrier sentiment had to be when comedians and shows like SNL poked fun at the iPhone for not working properly on the AT&T network. And in such situations where the carrier’s network was slammed with traffic and the company was not able to come up with a solution quickly, there probably want much the company could do to change public sentiment.

But in many cases a reactive carrier can reduce churn due to customer dissatisfaction. And this is one of the goals of Aito Technologies a company in the customer experience analytics (CEA) space.

NQ Mobile Protects Android Phones from Malware and Viruses

March 20, 2012

Last year Roger McNamee mentioned that he doesn’t think Android has a bright future because of the malicious apps proliferating on the platform and to his point Android malware is up over 400% with no signs of slowing down. This is where NQ Mobile’s NQ Mobile Security app comes in. I recently met with Kim Titus who described the threat as being greatest over SMS as well as in parts of the world where apps are sideloaded. He believes 10% of Android devices in fact are infected and SQL injection as well as HTML5 are further challenges to securing this mobile OS.

Ascom Wireless Test Solutions Advance to Handle Burgeoning Data Demand

March 19, 2012

The number of people using their cellphone as a primary device is continuing to increase and this includes campus and corporate environments where the ease-of-use of a single device makes using a smartphone running Android, iOS or something similar the preferable corporate interface. In fact more than half of carrier data traffic is consumed from an indoor location making it important for operators to focus on ensuring signal strength is adequate in such environments.

At MWC in 2012 I spent some time with Ascom the network testing and monitoring company to learn about their partnership with iBwave Design software for in-building wireless network design. Through the partnership Ascom’s TEMS mobile network testing solutions enables engineers to use building coordinates to align their in-building presence and provide a baseline for route planning and walk testing. 

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