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Consumer Electronics

Comcast Lets You Text Message from your Home Phone

March 28, 2012

It took about eight years but it seems like SMS has finally come to home phone service

In 2004 in a piece about VoIP 2.0 I wondered why home phone service hadn’t progressed and suggested that they allow instant messaging/SMS. It’s obvious the market would love such a solution and Comcast will be one of the first to bring it to market. In fact, now included with its ‘Xfinity Voice Unlimited Nationwide’ plan, customers get access to free text messaging from the Xfinity Mobile app for iOS and Android devices.

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.



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.

Apple's New TV to Force Tech Refresh and Cause More Apple Dominance

March 19, 2012

Early in the year Samsung wowed users at CES with it’s unveiling of the Galaxy Note, a 5.3 inch wonder with WXGA resolution or 1280x800. To put that in perspective, there are many 15 inch laptops with the same resolution. Apple for its part countered with the New iPad sporting a 9.7 inch display with 2048x1536 pixel density or a full 264 pixels per inch – the same as the iPhone 4s. The iPad boasts four times the number of pixels as the iPad 2 and one million more pixels than HDTV at 1920x1080 pixels.

Forget Disney, Head to Finland for Angry Birds

March 10, 2012

Angry Birds has certainly taken the world by storm and over Thanksgiving while visiting Disney World I was surprised to see how many people were wearing Angry Birds related clothing - especially shirts. Now, Rovio, the company behind the addictive game the author of this post was forced to delete because of its addictiveness will launch its own theme park in Finland.

We all know that the world is more competitive and companies like Google and Facebook have grown very rapidly in terms of name recognition and number of users.

The question is whether an entertainment company can leverage an app to build a media empire which rivals what Disney took many decades to develop. In other words, is there any limit on what digital-era companies can disrupt?

Amazon has helped kill off retailers like Circuit City, the digital photograph helped kill off thousands of photo processing stores, the web has helped kill off newspapers and magazines.





Taqua Leverages WiFi, Introduces Backhaul Product at MWC 2012

March 10, 2012

Taqua has a made a name for itself serving carriers of all sizes with products like the T7000 for wireless and wireline switching, the T7100 for media management, trunking and peering as well as the TCS6100 for small cell and voice messaging services over 4G/LTE.

At Mobile World Congress 2012 in Barcelona I had a chance to speak with Payam Maveddat the company’s EVP of Product Line Management about the fact that carriers have become very interested in WiFi solutions. A frequent discussion at the show in fact was that carriers who wouldn’t even discuss WiFi with you a few years back are now actively asking for the technology to help alleviate the spectrum crunch they are all facing.

Maveddat explained that his customers are happy that they can leverage VoLTE, VoWiFi and femtocells with the company’s solutions.

AirWatch Highlights MDM in a Post-PC Era

March 8, 2012

Yesterday Apple CEO Tim Cook showed a chart of how the iPad alone is selling more unites than PCs from any other individual vendor. This is an amazing achievement when you consider the iPad is a few years old and that HP swallowed up Compaq making it the largest vendor in the PC market. Of course with so much device proliferation the question of mobile device management or MDM has to rear its head. As this market is so crucial I am happy I had a chance to sit with Alan Dabbiere the charismatic Chairman of MDM leader Airwatch at MWC 2012.

Are Switch Lighting's LED Bulbs the Future of Lighting?

March 8, 2012

With a heat dissipating aluminum heat sink as well as a proprietary liquid which not only cools the bulb but throws light in a very natural manner, it could be that Switch Lighting will be the GE of LED lighting. My editorial team and I were very impressed with what the company showed us at this past CES. One point worth making is these LED lights can work fine when hanging upside down making them useful for corporate/industrial applications. Other LED solutions have had overheating problems when they hang upside down and as a result the bulbs burn out quickly.

How Aricent Group Enables Rapid LTE Adoption

March 8, 2012

One of the most important companies in the wireless space you may never have heard of is Aricent Group, the product engineering, carrier services and design company which renamed itself last year by combining Aricent and frog (formerly Frog Design). The name change was not done for cosmetic reasons, Aricent Group’s customers are carriers, and equipment providers who live in a brave new world requiring ever-faster time to market. In addition, in an increasingly standardized world of LTE, companies have to be able to provide bullet-proof interoperability and product and service stability while simultaneously adding value in order to reduce the brutal effects of commoditization which plagues virtually all markets where standards take hold. So faster product integration is necessary to keep up with evolving and hypercompetitive markets.

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