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Consumer Electronics

GENBAND Buys Fring to Make Carriers Sexy

September 12, 2013

Carriers are scrambling right now as they see OTT services such as Skype and WhatsApp eating into their revenues. In a conversation with David Walsh (pictured), GENBAND’s new CEO, we discussed how OTT players have taken 30% of voice traffic in seven years and how service provider voice growth is now around 3% per year.



In response to this onslaught of new competition, carriers have come together to develop standards which will allow their telecom equipment to run on off-the-shelf servers so they can more effectively compete with their app-based competitors. This initiative: network functions virtualization or NFV will help turn hardware-based telcos into software telcos allowing them to be more flexible in rolling out new offerings while saving money in the process.

Microsoft Buys Nokia Device and Services Business

September 3, 2013

“What’s good for windows phones will be good for the Windows ecosystem,” said Steve Ballmer to CNBC regarding the company’s acquisition of Nokia’s services and device business. He went on to explain that this deal will help Lenovo and Dell. Of course he said this precisely because this strategy is going to cause problems with Microsoft’s relationship with other hardware manufacturers the company relies on. The goal of course is to the thread the needle – similar to Google, by producing hardware and licensing Android to others.

Under the terms of the agreement, Microsoft will pay EUR 3.79 billion to purchase substantially all of Nokia’s Devices & Services business, and EUR 1.65 billion to license Nokia’s patents, for a total transaction price of EUR 5.44 billion in cash.

Why Apple Should not Produce Low-Cost Phones

August 19, 2013

Speculation and rumor will tell you that next month Apple is set to introduce a low-cost phone. Some will argue this makes sense since Apple is competing in a field with other companies such as Samsung and HTC which produce devices across many price points. The question worth asking however is whether this strategy is logical in the long-run. After all, aren’t mobile devices the natural evolution of PCs and laptops and hasn’t Apple learned that to be successful in those markets, you want to stay as far away as you can from being seen as a low-cost, commodity electronics producer?

The Apple Board is Complaining About Apple's Lack of Innovation

August 9, 2013

Apple, We Need a Larger iPhone as I have asked for since 2010



It’s getting to be laughable – the phone choices in the Android camp are literally becoming infinite from Samsung alone – let alone when you throw in Google, HTC and others. Apple popularized the mouse, the GUI, fonts, desktop publishing and so many things yet they eventually got killed in the late eighties and nineties because of the competition and their lack of correct response to it.

In other words the price/performance curve got so out of whack that when PCs became commoditized and Apple lost its software ecosystem advantage, it didn’t make financial sense to buy an Apple product.

In 2010 I predicted this would happen to Apple in the smartphone market when I saw the gloriously huge Motorola Droid X. At the time I said the following (bold added for emphasis):

And this gets us to the headline of this entry...

Verykool RS90 Vortex Smartphone Review

August 8, 2013

A Solid and Rugged Smartphone Value with an unusual name





How often do you get to take a piece of expensive electronics and treat it like it’s a bowling ball? The answer for me is not that often but that is exactly what I found myself doing with the InfoSonics verykool RS90 Vortex Smartphone. From the moment I received it, I have pummeled it, drowned it, bowled with it and literally dropped it on every surface I could find.

Nancy Pelosi OKs Use of Google Glass

August 2, 2013

RIP Amar Bose

July 12, 2013


In many ways Dr. Amar Bose deserves as much credit for revolutionizing audio as Steve Jobs received for revolutionizing numerous industries from movies to smartphones. Bose was one of the first to take high-end audio mainstream – you could find the company’s gear at virtually every audio store in the 1980s when most other stereo equipment was more segmented between high-end and lower quality.

My first encounter with the company was before 1980 where I saw an ad for the company’s direct-reflecting 901 speakers. I was a kid but I decided at the time that I needed to buy these speakers.

Americans Don't Know They Want Wearable Tech Yet

July 8, 2013

Recently a headline stating that most Americans don’t want wearable tech caught my eye and reminded me of many past of articles regarding consumer choices which were just plain wrong. The piece can be summed up with the following paragraph:

The April telephone poll of 1,011 Americans 18 and older found that only 34 percent of those polled who make $100,000 or more a year would consider buying or wearing a consumer-grade smart watch or smart glasses. For those with a significantly smaller income, $35,000 annually, the percentage of those interested in the technology increases to 47 percent.

The implication of the headline is the wearable market will remain a niche and while this could very well be the case, the reality is consumers and analysts have no idea where markets which haven’t been invented yet will be in the future.

HP Proves That Samsung, Apple and Google Will Win in Hardware

July 1, 2013

At one point in time HP had the best combination of mobile devices anywhere. They owned their own line of PDAs and also purchased Compaq who made the IPAQ – a game-changing device if there ever was one. The thing I liked about the IPAQ versus the Palm 7 which was a competitive device released around the same time was that COMPAQ decided to forego battery life for a bright color screen. In many ways the iPhone 5 reminds me of the first IPAQ device – especially when it prematurely runs out of battery power.



MDM is Just too Small a Market for Apple

July 1, 2013

It is no secret that MDM is a huge market and Apple is in large part responsible for the trend where non-Microsoft and non-Blackberry devices infiltrated the enterprise. Moreover, corporate IT departments have huge budgets so if Apple came out with an MDM solution it could do exceedingly well in the market.

Writing for TMCnet, Joe Rizzo asks why Apple isn't in this market and he makes some good points.

You have to wonder however the predicament Cupertino is in at the moment.

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