TECH TALK: 3GSM 2007: Snippets (Part 2)
Mike Rowehl: The mobile world wont end up changing the online world like I had assumed it would. It really looks like the innovation is going to flow the other way around. People who are already working in mobile have had all semblance of initiative and innovation beaten out of them. You can lay a new business model down in front of them and explain in detail how it works, and generally they arent able to grasp it unless it looks enough like something they already know. However, people coming from the online world and looking to expand into mobile generally are accustomed to a shifting environment and taking in new opportunities and integrating them into their mental framework…The stage should be set for mobile to completely subsume the online world. But instead its the people from the online world staggering out into the sun and realizing theres no one trying to grab the potential of the new medium and just picking up the pieces waiting for them.
Existing subscribers in developed markets don’t have compelling reasons to increase their spending. Consider the current hot technology, mobile TV. Consumer interest in this technology is lukewarm at best, so carriers can’t count on it for a revenue boost.
Thus, it’s clear that the wireless industry is now driven by cost-cutting, not by cutting-edge features. Not that tomorrow’s phones won’t be high-tech: Just look at the Chinese market, where sales of low-tech PHS phones are rapidly cooling. It won’t be long before this market is taken over by cheap 3G phones.
The moral of the story? Designers must keep pushing technology forward, but cut costs at the same time. It’s a tough challenge, but one that must be met in the new wireless world.
Handset manufacturers, application developers and operating system managers are all planning large-scale roll outs of GPS technology this year.
The popularity of the technology has been boosted by a new generation of GPS chips that are small enough to fit into mobile handsets, along with power management technology that offers increased battery life.
“GPS is definitely one of the key themes of the 3GSM show,” said David Wood, head of Symbian.
The main market for GPS systems is in Europe, but technologists believe that the US market will also take off in the next two years.
The Register: Fourteen mobile operators around the world have teamed up to create a standard payment system using Near Field Communications (NFC). To be called “Pay-Buy Mobile”, the standard is backed by AT&T and China Mobile, among others, and should lead to interoperability between suppliers’ equipment and financial companies.
What did not surprise:
* Motorola: was it 2007? 2006? 2000? It seems like it’s still the StarTac from the Nineties. Aren’t their phones all clones of the RAZR which is a slim version of the StarTac?
* Nokia: same as above, where is the innovation?
* mobileTV was everywhere
* IMS was everywhere
What surprised me:
* SonyEricsson W880: imagine the already very good W810i, imagine it thinner, lighter, nicer, faster. If the price is reasonable, this is going to be a BIG hit. A lot of people I spoke to really liked it, it’s really good!
* LG KG800: we all know the phone, it’s not new, but the softkeys are really weird. You don’t feel when you click and you never really understand if anything is going to happen. Disappointing experience, sorry.
* mobileTV hardware vendors, integrators, solution providers were everywhere, but where is the content? Where is that thing that makes everyone want it? Where is that bit that makes it go from the current low-satisfaction state to a big service for everyone?
* Trolltech had a big booth with about 20 devices running their Linux-based Qtopia. I did not know so many devices use it.