Hope, Change, and Whining in the Mobile Arena

As we all keep heading back to the cloud-services buffet line to fill our plates with streaming music, document collaborations, and photo sharing, our glasses of data––once advertised as bottomless––are leaving us thirsty. Mobile devices––the smartphones and tablets of the world––make the cloud-service buffet line seem so much cooler, more powerful, and more useful, but what does the future hold? Three stories from the past few weeks help us read the tech tea leaves.

RIM
From execs going nuts on international flights to just poor long-term planning, the struggling Canadian former tech giant has had it rough. For a seemingly stagnant company that once paved the way with mobile email, calendars, and contact functionality from a mobile device (the BlackBerry), recent news of a well-received new device might be the fair-weather forecast RIM has been waiting for. Before you slam RIM and its loyal hoard of CrackBerry zombies, remember that the company was once innovative––that innovation in the marketplace can lead to better devices for us, the consumers. During the BlackBerry developers conference, alpha-stage BlackBerry 10 devices were distributed to developers to kick-start app development. Check out the video below:

 

Mobile Interactions: Change Your View
Change how you view your mobile customers (if you even know they exist). Custora, a mobile-commerce analytics start-up, posted an interesting infographic showing the different purchasing habits of mobile customers. From device stats to analysis of mobile versus non-mobile customers, the message is clear: Know your customers and study their habits based on their mobile identifiers. Those identifiers will lead you either to enhance their experience or to fine-tune your strategy.

Wireless Whining
Rumblings (think “wahhhhhhhhhh!”) from the mobile carriers and their Washington lobbyists about the future of our airwaves and the portions that wireless carriers claim they need in order to support our new and growing thirst for mobile data are creating a controversy. It’s a battle between developing new technology and the “easy way out,” snatching up more spectrum to protect revenues and control the marketplace. The New York Times reports that the now dead-in-the-water deal between AT&T and T-Mobile was purely about access to spectrum, or more of the radio frequencies that we use to pass voice and mobile data through our smartphones. All in all, technology seems to be a logical solution––one in which the use of spectrum-neutral techniques could make the spectrum-licensing and -dividing model obsolete––but it would require the big mobile carriers to reconfigure their networks.

Author: John Carew

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