What do you think about a car as a large mobile device? It can be personalized, although changing colors are a bit more difficult. It can be built with a mobile phone, handles mp3, plays DVDs, and navigation via GPS. Cars are now starting to provide bluetooth connections, and even the 2005 Audi A4 even has a 2 SD slots behind the navigation system to play your mp3s.
Sprint announced their Mobile Business Assessment (MBA) as a way to compete in the Professional Services arena against the heavyweights such as Accenture and IBM. Earlier this year, Cisco also developed a group for Mobile Wireless consulting. Is this posturing or real help? Both companies come from different backgrounds and they both have a lot to gain. Both have claimed to be vendor neutral and in my estimation, are really starting to believe the IBM-way of doing business (sell the hardware and software at or below cost and make the margins on service and support). Their target market, enterprises, have been laggards in adopting mobile wireless technology, but firm believers in remote access via broadband, corporate mobile plans, and phone cards. What are they waiting for? Why hasn’t the field force been armed with mobile phones linked in real-time to the enterprise applications we have been clamoring about?
We want to push the envelope with the wearable mobile device, Motorola finally did it. Teaming up with Oakley, they have launched the RAZRWire sunglasses/bluetooth headset combo. Available through Cingular Wireless in August, 2005, this should definitely turn some heads, although perhaps in awkwardness instead of a double-take.
Gartner recently published a survey that mobile viruses and worms will not pose a significant threat until 2007. If it is not significant now, does that mean we should ignore it? The year when there is a bad flu season, do you wait to get the flu vaccine? Typically you try and prevent it as much as you can.
And if the other predictions are true, there will be 3B mobiles by 2009. So what are the other issues stifling this innovation? Consumers and cost. Consumers while they value their mobile more than their personal computer, just seem to realize their attachment to and amount of data that could be lost should their phone be corrupted (remember, it’s a tiny computer, not a phone anymore). As storage on these devices begin to challenge MP3 players (1GB flash cards), you start to realize that all those images, texts, ringers, and games that you spend money on, could all be lost in the blink of an eye. Compound that with the added problem that subscribers use their mobile as their contact book (typically not transferring that data to their computer or paper) and this should start to make people cringe.
So what about cost? The last couple computers I purchased all had trial versions of some anti-virus program pre-installed. After 30 or 90 days it would ask me to purchase the full version with 1 year of updates. Would it be hard for the handset makers to team up and do the same? But what would consumers be willing to pay for client software? Currently, Symantec charges about $40USD, while F-Secure is about $26USD. At that rate, that would probably be the most expensive software download I would purchase to date. What happened to volume adoption and understand the subscriber’s behavior, etc, etc? If you wanted volume adoption and a lucrative market segment, why not charge $12USD, then the same each year for updates? This leads into the discussion about making this a data service. For about $1USD/month, this could be a significant boost in revenue for a mobile operator [Hey Vodafone, how about an extra $155M USD/month -- how you like them apples?]. They all want to find ways to increase ARPU and deploy additive services, why not this one? They could also bundle it into their current data plans as a way to differentiate into the market.
The downside for the mobile operator is liability. There would have to be some strong guarantees in place or lots of loopholes in order to stay out of courts and settlements should anyone slip through the cracks and become an infected victim.
To parallel the flu vaccine: consumers demand it, pharmaceutical companies need to make it, even though there is not very much money to be made.
Mobile Anti-Virus: This is because in the event of an outbreak, infections of the mobile-kind, could potentially spread significantly faster with less reaction time to innoculate devices and even the network. So don’t hesitate, just educate and execute.
Is Mobile Video all it’s cracked up to be? A recent study performed by In-Stat stated that only one in eight people are interested in video on their mobile device. There is definitely hype about using more data intensive services (such as streaming video or video conferencing) on your mobile device — but is this merely just a vision of a dream that has yet to become reality. While those in Asia and some places in Europe have the service and the handsets what is the real uptake? I don’t think those in Japan or South Korea are now chatting using video conferencing on their mobile. I also don’t believe that they are glued to their phones watching TV dramas, sitcoms or the news reports and giving up on their plasma TVs.
Back in April, Nokia announced the N91 phone, part of the N-Series. Though this device will not be released until the end of 2005, it certainly could not come at a better time. Music services are started to pop-up all over, even in North America, and Nokia needs to continue to gain ground over traditional rivals Motorola and SonyEricsson and powerhouse Samsung. To thwart Microsoft is not enough on the OS and device side, they must also put up their guard against Apple and their Motorola partnership.
Service Tracks need to be laid quicker
At the same time, we need to get more companies to launch their own services that will work in the mobile environment and that can potentially get around direct selling to mobile operators. Music download services, Location-based services, mobile payment — all this needs to happen instead of being hyped by the media. Lots of work needs to be done and the mobile operators should be more willing and active to get these services deployed at reasonable costs. We will all benefit, just like we have on ringers, images, games, and more.
Vinyl for my LPs. Vinyl for my car. Now to protect those most cherished devices, vinyl for my phone! I ran across this site from a friend on mine who saw my posts of Accessories. I guess all those old LPs and car dashboards have been recycled to protect my mobile.