It’s official: AT&T plans to plunk down nearly $50 billion to purchase DirecTV in a deal that, on the face of it, is a head-scratcher. Why exactly would AT&T be interested in the satellite TV business when u-Verse delivers a next generation solution? And at a time when the cable companies are seeing most of their growth come from broadband services, not new TV subscribers.
“My is in the cloud,” announced the woman at the adjacent table to her friends. Cue hysterical, tipsy laughter from her friends, and the occasional raised eyebrow from people nearby. You can fill in the with anything you want.
Consumer TV viewing habits continue to shift towards an always-on, streaming-centric solution and the networks are quickly jumping in with a multitude of viewing apps. So is it business as usual for the networks as they attempt to satisfy the mobile-hungry consumer’s appetite? Perhaps not, because the latest apps are being developed for connected TVs, rather than a previous focus on mobile, thanks to major device launches such as Amazon’s Fire TV, Chromecast, and the Xbox One. And more to the point, it’s the networks themselves that are jumping into the game.
Back in the olden days of over-the-top TV (all of four or five years ago), the concept of TV Everywhere (TVE) was led by the pay-TV operators. The goal was to embrace the Web, and the new-fangled “over-the-top” world of Netflix and others, but in a cautious and manageable way.
Just six months after launching its free tablet data (200MB) offer, T-Mobile is back, pushing the boundaries further. Dubbed Tablet Freedom, the new offer gives tablet customers an extra 1GB of 4G LTE data for free until the end of the year. And there’s more: to help boost tablet sales, T-Mobile is subsidizing the price of 4G-enabled tablets, creating price parity with the Wi-Fi only versions (in the case with the iPad Air 16GB, customers will be able to purchase the 4GB version of the tablet for $499 versus the regular price of $629) with a zero-down installment plan. Moreover, customers will be able to trade in their old tablet (including Wi-Fi only tablets) and upgrade to a new tablet. And as a little more icing on the cake, T-Mobile will pay the ETF (Early Termination Fee) for those customers churning their tablet data subscriptions from rival carriers.
For nearly a year, the tech industry has been abuzz with rumors and speculation that Amazon would enter the rapidly growing media streaming device market; challenging category incumbents Apple, Google, and Roku who accounted for 88 percent of category revenue during the 12 months ending February. Wednesday, Amazon did just that, announcing their Amazon Fire TV to much fanfare.
I fear I may be obsessed with my wearable device, or more accurately, by the data that it generates about my daily activity.
I recently participated in a panel debate at the NPD DisplaySearch US FPD conference on the future of the smartphone and tablet, considering which, if either was more likely to drive greater market disruption moving forward. My inclination was to back the sure thing: the smartphone has already disrupted so many surrounding technologies and I see no reason why it will slow down any time soon.
As day two of Mobile World Congress comes to an end, the key themes of the show have become very apparent. While the obligatory plethora of devices have launched, and network congestion has been discussed, an overriding focus has been on health and fitness in one shape or another.
The wearable technology market is at the beginning of what could be a long and stunning bout of innovation, with the potential to over-shadow the smartphone’s accession. But before the OEMs start popping champagne corks, let’s focus on the “could” part of the above sentence. While wearables have created a strong level of buzz, many of the upcoming products are already looking awfully familiar and repetitious.