Microsoft is buying Nokia’s Devices and Services business for roughly $7 billion. The deal signals the end of an era in the mobile space, with Nokia effectively now pulling out of the mobile phone business. But beyond this era-ending component, Microsoft’s acquisition signals a bold move by the software giant to accelerate its plans in the mobile space by owning, for the first time, both the software and hardware required to grow the Windows Phone operating system, which currently accounts for less than 3% of the smartphone installed base in the US.
This week Verizon and Motorola introduced their new family of Droid phones – the Mini, Ultra, and Maxx. This generation of Droid phones includes the kind of spec upgrades expected in a high-end smartphones. For the most part, all phones in the series have the same hardware such as 2GB of RAM and a 10 mega-pixel camera. Notably different, though, is the 4.3-inch screen in the Mini, the thin form factor of the Ultra (which excludes the wireless charging to reduce the thickness), and the mammoth 3,500 mAh, 48-hour battery in the Maxx.
I’m not an easy-going smartphone user. I seem to make a habit of breaking them one way or another, and never in a typical “whoops I dropped it on the floor” kind of way. I’m more the “huh, why did that fall off” or “where are my shorts anyway” kind of smartphone abuser. And summer time is when I’m more likely to have problems, not least of which is the perennial fear of dunking my phone in water, be it the ocean, a swimming pool, or even a large puddle (it finally stopped raining on the East Coast folks!).
The native apps versus mobile web technologies debate stems from the fact that while apps have become the de facto way for content owners, retailers, brands, and others to extend content experiences, drive commerce, and build brand and loyalty among mobile consumers - delivering consistent app experiences across multiple platforms/OS and device types can be daunting and costly.
Until this year, SXSW always seemed like the cool kids’ show. The show that I looked at longingly from afar, but could never justify attending as a mobile analyst, despite its buzz-worthy tech appeal. This time I finally made it for a private collocated pre-show event, which afforded me a fleeting glimpse into some of the mobile goings-on, and most notably Urban Airship’s “Mobile Saturday” event.