It’s been a long time since I felt a true affinity to any of my phones. Yes, each phone comes with a slightly sharper screen and more intelligence (that I’m not sure I understand how to use), but when all is said and done, they are monolithic slabs of dullness. Until yesterday, that is, when I felt the romantic tug of a phone.
While wandering the streets of Tokyo this past weekend, I came up with a theory that a city - and the people within it - is made up of alternating layers of the strange and the expected. At the most obvious level, any foreign city is filled with strange sights, smells, language and, of course, people; all of which feels increasingly alien as you move farther from wherever you consider home to be. Sometimes, the Android OS feels exactly the same to me.
Mobile payment solutions are struggling to take off in the US market. There are lessons to be learned from China… and from Starbucks in the local market.
It’s been a long dance between Sprint and T-Mobile, but it looks like fate has finally had her way. The two companies announced on Sunday that they will, after all, merge into one venture, with T-Mobile looking like it is firmly in control. That’s significant for a number of reasons, with the most important being that T-Mobile has re-imagined the mobile market, driving service innovation and growth, while Sprint has a terrible reputation for managing mergers (Nextel anyone?). Of course, this deal still needs to get the blessing of both the FCC and the DoJ; and consumer advocacy groups will likely be screaming from the rooftops about how this merger could drive consumer prices upwards due to less competition, leading to potential challenges.
Last week, SpaceX received permission from the FCC to use spectrum to create a satellite-based broadband service known as Starlink. I can’t help but think that the timing of the deal was quite perfect – as SpaceX talked about superfast broadband from space, China’s old space station, the Tiangong-1, was hurtling out of control towards Earth, reminding us that this space stuff is not that easy, and doesn’t stay up there forever.
Networks, providers, and consumers are touting their vision of TVs future and it’s not as straight forwards as the migration from broadcast to cable in the 80s. Traditional cable providers are investing in advanced set-top boxes that integrate apps such as Netflix, virtual MVPD user interfaces are seamlessly bridging the in-home and mobile experience, TV networks are going direct-to-consumer, and viewers are subscribing to unique combinations of services to fit their needs. I’m often asked “which distribution model will win,” a question beached in sound, but traditional, thinking...
Apart from 2017 when the Note 7’s battery issues forced the company to run excessive quality checks and delay the debut of the Galaxy S8, Samsung always commands attention at Mobile World Congress, and this year was no exception.
This year’s Mobile World Congress is wrapping up and soon everyone will be heading to the airport. While the show was, as expected, heavily focused on smartphones (coming in the next blog), there was plenty of other things to see too…
I gave my daughter, Charlotte, her first phone when she was just five years old. It was hardly an appropriate age, but what’s the point of having kids if you cannot use them in the occasional social experiment.
It’s nearly time for Mobile World Congress, a show that provides a chance to catch up on the latest mobile solutions, as well as feast on the best tapas and sangria Barcelona has to offer (along with 100,000 of our closest colleagues). While it's still a phone show at its heart, MWC has expanded significantly in the past few years. Here are a few of the highlights we expect to see.