AT&T has taken the first significant step towards toll free data services today, launching a service dubbed the “Sponsored Data” solution. The basic premise of such a service is that the consumer should not necessarily need to pay for the underlying data consumed to access a service. In other words, this has the potential to replicate what 1-800 numbers did for voice calls once upon a time.
What did we all do before the smartphone arrived in our pockets? I’m pondering the question while standing around at Newark Airport, on my way to pay homage to consumer tech if all forms at the annual CES. The flight is, of course, significantly delayed thanks to a combination of weather and “hey, it's CES what do you expect.”
After spending most of the past year on the receiving end of T-Mobile’s Uncarrier strategy, AT&T has made its first truly aggressive move. In a new promotion launched today, T-Mobile customers that switch to AT&T will receive a $200 credit per line, as well as up to $250 in trade-in credit for their old T-Mobile phone. In return, these ex-T-Mobilers must join AT&T’s Next program, and purchase a Mobile Share plan – but without any contractual obligation beyond the Next program itself.
Less than a year after T-Mobile shook up the U.S. market with its Uncarrier strategy, the results are clearly demonstrating the success of these bold moves. The carrier is gaining new subscribers at a rate not seen for several years, accruing an additional 1 million subscribers in Q3, compounding the success of the previous quarter too. But it’s not just the number of subscribers that demonstrate T-Mobile’s growing strength...
For the majority of consumers, the smartphone case is a fashion statement. My daughter, for example, bought several cases within weeks of buying the iPhone 5S to avoid any potential fashion faux pas. As such, for many people the case can be considered as an extension of the clothing that we wear. But there’s a dark side to what we wear: ask any young child who has been forced into a ghastly velvet suit, dress, or the like to attend a grown-up function. The scarring is permanent; trust me.
Network broadcasts, cable TV, DVR, on-demand, mobile apps, or apps on your TV? Who needs so many ways to watch TV? Me. Looking at recent viewing behaviors in our home many of these served a purpose, but there is a clear migration towards apps on the TV.
This holiday season some retailers are placing more emphasis on the mobile experience in an attempt to drive greater consumer focus both in the store and online. The smartphone provides the union of the physical and digital worlds and, through this device, the retailer can build an omni-channel solution for all occasions. The result is a “store” where it no longer matters if the consumer is online, in the store, or even online while in the store. As long as the ultimate sale remains within the retailer’s channels then all is well with the world...
The post-Turkey shopping extravaganza saw a significant increase in smartphone use, with some services seeing almost double the use of last year. But the real winner was less an individual retailer and more the overall web platform versus individual retailer apps. As we discovered in the recent Shopping on Smartphones report, many consumers continue to use the retailer websites, not the made-for-shopping apps that all the major retailers have developed.
The week-long flip phone experiment is over, and I’ve switched back to my old (or should that be new) trusty smartphone. Am I happy? Sort of. Frankly it’s a mixed bag of emotions.
“Turn your downtime into banking time” encouraged a radio ad for a large bank that was promoting the availability of its latest banking app. As a flip phone consumer, at least for the week, I wanted to ignore the ad completely, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized how this simple sentence highlights everyday use of smartphones. Downtime is considered a bad thing, a waste, when we could be doing more productive activities.