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.
Less than two years after making a bold foray into the smartphone manufacturing business, Google has announced that it is selling Motorola to Lenovo. The deal, announced yesterday, sells Motorola for $2.9 billion, compared to Google’s initial purchase price of $12.5 billion.
For you wrestling fans out there, keep tuning into the Syfy channel for SmackDown and USA Network for Monday Night Raw; and be prepared for the all new over-the-top (OTT) WWE streaming network, coming to a connected device near you on February 24. Gone are the days of gathering enough friends together to fit the bill for the big pay-per-view (PPV) event. Wrestling fans will be able to access monthly PPV events, a lineup of original shows and historical programming from WWE's library, all for $9.99 a month. For those who have experienced the ritual of a WWE event, this is a changing of the guard. It’s a transition from the tradition of ordering PPV events through a cable provider to the ability to stream them on a connected TV.
T-Mobile has, as expected, launched the next salvo in the Un-carrier strategy. Starting tomorrow, T-Mobile will cover up to $350 of early termination fees per line for up to five lines per family, in addition to providing an instant trade-in credit of up to $300 for their phone.
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.