Google is getting serious about the wearables market with the announcement that it has agreed to buy Fitbit for $2.1 billion. The deal, which is still subject to regulatory approval, would make Google the largest wearable tech OEM in the U.S. from an ownership perspective as of Q2 2019 according to the NPD Connected Intelligence Industry Overview and Forecast.
The last couple of weeks have confirmed to me that there is a lack of compelling innovation in the consumer electronics space… at least right now. Phone and smartwatch launches have become small iterative enhancements rather than substantial innovations, while IFA, the large European consumer electronics show, was a muted affair with little to set the world on fire.
Since its launch five years ago, Apple has worked to provide users with strong additional value in each iteration of its market-leading Apple Watch. While the Apple Watch Series 5 is mostly a carryover from the Series 4 in terms of form factor and features, Apple’s continued focus on health and wellness usability and strong sales momentum will keep the device as the leading new smartwatch on the market.
For those of us living in the northern hemisphere, the beginning of September marks the end of the summer with colder weather ahead. But if you are one of the 900 million iPhone owners, and especially if it’s time to replace your current device, September also marks the grand unveiling of Apple’s latest and greatest in the iPhone series and more.
IFA is often considered to be the CES tradeshow of Europe, where global consumer electronics vendors would showcase the commercialized products they previously previewed at CES. Held in Berlin every year in early September, the show would get little attention from the mobile world but that has been changing lately as smartphone vendors shift their focus from overly mature markets like the U.S. to EMEA markets.
The T-Mobile/Sprint merger is (almost) complete, having passed the major hurdle of gaining approval from the Department of Justice (DoJ) on Friday. As part of the deal, Dish Networks has emerged as the new “number four” carrier, and is spending $5 billion to purchase Sprint’s prepaid assets, notably Boost and Virgin, as well as a swathe of 800 MHz spectrum from Sprint. It is, without a shadow of a doubt, a major victory for T-Mobile and Sprint.
In an era of smartphones and tablets, schools are beginning to change their curriculum, taking the focus off skills such as cursive writing. As voice-based interfaces become more pervasive, what additional changes will the future bring?
I’m starting to get concerned that the marketing hype surrounding 5G will struggle to meet the reality of the situation. Beyond any technical reservations (we’ll get to those) there seems to be a growing sentiment that 5G will cause fundamental upheavals in society and business – the like of which have never been seen before. Consider me a skeptic.
There are dark times ahead for Huawei, due to the U.S. Government’s decision to blacklist the vendor. And while the move was inevitable, it will now not only impact the network infrastructure side of the business, but also its ability to support Android smartphones.
Traveling across some of the more rural parts of America has given me a healthy dose of reality when it comes to national coverage of U.S. mobile carriers. While the movement towards national mobile coverage has been around since Craig McCaw in the early 80s, I still found pockets of emptiness on my travels.