Feature Article

November 10, 2012

Mobility TechZone Week in Review

Let’s get right down to the mobile devices side of Mobility TechZone this week as there is a goodly bit of interesting info on mobile device market share across devices and operating systems, and the devices themselves.

First, let’s get to our favorite item of the week, iSuppli’s teardowns of the Amazon Kindle Fire HD, the iPad mini and Microsoft’s Surface RT. Lots of interesting stuff to be had there, including insights into the different business models behind each device. Next on this front, we’re thrilled to note that RIM has gotten FIPS-2 certification for its upcoming BlackBerry 10 devices – that and $1.00 will get RIM $1.00 if RIM fails to thrill consumers with that new hardware when it launches.

Samsung continues to enjoy what have been a good few months for the company. For starters, its new Galaxy Note 2 reached 3 million in sales in the first 37 days following its release. Not bad! There’s more – according to Strategy Analytics the Galaxy S III was the number one selling smartphone on the planet on Q3 2012. Samsung has also finally officially launched its SAFE (Samsung for Enterprise) capabilities, which seeks to bring a new order of security to its Android devices. Finally, since Samsung has a lot to do with it, we also note that Android rates of adoption continue to rise significantly.

On the wireless carrier end of things Sprint made some news this week through its announcement that that it will spend $480 million to buy several wireless entities from US Cellular (the 5th largest wireless player in the United States behind Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile). But AT&T managed to trump Sprint this week. To begin with the FCC has fined the company $700,000 for improperly converting Pay As You Go customers to into monthly contract customers. That is just a tiny rounding error however, compared to AT&T’s newly announced plan to spend $14 billion over the next three years to ensure that its wireless networks and wireline IP services can keep up with exploding demand.

Finally, AT&T announced this week that it will allow individual tiered plan users to use Apple’s FaceTime over its LTE network. Previously the company had said it would only allow FaceTime use among its shared plan customers – which led to massive complaints. AT&T still won’t let those of us with grandfathered unlimited plans – that includes us – to use FaceTime. Finally, there is one last bit of good AT&T news – the company has announced that it will only charge customers $100 for the Nokia Lumia 920 with a new two year contract. This is in fact a fabulous price, and consumers should make sure to go check them out.

The Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) has a new report out that notes Wi-Fi is on a major roll. The WBA also notes that Next Generation Hotspot (NGH) and Wi-Fi roaming is gathering major steam. This is certainly good news for the wireless community.

Finally, since this was election week, and we did have an election on Tuesday, we will close here by taking a look at two related and interesting issues that occurred on Tuesday evening. First, a great many of us had opted to use our smartphones and tablets running election news apps to monitor how things were going. The only problem with this was that in many cases these mobile apps were not able to keep up with the election news. In many cases news updates were taking place 60 to 90 minutes behind real time events – a hugely unacceptable scenario. We noted however that, as Sybase 365 points out and demonstrates in the same article, although there were massive spikes in SMS traffic, text messaging alerts and traffic were always spot on and in the moment. SMS continues to hold its own.

Those are the week's mobile highlights. For much more, make sure to scope out Mobility TechZone directly.

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