Feature Article

January 19, 2013

Mobility Techzone Week in Review

With such a disappointing cold weather season, skiers and snowboarders are eager to get on the slopes this year. A successful day on the slopes is often determined by several unpredictable factors that can frustrate snow bunnies and bears during the winter season. Instead of madly stalking the weather report or making the unnecessary trek up the icy mountain, try instead the apps we've uncovered for you in this week's Apps on Tap column. No need to thank us.

Further on the app front, Research in Motion (RIM) continues to build toward its big company relaunch in several weeks. As part of this effort, RIM recently put two events in motion (pun intended) that turned out to mean big things for the company as a whole. The events, called "Portathons,” are designed to encourage developers on other platforms to port their apps to the BlackBerry app store. The end result brought in a wide variety of new apps for BlackBerry in a short amount of time. By current reports, RIM saw fully 15,000 new app submissions land on its doorstep in just 37.5 hours. Not bad!

We're usually in sync with ABI Research, and we typically find very little to argue with relative to its research. But…we do take significant exception with its latest report, in which it forecasts Samsung will dominate the mobile handset space until at least 2018.Well, we very respectably disagree with this - it is absolutely off the mark for many reasons, some of which we've pulled together as a counterpoint. We do acknowledge that Samsung recently crossed the 100 million barrier on total Galaxy S smartphones sold since they launched three years ago.

The one market segment Samsung will dominate is the low end smartphone market however. It also turns out that over the next five years or so this is also the market segment that may save Intel's smartphone bacon. Intel has so far managed to shoot itself in the foot several times over on the mobile front, but this may finally change with its new Atom processor. Finally!

In another scenario worth placing a "Finally!" on, the upcoming FCC TV Incentive Auction is an important one and vital to the ability of the wireless carriers to continue to build out wireless bandwidth to meet growing demand. It will be a complex deal however. The FCC will first conduct a “reverse auction” to buy back spectrum from TV stations. Then it will sell the same spectrum to mobile carriers, hopefully making a significant profit for public safety’s FirstNet ($15 billion+) and for the U.S. Treasury ($3 billion). It has to be done…finally.

It's a good thing the spectrum is becoming available because we certainly like to consumer wireless data. Common wisdom suggests that tablets are responsible for most wireless data consumption, but it may not be true. A new study from Arieso suggests that the iPhone 5 and Galaxy S III are bigger culprits.

Wi-Fi is the chief culprit here, and if you intend to travel abroad, Wi-Fi will be just as important there as it is here. iPass is a key vendor in providing well-priced Wi-Fi and Internet access on this front. This week iPass has made it even easier to do so if you are iPhone user, with the launch of its new iOS 6 client application - international wireless data access has never been this easy.

We hope that those iPhones and Galaxy devices contributing to all that wireless data usage are mostly not those in federal hands. Why is that? Telework Exchange recently released the results of a new study entitled, “The 2013 Digital Dilemma Report: Mobility, Security, Productivity — Can We Have It All?” and the report uncovers that more than half of the smartphone users in the federal government use a personal smartphone for job-related tasks, and that, out of this group, one in three federal workers don't have their phone password protected. It's shocking, we know and certainly not a case of your tax dollars at work.

We'll wrap up the week by focusing on some 2013 predictions and a very cool new enterprise-grade BYOD platform play for the enterprise. First, our friends over at SAP have pulled together an interesting set of wide ranging mobile and wireless perspectives that look back on 2012 and then forward through 2013. Finally, we want to highlight MobileSpan, a startup that yesterday launched MobileSpan for BYOD, a platform that will make integrating any collection of mobile devices securely into any enterprise environment easily, quickly and affordably.

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