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November 08, 2013

Mobility Techzone Week in Review

A number of interesting things happened this week. First, BlackBerry managed to surprise everyone by not announcing that it had chosen one of several options most of us had been expecting hear it had chosen for itself - namely a sale of some sort to one or another entity. Instead BlackBerry announced that it was taking itself off the M&A market and would remain an independent company. That is certainly not what we had anticipated would happen. Further, the company noted that former Sybase Chairman and CEO John Chen would be taking over as both Executive Chairman of the board as as interim CEO. Chen is someone who could in fact make some serious positive headway with the company.

Also this week, we offer up a meditation by our colleague Rob Enderle on why BlackBerry's large display format Z30 may just be a better device for us than say a snazzy iPhone 5s. The logic behind the meditation goes something like this: Apple gives us what it says we need; BlackBerry gives us what we ourselves believe we essentially really need. To some degree - especially in the enterprise - this may actually be quite true. We don't really agree and we don't see ourselves even remotely passing up our iPhones for a Z30. TMC's group editorial director Erik Linask on the other hand, loves his BlackBerry Z10 - he claims it keeps him very focused, which is something Enderle hits on as well.

Perhaps you won't give up your smartphone for a Z30 or a Z10, but would you give it up for one of LG's new G Flex curved screen devices? When we first wrote about the G Flex we were under the impression that it had a curved display but an entirely rigid body case. It turns out we were wrong. In fact, the LG G Flex truly flexes across its entire case. It's quite interesting that it can do this - doing so requires that the entire device is able to provide flex points, and here we also mean the battery. We've provided a video in our article that demonstrates this new capability.

It is further worth noting that LG is making noise from an entirely different side of things. The company is now offering developers the opportunity to get one of the company's new flagship LG G2 devices for free through an LG G2 loaner program in order to get developers to seriously consider developing applications specifically for the G2. It is definitely something developers need to take a close look at.

Also this week Strategy Analytics delivered a new research report that finds consumers are now paying less for mobile broadband services. That is hardly surprising - the truth of the matter is that the costs for these services can only go down if any wireless operator is to remain competitive. One US carrier that looks to be enjoying a resurgence - due almost entirely to lowering subscriber costs and rejiggering how users pay for services and for devices is T-Mobile, who's "Un-Carrier" strategy has been paying off quite handsomely. New subscriber and earnings numbers for T-Mobile are now in hand and believe it or not T-Mobile has now added over 1 million subscribers to its rolls - all of it traceable to its new strategies.

Both iFixit and IHS have gotten their anticipated teardowns of the new iPad Air taken care of this week. The folks at iFixit do their teardowns from the perspective of how easy or difficult it will be to repair a device. They have found that the iPad Air sports some rather interesting components but that the toughest part of the teardown was an unexpected difficulty in removing the two cell battery. Not only was it glued down with a goodly amount of glue but there are also hidden parts that "clamp" the battery in place. The Repairability Score? A not so hot two out of 10. IHS does its teardowns to uncover the overall cost of building devices. It has uncovered that while Apple put a lot more money into a new super slim screen display package it has been able to save enough on other parts to actually make the iPad Air cheaper to build than an old iPad 3 - quite a feat and great for Apple's margins.

There is a great deal more to uncover at Mobility Techzone this week - make sure to check it all out.

Have a great weekend!

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