jump to navigation

The Pre vs Android vs the iPhone June 8, 2009

Posted by stewsutton in Information Technology, Knowledge Management.
Tags: , ,
add a comment

Well the competition is really starting to heat up in the smart phone wars.  The Google phone provided a nice point of competition that offered a “completely open” approach toward the mobile platform.  In being the version-1.0 competitor to the iPhone’s “computer in my pocket / purse“, it has some rough edges.

The design engineering of the Google Android is not at the same standards as the iPhone.  It just does not feel as “solid” and “well built”.  The phone quality is not bad, but it seems closer to the design and manufacturing quality of the consumer phones costing 50% less.   One of the design “features” of the Android is also one of the user experience faults.  Because of the true multi-tasking features of the baseline operating system, the user of the Android is inclined to keep apps open and conviently switch between them.

The big downside there is the rapid consumption of the precious battery that has the Google phone users wondering how come they have to recharge during the day or radically de-tune their use of this muti-tasking feature.  So the Apple folks on the iPhone just have to go through the exit and launch sequence as they move between applications.  The iPhone battery lasts a whole day (or more) with pretty heavy use.  So it goes…

The Palm Pre offers a very different experience here.  For starters, it has a similar level of design engineering put into the physical device that it feels to be in the same quality league as the Apple iPhone.  The Pre’s keyboard is not as large as the fold-open Android keyboard, but unlike the Apple iPhone keyboard, it is NOT virtual (you get to feel the keys, their location, and a tactile feedback with each keypress).  The slide feature on the Pre that exposes the keyboard also exposes (on the backside of the Pre) a mirror.  Yes a personal mirror.  You could use this to adjust your physical appearance, but it also doubles as as a low-tech communications device for line-of-sight communications when both parties are in direct sunlight.  The real feature differentiator with the Palm Pre is the “data from the cloud” integration into a smart interface and the application switching through the metaphor of  “activity cards.”

Technology Surveys of Interest May 30, 2009

Posted by stewsutton in D7 All Things Digital, Knowledge Management.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
add a comment

SurveysThere were several technology usage surveys presented at the Wall Street Journal All Things Digital Conference (D7) this past week.  I took some screen snapshots that seem to be reasonably legible so I am posting links to those images here.

The first image explores how the folks that run Twitter might consider making money someday.  Monetizing Twitter is the title of the slide.  Things like banner adds, professional accounts, and text advertising are compared across different demographic populations.

This next image explores the iPhone relationship with the AT&T service provider.  The title of this survey slide is iPhone Disincentives and it asks the question “What is the reason that you don’t own or use an iPhone?”  This question stimulated some interesting conversation with the CEO of AT&T during the conference session.

This next survey slide shows how things are going in the social network space (relative to participation). Social Network Participation is surveyed across different demographic groups and across the different social network services.  Twitter, MySpace and Facebook show some interesting results.  Take a look.

I found this next survey quite interesting.  The qustion (that many seem to have opinions about) is: “If you were using MySpace more in the past, why are you using it less today?”  So take a look at this slide: Using MySpace Less

So how are the search engines focused on consumer needs stacking up against each other?  We could reasonably assume that Google has the dominate market position.  But by how much?  And how are the other guys doing?  Search By The Numbers shows how the different public-facing search engines are doing against each other.  Google has 54% of the take with Yahoo with 22% of the search engine usage.  How about the other guys?  Take a look here to see How Consumers Choose Their Search Engine

So you think you want to buy a “netbook” computer?  Well you may be in a small minority if that is your preference.  The following survey “Consumers Not Sold on Netbooks” tells a different story from what we see the manufacturing and distfribution gearing up for in the stores these days.

So with all this online content being generated outside the newspaper industry, how popular is Newspaper Content Online these days? It turns out to be quite popular and it seems to give emphasis to consumer demand for authoritative content. However the vast majority of Americans do not pay to subscribe to online content.  That seems to pose an interesting problem for the traditional newspaper companies.  How do they plan to make money on their “stuff?”  The good news here for the newspapers is that paying for content is not out of the question for those surveyed (even though most do not yet pay today).  Some Americans will clearly pay for news that they can use.  These authoritative sources just need to package news up for better consumption.  But just in case I or anybody else might have grand ideas about creating a subscription account for a blog, we may wish to consider that the vast majority will not pay for access to blogs.  That seems to have emerged as a defined “free zone” for information distribution.

D7 – ATT CEO / President Interview May 27, 2009

Posted by stewsutton in D7 All Things Digital.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,
add a comment

randall-stephensonAT&T CEO Randall Stephenson: “Wireless Is the #1 Priority”

So what about that network of yours?

Seems like from polling that people bought the iPhone because they like the device and not because of the network (and in fact for some in spite of the network).

The smart phone market will drive data usage in the mobile networks.  Moving beyond voice.  The iPhone customer is a high-value customer.  Pricing models will change over time.  Today the iPhone customer is a 100/month plus customer – a valued customer.

AT&T margins are 40% on the wireless business.  Business is doing well.

When you go to buy a handset – features of the device vs quality of the carrier?
ATT – people buy the iPhone in spite of ATT network (not because of it).

iPhone poll of the audience – people like the iPhone but want better network coverage – CEO says that the data volumes required for devices like the iPhone are changing the network management landacape for carriers – ATT is ahead (a year ahead) on building out a more managable and robust network infrastructure to address the data requirements for the mobile user.

LTE – 4G Networks (going beyond the 3G performance of the iPhone) – HSPA 7.2 (speeds up to 7 Meg)

More than doubling the theoretical speed of the network.

Lots of deployment issues – long pole in the tent – getting the bandwidth to the cell site (the fiber cables etc. – “pick and shovel stuff”)

38% of traffic on wifi hotspots is from cell phones.

Automatic authentication across multiple domains – the goal of ATT as a cross-domain service provider (WAN to WiFi to Wired to corporate to whatever…)

Pair-bonding – to increase the bandwidth from point to point. – goal of 40-50 meg performance direct into the home.

WIreless is the priority of AT&T – mobilize the apps and services is the focus of the industry.

Hand-held computers is what these new devices like the iPhone are.  They are way more than phones.  Apps being downloaded by the billions.

Are there too many platforms emerging within this mobile market?

Palm, Blackberry, Gphone, iPhone, etc…

Don’t expect to see fewer devices in the near term – still a lot of innovation out there and that is a battle for who will be the standard.

Can the “carrier” (AT&T) facilitate app development that is cross-platform – Yes a middleware solution – there are developers working on “conversion” solutions to move applications across multiple platforms.

Companies like Google with products like the Android are asserting themselves  – this is exciting – to the extent that you can facilitate this growth – to make sure that you can control the customer experience and quality (a balancing act).

A PC business / ISP business is the direction that Apple is taking with the iPhone – not a “come to this carrier and get one of our special phones”…

Will AT&T go to a business model where they are more focused on “running networks” instead of operating retail stores?  —  The Amazon Kindle “e-reader” shows how things need to be a “mix” – how to provide services and the retail side of that service.  –  ATT always needs to have a part in the retail experience.