The rise of virtual reality is coming at an interesting time for the smartphone business. High-end smartphone growth is facing challenges in a quickly maturing market due to slower innovation, rise of the "good-enough" smartphone, competitive Chinese device manufacturers and the trend of consumers upgrading more infrequently in a saturated market. Even Apple is experiencing smartphone growth issues, selling about 16 percent fewer iPhones while making about 18 percent less revenues on iPhone sales in 2Q 2016 versus the same period last year.
Not surprisingly, initial reactions to the opinion of the U. S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit upholding the FCC's Open Internet Order have focused on its effect on fixed and mobile broadband internet access providers. Very little attention, however, has been paid to the threat this decision poses to edge providers.
I'm not a fan of clickbait. Like most people, I've been burned by my fair share of headlines promising mind-blowing historical photos, or posing inflammatory questions the author has no intention of answering. So, believe me, I'm not trying to lure you in with the suggestion that in five years we WILL NOT be talking about some of today's hottest topics in telecom network infrastructure. I know we will. My question is…should we?
Astronomers report that when galaxies collide, they can see the dramatic explosion of energy. But in reality, when the two galaxies make first contact, there's not much visible impact. The initial "collision" is really two dispersed objects that overlap with each other, occupying a shared space without significant direct conflict.
Last week, Google announced the Daydream Android VR Platform at its annual Google I/O developers conference, naming eight Android device manufacturer partners who have committed to offering "Daydream Ready" smartphones. If Google Cardboard represented the company dipping a toe into VR's waters, Daydream is Google making the splash the industry has been waiting for. Of course, it is not alone. Virtually every major tech company, including most of the big device manufacturers, are making a VR play too. We're seeing new equipment, more content deals, emerging ecosystems- and it's still only the beginning.
I love sports cars- especially Ferraris. They exude beauty in design and engineering. Though I have only sat in Ferraris in showrooms, the experience always brings out a smile of excitement. In financial terms, however, the luxury sports car segment is not that exciting.
5G has entered full industry hot topic mode. Vendors all want some realistic way to tie their solutions to the next generation of mobile technology. 5G ready and 5G platforms were common product descriptors at Mobile World Congress. Conferences and associations (see 4G World to 5G World and 4G Americas now 5G Americas) want that 5G shine to keep interest high as well. I get it, everybody wants to be relevant and associating with 5G should keep one relevant for the next several years to come. But, here is the thing: nobody is going to be selling much 5G gear until next decade.
The mobile industry loves its acronyms, like a dog loves a bone. We chew on them until they're ragged and shapeless. CRAN is a good example. The original meaning of the term has been lost in a flurry of marketing hype.
After repeatedly hitting the snooze button, 2016 is proving to be the year that the top smartphone makers are waking up to the harsh realities of a commoditized market. Industry-wide, we're finally seeing evidence that manufacturers have learned that a great device on its own no longer matters. Some are actually proving there is still room to make impactful innovation on the phone itself. Others that don't want to slash prices are making more creative business decisions and choosing to bundle additional hardware to build more value around high-end flagship devices.
When I read about AT&T's recent announcement to re-introduce an "unlimited" data plan, my initial thought regarded whether the industry has an excess supply problem and whether it needs to reinvigorate demand. Last time the U.S. wireless industry actively promoted unlimited data plans, the purpose was to drive utilization of newly built LTE networks with smartphone sales.