I occasionally add consumer advice to this blog, which I freely admit is driven either by my own shopping experiences, or by a request for advice from a friend or family member. I wouldn't want you to confuse this with actual market research, and it is, by its nature, relevant only in the U.S. marketplace. My family took a two-week roadtrip at the end of March through the American Southwest. Some of my consulting responsibilities required me to check in during that period, and my laptop was my preferred device. I don't require a mobile broadband card often enough to justify the expense but needed one for this trip.
Fascinating analysis in CNET today of the PwC report on the increasing difficulties of wireless operators. The short version, for those in a hurry, is that the subsidy cost associated with smartphones is expensive and increasing (for those countries where subsidy is relevant). The hope was that the incresed subsidies would lead to more customer growth (initially true for AT&T after the launch of the iPhone) and increased revenues by virtue of add-on data plans.
One didn't have to wait long to see AT&T as a victim of its own success; the impact of iPhone data traffic on AT&T's networks and the associated dive in customer satisfaction are unknown to no one. What is more unsettling is the continuing downward spiral of smartphone economics. The situation is becoming some combination of network effect and vicious circle.
I just wrapped up a 15-month project for Dolby Laboratories (thank you, Dolby!) and wanted to jot down (non-confidential) thoughts about how the project unfolded. It turned into one of the most interesting engagements--"regular" job or consulting project--I've ever done.
The recent publicity surrounding Foxconn's factory and worker conditions has Apple on the defensive, and consumers puzzled by the disturbing reports. Does Apple deserve the negative attention? Unfortunately, thanks to emotive marketing, the answer appears to be "yes".
In my last post I discussed the stunning ascension of Android. The mobile OS has passed all competitors (including Apple) in the United States, and is on track to be the number two mobile OS in the world by the end of the year.
Of course this is not a winner-takes-all market....