Technology Dec 2010
Mobile media terminals
Smartphones hit consumer level
“At around $200 a
whole range of people can access this technology using pre-paid cards.
Android is going to alter the way people use their cellphones,” Francois
Smith, marketing services manager, Dick Smith.
smartphone delivers email, calendar, contacts, GPS, music and camera
capability along with search engine, social networking applications,
multi-gigabyte storage and hi-resolution still and video camera
Apple’s groundbreaking iPhone kick started the trend with its intuitive touchscreen interface and myriad of applications which meld web access with traditional smartphone functionality. Its latest iPhone 4 and updated operating system (iOS 4) further raise the bar.
Apple however faces some serious challengers with the growing adoption
of Google’s Android mobile operating system, launched early this year,
now on version 2.2.
Apple's store boasts more than a quarter of a million applications and while the Android market is smaller — around 80,000 new applications — it can still run work with most popular mobile programs.
Android has voice control and supports Abode’s Flash technology, something Apple has so far refused to do. The upstart operating system has in effect expanded choice in the smartphone market.
Until recently the
smartphone was largely a corporate tool, and the Blackberry and its
touchscreen cousins required an investment of at least $1000 and a
commercial business contract with a carrier.
“Suddenly the younger demographic can check emails, take pictures and immediately update their Facebook site while they’re out and about. The whole space is changing dramatically.”
In October analyst
firm Ovum warned
carriers they would need to get a better handle on pricing and customer
services, as the boom in mobile data continued with the pressure for
competitive pre-paid data packages presenting a particular challenge.
According to Infonetics Research, 36 percent of all mobile broadband devices shipped globally, including PCs, netbooks and tablets, already have embedded communication capabilities.
The numbers being used to try and describe the mobile revolution are staggering. There are over 5 billion mobile subscribers in the world compared to only 720 million a decade ago and Ericsson projects there’ll be no letting up with 50 billion connected devices by 2020.
This takes into account the fact some subscribers have multiple devices and many non-phone devices have a cellular connection.
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