Tag Archives: smartphones

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A love story of a different kind: love of the small phone


This is a love story in a way, although it’s a love affair with a device: Tim Cook Will Have To Pry My iPhone SE From My Cold, Tiny Hands.

It brings up an interesting thought: that for all the seeming abundance of smart phones, they really have narrowed into a specific style and range. They are all large, glass devices with fancy cameras. That’s what sells, and manufactures have no desire to make anything else. Or maybe they are fearful of trying to make something else.

Some event will occur and innovation and diversity will come to the personal device market. But for now, expect more of less.

(Image linked to in the article)

 

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So you want to make a phone farm…

Then read this Vice piece: How to Make a Phone Farm

I’ve seen pictures of Phone Farms in China, but I thought you needed some advanced tech to run them. Turns out, you just need a bit of work and some old phones, and…well for the rest, read the article.

For those who don’t know, Phone Farms are banks of cell phones automated to do the things you do manually with your phone.

P.S. I expect marketers will read this and start to come up with ways to defeat this, if they haven’t already started. This provides a threat to them, and a ramp up of this can be seriously deterimental.

How to get started making low cost films using your smart phone

Sure, to make a great film, great equipment helps. But as these links (and that photo of Zach Snyder shows), you can also make a good film using the latest smart phone technology. And not just Snyder: Gondry does it too. All the links below can help you get started making films using the technology in your pocket. Your films may not be as good as those, but the sooner you start making films with what you have on hand, the better your later films will be.

The Superbook, the decline of the Personal Computer, and the future of computing

Superbook, a $99 computer project on Kickstarter, is impressive in itself. Based on the sponsorship of this project, many agree with me.

Essentially it extends your phone like a Smart Watch does, but instead of the form factor diminishing, it’s increasing. In some ways, it does what the Chromebooks do, but with the use of your phone. If it works well, it is one more nail in the coffin of the personal computer. Already tablets and other devices have distributed computing away from the personal computer. I can only see this trend increasing as displays and memory and CPUs get better. Sooner than later, the attachment of the display to the keyboard will dissolve, and people will assemble “personal computers” from a variety of tablets and other displays, keyboards, and whatever smart phones they have. The next step is better designed and detachable keyboards, along with more powerful phones. (The phone isn’t a phone anyway: it’s a handheld computer with built in telephony capability).

Networks are going become more pervasive, faster and cheaper. Displays are going to become cheaper. Phone makers are going to need to give you more reasons to buy phones. All of these things point to computing devices like this becoming more prevalent and personal computers getting further and further displaced.

You can find out more about the project, here here.

On the future of Apple and the case for an Apple car

Well-respected Apple analyst Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray gave a presentation on the company’s future at Business Insider’s Ignition conference and it’s really good. The entire presentation is here and worthwhile: Future of Apple presentation by analyst Gene Munster at Business Insider Ignition – Business Insider.

Earlier I wrote about how I don’t think Apple will get into the car business. However, after reading what Munster said, I can see how others think Apple will get into cars. Specifically, here’s are the pro-car points he makes:

  • Apple could align with and compete in the BMW market: BMW sold 1.8M cars in CY14.
  • If Apple priced them at $75K, 1.8M cars is $135B in revenue
  • Apple could start small: sell 30K in first year (similar to Tesla’s 35K in CY14)
  • In a market of 88M cars in CY15, 1.8M cars is nothing

The approach laid out in those points is a similar game plan that Apple followed in the smart phone market.

The more I thought about it, the more I am leaning towards Apple getting into the car business, at least in a limited way. The bulk of the market would not be Apple and there likely would still be lots of car manufacturers after Apple jumps in, just like there are many smartphone makers. But Apple would take over the most profitable part of the car manufacturing marketplace.

Read the analyst report: you will get great insight into where Apple is heading.

Blackberry has a new Android phone coming

And I think it could be successful. First off, it looks good, and it has the famous BlackBerry keyboard. Plus it will work with BlackBerry Enterprise Servers. For some users, this is the best of both worlds. For BlackBerry fans who also want to tap into the benefits of Android devices, this could be for you. More details, here:  BlackBerry Priv — the Android phone formerly known as Venice — is on the way | IT Business.

Why aren’t we becoming more productive with all this new technology?

Vox raises that question here: All this digital technology isn’t making us more productive – Vox, and it implies that because people are slacking off on the Internet. I think that is incorrect, and here’s why.

The chart that Vox piece has shows big producitivity gains from 1998-2003 and smaller gains after that.

From 1998-2003 was the peak adoption of the Internet by companies. In the early 1990s, companies started to adopt email. In the later 1990s companies started adopting the Web. To me it is not surprising that companies would become more productive and they shifted away from snail mail and faxes to email. And then companies shifted further and started offering services over the Web, I imagine they became much more productive.

Slacking off on the Internet has been a problem since the Web came along. I know, because I used to monitor web server traffic.  I don’t think that is the issue.

I think it is more likely that companies grabbed the big productivity gains from the Internet at the beginning, and then those gains slowed down after.

So what about smartphones? Have they made people more productive? I think they have, but I also think that the gains in being able to access information remotely may have been overtaken by the sheer amount of information to deal with. Being able to deal with email remotely makes you productive. Having to deal with way more email than you ever had to in the 1990s because now everyone has it makes you unproductive.

Furthermore, many of the features on smartphones are aimed at personal use, not professional use. I think smartphones make us more productive personally,  but less so professionall.y