Mobile technology moves at a pace that changes daily and make you realise that it still has note even scratched the surface of its true potential and with its high churn rate we live in exciting times.
Today we read in mobilecrunch about the plans to deploy the wallet phone globally. By means of an embedded Sony FeliCa chip the wallet phone enables communications and payment. The phones have already been heavily deployed in Japan where the user merely waves his phone at the checkout and the purchase is complete!
Whilst the Bookseller today reports that UK mobile provider ICUE is to start to offer chapter downloads. This as we have long argued makes more sense than the current full book approach and can be used to support both as sales and promotional activities. They now offer a free chapter download of the, Ugenia Lavender and the Lovely Illness by Geri Halliwell to all UK retailer, Claire's Accessories customers.
Interestingly ICUE MD Jane Tappuni is quoted as saying "We found that the English-speaking market was not ready to read books on mobile phones and that the mobile phone technology also needs to develop, so we have put book downloads on ice for now."
Meanwhile moconews reports that US TV broadcasters have formed an industry alliance the Open Mobile Video Coalition to develop mobile TV. They have their own wireless standard (ATSC-M/H) which when completed will enable broadcasters to use regular TV frequencies to reach mobile gadgets.
Finally, Reuters today reports on Palm’s new Treo Smartphone which is based on Microsoft software and will be sold by Vodafone and 02 in Europe in September, and by Telstra in Australia. The Treo Pro is Palm's has all the usual technology consumers now expect and demand, including WiFi broadband and hopes that the use of Microsoft's Windows Mobile 6.1 software will help it compete with RIM's BlackBerry Bold and the IPhone. However it comes with a heavy price ticket of $599.
With WiFi and wide coverage networks are becoming a commodity. 3G features such as email and GPS are de facto and everyone has a camera. Anyone can change their plan, provider and phone within a short period of time so the device becomes less important. The battle now shifts to the applications, the browser and the user interface. Apple has laid down the gauntlet and the pack is now following. It hard to imagine, anything but a fully functional, ’laptop in the palm of our hands’. In the near future we will be permanently connected. This will change how we ingest news, read, watch video and TV, listen to music, radio and audiobooks and whether we consume on demand or buy, store and play as we do today.
Surely, in this context, it's hard to imagine how the Kindle could be anything other than a niche product for enthusiasts? Why would the average consumer bother to pay a few hundred dollars extra when they already have all the capability they need in their smartphone?
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