Friday, December 28, 2012

ZTE Nubia Z5. A super-thin, quad-core, 1080p superphone. Time to catch some Z's.


Here come the Nubias!

ZTE recently established the "Nubia" sub-brand to stamp on its higher-end devices in order to make a serious push against competitors such as Samsung, Apple, LG, Nokia, and HTC. Will it work? This latest device does look serious.

The ZTE Nubia Z5 runs Android Jelly Bean on a Qualcomm 1.5GHz quad-core chipset, has a 5-inch 1080p display with 443ppi, 32GB of internal memory, a 13-megapix camera with a Konica Minolta branded lens, a 2-megapix front-facing camera, and 2GB of RAM.

All this comes in at 126 grams with a thickness of 7.6mm.

The unsubsidized retail price for a Chinese-specific version is $550 which is a good value for such a super smartphone.

So, will Nubia phones like this soon be on sale at your local Carrefour or Walmart or via key operators? I think it's safe to say that you will soon be able to catch some Z's at a retailer near you.

ZTE Nubia Z5:

Nubia logo:

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Flexibility in design: Will Samsung be flexible during 2013? And if phones screens do get softer, will it be just a curiosity?

We've been seeing flexible display components for many years now. Will 2013 be the year they finally get used in some truly innovative ways? Fingers crossed.

When it comes to device form factors, the smartphone business is a snoozer. More than 90% of devices on the market look essentially the same. And let's be honest, they work the same as well.

What happened to the excitement of future innovations? I've seen some pretty cool device prototypes and concepts during my career. Sadly, I suppose most of these are collecting dust in storage boxes somewhere, and others are used as very expensive paperweights.

So, will 2013 be the year of something just a little bit fresh? Maybe. Samsung is expected to show some sort of prototype device using their own flexible screen components. Whether this will be a technology display to interest other handset vendors in their displays or a working Android smartphone from Samsung's mobile unit isn't clear. But we'll see the light soon at CES.

We've been seeing these flexible screens from Samsung, Sony, Toshiba, 3M and other component vendors for approximately four years now. The bigger question is how useful are these if all the other building blocks of a handset are stiff as a board? Would a handset that conforms to the inside of your pocket be a subtle solution to a slight problem? Now it's up to designers and software engineers to think outside the block.

And let's face it, this is what we're all waiting for:

Twenty trends for 2013 from Trend Hunter.


Trends for 2013 from trend-spotting firm Trend Hunter:

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Smells like 1961. Did you get a 3D printer for Christmas? Now print your own LPs. (Gen Xers and older only need apply)



A record printout.

Amanda Ghassaei from the instructables! website provides directions on how to 3D-print a record album using your own music making it possible to create a customized LP.

So for those of you who may have taken a step into the future and received a new 3D printer for Christmas, but who simultaneously want to take a step back in time, here's a project for you. I suppose this could be rather tough on your turntable's needle. Perhaps the day will come when you can print one of those out as well.


Monday, December 24, 2012

1080 is the new 720. In flagship smartphones & phablets, Full HD could be your New Year's resolution.

— OPPO 1080p display smartphone >>
— SAMSUNG GALAXY SIV expected with 1080p >>
— PANASONIC Preparing 1080p smartphone >>
— PANTECH preps 1080p resolution Android phone >>
— XIAOMI rumored with 1080p >>
— SONY's 1080p 5-inch Z Phone >>

One recurring theme over the last few days is stories of 1080p resolution 5-inch smartphone/phablets to be announced at CES 2013 next month (January 2013). HTC, Huawei, LG, Motorola, Oppo (who?), Panasonic, Pantech, Samsung, Sony, Xiaomi, ZTE. Large-screen smartphones with Full HD (1080 x 1920) screen resolutions could become the flagship norm during 2013.

So, if your top-end device is 720, you had better be prepared to sharpen your image. Thanks to screen components from vendors such as Sharp and LG, small screens are becoming amazingly crisp.

Some might argue that Full HD is a little bit too crisp, that is, the average person won't ever notice in screens as small as five inches. But to the naked eye, the number 1080 will always look bigger than the number 720: when checking over a product's tech specs, this could become yet another numbers racket.

So, what's your New Year's resolution?

HTC's DROID DNA. What time is it? Is it time for 1080p?

Picture source: GSM Arena

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Is Google about to release the high-end "X Phone." Maybe, but sorry to tell you Google, the name is already taken. See the unbelievable xphone.

SLASHGEAR STORY: Google X Phone flagshipp tipped with Motorola in tow >>

Is Google about to make a serious push into the high-end smartphone and tablet business with amazing new devices? Will they alienate some of their best Open Handset Partners with direct competition? After a series of dull years, 2013 could turn out to be interesting for the smartphone biz.

Frankly, It doesn't make too much sense to me: Google would push deeper into a low-margin business from a high margin business. That's business development in reverse. Sure, they've had the Nexus-line of handsets. But those were more like technology demos made by OEM partners. But if Google starts using its Motorola skill set to challenge Apple at the high-end of the smartphone and tablet market, perhaps as an attempt to get an early jump into mobile finance, the ramifications across the handset industry could be exciting. Perhaps it would push more OEMs and operators towards Windows Phone or Firefox OS.

So, are Google "X Phones" really in the works as is being reported? will Google release in-house designed, high-end devices to shake up the market. I'm not sure. But I do have some bad news for Google: the xphone has already been done. It's an unbelievable product out of Germany.

I've tried myself to find this device, but supplies do seem to be limited. Perhaps you'll find an xphone under the tree in the coming days. So, good luck with that and happy holidays!

PLEASE NOTE: The video is in German, but you'll get the picture.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Tongue in cheek of the week: Living in a bubble.

Things are going your way. In fact, business has never been better. Crowds wait in line to buy what you're selling. Your ASP is through the roof. You sure are sittin' pretty. Oh what glorious days.

So, sit back & relax: there's no reason to worry. These days will last forever. ROLL THE TAPE:

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Welcome to the jungle. An Amazon phone can be expected to "pack a lot of sophisticated hardware into a very low price point."



Will 2013 be a very unlucky number for many incumbent smartphone vendors? Will Amazon become the piranha of the industry, ripping away profitability flesh?

It's most tempting to look for your greatest competitive threats coming directly from existing competitors. But that's like looking for your lost keys under the lamp because that's where the light is.

So, rumors of an Amazon smartphone are getting loader and more serious. According to some sites including several in Taiwan, Foxconn has leaked info about an Amazon smartphone coming mid-2013. Such a device would likely run an Amazon-spiced version of Android, but no real solid spec details were included.

The price of such a device —perhaps as a cliché it will be called the Kindle Phone— is reported to be between $100 and $200. Such a price is not at all unprecedented for a subsidized smartphone, but if Amazon sells such a device with no strings attached at around the cost of materials, it could require handset makers to re-examine their existing business models.

There are certainly no guarantee of success for Amazon. Google has not set the world on fire with their own Nexus line of smartphones. And there are many unanswered questions concerning service providers and geographical markets.

It could be that '13 really does turn out to be an unlucky year for some smartphone vendors —as long as we make it past tomorrow (December 21, 2012) that is.

Amazon's Jeff Bezos on the Kindle: "Our approach is to work hard to charge less. Sell devices near breakeven and you can pack a lot of sophisticated hardware into a very low price point."

iTube: mobile food allergen detector. I heart the potential of sensors + big data + clever algorithms.


Facebook tells us about old friends we may want to get back in touch with. LinkedIn tells us about jobs we may be interested in. Amazon tells us about books we may like. YouTube tells us about videos we may be interested in seeing. The supermarket even prints out customized coupons for ice cream I might be interested in trying. All this without asking.

For the most part, I find that such proactive marketing is rather helpful and amazingly accurate. But this shouldn't be surprising: there is a lot of big data and clever algorithms behind each notification.

And the potential for combining big data with proactive notification is just beginning. Let's call what we'll be seeing in the near future "big proactive." There will be more proactivity concerning individual healthcare and well-being as a history of data compiled from sensors overtime will calculate risks of disease. Sensors know the when, the what, the where, the weather. And going forward they will sniff out problems with our bodies and the air around us. Sensors will even be checking our food.

Here's an interesting project done at the University of California, Los Angeles called "iTube" which uses sensors to turn a smartphone into an allergen detector. By detecting food allergens such as gluten, peanuts and eggs, the smartphone can act to warn users of potential food risks.

I'm positive that sensors and big data will be big moving forward.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Maersk to shift away from shipping. Cisco to leave home routers. What to do when your high-margin ship has sailed?


STORY: Maersk to switch focus from shipping >>

The Financial Times reported last month that the world's largest shipping company, Denmark-based Maersk, plans to shift away from its core business of shipping as competitive pressures and slowing demand decay profitability in the segment. Maersk management plans to invest more in oil, drilling, and terminals services in order to fill the gap being left by its iconic cash cow.

When it comes to reliable cash cows, at what point does a company need to move to greener pastures? How weak does pricing power have to be and low do profit margins have to go to walk away from a dog?

IBM left the personal PC business earlier in this century and successfully concentrated on the market for business services. That's an impressive journey. IBM is the eponymous creator of the market for devices once called "IBM clones." But commoditization pushed prices and profits down. Maersk to move its business focus from shipping sounds nearly as strange as IBM leaving the PC business. But companies move on.

The news that Cisco is getting ready to off load its Linksys unit is another decision of leaving a dog —I say that in a BCG Matrix manner and is no reflection on its products— behind. Motorola once made car radios and televisions. Nokia made boots and tires.

Over the coming years we will see companies pick up and leave the handset industry as profit margins continue to thin out. Those companies will try to move into adjacent markets, perhaps mobile advertising, mobile finance, mobile enterprise services. Some will succeed.

It's difficult not to fall in love with an industry and breaking up can be hard to do. But avoid falling in love with any business segment, no matter how sexy: it will only cause you pain. It's important to recognize when your growth ship has sailed. Then you need to reach for the stars.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Follow the components: PrimeSense's Capri 1.25. The technology behind Microsoft's Kinect is going mobile.



Smartphone vendors, you had better move it!

What's after touch? Non-touch of course. Gesture and voice and other forms of natural user interfaces are coming our way to complement ubiquitous touch.

Here's some interesting news from Israeli-based PrimeSense, the company that makes the 3D sensing technology behind Microsoft's Kinect, the one exciting device on the otherwise boring CE market. PrimeSense announced that it is introducing similar 3D input technology to market in a "revolutionary small form factor and low cost." This could mean Kinect-like interactions and gaming built into in smartphones, tablets, laptops, and other small places.

From experience, I know that it takes a few years between the introduction of new component technologies like this and their real-world implementation. But the journey to change is starting soon.

With technologies like (and also from companies such as Leap), are we heading towards a hands-off experience?

Coming soon to a phone near you?

Kinect the dots: PrimeSense's technology goes out on a limb:

Sony's Yuga super phablet to feature 128GB internal storage. Is storage the next mobile arms race?


Sony's Yuga, expected to be available early next year, is high on the tech specs charts: it has a 5-inch 1080p display, a quad-core Samsung processor, 2GB of RAM, LTE support, 12-megapix camera, and is water and dust resistant.

Plus it comes with 128GB of built-in storage. It's been years now since I've heard that the first terabyte phone would soon be available, so this isn't a technology breakthrough. And given the advances of virtual storage via cloud-based services, there are some smooth ways to get around on-device storage limitations these days.

Nonetheless, the first terabyte phone will come at some point allowing users to carry around an entire library of content in their pockets. With the Yuga, Sony is one of the first mainstream device vendors to take a step in that direction.

So, will big storage become a big trend?

SD storage roadmap from years back. Tera is coming.

Image source:

Samsung Galaxy Grand 5-inch dual SIM. Even phablets are going dual SIM these days.

STORY from the Next Web >>

Samsung introduced a device which is in essence a lower-end Samsung Note. Called the Galaxy Grand, it runs Android on a dual-core 1.2 GHz processor, has 5-inch LCD display, and an 8-megapixel camera.

The trend to note here is the availability of the device in a dual-SIM model.

For those who follow the mobile industry, please don't fall for the "six billion mobile subscribers" stories that have been floating around earlier this year. The proper word should be "subscriptions," not subscribers. Some estimates are that there are actually fewer than three billion global subscribers, and some say as few as two billion. Granted that's still an amazing number.

The math indicates that there are possibly more than one billion people, and likely a great deal more, who have more than one mobile account, and thus at least two SIM cards. This is not niche market.

I am still waiting for Microsoft to announce support for dual-SIM hardware in Windows Phone. Unfortunately I suspect a long delay which will cost them share when and where they need it most.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Tactus Technology. Will device form factors soon be changing... in front of your eyes?


A nice tactile technology that could change things. Eventually one of these technologies will catch.


Philips Lumiblade: "a material that emits beautiful light."


Interesting light prototype from Philips: "a material that emits beautiful light." The surface is the light source.

Picture furniture, windows, even walls, that light up. And this could enable some interesting devices.

Breaking news: Microsoft still isn't going to buy Nokia. And Franco is still dead.

An old friend contacted me a few days ago wishing me a merry Christmas -- and asking me if I thought Microsoft was finally going to buy Nokia. That's the second time I received that question in a week, and the third time in a month.

The Microsoft-buying-Nokia rumor goes way back. The rumor actively floated around inside of Nokia for many years when I worked there even going back to a time Nokia was at the top of its game, and Nokia's enterprise value was more than five times what it is now. There was no evidence, just some people's gut instinct. And Friday-morning, market-trading rumors of course.

The rumors popped up now again, but talk really went wild when former Microsoft exec Stephen Elop was hired as Nokia's CEO in late 2010, and again when Nokia announced its partnership with Microsoft to bring out smartphones based on MS Windows Phone.

Some say Microsoft needs Nokia's brand and distribution in order to make it big in the mobile world, others say it's Nokia's IPR, others say it's Nokia's design skills, and still others say it's Nokia's maps.

But the key argument I've been hearing is that Microsoft needs a manufacturing base and when it comes to mobile logistics, who in the world is better than Nokia? There's no doubt that few companies can put handsets together like Nokia. The company assembles something along the lines of 10 handsets per every second of every day of the year and each handset requires more than 100 components. It takes a well-oiled machine to pull all these pieces together.

But let's note the trend. Manufacturing is heading East. Over the past few years, Nokia has closed or is in the process of closing handset factories in Germany, Romania, Finland, and Mexico and moving production closer to the components.

And contract manufacturers such as Foxconn, Compal, Quanta, and Flextronics are literally picking up steam. Handsets, laptops, televisions, cameras, Blu-ray players, remote controls. If you've never heard of any of these companies, look around your living room and your kitchens for one of their products. A handful of assembly firms in the world almost certainly made that CE stuff you see. (Foxconn is so big, that during the financial crisis of 2008, the company announced layoffs of 100,000 and nobody really noticed.)

(NOTE: I am aware of the stories of Apple possibly bring some PC manufacturing to the U.S. and perhaps in-house.)

So the news of the day is that Microsoft still isn't going to buy Nokia. One large, rather slow-moving company of 92,000 is not going to buy another large company of 45,000 (105,000 if you include NSN) hoping to become more nimble and quicker to market.

In my opinion, it's always been a strange rumor. The pieces just don't fit together.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Just released! Market shares: Q4 2017. The future history of the handset industry.

Apologies. Actually I don't really have the handset market shares for Q4 2017 here. But I always think it's a good idea to do some scenario planning. It's useful to think outside the pie chart blocks once in a while. Call it a mental exercise.

So please forget linear for a moment. Forget slightly curved trajectories or minor market modification models allowing for demographic adjustments. Don't think small changes. Think big chunky market surprises. Think consumer boredom followed by new entrants and extreme excitement. Think new business models, and perhaps even new form factors.

Before looking at the market of 2017, let's look back a bit, say 20 years before that. In 1997 Motorola had around 25% global market share followed by Nokia at 20% and Ericsson at 15% and Panasonic at 8%. Motorola, Nokia, and Ericsson had been and continued to be the reliable big three for years.

Five years later, in 2002, the market looked very different. Nokia became the dominant global handset vendor with around 36% global share, Motorola dropped to a distant number two with 15% and Samsung reached number three with 10%. Siemens was close behind and had surpassed the recently formed Sony Ericsson. Note that only half of the top-ten handset vendors of 2002 still exist as stand-alone companies, some being bought, others just disappeared.

Many top names came and went over the years. Sharp, Siemens, BenQ, BenQ Siemens, Philips, Alcatel, Sagem, Kyocera, Sanyo, Sony, Ericsson, Sony Ericsson, Panasonic, Toshiba, Mitsubishi, NEC...

So, it's time to think new -- and old. Some fresh faces, some familiar. Some mergers. Some acquisitions. Of course I have no idea what the market will be like in five years, but experience tells me there will be bigger market changes than our minds will care to think about. So, here's my fun stab at the future of mobile market shares (all very unlikely, but do think just for a moment about how your company would need to adjust if changes this big were to take place):

So, it's time for the audience to fill in the blanks. Consider it weekend homework:

Tongue in cheek of the week: Who said that? Android is winning the war says Google's Eric Schmidt. Exclusive Google business model video!

Who would have guessed that Android would so quickly become the extreme power of the smartphone universe? Who would have envisioned such market domination?

Google's CEO Eric Schmidt said this week that it is now clear that Android is winning the mobile platform war against iOS and of course others. And according to analysts, Android has as much as 75% global share of the smartphone market.

It's about time we face reality: Android has basically exterminated most of the other competitors on the market. This is no laughing matter! Who will save us now?

Is there a doctor in the house?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

AT&T Asthma Triggers. Sensors get proactive.

eWeek STORY >>

More sensor fusion collusion.

Here's a potentially life-saving mobile accessory from AT&T. AT&T "Asthma Triggers" monitors surrounding air quality for potential air quality problems and uploads information via a gateway to a central AT&T service which in turn feeds information back to the user's devices such as smartphone, tablet, and laptop.

I've seen many working prototypes like this get stuck in a lap somewhere. It would be nice to see ideas like this make out into the real world. Such proactive health-monitoring services could be taken much further over the coming decades monitoring data over time and providing ongoing feedback about potential health problems. The power of sensors and the power of crowds used for good (and hopefully not evil).

Crowd-sourced crowd support with Sony's Vamos Viewing app. Shake things up a bit.

I wonder if the inventor of the accelerometer envisioned this: an app used to create virtual crowds for supporting sports teams.

As part of its World Cup Japan 2012 sponsorship, Sony has released an app called Vamos Viewing which allows viewers anywhere to shake their Sony smartphones to show their team support. The shaking data is collected in real time and visualized with other fans. It's like creating a virtual crowd. Throw in some location data and you have some nice sensor fusion collusion going.

This is rather sweet in some ways if shaken in moderation. I'd like to see more like it.

The world is becoming a crowded place.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

How low can they go? How will the market adjust to lower revs and margins?


TECH CRUNCH on $50 Androids >>

Informa: 1 in 2 smartphones to be sub $150 by 2017

There were several interesting stories this week directly related to the on-going trend of smartphone commoditization and dropping ASPs. Forget the $100 laptop, we're entering the world of the $50 smartphone.

Let's look at MediaTek's plans to begin offering low-cost quad-core smartphone chipset solutions. Taiwan-based MTK says that their quad-core platform will be available during Q1 2013 and already one big-name smartphone vendor, Sony, is kicking the tires. MTK provides the guts for hundreds of millions of handsets per year. While most of these are feature phones, the company has been pushing into smartphones over the past few years. Expect more competitive disruptions to come and a plethora of even more new industry entrants.

At a conference talk, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales highlighted the popularity of a $50 Android-based Huawei smartphone in Africa. And that's street price according to Wales. Frankly, I wasn't aware prices had already come down so low as only a few years ago, the sub-$80 trade-price smartphone still seemed years off. But it's a nice story about the march towards the democratization of information.

Today, industry analysts at Informa released some info from an interesting report saying that 50% of "smartphones sold in 2017 will be priced below US$150."

The average smartphone price will drop from US$188 in 2011 to US$152 in 2017 as a result of it balancing the huge demand for entry-level smartphones in emerging markets and the demand for “super-smartphones” in developed markets. The devices’ average gross margin is expected to remain flat – in the range of 20 -25%.

I suppose they are referring to retail prices. Informa believes that Apple and Samsung will continue to maintain profit margins well above average, which runs under the assumption that the value of those brand names will continue on a linear trajectory.

In the year 2012, it seems like a safe bet to state that Apple and Samsung will continue to be the mind-share leaders in 2017. But let's recall that the Motorola RAZR and Nokia's N95 were two of the market's premium devices about half a decade ago.

I am not sure about brands, but one trend is clear: smartphone prices and margins are coming down and it's time for vendors to adjust to the competitive environment. And what happens to the market for feature phones when smartphones are retailing for $50?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Skating to where the puck is growing next. Good foresighting is only part of the game.

Yesterday I had the pleasure of being a guest lecturer at a master's business class at Lund University, a large university in southern Sweden. (Thanks to the course arrangers for the invite.)

My talk was about some of the lessons I learned during my decade and a half working with Nokia including the dangers of taking the cash cow for granted while pursuing stars, the threats of egocentrism, and the threat of dismissing wounded competitors.

I found it interesting that included on the course's required reading list was a Harvard Business Review article from November 2001 entitled "Skate to where the money will be" by Clayton Christensen, Michael Raynor, and Matt Verlinden. (I know that there were many Christensen fans in Nokia and his business theories influenced many managers in the company.)

The article used the ice hockey metaphor of the importance of skating to where the puck is going to be, not to where it is now. The article points out that it was such a foresighting instinct that made Wayne Gretzky a great player. Similarly, businesses should have the foresighting ability to go to where the action will be. It does make for a good business-world metaphor.

Ironically that same HBR article was practically required reading within Nokia for many years. The article was widely circulated around the company and the "skate to where the puck is going" metaphor was widely quoted both inside the company and externally by upper Nokia management. (Perhaps not surprising coming from a Finnish company given the hockey culture.)

But let's throw out some scenarios. What if you have the foresighting instinct to see where the puck is headed but aren't too good at skating (bad at implementing), or you are looking a bit too far ahead and you waste time waiting for the puck to come to you (bad timing).

A company called 3Com introduced the "Audrey" tablet computer back in the year 2000. The device was a bit bulky and awkward to use (implementation) and many of the enablers weren't quite ready at the time like the screens and wide WiFi adaption (timing), but we have to give them credit: they certainly were skating to where the action would be -- about ten years before it got there. They were waiting there with hockey stick in hand until the product and later the company died of boredom. The road to oblivion is sometimes paved with good inventions.

I've deviated Woody Allen's success quote before on this blog. I will do it here again: 80% of success is showing up at the right time and in the right style.

In the mobile game, the ultimate goal is not just to make a goal, but to win the title match season after season. That's the real trophy. That's the real trick. But if you don't realize when you are skating on thin ice, it might be time for the coach to call a timeout. Or it might be time to replace the coach.

Y2K problem? The Audrey tablet device (picture below) from the year 2000.
3Com (three who?) skated to where the puck would be a decade too early.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Is the web about to get real? This nice Web Real Time Communications API demo by Firefox could make some market players uncomfortable.

When it comes CoIP (communications over IP) news, I follow The CoIP Blog. It's run by a guy who knows his CoIP. In fact, to the best of my knowledge, he coined term "CoIP."

That blogger, who was Nokia's in-house communications over IP expert for many years, has been providing some great coverage of WebRTC developments. Web Real-Time Communication being developed by the W3C could become an incredible enabler for open-standards based live communications over the web including live voice and video. Of course there are solutions on the market now, but the APIs being developed by the W3C could lead to some interesting new, low-cost communication approaches.

Below is a good video of VoIP things to come thanks to the coming WebRTC APIs. Will those mobile operators who are now blocking Skype packets begin blocking pages that use the WebRTC APIs? Legacy fightback can be such a bummer.

NEWS SOURCE, CoIP blogger Janne K.

Xperia E dual. Another lower-end dual SIM Android smartphone. It's a real market.


Most dual-SIM smarties are Android based. So, where's the Dual-SIM Windows Phone? (Could be called "Dual-WIN" or maybe even the
"Win-Win phone" if it ever arrives.)

There's really not a thing exciting about this smartphone other than the fact that it has a feature that is going to excite a lot of potential smartphone users around the world: two SIM slots.

The new "Sony Xperia E dual" runs on a 1GHz single-core Snapdragon processor, which is rather tame by 2013 standards. It has a 3.5-inch HVGA display, ships with Android 4.0 ICS, has a 3.2 megapixel camera, supports HSDPA (not LTE), and ships with 2GB of user accessible storage. No prices provided. Sony says this device will start shipping during Q1 2013.

This isn't the first dual-SIM smartphone from Sony, but this is another signal that there's a market developing out there. Many bloggers and news sites say that such devices are great for business people who travel a lot, but in reality, much of the demand is coming from SIM-card jugglers who have become experts in squeezing value from different operators.

Dual SIM demand is moving from feature phones to smartphones. All mobile platform vendors should be prepared to double down.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

The inventory of things. This is good news for losers like me. Stick-n-find.

Stick-N-Find WEBSITE >>

SOURCE (boing boing) >>

I've been looking for something like this for a long, long time. Oh Stick-n-find, where have you been hiding all my life?

So, are you a loser like me? Do misplaced things cause you to lose your mind? Don't lose heart: technology is here to save the day.

To be honest, this concept is nothing new to me. I once found a great product idea like this being developed in a lab. I found it exciting. And I waited for it to come to market. And I waited some more. But unfortunately that product idea got lost in the shuffle.

Anyway, check out this cool mobile accessory that allows you to mark and track people, pets, and things. And if the company behind "Stick-n-find" is looking for a spokesperson, they need look no further than this blogger: I'm misplacing things all the time -- my phone, my keys, my wallet, even my kids. And of course there's the ultimate paradox, the misplaced eyeglasses. I've been looking for a way to look for things for many years now. And I know I'm not alone.

Yes, Stick-N-Find is exciting for losers like me. For scatterbrains and the disorganized. It allows you to track items using coin-sized, low-power Bluetooth tags with a range of around 30 meters/100 feet. The company says the batteries in the Stick-N-Find tags last around a year. An iOS app assists in locating the tagged items using a radar metaphor giving hot-or-cold indications. And misplaced items can be buzzed and even flash.

Ironically I couldn't find any pricing info for Stick-n-find as the product is still in development. Please don't lose your way Stick-n-find. I do hope you find what you're looking for. (Funding.)