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November 23, 2006
Apple may produce the next cell phone/mp3 player combination. The recent attempt by Motorola, the Rokr, did not have much success. The lack of success was due to the Rokr not being able to hold very many songs, it is possible consumers are expecting an iPod-like mp3 player and an upscale phone.
According to this article, it is no long a question of "if" Apple is going to produce this phone, rather "when" will it be released? A research analyst says that the phone is "done" technically, now it is just a matter of deciding how to promote and what type of cell phone service to team up with or provide.
Apple will try to avoid the faults that the Rokr fell into, by making the phone more media based, possibly similar to the functionality of the popular iPod Nano. This phone could open up a $2 billion per year market for Apple, so they do not want to rush the phone into production and release without making sure it is perfect. It is possible that the iPhone will be released at the beginning of next year during the Macworld conference.
I believe that this phone will not be as popular as Apple may think. Perhaps this product will cause some of their current/future iPod customers to buy the iPhone instead, thus losing iPod sales (consumer cannibalization). It is also possible that this phone is not very popular because people that want an iPod will use the iPod for working out and studying, which is a role that cell phones typically do not fill. It may be difficult for Apple to convince consumers that their phone can have a dual purpose and can be versatile. It will be interesting to see how this product is marketed to consumers and then received, after it is put into production.
Posted by brinkerc at 02:38 PM
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Child Cell Phone Use
Education:Cell Phone Use
This article deals with the increasing popularity of cell phones with high school and college students, as well as younger children. The adult market for cell phones is close to saturation, while the younger customers are a rapidly growing market. 70% of kids in grades 6-12 use cell phones and 61% of kids in grades 3-6 use cell phones.
In school cell phone use upsets professors to the point that some schools have made school policies that forbid the use of cell phones during school hours. These policies have been fought step for step by parents that say they want to know where their children are and be able to contact them in case of an emergency. In addition, professors do not like cell phones because of the cheating that can be done with them. Students can send texts to each other with answers to tests or take pictures with the cameras on their phones. Some cell phone companies are now producing software that only allows certain aspects of the cell phone to be used, i.e. the camera may be disabled or the phone can only send and receive calls from certain pre-specified numbers.
The last issue parents are facing is the control over their child that they can have with cell phones. Some cell phones have GPS tracking devices in them, so that parents can know whether their kids are going to the events they say they are.
These policies from the schools are a good idea, but will be difficult to implement. More and more kids are going to have cell phones and rely on them, so it will be near impossible to make students not use them during school hours. In addition, it seems that we are moving closer and closer to George Orwell's "Big Brother" scenario because parents now have the ability to track where their children are.
Posted by brinkerc at 01:11 PM
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November 05, 2006
Information Technology Blog
A blog that I came across this week, that I found particularly interesting, talked about whether Information Technology certifications are valuable or not. I found this at the following URL: http://www.mariosalexandrou.com/blog/index.asp?post=239. The person writing the blog thinks that actual experience is more valuable than the certification. All it takes to get certified is to pass an exam, while employers are increasingly looking for workers with actual experience, rather than the ability to pass an exam. The article also talked about how many IT workers are underpaid for what they do (could be biased). Overall, I found the article interesting and the website had many other blogs on related topics.
Posted by smgillen at 05:07 PM
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November 03, 2006
Smart Phone for the Masses
Nokia E62 Smart Phone
Up to this point in time, smart phones have been targeted towards wealthy, business people that want all sorts of bells and whistles (i.e. crazy fast internet, touch screen, camera, etc,), until now. The Nokia E62 is priced affordably for the rest of us who aren't making thousands yet. The E62 does support internet browsing, instant messaging services, mp3 player and runs on different MHz bands so that it is able to be used in Europe.
There are some drawbacks, which is why Nokia is able to lower the price of this phone. It does't have the camera function, nor is it able to use Wi-Fi support, also it is only able to use Cingular's old network and not their new 3G network that they have been advertising so much ("More bars, in more places").
What I don't understand about this phone is why the European version, E61, supports both Wi-Fi and the 3G network. Why doesn't Nokia make it so that the American version can support both attributes because they both seem to be fairly important.
The rest of the article just talks about more of the phone's attributes, which is pretty boring. I would be curious to see how this strategy works out for Nokia, lowering their price (and quality of product) to sell a higher quantity. If they are in the elastic portion of the demand curve, this may actually pay off. We'll just have to wait and see.
Posted by brinkerc at 06:57 PM
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