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Submission + - We Want Thin Gadgets -- And Thick Cases. Why? (

jfruhlinger writes: "If there's one word that gadget-makers can't get into their marketing material enough, it's "thin." Based on their advertising, you'd think consumers would want their gadgetry to be as skinny as possible. But then there's also the fact that cases that make gadgets easier to hold — and, yes, thicker — are a huge money-making industry. What's the dynamic?"

Submission + - Data Hogs: The Monsters Carriers Created (

jfruhlinger writes: "A recent study claimed that the top 1 percent of mobile data users eat up 25 percent of the available bandwidth. But assuming it's true, who's at fault? Stats show that data usage has increased radically with each new model of the iPhone, and similar phenomenon are in place for Android phones — all of which are gleefully sold to the public by the same people who complain about 'data hogs.' Isn't this the equivalent of a car dealer that heavily promotes Cadillacs, then complains about poor fuel efficiency, then charges a ton for extra gasoline?"

Submission + - Michael Dell: Mobile Gadgets No Threat To PCs (

jfruhlinger writes: "In a pitch that might qualify as "no duh" news, Michael Dell, CEO of a company that makes lots of money from PCs and has tried and largely failed to break into the smartphone and tablet market, told an audience in India that smartphones and tablets don't threaten PC sales. It's a particularly important question in India, where many users buy smartphones rather than PCs because they're cheaper; Dell believes that such users will eventually switch to PCs for a fuller Internet experience."

Submission + - Windows, Nokia To Spend $100M on WP7 Marketing (

jfruhlinger writes: "One of the big turning points in the history of Android phones came in October of 2009, when Motorola and Verizon launched the Droid line of phones with a $100 million marketing blitz that took aim directly at the iPhone. Now Microsoft, Nokia, and AT&T are working together on a similarly pricey campaign to get the first wave of Nokia Windows Phone 7 handsets into the national conversation in the United States. Will wall-to-wall advertising and better placement and incentives in AT&T stores finally make Windows Phone a realistic contender in the smartphone market?"

Submission + - Nokia Exec: Young People Fed Up With iPhone (

jfruhlinger writes: "Nokia's Windows Phones haven't hit the U.S., but at least one company executive thinks they'll be a slam dunk, since young people have soured on the iPhone and find Android baffling. Of course, much of the Internet commentariat found his remarks even more baffling. Is he right, is he delusional, or is he just trying to build buzz for his company's products the best he can?"

Submission + - Tizen, webOS, & The Future Of Mobile Open Sour (

jfruhlinger writes: "When HP announced it would release webOS as open source, it added a competitor to a narrow niche: there's already Tizen, the descendent of MeeGo, which is, like webOS, an open source Linux-based operating system for smartphones. Can they co-exist, or will one come out on top? One built-in advantage for webOS is that already has hardware, in the form of all those $99 TouchPad's being snapped up on eBay."

Submission + - Carrier IQ's Own Marketing Copy Implies Spying (

jfruhlinger writes: "The ongoing Carrier IQ drama is boiling along nicely, with the company and some security experts pushing back and saying that the degree of information collection is much less than the overblown controversy would imply. Where would people get the idea that Carrier IQ was tracking smartphone users' every move? How about the company's own marketing material? The company has promised its customers that it can capture a 'vast array of experience data, including screen transitions, button presses, service interactions and anomalies' and let carriers 'view application and device feature usage, such as camera, music, messaging, browser and TV.'"

Submission + - Malls Tracked Black Friday Shoppers' Cell Phones (

jfruhlinger writes: "Merchants are always trying to get more data on customer behavior, but last Friday two U.S. malls may have gone to far. The malls used cell phones' unique IDs to track individual shoppers from store to store over the course of Black Friday. While the shoppers' personal information wasn't associated with those IDs, just the fact that such tracking is possible — and, apparently, legal — ought to creep you out."

Submission + - 2012: The Year Of Mobile Malware (

jfruhlinger writes: "Why does it seem so certain that 2012 will be the year mobile malware becomes big news? Maybe because 2011 is already a year of mobile malware, but nobody's noticed yet. Something like 5 to 6 percent of mobile devices have already been infected, many with trojans that send out pricey text messages without the device owner's consent. And don't be too smug, iOS users: that sandbox has already been breached."

Submission + - Zombie Tech That Just Won't Die (

jfruhlinger writes: "How many sci-fi movies have you seen in which characters living 20 or 30 years in the future live in an entirely remade high-tech world? The reality of tech adoption is more prosaic: Often old technologies hold on for decades after their heyday, because they're entrenched or expensive to replace or just plain useful? If you had told someone from 1965 that people in 2011 would still be dialing phones, listening to the radio, and running COBOL programs, they'd think you were crazy — and yet here we are in a world of zombie tech."

Submission + - Ballmer Slams Android As 'Cheap,' Overcomplicated ( 1

jfruhlinger writes: "On the day Android Ice Cream Sandwich was released, Steve Ballmer livened up the Web 2.0 conference by lobbing potshots at Google's mobile OS, calling it the choice of "cheap" phones and claiming "the biggest advantage we have over Android is that you don’t need to be a computer scientist to use a Windows Phone.""

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