jfruhlinger writes: "One of the recent buzzphrases among entrepreneurs lately is "mobile first" — that is, mobile apps should be your primary focus when launching a new product or service. That might be true, but there are still plenty of things that mobile apps can't do — and so you shouldn't neglect a traditional Web presence."
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?"
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."
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?"
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."
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.'"
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."
jfruhlinger writes: "The initial App Store gold rush may have played itself out, but you can still build a profitable business selling mobile apps. The keys are similar to those for any business: know your market, serve a need, be realistic about your business model — but there are some twists specific to the smartphone world."