Archive for the 'Mobile devices' Category

Cell phone companies work together on universal chargers

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Finally, the days of trying to figure out which cord goes with which mobile phone are hopefully over.  The mobile phone industry, specifically seventeen mobile phone manufacturers and operators, yesterday committed to developing a universal cell phone charger/adapter by 2012.  While on the surface such an announcement might be small in comparison with billion of dollars spent on network deployments, this industry based initiative could provide an estimated 50% reduction in standby energy consumption and thousands of ton of duplicate chargers – greatly reducing its carbon footprint.

Also, there is the added benefit for consumers of cheaper costs (with no charger cord) and less expenses for OEMs.  Companies that have joined the initiative include AT&T, KTF, LG, mobilkom austria, Motorola, Nokia, Orange, Qualcomm, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Telecom Italia, Telefonica, Telenor, Telstra, T-Mobile and Vodafone.  Key industry players not included are Apple, RIM and Palm. 

ZTE launches its own solar powered mobile phone

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ZTE has launched its own solar powered mobile phone, the Coral-200 Solar.  What makes this annoucement more interesting is the target market for the device, specifically the emerging markets.  Given the lack of power outlets in many developing areas, inexpensive, solar powered devices makes complete sense.  in a recent announcement, the China-based ZTE has partnered with Jamaica’s Digicel Group to rollout the ‘world’s first mass-market solar cellphone to folks with limited or o access to the power grid.” 

It is expected to be available by June 2009.  More to come later..

By 2010, all Nokia phones will be brominated & chlorinated free

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Based on information from the Nokia website, Nokia will remove all brominated and chlorinated compounds as well as antimony trioxide from all phones by 2010.  In Nov 2008, Nokia introduced its first device, the Nokia 7100 Supernova, which was free of brominated compounds.  

 

At present, the typical Nokia mobile phone has the following material breakdown:

  • Plastics: 45%
  • Metals: 35%
  • Glass and ceramics: 10%
  • Battery electrodes: 9%
  • Precious metals: 0.11%
  • Other: 0.9%

Nokia also reports that all new Nokia phones developed since 2006 are PVC free and RoHS compliant (Restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment).  

 

For more information on Nokia’s material/substances plans, visit http://www.nokia.com/A41041092

More information on the Nokia 3110 Evolve

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Based on the information from Nokia, the Nokia 3110 Evolve features include:

  • 50% of its bio covers come from renewable sources
  • Has Nokia’s most energy efficient charger, AC-8 (the charger delivers juice at a full 94% below Energy Star specification)
  • phone is made of 60% recycled content

The Nokia 3110 Evolve is based on the original 3110 classic, a phone that has a 1.3 megapixel camera, FM radio and tri-band GSM radio.  Based on Nokia studies, the Nokia 3110 Evolve has 15 to 20% lower energy consumption during its lifecycle than comparable products.

 

 

LG partners with REC on solar energy

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LG Electronics entered into an exclusive solar energy agreement with REC Wafer of Norway to purchase multicrystalline silicon wafers.  

According to LG, crystalline silicon solar cells are expected to make up 80% of the solar industry by 2010, overtaking thin film solar cells.  Crystalline silicon solar cells are based on silcon wafers, while thin film solar cells are made by coating light absorbing layers and electrodes from various materials on a substrate.  Thin film solar cells are less expensive but also less efficient. 

 

Samsung unveils a solar-powered mobile phone called Blue Earth

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It has been reported that Samsung will launch a solar-powered touchscreen phone, called Blue Earth, by the 2nd half of 2009 in the United Kingdom.

The phone is made from PCM, the recycled plastic from water bottles.  Other key features of the phone include a pedometer that tells how much CO2 emissions one saves by walking instead of driving, a ‘eco’ mode for efficient screen brightness and a decent solar panel on the back of the phone to charge it enough to make a call anytime the sun is out.

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Sony Ericsson wins greenest electronics company award

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According to Greenpeace, our friends at Sony Ericsson won the greenest electronics company award for 2008.   Interestingly, only two companies scored higher than 5 (out of 10): Sony Ericsson and Sony.  SE was the overall winner because of its top marks on reducing toxic chemicals in their mobile device products.   The Greenpeace guide examined the production procedures of 18 different electornic companies.    Well done Sony Ericsson. 

The sleek Blackberry Curve 8320

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I recently upgraded my old Blackberry to the new Blackberry Curve and my instant reaction was –“wow, what an upgrade”.  The main reason for switching was the UMA/WiFi capabilities of the device, as I always had troubles getting a good wireless signal from my home – this now allows me to use my Internet WiFi connection to place calls via my mobile phone.  Setting this up was quite simple to do.

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What I was really impressed with was the the actual design of the phone.  Sleek, elegant and small -the size of the Curve is much smaller (2.4” x 4.2” x 0.6”) than the older generation Blackberries and the resolution was amazing – the display is 320 x 240 pixels /2” x 1.5”/over 65k colors.  The proportions were well balanced – they got the design and UI right with this.  

Regarding the functionality, I find the GoogleTalk quite handy while I’m on the road for those that need to get a hold of me, without burning up voice minutes or text message.  In fact most of the major IM providers were available.  The phone is a QuadBand (850/900/1800/1900), with a 2 megapixel camera, music/video player, Bluetooth, IM , speakerphone and microSD memory slot – all nice features of the phone.  The trackball in the center was something I had to get use to but after a little while of use, it actually felt ergonomically better than the old scroll bar on the right.   I still don’t like the calendar tool for the Blackberry as it is quite cumbersome to find and enter information – it actually hasn’t changed from the old UI.  One thing to keep in mind is that while the Curve is suppose to have GPS capabilities, it is dependent on the carrier – unfortunately T-Mobile in the US doesn’t provide it so that was disappointment.  However, overall, I’m quite satisfied with the upgrade. Although it would be nice to get my iTunes on the device.  

The hard push for mobile advertising

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According to the latest Wireless Week, mobile advertising spend is expected to grow from $1.5 billion in 2006 to $13.9 billion by 2011.  Interestingly, the Interactive Advertising Bureau reports that Internet advertising revenues reached $12.5 billion in 2005.  So it isn’t surprising to see a flux of middleman players in the mobile ad environment, such as Millennial Media, Hyperfactory and Third Screen Media.

Below are the expected global advertising dollars in the mobile space, taken from Wireless Week.

(In Millions)
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
General Mobile Ad Spending*
$1,432
$2,496
$4,316
$6,141
$9,006
$11,746
Mobile Multimedia Ad Spending**
$109
$215
$421
$749
$1,295
$2,116
Total
$1,541
$2,710
$4,736
$6,890
$10,300
$13,862
Note: numbers may not add up to total due to rounding
*includes spending on text message promotions and ad-supported voice minutes
**includes spending on ad placements around mobile video content, mobile music, mobile TV and mobile social networks
Source: eMarketer, 2007

 

Mobile advertising – is it finally a reality?

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According to the New York Times, Verizon Wireless will finally start providing mobile advertisements on specific content (e.g., news, weather, sports) it gives to consumer in 2007.  One can see why the carriers are doing this – current voice/data revenues are starting to flatten and they are in need for new services to drive ARPU.  And we all know the potential for mobile advertising is enormous – just ask the Google folks what advertising has done for them on the Internet.  Must say I’m the first to admit that I never thought ads on the Internet as a business model was going to fly. 

Yet the Internet and a mobile phone are different mediums.  There is something about the mobile phone that is certainly unique to us, and as such, it is as private to us as our credit cards in our wallets – we only give out our phone number when we have to.  To many, it is our last bastion of privacy.  As such, to think consumers will be ok with receiving advertisements on their mobile phone is a shortsighted assumption.

In its current form, mobile advertising for the sake of mobile advertising is a very risky play.  I continue to believe that many will never want to receive ads on their phone.  The value proposition for consumers, I believe, is different on the mobile device (as compared to a website search on Google).  For those that are willing to view ads on the phone, I believe the successful models must be based on 1) an exchange for a good, such as a free product or discounted service and 2) be as targeted as possible.  There is supporting evidence to this, with such services as free directory assistance.  There is a point in which some consumers are willing to view these ads in return for ‘something’.  This ‘something’ has to be as targeted as possible – it must be information that is viewed by a targeted population (e.g., a sporting ad targeted a rubgy community).  Generic ads to the mass market will not cut it on the mobile device..