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Smarter mobile devices ensure long-term relevance

Posted: 15 Jan 2014 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:smartphone? mobile devices? processors? memory?

Wilson Rothman: How do you determine what a customer wants and needs in a smartphone out of the box?

Anthony Bartolo: There are going to be specific needs; the discoverability of information required by the end user has to be simple. You're now starting to see a lot of the offerings of OSes that include big data as a native part, e.g., direct access into LinkedIn and Facebook without having to load the app. There is still the vast majority that pick up a smartphone and it's too overwhelming. There's too much. You're now seeing the end user as the person in charge, as opposed to being dictated on how they use their data.

Steve Holmes: We start around what are the needs we personally see within the new devices group. We look at problems we wrestle with every day.

Ryan Bidan: Consumers know they want Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, so there's less burden on us as device providers to expose those things to them to make sure they get full value out of a device. Our device becomes more about servicing new experiences than this stuff that exists in the ecosystem and has for a while.

Wilson Rothman: Are developers frustrated by this, and when do they jump into the dance?

Jon Zweig: Developers follow the money; they're looking to see who makes the most money on what platforms. We've seen iOS take a lead in terms of revenue per day, so, yeah, it's an interesting problem for the developer if they have to develop their app for different platforms.

You've got to get ahead of the curve, get enough users so that maybe you get a buyer. In gaming, it's a lot more complicated to support different devices' ecosystems. If it's a Dropbox or less UI intensive and more on the backend that things are happening, it's easier to support.

Wilson Rothman: How does a new galaxy of devices, e.g., wearables, make our smartphones smarter? Will they make our smartphones irrelevant?

Steve Holmes: Smartphones and what they can do is certainly going to increase as they become contextually relevant. Many of the wearables out there, many of which are really attached to smartphones, what you see is... people using that data to gather data or make your smartphone contextually smarter. I think there's also this area of wearables as an IO device; these are all applications where you're trying to solve some of the friction that's around interacting with your smartphone.

Wilson Rothman: What aren't smartphones doing that wearables have to do for it?

Steve Holmes: They're not connected with your body, not always in your hand, and there's no sensor data. The smartphone is sort of the engine of your personal electronics world, gets refined and more evolved.

Wilson Rothman: [Samsung] experimented with a smartwatch that doesn't need a smartphone, that has built-in WiFi connectivity. What was the decision process behind that?

Steve Holmes: It's more about computer acceptance. When you put cellular connectivity in a device, expectations are well set. We made a conscious effort with this gear to say, "This is an entry point into a market. Let's start with that platform and see where the practical use cases are." We didn't want to box it in and make this a smartphone on your wrist.

Wilson Rothman: Have users expressed a desire or a need for these wearables?

Anthony Bartolo: It comes down to information that's captured through sensors using GPS functionality on your watches, on even traffic cameras. It's the amount of data that's being captured, that's being utilised by all these devices that provide us with the information and the insight for what we want to do.

Wilson Rothman: There's this gigantic pile of data sitting around [from apps]. The challenge is finding out what to do with it and how to turn it around to make it useful to consumers and clients.

Anthony Bartolo: We're already challenged with smartphone security. In terms of BYOB aspect, with all these sensors now coming in, how does the IT professional ensure that information being captured is secure?


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