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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 

Managing data and making meaningful consumer experiences will be the deciding factor in the success of handset development, whether on the manufacturing or marketing side. This was the main thrust of a panel discussion at the recently concluded CES 2014. Participants include Ryan Bidan, director of product marketing at Samsung Mobile; Anthony Bartolo, tech evangelist at Microsoft; Steve Holmes, vice president of Intel's new devices group; and Jon Zweig, founder and president of the mobile video ad network AdColony; and Wilson Rothman of NBC News Digital Group who moderated the discussion.

Wilson Rothman: Is there a physical stopping point for smartphones?

Ryan Bidan: Smartphones have come a really, really long way. When you look at form factors, you see a little standardisation around what consumers think about that large form factor. When you look under the hood at things like processors, resolution, memory configurations, you're starting to see little division in terms of what's delivered to the consumer. Whereas a phone a year ago from a phone today, there's less difference than a phone two years ago from a phone today.

Speed needs to increase. Resolution needs to increase. I believe there isn't one right solution for everyone. There are certain paradigms that people engage with, but... there isn't one size that fits all. You reach a point wherein that specific form factor and those specific uses, you start to max out. Then the product evolves.

Wilson Rothman: Are the new platforms that Microsoft rolls out making mobile smarter?

Anthony Bartolo: Microsoft is taking its ecosystem as a whole and making it available so you can use the device at first touch and have functionality on the backend for developers. What Microsoft is doing is taking a step back, saying, "We care about the partner," but saying, "We want to make sure our customers have ubiquitous access."

Wilson Rothman: How does a customer buy a device and grow into an ecosystem?

Anthony Bartolo: They buy for looks and need. We don't put up walls around other OS offers... but in using Microsoft technology, there is a gravitational pull towards further utilisation, further adoption.

Ryan Bidan: I'd be hard pressed to say one [ecosystem] is right. From the Samsung perspective, we've tried to be open where we can and closed where we can deliver a better solution. I still want people to have good experience with Samsung, that'll help with the brand and get them going forward.

Mobile devices are a really mature, really well understood market, particularly in the US. It's about refining the experience and contextual relevance. We know consumers are using tablets for entertainment. They still go back to their PC and create. The Galaxy NotePro was our attempt to say, "Let's not have you go back to laptop for use all the time... we're trying to merge from what you consider entertainment devices and productivity devices."

The reality of it is, for most consumers, [buying a product] is not that complex a decision-making process—it's specific uses they want to do with a device, certain form factors. Based on that, the third piece in their electronics ecosystem is about price. Consumers going in have a certain price point or threshold in mind.


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