Michael Finneran
Michael F. Finneran, is President of dBrn Associates, Inc., a full service advisory firm specializing in wireless and mobility; services...
Read Full Bio >>

Michael Finneran | October 24, 2013 |


Mobile Device Ennui

Mobile Device Ennui The one element that seems to echo through all of these announcements is "incremental."

The one element that seems to echo through all of these announcements is "incremental."

By my reckoning, the era of the modern smartphone began in 2007 with the introduction of the first iPhone, and launched what has been one of the most dramatic periods in modern consumer marketing. That market was reenergized roughly three years later in 2010 with the iPad launch. Where the iPhone essentially took the smartphone concept to the next level, the iPad introduced a whole new type of computer platform, or at least delivered it in a format that people wanted to spend money on. Along the way, the idea of camping out in front of the Apple store to be the first to lay your hands on the next generation of these iconic products seemed to be "normal"--at least to some.

Now 6+ years into this adventure, it seems to me that the excitement surrounding all of this has dropped a few octaves. This is more than understandable given the fact that "excitement" can only be sustained for so long (at least at my age), but more importantly, there simply aren't that many earth-shattering advances in each new wave of smart devices. Also, people have more or less figured out what these things can do, where they fit in their lives, and they've essentially become part of the landscape.

I recall when iPads first appeared, sales executives were falling over themselves trying to figure out how they could get them into their salespeople's hands to use for product demos. High-end hotels were planning to put them in all the guest rooms to allow guests to make reservations at a restaurant or the spa, order room service, and in one case, even open and close the drapes. I thought it was funny because everyone was drawn to the "cool factor", but anyone with a memory knows "cool" only lasts for so long. Now whipping out an iPad (or an Android or Windows Phone tablet) is "about as 'cool' as your mom!"

And so this is the environment into which Apple, Nokia, and HTC all launched their next round of tablets, phablets, and smart phones. Apple introduced its newest tablet, the iPad Air, which is 20% thinner and 28% lighter than the previous version, weighing a mere one pound. The company also announced an iPad mini with Retina display that will be available in November. All will feature the Apple-designed A7 chip with 64-bit architecture, M7 motion coprocessor, and expanded LTE connectivity. Like the iPhone 5s and 5c, the iPad Air will be available in some new colors (silver and gray in this case), so it looks like a lot of Apple's "innovations" are coming down at the paint shop.

On the same day, Nokia introduced its first Windows tablet, the Lumia 2520, in bright red, blue and other colors. Despite Microsoft's planned purchase of Nokia, the two are obviously not working in lock step at this point, as the Lumina went on sale the same day as Microsoft's new tablet, the Surface 2. Nokia also announced a phablet called the Lumina 1520 featuring a 6-inch screen. It will be interesting to see if and where Microsoft maintains the Nokia brand after the acquisition closes, as Nokia is still widely recognized around the world.

Just prior to the Apple and Nokia announcements, troubled Taiwanese handset manufacturer HTC announced the aluminum-encased Android-based One Max, featuring a 5.9-inch screen, and featuring a fingerprint scanner. Unlike the fingerprint reader on Apple's iPhone 5s, HTC's will launch one of three applications based on which finger you use to unlock it. In any event, Engadget wasn't impressed.

The one element that seems to echo through all of these announcements is "incremental." A little bigger, a little lighter, a few more colors, but frankly, the mobile device market is on a technological plateau, though the market shares, at least in the tablet segment, are shifting. IDC published its tally on tablet shipments for 2Q13, and Apple's share dropped to 32.4% from 60.3% in 2Q12. Given Windows' relatively small share of the tablet market, this means that Android has surpassed Apple in the tablet segment much as it did in the smart phone segment; Apple doesn't make a phablet, so Android clearly leads in that area as well.

While mobile hardware is getting boring, mobile apps and peripherals are picking up the slack. Users don't live-and-die for the next super-cool smartphone, but they haven't abandoned the one they've got, and are finding lots of fun things to do with them. Instagram is moving into its corporate parent Facebook's space, Candy Crush has pushed Angry Birds out of the catbird seat for games, and we're all sizing up the smart watch and activity monitor spaces--Google Glass, not so much. When you think about it, the smartphone is becoming our on-the-go computing hub linking to an ever-expanding range of wearables and devices/services in our environment, as well as serving as our personal mobile hot spot.

So when someone asks you what's going on in mobile devices, the appropriate answer may be, "Eh, not so much."

Follow Michael Finneran on Twitter and Google+!
Michael Finneran on Google+


Enterprise Connect Orlando 2018
March 12-15 | Orlando, FL

Connect with the Entire Enterprise Communications & Collaboration Ecosystem

Stay Up-to-Date: Hear industry visionaries in Keynotes and General Sessions delivering the latest insight on UC, mobility, collaboration and cloud

Grow Your Network: Connect with the largest gathering of enterprise IT and business leaders and influencers

Learn From Industry Leaders: Attend a full range of Conference Sessions, Free Programs and Special Events

Evaluate All Your Options: Engage with 190+ of the leading equipment, software and service providers

Have Fun! Mingle with sponsors, exhibitors, attendees, guest speakers and industry players during evening receptions

Register now with code NOJITTEREB to save $200 Off Advance Rates or get a FREE Expo Pass!

March 7, 2018

Video collaboration is experiencing significant change and innovation-how can your enterprise take advantage? In this webinar, leading industry analyst Ira Weinstein will present detailed analysis

February 21, 2018

Business agility has become the strongest driver for enterprises to begin migrating their communications to the cloud-and its a benefit that enterprises are already realizing. To gain this benefit

February 7, 2018

Enterprises are starting to grasp the critical importance of security and compliance in their team collaboration deployments. And once the risks are mitigated, your enterprise can integrate these n

March 12, 2018
An effective E-911 implementation doesn't just happen; it takes a solid strategy. Tune in for tips from IT expert Irwin Lazar, of Nemertes Research.
March 9, 2018
IT consultant Steve Leaden lays out the whys and how-tos of getting the green light for your convergence strategy.
March 7, 2018
In advance of his speech tech tutorial at EC18, communications analyst Jon Arnold explores what voice means in a post-PBX world.
February 28, 2018
Voice engagement isn't about a simple phone call any longer, but rather a conversational experience that crosses from one channel to the next, as Daniel Hong, a VP and research director with Forrester....
February 16, 2018
What trends and technologies should you be up on for your contact center? Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center & Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2018, gives us the lowdown.
February 9, 2018
Melanie Turek, VP of connected work research at Frost & Sullivan, walks us through key components -- and sticking points -- of customer-oriented digital transformation projects.
February 2, 2018
UC consultant Marty Parker has crunched lots of numbers evaluating UC options; tune in for what he's learned and tips for your own analysis.
January 26, 2018
Don't miss out on the fun! Organizer Alan Quayle shares details of his pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon, TADHack-mini '18, showcasing programmable communications.
December 20, 2017
Kevin Kieller, partner with enableUC, provides advice on how to move forward with your Skype for Business and Teams deployments.
December 20, 2017
Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst with ZK Research, shares his perspective on artificial intelligence and the future of team collaboration.
December 20, 2017
Delanda Coleman, Microsoft senior marketing manager, explains the Teams vision and shares use case examples.
November 30, 2017
With a ruling on the FCC's proposed order to dismantle the Open Internet Order expected this month, communications technology attorney Martha Buyer walks us through what's at stake.
October 23, 2017
Wondering which Office 365 collaboration tool to use when? Get quick pointers from CBT Nuggets instructor Simona Millham.
September 22, 2017
In this podcast, we explore the future of work with Robert Brown, AVP of the Cognizant Center for the Future of Work, who helps us answer the question, "What do we do when machines do everything?"
September 8, 2017
Greg Collins, a technology analyst and strategist with Exact Ventures, delivers a status report on 5G implementation plans and tells enterprises why they shouldn't wait to move ahead on potential use ....
August 25, 2017
Find out what business considerations are driving the SIP trunking market today, and learn a bit about how satisfied enterprises are with their providers. We talk with John Malone, president of The Ea....
August 16, 2017
World Vision U.S. is finding lots of goodness in RingCentral's cloud communications service, but as Randy Boyd, infrastructure architect at the global humanitarian nonprofit, tells us, he and his team....
August 11, 2017
Alicia Gee, director of unified communications at Sutter Physician Services, oversees the technical team supporting a 1,000-agent contact center running on Genesys PureConnect. She catches us up on th....
August 4, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, has lately been working on integrating enterprise communications into Internet of Things ecosystems. He shares examples and off....
July 27, 2017
Industry watcher Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares her perspective on this acquisition, discussing Mitel's market positioning, why the move makes sense, and more.
July 14, 2017
Lantre Barr, founder and CEO of Blacc Spot Media, urges any enterprise that's been on the fence about integrating real-time communications into business workflows to jump off and get started. Tune and....
June 28, 2017
Communications expert Tsahi Levent-Levi, author of the popular blog, keeps a running tally and comprehensive overview of communications platform-as-a-service offerings in his "Choosing a W....
June 9, 2017
If you think telecom expense management applies to nothing more than business phone lines, think again. Hyoun Park, founder and principal investigator with technology advisory Amalgam Insights, tells ....
June 2, 2017
Enterprises strategizing on mobility today, including for internal collaboration, don't have the luxury of learning as they go. Tony Rizzo, enterprise mobility specialist with Blue Hill Research, expl....
May 24, 2017
Mark Winther, head of IDC's global telecom consulting practice, gives us his take on how CPaaS providers evolve beyond the basic building blocks and address maturing enterprise needs.
May 18, 2017
Diane Myers, senior research director at IHS Markit, walks us through her 2017 UC-as-a-service report... and shares what might be to come in 2018.
April 28, 2017
Change isn't easy, but it is necessary. Tune in for advice and perspective from Zeus Kerravala, co-author of a "Digital Transformation for Dummies" special edition.
April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.