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joondan
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Re: Smartphones
joondan   4/24/2014 5:15:53 PM
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ah, didn't mean to steal your thunder, my apologies..

I just don't understand why it's a problem that carriers lose the phone monopoly when it translates directly into an ISP monopoly.  Customers are still a captive audience and more or less powerless if the carriers indirectly collude to raise prices to make up for their losses on billable phone time.

And if that can be prevented and everybody can pay a more reasonable fee to keep in touch with loved ones, well, everyone wins except the carriers, but they're not exactly losing either.  The device subsidies only exist because they're able to gouge customers on a fairly essential utility; device manufacturers should still be able to stand on the merits of their products without them, by offering their own payment plans if that's even an actual roadblock.

Charlie Cheng
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Re: Smartphones
Charlie Cheng   4/24/2014 4:40:45 PM
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Yes, sorry about the walkman, iPod, Newton, camera, etc. They did get sucked in, and for a while most of those were discrete.  I guess I was thinking more about computing-centric devices.  

You've stolen my punch line in the 2nd blog to follow a bit.  As you said, the format is only difference between a ... smartphone & tablet if they are both on 4G/LTE.  EXCEPT the business model, at least in the US.  One is heavily subsidized and the other isn't; and one uses carrier's voice app while the one is on ad-hoc apps.  The latter is obviously the biggest problem.  The price difference between a carrier call & a Skype call is 10X - 100X.  

joondan
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Re: Smartphones
joondan   4/24/2014 4:34:00 PM
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Hi Charlie, I don't see how phones can be on their way out anytime soon; not until the cell tower data network infrastructure itself is replaced by something else entirely, which no one seems to be working on in any meaningful way. 

That is to say, what's the difference between having a smartphone with 4G LTE service and having a tablet with the same - just which side of 6 inches its on?

I know that was kind of your point in terms of tablets and phones being interchangeable, but my point is that the carrier still holds the keys to the network, even if it does find itself getting pushed from being a phone company into becoming an ISP.  And holding the keys, they still have plenty of oligopolistic power to charge a king's ransom and then subsidize devices, whether 4-6 inches or 7-10.  - this is true at least in the US; Junko raises an interesting point about the alternative of free wifi voip and chat services in China where telecoms building out 3g/4g infrastructure still face questions about costs and benefits of deployment, but that still doesn't reflect power users like yourself, who need roaming capability beyond the limits of free wifi.

Another thing about your history of laptops (1 device) to phones (2 devices) to tablets (3) and now wearables (4) is that it skips over the whole phase of cassette/cd/mp3 players, digital cameras, and ebook readers(which have been integrated into tablets) - that is to say, this period of consolidation of multiple devices already happened before

Austin Tech Watcher
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India
Austin Tech Watcher   4/24/2014 1:25:02 PM
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I've never been there, but an Indian engineer told me yesterday that the Samsung Note is very popular in his home country. When he first saw a person holding such a large device to his ear, it seemed strange, as he was visiting from the States. But now it is a commonplace view. For myself, if I have work to do, I bring a Dell notebook and an iPhone. If I am relaxing, just a Kindle.

sw guy
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CEO
Variability
sw guy   4/24/2014 5:17:46 AM
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IMO, risky to draw a conclusion from local observation for a global market with strong variations in habits between different world regions (even in Europa, two neighboring countries may see very different mobility markets)

chanj0
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CEO
Carrier Grade Telephone Service
chanj0   4/24/2014 3:10:47 AM
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Carrier grade telephone service is pretty much defined as five 9 service availability in telecom world. Five 9 means 99.999% availability. It effectively means no down time. As the telecom industry progress and change of people habbit, the standard maintains but the tolerance is higher. Callers expect dialtone when a phone is picked up. Callers expect a ringback tone that indicates an attempt to reach the desired party. However, callers accept a little poorer voice quality and sometimes the call reaches voice mail box instead. No doubt telephone calls are getting less popular and text messaging are getting more popular. That's why Whatsapp, WeChat and LINE become quite successful in the market. In addition, people are actually using voice service from these orignally text messaging apps if voice service is available. People do tolerant.

The beauty of smartphone is its flexibility. It's like a general purpose computer. The downside of smartphone is touch screen. It sometimes just doesn't work well with aging person with a shaky hand.

Charlie Cheng
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Re: Subsidies
Charlie Cheng   4/23/2014 6:57:44 PM
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Yes, indeed.  However, the first wave of the adoption for any new & expensive devices have depended on this subsidy.  Without it, I think the marketing craze for the new device will be much more expensive and the viral spread will take longer.  

TonyTib
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CEO
Re: Subsidies
TonyTib   4/23/2014 6:43:24 PM
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My impression is that carrier subsidies are mainly a US phenomen, tied to 2 year contracts -- and even in the US, there is a trend away from subsidiess and towards paying full price for the phone (and less per month for the service) that started with the MVNO carriers and now even a major (T-Mobile) is on-board.

junko.yoshida
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Blogger
Re: How mobile is mobile?
junko.yoshida   4/23/2014 5:52:33 PM
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Exactly, Charlie. I agree. And in fact, as you noted, because the economics behind WeChat is barebone for the carriers, it is killing China Mobile.

Can China Mobile Outpace 'Free' Mobile Apps? 

 

http://www.eetimes.com/author.asp?section_id=36&doc_id=1322044&

 

 

Charlie Cheng
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Author
Re: Smartphones
Charlie Cheng   4/23/2014 5:47:15 PM
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Mixsignal: We are in agreement on the format of the device (larger screen), and in fact, iPhone6/Experia/Note are all virtually the same size as Mini.  However, what I am focusing on is the subsidy economics of the Smartphone, which will be gone because we don't use the "phone app" as we did before.  It has an impact on the hand-set makers and the carriers, and ultimately the semiconductor industry.  

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