The question of the week comes from T-Mobile, which will no longer subsidize any mobile devices beginning in 2013. As the company, which is in the process of merging with MetroPCS looks to find ways to add new subscribers, it is killing the tried and true mobile device subsidy - you know, that charge the wireless carriers take in order to ensure you can buy your iPhone 5 for only $199 or your Nokia Lumia 920 for only $99. We’d love to hear your thoughts on this – brilliant idea or total folly? Let us know!
Actually there is another question of the week – what weighs in at 12 pounds and is still considered a model of ultimate portability? If by chance you guessed the new Eurocom Panther 4.0 supercomputing laptop, the ultimate gaming—we mean supercomputing device—well, you would be right! If that is too much for you, you may want to consider Casio’s new G-Shock smart watch, which comes complete with Bluetooth and iPhone sync capabilities.
This may even prove to be a perfect gift – but if you need more ideas, we have recommendations in our list of great mom and pop gifts under $50. Not all gifts have to be fun though, some may simply be practical. For example, scientists at Wake Forest have an amazing new light source for you to consider, and it’s not your father’s light bulb. If you have book lovers on your list, then make sure to check out the new Small Demons book site.
Beware of anything that delivers text messages – it’s just possible that the local police may be looking at them in the future if they get their way and have the wireless carriers hold on to text messages for at least two years. What – you didn’t mean it when you said you would murder your good friend because of, yeah you get the picture. The California Attorney General at least is looking out for your well being, having recently brought a lawsuit against Delta Airlines for allegedly violating its new data collection and privacy law.
By the way, do you have any idea if your phone has already been hacked by someone? Is your wireless carrier doing anything to protect you? Best to go ask. Meanwhile, researchers at Georgia Tech have uncovered some disconcerting issues related to the security of Web browsing.
Do you have any thoughts on working from home? Perhaps you’d like to because recently we came across a study that suggests that working from home makes you more productive. If you need a good argument for your manager, we may have one for you. On the other hand, don’t let that manager see Nielson’s latest mobile device report, which strongly suggests that a lot of folks are now spending an awful lot of time watching TV and tweeting perhaps excessively.
But here is some sad news: Twitter will no longer allow you to view Instagram images from its site. It isn’t anything we expect to see change. On the other hand, TabSite, Instagram and Facebook are getting along just fine, with new capabilities that should help users to interact in interesting ways.
Of course your right to tweet remains inviolate, but what is your position on keeping the Internet free and open? Are you aware of the international efforts being driven by the International Telecommunications Union to change this?
Technology in the Enterprise
A number of business related technology things happened this week that we need to refer to. First, let’s turn our attention back to mobile security, this time on the enterprise side. This year’s State of the Endpoint Risk study by Ponemon Institute strongly points to a continued lack of security in the mobile world.
SAP recently did its part in looking to drive new Windows 8 adoption by releasing a number of new native Windows 8 enterprise apps. It is a useful step for SAP to take. Also, on the enterprise side, a key question is beginning to make the rounds: Should social media replace the call center? It is an important issue to consider. While pondering that, consider as well the question of whether or not your data storage capabilities should be kept in-house or outsourced.
On the pure mobile front, Citrix this week reached an agreement to acquire mobile device management (MDM) vendor Zenprise. Citrix continues to invest heavily in the cloud, and continues to add mobile capabilities. It needs Zenprise to add robust MDM capabilities to its hard core enterprise mobile and cloud services.
We’ll close out the week with a word for retailers. It appears that near field communication (NFC) and NFC-based mobile payments will not be developing quite as quickly as some have forecast. Juniper Research not only blames Apple’s lack of support for NFC in the iPhone 5, but has scaled its forecast for the market back from $180 billion by 2016 to only $110 billion. That is still a hefty number of dollars!
Those are the week's mobile highlights. For much more, make sure to scope out TechZone 360 directly.