What Folding Phones Say About State of SmartPhones

Huawei Mate.

Over the past few weeks, the world has been talking about folding smartphones. Bigger screens, thicker devices, and $2,000 price tags have not deterred the excitement around these new devices. There are some skeptics, but they are largely drowned out by enthusiasm like that found in The Verge, which already wonders if we will someday “talk of single-sided smartphones in the same nostalgic way we now speak of devices with external antennas, monochrome screens, and fixed-focus lenses.”

As it happens, nostalgia is exactly what I felt when I saw this new generation of smartphones. I was reminded of the first folding device that got me excited about mobile computing: the Blackberry Pager with a full chiclet keyboard and flip-out screen. Then there was Windows CE-powered HP Jornada, which I also loved.

And who could forget the scene in the 1997 thriller, The Saint, when Val Kilmer used his Nokia Communicator to transfer money while hanging out in Moscow? That cinematic moment showed me the way of the future.

Little did I realize how dramatically diminished Nokia’s presence would be in that future. At the dawn of the 3G era, they were the dominant handset maker. But business was becoming increasingly competitive, with upstarts like Samsung and LG eating away at their profits. The world was awash in candy bar-style phones and basic Razr flip phones, and people were getting bored. Needing to sell higher-priced devices with greater margins, Nokia became one of the more daring companies when it came to phone design. They began developing phones that focused on cameras, and others that were all about watching and recording videos. Continue reading “What Folding Phones Say About State of SmartPhones”

Mobile, Search & The Continental Drift

Continental drift is the movement of the Earth’s continents relative to each other, thus appearing to drift across the ocean bed.(*)

eMarketer estimates:

  • The number of smartphone users worldwide will surpass 2 billion in 2016. In 2015 there will be more than 1.91 billion smartphone users across the globe. By 2018, more than one-third of the world’s population, or more than 2.56 billion people.
  • Mobile advertising is the key driver of growth around the world, and advertisers will spend $64.25 billion on mobile in 2015, a 60% increase over 2014. By 2018, that figure will reach $158.5 billion, when mobile ads will account for 22% of all advertising spending worldwide.

Continue reading “Mobile, Search & The Continental Drift”

The Notification Network

Paul Adams, vice president of Intercom (and previously with Facebook and Google) has written an extensive (and somewhat technical post) about the new improved “notification” capabilities and their impact on how apps are used and ultimately perceived. “The idea of an app as an independent destination is becoming less important, and the idea of an app as a publishing tool, with related notifications that contain content and actions, is becoming more important,” he writes. I am in agreement with Paul, as I wrote about precisely the same thing in my column for FastCompany. The new notification network, I wrote is part of a change in behavior inspired by smarter smartphones pointing out that “New fortunes are made whenever someone develops a tech advancement that makes our digital lives easier.”

What I am reading today

Behind the scenes of Monster : A Quora guide to Pixar The psychology of language: which words matter the most when we talk. [Leo Widrich] Why the smartphone camera changed photography forever [James Bareham] In defense of San Francisco’s Techies. Lot of tech-bashing going on in San Francisco. Much of it is right, some of … Continue reading What I am reading today