Thursday, April 06, 2006

Rob Enderle: CTIA 2006 - The Cell Phone Becomes the Universal Device

Rob Enderle previews CIA at Technology Pundits and writes "wireless technology is having an impact on how we listen to music, how we watch programming, how we record and capture our world, and it has been having a major impact on how we communicate for some time."

He points out some of the major trends he sees such as chasing the wireless email opportunity provided by the RIM litigation, a push to put music and video everyplace, and technology and services based on advertising revenue so that consumers get programming for free. Here are some of the announcements Enderle finds interesting:

  • Interactive Media launched a platform that increases the ability of wireless users to browse the web and wireless carriers to charge for the privilege, on the positive side this should lead to lower cost services and phones, on the negative side more ads and less privacy.
  • Metrico Wireless announced Wireless Muse an end to end quality testing system for wireless phones to ensure everyone could hear us now. This should, if used, raise the overall quality of what we hear on our cell phones.
  • Aggressive (Blackberry like) push email services were launched by Palm, Microsoft, and Emblaze. Palm and Microsoft’s solution works with the new Treo 700 and the Emblaze Emoze (who comes up with these names) reportedly works with most current generation smart phones.
  • Philips showcased a chip that would bring video (TV) to the ultra thin class of cell phones. At some future point you may not have to have a big phone to watch your favorite show.
  • ShoZu showcased a one-click photo sharing application. The camera photo sharing segment is actually dominated by women who evidently use this kind of thing a lot. Making it vastly easier should substantially expand photo use with this target market.
  • Wayfinder Systems announced a new cell phone based GPS system that appears to be much more usable then previous generations. Allowing you many of the capabilities of larger, dedicated, GPS products this could help Cell phone navigation a more realistic, and more popular, offering.
  • Sling Media (Sling Box) announced support for the Microsoft Mobile platform giving you access to your TV, Cable, and even Tivo programming on any phone (like the Palm Treo 700).
  • SRS announced their new High Definition technology providing surround sound on cell phones. Of course now all I need is a “wide screen” cell phone to watch my movies on, the sound thing is done.
  • Pulse Mobile announced “Veepers” (the names often seem more fun then the products) a specialized content engine for MVNOs (Mobile Virtual Network Operators like Disney and ESPN) that create animation messages and avatars to be sent as messages phone to phone.
  • While CES is actually a better place to see new phones one stood out from Modeo (it is built by HTC). This phone features a 1.4 Mega pixel camera and is the first phone apparently specifically designed to do mobile TV. The picture appears stunning and ease of use (one touch) seems a generation ahead of anything else I’ve seen so far for TV viewing and my represent the future of this class of device.
  • During the show AuthenTec, the Biometric folks, released a survey indicating that they wanted their phones to be more secure and wanted to be able to use their phone, instead of change, for things like vending machines and parking meters (I could have used this myself the other day). Europe does this relatively widely now.
  • And, as far as cell phone games, Real Networks and Gorillaz Entertainment (a popular cartoon band) along with Zombie Flesh Eaters (who needs to know what they announced with names like these) announced Gorillaz Go. I actually don’t care if the game is very good I just want it so I can tell people I have it on my phone.