Awareness and purchase intent for the iPad continues to build. A study in November by Vision Critical found that among younger adults, interest in the iPad increased since March 2010, with one in five Americans aged 18 to 34 planning to purchase an iPad in the next six months. Most people want to use the iPad for Internet browsing, but they’re also interested in using it for photos, music or video, as well as accessing applications, books, newspapers and magazines. The research also suggests consumers are increasingly considering the iPad and other tablets as a new, distinctive product category, although respondents seem to believe that desktop/laptop PCs and wireless eReaders are interchangeable with the tablet. The survey was conducted online among 1,003 American adults who are Springboard America panelists.
Tower Leasing On the Rise
The high cost of erecting and running cellular communications towers has driven many operators worldwide toward leasing arrangements in recent years. Currently about 17 percent of all towers are leased, but ABI Research expects the number to rise to about 25 percent in 2015.
The trend is most pronounced in the United States and in India, but ABI practice director Aditya Kaul says while Latin America and Africa are embryonic markets, they offer the greatest potential for growth in cellular tower leasing.
The model of offloading tower ownership and letting third parties do the management has proven successful in both India and the United States, ABI points out. Tower leasing is not unknown in the Asia-Pacific region, but it is impeded in two of the largest potential markets – China and Japan – by regulatory issues.
Machines Do the Talking
The number of machine-to-machine (M2M) subscribers grew to an estimated 81.4 million by the end of 2010, and Berg Insight expects that number to reach 294.1 million connections in 2015. By then, M2M as a share of the total number of cellular connections is projected to reach 4 percent – double its size at the end of 2010.
M2M and connected devices are now one of the main drivers behind the growth in mobile subscribers in Europe and North America, says Berg Insight senior analyst Tobias Ryberg. All of the world’s largest telecom operators now have several million M2M subscribers, and Berg Insight expects AT&T will become the first mobile operator to reach 10 million M2M subscribers in the first quarter of 2011.
The day where customers no longer have one or two mobile subscriptions but five or more appears to be upon us – or approaching very soon. Besides a smartphone and tablet, a technology-savvy American is likely to own an eReader and a connected PND, drive a car with an embedded telematics system and have a cellular security alarm installed at home, Ryberg says. His or her Scandinavian counterpart could have a smart electricity meter with embedded GPRS connectivity; a French citizen may use a cellular speed control warning system; and an Italian might have installed a car telematics device from the insurance company.
Whatever they’re using, they’re using a lot more of them. Ryberg predicts that the vast majority of the world’s next 5 billion mobile connections will be embedded into consumer devices, machines and sensors.
Small Business Owners Balance Work, Life with Tech
If you thought reports of people sleeping with their smartphones were sort of creepy, now there’s a name for consumers’ love of their phones: “phonemance.” At least, that’s what it’s being called by those who conducted a survey showing that 60 percent of small business owners admit to spending more time holding their mobile devices than the hand of their significant others.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing, according to those who conducted the survey (and we figure not too many wireless industry professionals would disagree). The popularity of the virtual office just illustrates how technology is enabling small business owners to achieve both increased productivity and a better work-life balance, they say.
The online survey was developed by office supply company Staples and conducted by Decision Analyst Inc. The survey involved a random sample of 300 owners and executives of American businesses having no more than 20 employees.
Other survey findings are as follows:
• 56 percent of owners and managers are taking advantage of the virtual office, spending less time working at their desk with the help of technology.
• 52 percent now feel more comfortable taking a vacation because they can stay plugged in versus just 35 percent last year.
• 40 percent of significant others don’t seem to mind the new “phonemancing” behavior and support the small business owner’s need to work more to help make ends meet even if that affects relationship time.
Fortunately, real romance is not completely dead. When asked whether they would feel greater withdrawal to go a week without their significant other than a day without their smartphone or mobile device, 63 percent said they would miss their partner more than their phone. Wonder what’s up with the other 37 percent?