A Reminder of How Ultra-cheap Androids Are Taking Over in Emerging Markets — Fast
July 29, 2014

In emerging markets, smartphones are gaining ground based on crazily low pricing. Check out this Gadget piece about recent figures from South African retail giant Pep. In the second half of 2013, 1 percent of the pre-pay phones Pep sold were smartphones. That was up to 13 percent in the first half of this year, and soon it will be 30 percent. Much of this is down to the arrival of super-cheap, WhatsApp-centric Android phones priced as low as R399 ($38). 

Elizabeth Schimel Named Condé Nast China President
July 19, 2013

Elizabeth Schimel, an American media executive with close ties to China, will become President of Condé Nast in China in October.

Elizabeth Schimel is currently Executive Vice President - Chief Digital Officer of Meredith, one of the largest magazine publishers in the United States. She will take charge of the Beijing-based Condé Nast unit, responsible for magazine brands including Vogue, Self and Gentlemen’s Quarterly which are published under copyright cooperation agreements with various Chinese publishers, a form of collaboration commonly used in China.

New Ways to Engage Readers—And Please Audiences
January 1, 2013

Pictures: people love 'em, to the tune of 3 trillion or so images posted online. The problem for publishers is that these big, beautiful bits of real estate are mute, with no keywords, tags or ads to make them monetizable space—until now.

Thomas Hazlett: The iPhone Turns Five
June 27, 2012

Forget the shouting about 'open' or 'closed' systems. The magic is in the dynamics of platform competition.

On June 29, 2007, thousands of fan-boys and -girls camped in long lines to inhale a wisp of sweet techno fairy dust. The new iPhone rocked the world. Revolutionary in design, function and ecosystem, it set off the mobile data tsunami. In three days, Apple sold a million of them. The Economist asked: "Where would Jesus queue?"

How to Build an iPad Competitor
June 20, 2012

It's funny. Or sad. Or predictable. It's predictably sadly funny that many tech media outlets are saying that Apple's iPad finally has a bonafide competitor in the Microsoft Surface. Set aside for now that Surface does look genuinely interesting, that the price hasn't been set, and the thing isn't even out yet.

For a piece of portable networking technology like a smartphone or tablet to be successful on the scale at which Apple operates, you need to have an ecosystem,

Mobile Data Use Surging, but Tablets Largely a Wi-Fi-Only Affair
March 20, 2012

Even when tablet buyers opt for a device with the ability to use a cellular network, most are opting to use the device only on Wi-Fi.

In a report released on Monday, analyst Chetan Sharma said that 90 percent of tablets are using Wi-Fi, even though some of those are capable of using a cellular connection. As a result, carriers are a less important factor when it comes to tablet sales.

One key reason is that U.S. carriers don’t allow users to share a data plan with other devices

Facebook Spearheads Mobile Web Standards Project
February 29, 2012

Facebook is spearheading a group of mobile industry stakeholders focused on developing mobile Web standards, reflecting the growing importance of mobile to the social network.

Speaking at the Mobile World Congress this week, Bret Taylor, chief technology officer of Facebook reportedly said that the company is working with carriers to make it easier for consumers to purchase apps on their devices through carrier billing. In its recent filing for an initial public offering, Facebook said mobile use is growing and that the company needs to find a way to monetize mobile.

Obsolescence Revisited
February 15, 2012

There’s a drawer in the hutch in our family room that contains eight different cell phones we’ve retired over the years. The plan is to donate them. But first I have to get around to recharging and reseting them to “factory restore”. The phones range in age from a much loved Nokia VGA candy bar to a entirely unmissed, unloved and happily retired Windows Mobile phone.


Global Handset Shipments Reach 1.6 Billion Units in 2011
January 27, 2012

According to the latest research from Strategy Analytics, global handset shipments grew 11 percent annually to reach 445 million units in the fourth quarter of 2011. Apple was the star performer, capturing a record 8 percent market share worldwide during the quarter. Full-year handset shipments reached 1.6 billion units globally in 2011, with annual growth of 14 percent.