As a student of history (when I’m not writing about technology I write about military history), I long ago learned that there are really no good wars. There can be good in wars of course, as World War II was about liberating Europe from the Nazi tyranny, but at the expense of Soviet occupation of Eastern Europe and the deaths of millions. So there are no good wars… but sometimes in business, corporate battles can be good for consumers. Currently, a few different wars are being waged in the mobile space, and this could mean savings in the short term and innovation in the long term.
The first of these wars is the ongoing one between the carriers, notably AT&T and Verizon. Both carriers have cut the rates by about 30 percent, while also seriously going after each other with pretty sharp ad campaigns. Analysts believe this push could even increase U.S. market penetration for mobile phones, which ironically still trails many other developed nations. The catch, however – and we know there is always going to be a catch – is that data usage plans are now being hit with a few fees. AT&T is even forcing users of mid-tier and high-tier mobile phones (which includes smartphones) of having to buy into a data or texting service plan.
The other notable battleground has Google assaulting Apple’s dominance, and the Nexus One is just the latest part of Google’s offensive in the mobile space. Interestingly, this battle isn’t being fought by handsets alone. Google is in the process of buying AdMob, while Apple recently acquired Quattro Wireless, so here is where the next wave of innovation could be say some experts online. It might not be just about the improved handsets, but the potential of online advertising. With Google and Apple both now sporting handsets that are app friendly, and ideal for the mobile Web, the next step is turning that into a way to bring in more money, and online mobile advertising is the missing piece.
We’re not taking about small change either. Consider that Apple paid around $250 million for Quattro Wireless, while Google (pending final FTC approval) has laid out $750 million for AdMob. In other words, these companies wouldn’t spend this kind of money if they didn’t expect to see it come back and a whole lot more.
Mobile Phone Detects Counterfeit Notes
No, there isn’t a new app for the iPhone or Android… yet. But thanks to the Innovation Challenge, which was organized by Schneider Electric India, it just might be a full-fledged app soon. According to Silicon India, 21-year engineering student Neha M has devolved a mechanism that allows a mobile handset to be used a detector for counterfeit notes.
Neha competed with 150 entries and took the top prize! It took her seven months to complete the project, with the most important tips coming from Reserve Bank of India (RBI). According to reports, her technology doesn’t affect the normal functionality of a mobile handset, and the only requirement is that the phone needs to have a camera built in.