Tag Archives: Smartphones


Apple has had a big impact in our world throughout the years, along with Microsoft and other revolutionary companies all over the world. When Apple’s new software system came out on January 1984, it was named Mac OS. At that time Apple was not really famous and did not have a big influence.

Apple TechIn 2007, Apple introduced their new software iOS. It was a big competition with the other companies, especially for cellphone software. In June 2007, they released their iOS1.0 software for the new iPhone 3. At his keynote address Steve Jobs described the iPhone as three revolutionary products in one device that combines a widescreen iPod with touch controls, revolutionary mobile phone, and breakthrough internet communications device, that surpassed important brands like Motorola, Blackberry and Nokia.

Within a period of seven years, Apple has had around eighteen new releases of their iOS software for their computers, laptops, iPods, iPads and other products, especially their iPhones.

Their most resent software was released on September 9, 2015, called iOS9. This new software is more enhanced than any other iOS that has existed before. It has been designed to make consumers’ lives easier. An article titled, “10 Hidden iOS9 Features That Will Make Your iPhone Life Way Easier,” states, “In case you’ve been tucked away under a rock for the past month, iOS9 is one of the latest Apple rollouts reshaping the Smartphone and technology landscape, which have 3D touch, faster Wi-Fi capabilities.” Including many new features that can help consumers make their life easier.

However, the real question is what makes Apple get our world into their world? The answer is very simple. Apple is creating a world that will work all together and will call consumers’ attention even more than it has done before. “Apple is building a world in which you will interact with a computer every moment of your daily activities, like walking and sleeping.” Honan said, “Apple’s ambitions consists of making everything in your life work together.”

Through their software products like watches, iPads, TV, computers and more, consumers are able to keep track of many things. This includes their activities, communicating with others, using it for their jobs, having a virtual wallet, and being able to keep themselves entertained. Each year they work on creating new products that can improve the ones from the years before. It creates big competition for other companies, like Samsung, with their galaxy phone, tablets and watches, and they also gain more consumers than the years before.

For every new release, we as a consumers are open to do anything that is on our hands to get the newest innovations in Apple’s products. On 2010 only 5.6% of the US population owned an Apple Smartphone, but by 2014, this percentage increased 19.8%. This is only for their iPhones, so imagine what the difference will be if we count all their products, and include the countries around the world that use the products? This amount will be extremely higher than it was for 2014, especially with their new releases in 2015.

So, what would make consumers want to get Apple’s new releases? We know that they want to have the last updates, but they also want to have the best products in their hands. We live in a consuming world in which we are being introduced to new technologies every single moment. These new products and technologies have a higher demand, because of the cost and their features on their products. They have become tempting for the consumers and Apple has done a great job in getting us into their world.

What will Apple do next to submerge us entirely into their world?

Astrid Araya

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4 is Bold, Just Like Their Marketing Strategy

In America’s electronics field, it seems like it is Apple versus the world. If it is not PC versus Mac, then it is IOS versus Android. I was not surprised when I did a quick Google search to find out some information about mobile devices, specifically what percentage of smartphone users use Apple’s iPhone versus the percentage of users that use Android devices. According to a recent Yahoo Tech page, 42.7% of smartphone users in the U.S. use the iPhone, while 52% use Android devices. That isn’t a surprise, considering that I see about one in every two people using an iPhone. As most people know, Android devices come from multiple companies including HTC, Motorola, LG, and Samsung. While Android might have a slightly larger share of the market, the prize for the most phones in use easily goes to Apple. Of all U.S. smartphone users, 43% of them use the iPhone, while Samsung comes in second with 29%.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4While Samsung does make up over half of the Android smartphones in use, it is still lagging behind the juggernaut of Apple with its weapon of choice: the iPhone. How does one stand up to these odds? Can it be done? Samsung seems to think so.

Samsung has recently released its newest flagship “phablet,” the Galaxy Note 4. The bold marketing campaign hopes to increase the market share of smartphones. Samsung has approached it in three specific ways: taking shots at the competition, focusing on Samsung products, and branding.

The Note 4 was released on September 3, 2014. Ten days later an advertisement was released that showcased the strategies that Samsung would be using to accomplish their goal. For their campaign, their competition is obvious: Apple.

In this one-minute spot, shots at Apple can be seen from 18 to 24 seconds, and from 37 to 52. It belittles (no pun intended) the iPhone 6 and Apple in general. It basically labels Apple as a copycat brand with little innovation. At least, that is the message they hope viewers will receive. This is a major way that Samsung has marketed itself recently, by attempting to drag down the competition of Apple. At the same time, Samsung does a great job at focusing on their products and the functionality of them.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 AdLooking at the advertisement once again, the Note 4 is focused on from the beginning to 18 seconds in, and from 24 to 37 seconds. This is what really sets them apart from Apple, as Samsung puts a much larger emphasis on their products, and features of the products, then actual branding. During a middle section, there is a feature shown called multi-window, which allows more than one application to be shown on the screen at the same time, a feature that Apple does not offer. This also reinforces the subtle branding of “Samsung does it better” when thinking about how large screens should function. View Samsung’s other ads here and here and here.

Samsung is communicating that they do it better, and they have been doing it for longer. The branding is far overshadowed by the focus on the product, but it is still present if you look close enough.

How effective was this ad for you? Do you think Samsung should change their strategy? Is it effective on a large-scale? Also, take a look at some discussion regarding the “bendgate” issue here.

Thanks for reading!

-Seth Ebling

Intel Booth CES 2015

5 Exciting Things From CES 2015

Guest Post by Amelia Monroe Torre, originally posted at EdgeCore.com

The Consumer Electronic Show (CES) is underway this week in Las Vegas and there have been some exciting tech announcements this year. With over 160,000 attendees, this is the largest gathering of tech professionals in the world. There are 20,000 new product announcements expected this week and we wanted to share five of the most exciting things we’ve seen so far from CES 2015.

  • Phones & Accessories

ZTE Eco-mobius modular phone ces 2015Mobile phones are always some of the hottest items at the show and this year is no different. ZTE, a leading Chinese phone maker, is pioneering the way for customizing and upgrading individual pieces of phone hardware. With their Eco-Mobius modular phone you’ll be able to individually upgrade elements of the hardware like the camera lens, RAM, ROM, processor, and battery to create the exact phone you need.

There are a plethora of new gadgets for your phone at CES 2015 but what caught our attention was a lightning fast charger from the Israeli startup, Storedot. Their current slim-line charger can charge a Samsung Smartphone battery in a matter of minutes. Storedot’s goal is to bring the charging time under 60 seconds by 2017.

  • Wearable Tech

GoldKey announced a new smart watch that is also a fully functioning smartphone. The watch runs Android KitKat software and uses dual-factor authentication to access certain features. The watch may be small but it’s loaded with lots of great features like GPS, a built-in Wi-Fi hotspot, and a battery that can last up to 24 hours. Smart watches are nothing new at this point, but this new watch from GoldKey is a game changer.

  • Smart Cars

Mercedes F 015 Smart car ces 2015Every year smart cars get a little bit smarter, and this year at CES we saw two keynote presentations from Mercedes-Benz and Ford about their plans. Dieter Zetsche, Chairman of the Board for Mercedes-Benz, unveiled their self-driving smart car prototype, the F 015 Luxury in Motion. The silver car has a sleek futuristic look, luxury interior, and will be controlled with smart devices. The ability to purchase a self-driving car likely won’t happen until 2020 at the earliest, but the advances are sure to be exciting over the next few years.

  • Sling TV

From the company that brought you the Hopper, Dish’s latest offering is Sling TV. In an attempt to appeal to a millennial audience, the Dish Network is now offering an Internet TV service that includes ESPN, ESPN2, Food Network, HGTV, CNN and ABC Family. For $20 a month users will get a small package of coveted cable channels that they can stream on Internet enabled devices, including phones, tablets, and computers. There will be additional channels that can be added for $5 per month to make the service customizable. Sling TV doesn’t require any hardware or installation, so no waiting for the cable guy!

  • Internet in Everything!

Making everything a connected device seems to be a growing trend for tech companies, especially Samsung. On Monday, Samsung’s CEO, BK Yoon, said going forward the “Internet of Things” would be Samsung’s philosophy. This means that every product they make will have the ability to connect to the internet. This includes thermostats, garage doors, washing machines, and even your bed mattress. Yoon said by 2020, 100% of Samsung’s devices will be web-enabled.

Many of the products being announced this week will be available on the market later this year. We’re excited to see how consumers react to the new tech and what real-world applications these new gadgets will have. Let us know what new gadgets you’re most excited to see this year!

Amelia Monroe Torre

DOWNLOAD THE MILLION$: Distributing Mobile Apps

Mobile applications have a vital role in the wireless industry of smart phones, tablets, and IPODS. Many app developers have found it a challenging business to be in creating a product that will find success and provide revenue out of it. But in fact, projected revenues for next year for mobile apps is whopping $13 billion. Developers can work part-time, full-time, or just as a hobby to make the next big hit. But, the real question is how are they making this money?

appsBen Hanley, senior product manager at Evans Data answers with, “We expect the industry to mature, over time you will see the proportion of full-time developers grow relative to the other major profiles.” Fierce Developer The word “mature,” I think, is an appropriate word to use as a description of both the technology as well as money to be made through creativity.

With this rapidly growing industry the structure of distribution has to adjust to this newer technology. Just like with any new item on the market today there needs to be a plan for how revenue will be made, and how the item will continue in the “long-tail of things” according to Jeffrey Ulin’s Rule of Distribution.

A couple of larger companies that program apps (OneLouder, Riverman Media) have found successful routes of doing just this. OneLouder is a social mobile app developer company that offers free app downloads for the consumer. Their plan is to generate revenue through advertising within the app, and to lock-in loyal long-tail consumers they create by updating the app once a week. They launched the business by having a clear cut vision of what exactly they want, and sold the pitch to capital firms to back their operation.

As for Riverman Media, they have a different method for creating profit. They sell their apps ranging from $0.99-2.99 per downloaded 2D game. They focus on making quality games that will keep loyal consumers coming back for more. Their strategy is to create quality games at a low cost with minimum employees. They do this so they can self-support and have no outside source conflicting on programming ideas because of investments.

apps2There are other ways in order to create money out of a “free” mobile app. Along with the upfront cost of downloads and in-game advertising there are other ways: level advancement costs, hints, special purchases, and free trials with later subscription costs. App designers need to figure out how they want to generate revenue. The Utility-Engagement Model shows the way in which one should look at constructing a game and what the goal and vision is in creating the application. For a better understanding of the model here are some bullets to make sense of it all.

•Utility, meaning how useful a person finds the app

•Engagement, meaning how often a person uses the app

•Value, meaning how much the person likes what the app provides, relative to the universe of other options

Flappy Bird as a prime example of an independent programming studio gathering the green president faced paper, we all so desire. The game was created in 2013 in a Vietnam-based developing company. The creator locked down the in-game advertising model of the game and made $50,000 per day from this.

It seems that most app creators are within a studio setting and are working full-time, but there have been some who have figured out how to make money on their own. With all the resources available online today do you think it possible to use your own imagination and create a new mobile app hit? Will the app market continue to mature and be a money maker and job maker?

Stacey Krull

Smartphone Dependency: Obsession or Addiction?

Over the years, certain technological advances have made life easier. Technology has made every day routines more accessible and convenient. Many of these advances have given us a better quality of life, but are we growing an unhealthy attachment to these devices? Almost all of us possess the source of these addictions. In fact, it rests right in our pockets.

smart_phone_addictSmartphone dependency is an ever-growing problem in our society today. Whether we are using our phones to mask our emotions, feed our addictions, or purely for entertainment, our attachment to smartphones has become an issue that needs to be addressed.

Study by PewResearch January 2014:

  • 90% of American adults have a cell phone.
  • 58% of American adults have a smartphone.
  • 67% check their phone without noticing a ring or vibration.
  • 44% sleep with their phones in fear of missing a call, text, or email.
  • 63% of adults use their phone to go online.
  • 74% of adults use their smartphone for location services.
  • 29% say their phone is “something they cant imagine living without.”

A new psychological issue has risen from our dependency on smartphones called “nomophobia”. This is the fear of being without your cell phone. According to a survey done by Bank of America, nearly 47% of Americans say they could not go a day without their phone. Is this a rational fear or just an illusion as result of our dependency?

smartphoneaddiction2One reason this fear might be rational is because of the investment people have put in their smartphones. They are now replacing maps, address books, ipods, and cameras. What all used to be separate items can now be compiled into one device, but what happens when that device fails?

Another side effect of our dependency is separation anxiety. A study done Ericsson ConsumerLab found that people have become so dependent on their smartphones that without it, they “can no longer handle their daily routine.”

Smartphones and drugs have tied each other into an endless cycle of addiction. Morning Side Recovery, a rehab center in California, found that smartphones are making drugs more accessible to addicts. This accessibility leads to phone addiction, which leads to drug addiction, which leads to phone addiction, etc.

Morning Side also found that smartphones are playing a key role in behavioral addictions and are affecting our social skills. Kids are using digital media as a way to avoid social interaction. Also, they found that smartphones are being used to mask emotions, such as depression. When a person bottles up their emotions, they often become worse.

smartphoneaddictionClinical psychologists also examined some of the effects smartphones have on social interaction. They found that phones are often used to avoid eye contact. People become so consumed in their phones that they completely ignore their surroundings.


I believe that smartphones are causing these issues and we must recognize them. Only by becoming aware of these issues can we take steps towards fixing them.

– Craig Michels

Getting Lost in the Galaxy: Apple Falls Behind in the Smartphone Race

On June 27th, 2007 Apple released the first iPhone, the first multi-touch interface smartphone. More than a year later on October 22nd, 2008 the HTC Dream became the first Android powered touch screen phone, and so started the heavily contested smartphone race. For many years the major competitors have been Samsung and Apple. For many years Apple has led the race as the most successful smartphone in the US. But is Apple falling behind?

AppleBeginning in the first fiscal quarter of 2010 Android had taken the lead for global sales of phones. Since that time the increase in total sales of Android products versus Apple products has been striking.

At the end of 2012, Apple’s total phone sales were $135.9 million. By the end of 2013, Apple’s total phones sold had grown to $153.4 million. Pretty good, right? Well let’s take a look at Android’s phone sales for 2012: $219.7 million. Wow, that has stomped out iPhones sales for 2012! What about 2013? In 2013 Android sold 313.9 Million phones.

Apple2The iPhone has held its ground in the United States due to a loyal fanbase and killer advertisements by Apple’s marketing department. But, Apple isn’t one to take to innovation. Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple, stated in an interview, “Improving is not Apple-style innovation.” Apple is losing ground because they only make what they know how to make.

The current flagships for Apple and Samsung are the iPhone 6 and the Samsung galaxy S5. The technology inside each phone determines which phone is the most advanced.

Both phones are competitive, and while the Galaxy is definitely the more advanced phone, with its larger phone screen, larger battery, and 12 megapixel camera. The iPhone 6 is still in the race because of its loyal fanbase.

Samsung has something in store for Apple though. Recently Samsung has taken the next step to make the next innovations with the Samsung Galaxy S5, but they have also introduced a new phone that is very similar to the iPhone. The Samsung Galaxy Alpha mimics the iPhone in more ways than one. With an aluminum casing, the exact same screen size, and a smaller overall build the Alpha has copied the iPhone in several key ways. Samsung is looking for innovation and also providing a cheap alternative to the iPhone. The iPhone lists for $650 dollars without a 2-year contract, but the Samsung Galaxy Alpha will most likely list for considerably less, as is the current trend with the Galaxy S5.

The iPhone is more expensive and is basically the same phone as the last version—and then there are a number of key features the S5 has that the iPhone does not have.

The S5 has an improved wireless transmitter that actually allows for better access to cellular 4g networks. While Android was the first phone to accept 4g wireless in 2010, it was more than 2 years before the first iPhone that would connect to 4g. Android was also the first to offer a fully functional landscape mode for horizontal typing on their phones. In 2010, Android embraced bigger screen size, allowing people to type in landscape mode. Apple only adopted this feature for the iPhone 6. The S5 has a 12 megapixel camera versus the iPhone’s 8 MP camera. One of Apple’s biggest “new features” is Apple Pay. This allows you to pay with your phone, by sending your bank information to pay stations. Android offered similar capabilities back in 2010.

Apple came into the phone game very strong and fast. In 2007, they provided a phone that was revolutionary, but they haven’t improved their product much since then. Apple’s loyal fanbase will always be willing to pay $600 for the newest phone, but Android is offering a wide array of competitive phones, many of them better.

Thomas Winkleman

You Might Want to Get Bigger Pockets-Are Phablets the Phuture?

Millions of people recently flocked to their local Apple store to purchase the new iPhone 6 Plus. The new iPhone 6 Plus as well as the Samsung Galaxy Note have been given the name of “Phablet,” combining the words phone and tablet, due to their large size. The concept of the Phablet is not a new one in the digital world; it was first brought up in 2011 when the Samsung Galaxy Note was originally launched.

iphonesAlthough I’m sure many of the purchasers were informed about the new Phablet and what it had to offer, there are many people who don’t know the pros and cons of purchasing a Phablet. While many are overwhelmed by the size of the Phablet, others love it for that exact reason as well the technical specs that come with it when compared to a regular phone.

After searching the web I found a few of the main reasons why people love Phablets. A few of these reasons include the large screen size, the immersive user experience, and the multitasking capabilities. To find out more about the pros of owning a Phablet check out the article 5 Reasons Why Phablets are the Best Mobile Device on Inspirationfeed.com.

As with any product there are also a few cons that I found. A few of the negative aspects of the Phablet include the limitations of portability due to their large size and poor battery life. Some negative aspects of the size are further discussed In the article What’s the Hype Behind Phablets? Won’t a Smartphone or Tablet Do? At Phonearea.com.

The technical aspects of the Phablet are astounding when compared to a regular smartphone. The technology along with the screen size of the Phablet allows for photo and video editing and note taking, along with a higher megapixel camera, as well as faster processors and higher storage space. To see a full technical comparison of the top Phablet brand phones check out cnet.com.

phabletWith well known brands like Samsung and Apple leading the way for Phablets and their growing popularity this new concept will soon become the norm in society. Personally, I believe that the advancement of other portable technologies like smart watches and Bluetooth will help propel the success of the Phablet by diminishing the idea that the large size is a problem.

I also believe that the Phablets increase in screen size will be cost effective for many people because it will eliminate the need to buy a phone and a tablet. For some it could even eliminate the need for a laptop. The Phablet is already capable of completing just about anything a computer can and with the ongoing advancement of technology it will soon be able to do much more.

phabletsAlthough many people are still uninformed about the Phablet and all of its capabilities I still believe this gadget is the future of mobile devices. From a technical aspect the Phablet hugely outweighs the smartphone, and it is also a cost effective choice for many individuals and families. The size may be big negative point for many, but with the help of Bluetooth and a growth in popularity this “bad” aspect will soon be forgotten. Ultimately the choice of whether or not to purchase a Phablet is up to you, but I think I’ll need bigger pockets.

Tanner Heinrichs

Mobile Evolution: Smartphone Advancements and the Media Industry

There is a very good chance you are reading this on your smartphone.  More likely you are one of the 1.75 billion persons who are in reachable distance of their smart phone. Or at the very least you fall in the category of being one of the 6 billion people who have a mobile device. Whichever category you belong to, it is clear that smartphones are continually changing our lives and the world around us.

ManSmartphone manufacturers design their products to eventually fail; screens break, CPUs slow down and fail. In the worlds of Robert Frost, “nothing gold can stay.”

The average life expectancy of a smartphone is 21 months (significantly lower than their former three-year average lifespan). This should not be seen as a bad thing. If smartphones were designed to last well past a two-year contract, manufactures would hesitate to unveil new models of phones with the latest advancements, and consumers would hesitate to purchase them if they had a phone that continued to “get them by.”

MChartSmartphones have a faster replacement time than any other electronic device on the market, which allows more users to have new and cheaper phones while simultaneously allowing the media industry as a whole to advance faster than ever. Consumers around the world are closer to becoming technological equals with each other now more than ever thanks to smartphones.

In the past year the penetration of smartphones have reached more than 72% of the entire mobile market and estimates show the U.S. growing significantly this year. This increase in market penetration is not limited to only the US and other developed countries; of the world’s six billion mobile-phone subscriptions, 73% are now in the developing world, even though those countries account for just 20% of the world’s GDP. This equality is helping move content faster than ever, media producers are no longer held back by fears they once had of alienating audiences.

Last month the FCC held a roundtable discussion to address these changes and revisit the current exemption of the mobile broadband market from Net Neutrality regulations saying, “The growth of smartphones and LTE — and the constant change in our ecosystem — is the clearest evidence we should retain a mobile-specific approach, because it has worked so well for consumers.”

After the round table several key organizations and corporations had their own response. The Writers Guild of America West released a statement saying:

If the Commission does not apply the full complement of Net Neutrality rules to mobile broadband, wireless carriers will be able to pick winners and losers. They will have the power to decide what applications and services are available to consumers and on what terms. Data caps and current pricing models have not yet made mobile Internet service a viable substitute for all video consumption, but the failure to apply rules equally dooms the platform.

Google and Microsoft responded with similar claims, stating that Net Neutrality should apply regardless of whether you’re accessing the Internet using a cable connection, a wireless service or any other technology.

mChart2Technology in mobile broadband is changing rapidly and with it, we are seeing new trends in media consumption. In a recent Nielsen report the average time adults viewed media on their smartphones as gone up 77% since last year. To put this into perspective, TV viewing has gone down 4%, and Internet access via computer has gone up just 2%. Even as an increase in mobile broadband use is advancing our world into the digital age, it is clear that mobile technologies that were once a luxury are now necessities.

We are fortunate to live in an age where we are able to reach technological saturation in the mobile market at unparallel speeds. Because of this the FCC must recognize this growth and proactively adopt regulations for ISPs to promote Net Neutrality on the mobile broadband level. Only then will we see continued progression in mobile technologies that will benefit all consumers and media producers well into the heart of the 21st century.

Aaron Sprengeler