Saturday, 30 June 2012

What I've been reading this week

I’m of the belief that participants in the TMT industry need to read widely in order to understand the present and future dynamics of the market. To that end, this post is a collection of the articles that have caught my eye.

This week: online shoppers hate Mondays, ARM hits the server rack, experts disagree on digital homes, Google makes a brain and no one believes companies look after their data

Business models

It won’t have escaped your attention that many major technology companies are trying to create end-to-end experiences of own-brand devices and technology. Intel underpin rather a lot of that technology. Now they’ve started an “experience lab” to see how people will use it. Makes sense to me.

This is fun – online shoppers spend the most on Mondays and the least on Fridays because they’re trying to cheer themselves up. Basic psychology still applies in this “digital” era!

Digital media

Yahoo! are a shadow of their former selves, but still attract a decent audience in the US. It’s therefore a coup for Spotify that they’ll be going to market through the fallen giant’s portal sites. The revenue share might be useful for Yahoo! as well.

49% of smartphone owners use their devices when shopping in store. So a quarter of consumers are actively using mobile technology as a shopping aid. Personally I think this is great for retailers, who need to be forced to remember what it’s like to be great merchandisers. If they can do that in store and on companion websites then they can win against an increasingly generic set of online options...

...which is exactly what this research on retailers’ attitudes says (registration required).

22% of people have bought from a brand because a friend follows them (page 3 of the link). I can’t get my head around this one. And, to be cynical, it’s LATAM and APAC that are skewing the statistics. I suspect IPSOS used an online survey, so they automatically focussed on the top end and most social network aware parts of the markets. I’d expect the true global average to be less than 10% if I were to correct for that.

There’s a bunch of great data in this research about how teenagers regard social networks and their social lives. My interpretation is that most teens still prefer face-to-face communication. Social networks are an enabler of real interactions, not a replacement. Same is true of their effect on other types of media.

6 technologies transforming the fashion industry.

New technology

Dell and HP’s new range of low energy ARM-based servers are a shot across Intel’s bows. Intel’s 6.5W Centeron processor is designed to stave off this threat, but, at twice the price of the Armada XP ARM chip in the Dell machine Intel may have to think again.

Samsung expect to sell 10Mn Galaxy S3 smartphones this quarter. A drop in the ocean next to 35Mn or so iPhones, but not bad...

...and the Koreans can’t escape Apple’s reach and patent power. Sales of their 10.1” Galaxy Tablet have been suspended because of patent infringement issues. This sort of thing could eventually be the end of Samsung. They’re natural iterators, not innovators, which unfortunately lends itself to persistent infringements. They need to avoid falling into the HTC trap and returning to commodity-dom.

An interesting article about how 3D camera tracking technology is enabling on-court performance in the NBA to be optimised.

Breakthrough technology

Tesla are a fascinating company – what happens when Silicon Valley does cars. Their original Roadster was a very expensive toy. The new “Model S” could go head to head with the upper end of the saloon car market. My view is that electric and hybrid cars have to be designed to look and feel different than conventional ones so that drivers can ignore their range flaws. Tesla have nailed that. Others – GM and Nissan foremost – have not.

If I understand this right, SES are planning to quadruple the earth-to-space data rate by using high powered lasers for point-to-point communications. Implication: nowhere on earth will be outside of broadband coverage.

A great article about Google’s attempt to enable artificial intelligence to develop within an advanced computer network. Fascinating.

Just the mention of a connected fridge is enough to send one of my colleagues mad with rage... and it seems that he’s part of an evenly split group of experts who believe that connected home technology will have no effect on the efficiency of the home by 2020. I’m probably in that camp – frankly most people don’t have the technical nous or geek ethos to make such schemes work. I might try and let you know how it goes.

Scientists have developed a paint-on battery. Amazing technology – their experimental rig is providing about 20% of the capacity of an iPhone battery. Not bad at all.


Only 9% of consumers are convinced that businesses completely protect their data on line. Pretty damning really. I’m of the view that companies and governments need to be much more open about what they are keeping and why.

No comments:

Post a Comment