Apple and the Dangers of Lock-In

I’m wading through the Qualcomm answer to Apple’s lawsuit against it and when I hit page 46 (item 4 bullet 4) I had an “oh crap” moment. Qualcomm is alleging that Apple is intentionally crippling certain iPhones so that users can’t tell they are using inferior parts in some of them. It seems Apple has gone to a dual-supplier model in an apparent attempt to force Qualcomm to drop its prices, but the second supplier apparently builds a significantly inferior product—so inferior in fact that even after Apple cripples the Qualcomm-based iPhones they’re still significantly better. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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5G Is Going To Be Huuuuuge… Eventually
Apr13

5G Is Going To Be Huuuuuge… Eventually

With almost 40 years of IT reporting experience under my — sadly expanded — belt I’ve covered a number of profound developments and countless others of less import, but the eventual emergence of 5G is expected to CHANGE EVERYTHING. Yes, 5G is just a bigger, faster pipeline, but to paraphrase POTUS, it’s going to be huuuuuge: speeds of 10 to 100 gigabits per second (1,000 times faster than the current US 4G average); latency of less than a millisecond (compared to 4G’s 40ms to 60ms); and support for a million connected devices per square kilometer [that’s 5/8th of a square mile for the metrically challenged]. 5G use cases include: Internet of Things (IoT); extreme video and gaming applications; explosive data density usage; public safety; Public Switched Telephone Networks (PSTN) sunset; and context-aware services. User-driven requirements include: battery life; per-user data rate and latency; robustness and resiliency; mobility; seamless user experience; and context-aware network. And from the infrastructure perspective, network-driven requirements include: scalability; network capacity; cost efficiency; automated system management & configuration; network flexibility; energy efficiency; coverage; security; diverse spectrum operation; and, unified system framework. However it is very early in the hype cycle, with final standards 12-18 months away, and products and services expected to trickle out over the next couple of years. The market should become relevant by 2021-22, and there will be 1 billion 5G connections by 2025. So what does that mean to IT and CXOs today? “This is going to be a transformative change even though a couple of years away from mainstream adoption,” said Varun Chhabra, unstructured data expert at Dell EMC. He told IT Trends & Analysis it’s going to be a “gamechanger”. It will enable enterprises and businesses to provide their  customers with “a completely different way to engage with their brands.” While still a work in progress, 5G needs to be: a “chameleon” technology that can adapt to differing demands of wireless services — whether to support high bandwidth, low latency, bursty traffic, ultra-reliable services, or a combination of these capabilities, according to a recent report from the Telecommunications Industry Association. The TIA survey found that operators are uncertain how 5G might prove to be transformative, but while ‘history suggests that while it may underachieve relative to expectations in the short term, it will overachieve in the long term.’ As with any significant technology transition, there are billions of dollars being spent to either lead the change, or at least minimize the threat of being roadkill on the faster, broader information highway. Some proof points include: -5G commercial services will launch in 2020 and there will be 24 million 5G subscriptions...

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CES: What Innovates in Vegas Doesn’t Stay in Vegas Part 1/2

This year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2014) at the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) and surrounding hotels didn’t seem quite as bodaciously glitzy or ear-splittingly bombastic to me as past events. It wasn’t that there weren’t the requisite number of ludicrous ‘mine is bigger (brighter, glossier, louder, faster, pricier, etc.) than yours’ claims than we’d seen many times before. They were, in fact, abundant. There was also no shortage of goofy predictions about the next latest/greatest product/trend to hit consumer living rooms during the next 6-12 months—a circumstance that might be summed up by declaiming, ‘3D TV is dead! Long live 4k TV!’ Nor were there any shortage of lines to stand in—particularly at McCarran Airport, taxi stands, monorail stations, restaurants, rest rooms and the mainstream press events orchestrated by the CEA (Consumer Electronics Association), owner/organizer of CES. That’s all part and parcel of joining the herd of 150,000-plus other conference cattle. But in leaving Las Vegas on Thursday morning, I had a strong sense of having participated in a multiplicity of often contradictory, even oppositional events. The resulting feeling was not of having attended a conference that exemplified, summarized or unified consumer electronics, but that the global market for consumer electronics has simply gotten too big, too complex and too diverse for any single event, including CES, to adequately encompass or represent. For more information, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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