It sounds tough to argue with: a setting on smartphones and tablets that lets owners disable a lost or stolen device remotely. If thieves know stolen mobile gadgets will quickly become about as useful as a brick and tough to resell, they may decide it isn’t worth the effort. Samsung (005930:KS) has developed just such a feature for its mobile devices, but the Korean company has hit a snag. U.S. wireless carriers won’t sell their products if they come loaded with the disabling feature.
More than 1.6 million Americans were robbed of their mobile devices last year, according to the Secure Our Smartphones Initiative, a coalition of law enforcement officials and consumer advocates who support the incorporation of kill switches. “This is a growing epidemic affecting all corners of our nation and accounting for a majority of the robberies in our cities,” the coalition, led by New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón, said in a statement. The group says that by rendering theft pointless, kill-switch technology makes mobile users safer.
Verizon Wireless, ATT (T), Sprint (S), T-Mobile (TMUS), and U.S. Cellular (USM) don’t see it as such a clear win. For carriers, the technology would add an enormous customer-service burden. Troubleshooting for mobile devices often falls to the wireless stores where customers bought them, and setting up a kill switch—or reactivating a phone that’s been deactivated by mistake—can be a challenge for lay users and time-consuming for staffers. The carriers and their trade group, known as CTIA, say they’re taking other steps to reduce theft. “CTIA and its member companies worked hard over the last year to help law enforcement with its stolen phone problem,” CTIA Vice President Jamie Hastings said in a statement.
CTIA launched a national phone-tracking database on Nov. 30. The trade group also advocates for heavier legal penalties on convicted traffickers of stolen devices. Sprint spokeswoman Crystal Davis says her company cooperates in undercover investigations and sues identified phone traffickers. Sprint is pursuing technological innovations other than kill-switch features, she says. Torod Neptune, a spokesman for Verizon Wireless, says his company would support a remote kill switch for mobile devices as long as it doesn’t mean any added costs. The other wireless companies referred requests for comment to CTIA.
Lawrence Pingree, research director for market researcher Gartner (IT), says wireless companies see an all-out push against theft as too expensive. “The main goal for carriers is to keep support costs low and encourage subscribership, so antitheft technology could cause support nightmares,” he says. “Especially with Android, since there is much fragmentation in the phone market and not all phones would support the feature.” And to put it bluntly, he says, “Carriers also profit from theft—for example, insurance premiums and activation charges.” In letters sent to the five carriers on Dec. 10, Schneiderman warned that “further scrutiny may be required” to review their rejection of Samsung’s kill switch.
One mobile-device maker has managed to get smartphones and tablets armed with kill switches onto carriers’ shelves: Apple (AAPL). The latest version of its mobile operating system lets users remotely enable what it calls an activation lock. While Forrester Research (FORR) senior analyst Tyler Shields notes that Apple’s software isn’t necessarily hack-proof, the company’s hardware is in high demand and it largely handles its own customer service, which means carriers don’t have to shoulder those costs.
For its part, Samsung says it takes smartphone theft seriously and is trying to enhance device security in other ways, which it wouldn’t detail. The company is working with the Secure Our Smartphones coalition, says company spokeswoman Ashley Wimberly. “We will continue to work with them and our wireless carrier partners towards our common goal of stopping smartphone theft.”
China Mobile Ltd. (941) is offering early
adopters of its new fourth-generation wireless service discounts
of as much as $919 on eight smartphones from Samsung Electronics
Co. (005930), Sony Corp. (6758), HTC Corp. (2498) and five local vendors.
In a marketing blitz on billboards at bus stops and subway
stations across Beijing, the Samsung, Sony and HTC devices are
all prominently featured. Domestic vendors in China Mobile’s
first wave of 4G handsets include ZTE Corp. (763), Huawei Technologies
Co., and the Coolpad brand of China Wireless Technologies Ltd.
China Mobile received regulatory approval on Dec. 4 to
start commercial service on the world’s largest 4G mobile
network, after three years of trials, as it tries to attract
smartphone users seeking faster downloads. China Mobile, which
has yet to announce an agreement to offer Apple Inc.’s iPhone,
is relying on popular handsets like the Samsung Galaxy Note II
to lure users to the new service.
To receive the maximum handset discount of 5,580 yuan
($919), users are required to make a two-year commitment to a
488-yuan monthly service plan, according to promotion materials
available at China Mobile outlets. At that level, the user could
chose any of the eight devices for free, as the most expensive
of the group is the HTC 8088 priced at 4,821 yuan.
The Sony M35T, the least costly of the foreign brands, is
priced at 2,999 yuan and requires a monthly plan of 258 yuan for
a free handset. The Samsung N7108D costs 4,201 yuan, requiring a
monthly plan of at least 388 yuan.
ZTE’s U9815 device costs 3,800 yuan and is free with a
monthly plan of at least 328 yuan.
China Mobile’s Beijing branch is also running a promotion
for its 4G service that offers registrants priority access to
unnamed “star models.” The web page features a picture of a
bejeweled apple, without making any reference to Cupertino,
California-based Apple, or the iPhone. The page doesn’t say
which handset will be offered, or when. More than 29,000
registrants have applied since the site went up yesterday,
according to a counter displayed on the page.
China Mobile spokeswoman Rainie Lei and Beijing-based Apple
spokeswoman Carolyn Wu both declined to comment on the Apple
imagery in the 4G promotion, or to provide any update on the
status of talks between the two sides.
To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story:
Edmond Lococo in Beijing at
To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Michael Tighe at
Blue Bite Partners with Vector Media, Cinema Scene Marketing and Glanz.tv to Enable Mobile Interactivity in Hotels …
NEW YORK, Dec. 12, 2013 /PRNewswire-iReach/ — Today, Blue Bite, the Mobile Standard in Out-of-Home™, announced exciting new rollouts with three outdoor media companies – Vector Media, Cinema Scene Marketing and Glanz.tv®. The addition of mobile to hotels, movie theatres and shopping malls will further increase users’ interaction with screens and digital kiosks, enhancing their in-venue experience by providing relevant and valuable content tailored to each unique environment.
Blue Bite’s proprietary mTAG® platform uses an all-inclusive mobile approach consisting of various technologies such as Near Field Communication (NFC), Quick Response Codes (QR), Short Message Services (SMS), Bluetooth Beacons and geofencing to facilitate a variety of brand-to-consumer interactions. These rollouts will allow marketers to extend their branding campaigns from an on-screen impression to a two-way mobile interaction with their target audience. In addition to the advertising campaigns, users will have access to local deals and offers, games, rewards and other exclusive content.
“We are often challenged with bringing consumer engagement and additional metrics to the location-based video space, and mobile is always the solution,” said Joe Esposito, VP of Product Development Operations at Spafax Networks. “Connecting mobile with screens for consumers on-the-go is incredibly valuable, and Blue Bite’s mTAG® platform helps us seamlessly facilitate these cross-screen campaigns.”
The deployments will feature Blue Bite’s mTAGs installed onto Vector Media’s digital kiosks in hotel lobbies, restaurants and bars across Miami; Cinema Scene’s TrailerVision™ screens in theatre lobbies, specifically designed to draw consumer attention and drive interactivity with movies and brands; and Glanz.tv® digital screens in premier pedestrian locations.
“We are excited about our newest partnerships and commencing these important rollouts heading into 2014,” said Mikhail Damiani, CEO and Co-founder of Blue Bite. “With the continued expansion of our footprint, we can provide brands with direct access to their target demographic with unparalleled scale.”
The addition of mobile adds a new layer of accountability for advertisers, who are increasingly focusing on proving ROI. The real-time analytics allow participating brands to measure the effectiveness of their campaigns, and optimize the mobile content in real-time to react to market conditions.
“Vector Media is very excited to partner with Blue Bite in the mobile space. This technology will add value for our clients, as it will help us continue to show a true ROI on their out of home investment,” said Jay Goldstein, Manager of Digital Out-of-Home at Vector Media.
Michael Holmes, Principal of Cinema Scene added, “We are consistently looking for ways to extend content beyond our TrailerVision™ displays. The addition of Blue Bite brings more value to our advertisers as consumers can now take content on the go and generate extended awareness after leaving the cinema lobbies.”
“We are proud to have Blue Bite as a partner; their mobile platform will provide a dynamic tool for our digital advertisers,” said Joseph Kunigonis, President of Washington DC Metro-based Glanz, Inc. “By blending the glanz.tv® digital signage network with mobile interactivity, we will bring the latest digital technology into our network to enhance the user experience for our advertising and real estate partners.”
Blue Bite has witnessed steady growth in the number of mobile engagements per campaign over the past several years. The Company expects further growth as it continues to extend its physical-to-digital mobile network – already the largest in North America.
About Blue Bite (www.bluebite.com)
Blue Bite is a leading mobile-marketing solutions provider utilizing a targeted, location-based approach to reach captive audiences on their personal mobile devices. Blue Bite has partnered with many of the leading Out-of-Home companies in the U.S. and prides itself on creating an interactive two-way engagement by enabling consumers to connect with digital and traditional media via their mobile phones. For more information, please visit www.bluebite.com and follow the latest updates and developments on Facebook and Twitter.
About Vector Media (www.vectormedia.com)
Vector Media offers diverse Out-of-Home advertising opportunities, specializing in large format visual communications. Our ever-growing media arsenal includes transit spectaculars, transit posters, taxi media, digital advertising, wallscapes, bulletins, telephone kiosks, telephone wraps and building wrap spectaculars. Our current markets include New York City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston, Seattle, Florida, Miami, San Diego and Vancouver. In addition, we have the ability to charter our Double Decker Spectaculars to almost any city throughout the U.S. Canada.
About Cinema Scene Marketing (www.cinemascenemarketing.com/media)
Cinema Scene Marketing, headquartered in Overland Park, KS, is an industry leader in driving theatrical marketing, advertising and promotional campaigns for major Hollywood studios and corporate brands. Touching over 200 million cinemagoers annually, Cinema Scene’s in-lobby promotions generate memorable brand exchanges.
About Glanz.tv® (www.glanz.tv)
Glanz.tv is a digital out-of-home media company, offering location-based, just-in-time digital advertising. We are focused on premier locations with the highest pedestrian foot traffic in the Washington, D.C. Metro area.
About Spafax Networks (www.snxchange.com)
Spafax Networks, a division of WPP’s tenthavenue, was founded in 2012 with a mission to become the leading global company targeting on-the-go audiences and influencing purchase outcomes across multiple channels and devices.
Spafax Networks’ initial offering is a buying solution for digital placed-based media, dubbed the SN: Xchange. As advertisers continue to look for new digitally-capable screens to include in their addressable media plans, Spafax’s proprietary buying methodology solution is coupled with ad serving — via a demand-side platform, or DSP — in the previously uncharted territory of digital placed-based networks. The SN: Xchange optimizes campaigns by identifying target consumers down to the sub-block level and enabling buys to be placed in a biddable, real-time marketplace.
Media Contact: Alex Kim, Blue Bite, 866-523-3070, firstname.lastname@example.org
News distributed by PR Newswire iReach: https://ireach.prnewswire.com
According to a new report from IHS, the global market for high-speed wireless-enabled devices is set for “explosive growth” through 2018.
Driving this projected growth over the next five years is the emergence of consumer electronics products that are taking greater advantage of rapid wireless transfer capabilities.
Annual shipments of high-speed wireless-enabled devices such as smartphones, televisions and mobile PCs are expected to reach 503 million devices by 2018, up more than tenfold from 49 million units anticipated in 2013.
“Growth during the next three years will be tremendous, ranging from 60 to 120 percent, with expansion during the last two years of the forecast window moderating somewhat to still-high increases of up to 30 percent, as shown in the attached figure,” reads the IHS report shared with MMW on Thursday.
The Top 3 revenue opportunities for suppliers of high-speed wireless integrated circuits will be smartphones, TVs and mobile PCs.
“Much of the anticipated growth in the high-speed wireless industry will be attributed to the increase of both WiGig and multistream Wi-Fi in mobile and home entertainment applications by the end of the forecast period,” said Stephanie Gibbons, senior analyst for connectivity at IHS. “In particular, WiGig and multistream Wi-Fi are the two technologies set to drive high-speed wireless adoption into key consumer electronics applications.”
As 2013 enters the home stretch, savvy marketing professionals are planning ahead for the new year and trying to determine the tools and tactics most conducive to mobile marketing success in 2014.
Recently, MMW caught up with Brennan Carlson, SVP of Product Strategy at Lyris, who revealed that the new year will set the stage for a number of prominent trends in marketing, and mobile is central to each.
“More email is read on mobile devices than desktops and there’s no signs of it slowing down,” Carlson says. “By 2017 it’s predicted that 78 percent of US email users will access email via mobile. To successfully reach the always connected customer, marketers will master mobile optimization in 2014.”
Content marketing, the executive says, is another key trend to watch.
“Content will be treated as media in 2014,” Carlson explains. “Responsive digital communications will function on multiple platforms as marketers view content as the context, rather than the device as the context.”
Lastly, the veteran strategist at Lyris says that 2013 marked the advent of an email marketing renaissance with consumers choosing email as their preferred channel for brand interaction. “In 2014,” he adds, “marketers will adjust their budget and resources accordingly.”
Adding more insight to the open floodgates of 2014 digital and mobile marketing predictions for the new year is Elizabeth Harz, Chegg Vice President of Business Development.
This week, Ms. Harz connected with MMW to talk about Millennials, marketing, and much, much more as the arrival of 2014 looms large.
1. Millennials customize their world, brands need to continue to let them modify
“Millenials are used to customizing the universe to suit their worldview vs. altering their style or consumption habits to fit existing rules,” Harz says. “Brands that have figured out how to offer customization or personalization at scale are already succeeding with this demo. Think Converse or custom burgers from The Counter. Appealing to the “Made to Order” generation doesn’t have to eat into margin, in fact, small tweaks with product offerings and great marketing can acquire new millennial customers and the friends, tweens, parents and neighbors they influence.”
2. Millennials take their TV to go
“While it’s not news that traditional TV habits have been dramatically changing,” the Chegg executive continues, “the prediction of consumers that never have a home landline phone or a cable subscription has come to fruition with this generation of young adults. We’ve been following millennial TV consumption closely at Chegg and college students’ cable subscriptions and traditional TV viewing have been steadily declining over the past three years in favor of services like Hulu and Netflix, often on mobile devices or through Roku. As millennials take their TV to go and are simultaneously engaging with Twitter or other social sites regarding the content they’re watching, it’s essential for brands to rethink how to break through when consumers are the programmers.”
3. Social networking is a state of mind, not a destination for Millennials
“While the majority of college students and young adults are on Facebook, there’s an increase in young adults turning to other platforms,” Harz asserts. “Instagram. Vine. Snapchat. The ways millennials connect and share is growing more diverse by the day. Social networking through technology is as natural to this generation as marathon telephone calls and paper note writing were to the previous one. As new options arise monthly for students, they will explore and adopt them in order to have new ways to connect with their networks and express themselves. As brands devise marketing communications strategies, it’s essential to plan for platform agnostic digital activity. Students will take great products, services, and creative and share them regardless of platform. When planning for 2014, ask yourself how an offer or campaign can be shared via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Vine, etc. Or ask a student and they will show you.”
ORLANDO, FL–(Marketwired – Dec 12, 2013) – Engage Mobility, Inc., (OTCQB: ENGA) an emerging leader in mobile marketing technology and integrated data, has announced that it will launch a nationwide series of mobile marketing seminars and workshops beginning in January 2014. Engage, who has just recently released a first of its kind Mobile Engagement System combining groundbreaking Augmented Reality browsing with a proprietary cloud based video delivery platform, Mobile CRM and integrated Data, will introduce this cutting edge mobile marketing solution to business owners in major cities across America.
Jim Byrd, CEO of Engage, stated: “The Engage team is so excited about the launch of his mobile marketing seminar series. The business world is going mobile and it is imperative that business owners and marketing professionals develop an immediate and sustainable mobile marketing strategy for their business to stay abreast. We believe we have developed the definitive mobile marketing solution for all businesses, and there is no better way to introduce this amazing system to business owners than in an educational setting. This is a true coming out party for Engage, not only will we have the chance to meet with business owners and leaders all over America, but this will allow us to introduce the Mobile Engagement System in a very informative and compelling manner.”
The Company plans to visit up to 30 major cities in the first half of 2014, offering free seminars to business owners and marketing professionals, and offering the unique opportunity for businesses to become an Engage client and to have the Mobile Engagement System launched in real time for their business at the workshops. The final seminar schedule has not been announced yet but the company has announced that it plans to visit New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago, Dallas and Kansas City in the early part of the tour. Specific dates and locations will be posted and updated on the Company’s website, www.engagemobility.com.
About Engage Mobility, Inc.
Engage Mobility, Inc. (ENGA) is a provider of mobile marketing technologies and solutions that help businesses acquire new customers and keep existing customers engaged. Augmented reality content, mobile coupons, push notifications, geo-targeting and loyalty rewards programs are all used to build brand loyalty. The Company’s pricing model enables businesses of every size to realize a superior return on their mobile marketing dollar. Gartner Group forecasts $21 billion will be spent on mobile ads by 2015. The Mobile Engagement System™ is a proprietary technology that delivers a value-added service to the consumer and corporate customers. The system integrates a cutting-edge augmented reality app with a proprietary cloud- based video delivery system, a mobile CRM, Dynamic Data™ delivery system, and access to Engages substantial database of over 40 million consumers and businesses. Engage operates from offices in Orlando and Kansas City. www.engagemobility.com
Disclaimer Regarding Forward Looking Statements:
Any statements contained herein that are not historical facts are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. These forward-looking statements are made subject to certain risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those presented. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only to the date such information was released. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly revise these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances that arise after release of this information.
- Business Services Activities
- Augmented Reality
- mobile marketing
In fact, 45 percent of consumers browsed Target’s app and site on their tablets in 2013 versus 28 percent last year, according to the study, which was conducted by the independent research firm ResearchNow.
Apple, though, is where most consumers actually made purchases with their mobile devices.
(Read more: App economy to get a big boost this holiday season)
Forty-nine percent of consumers used their smartphones to purchase from Apple’s mobile app and its site in 2013, compared to 14 percent in 2012.
Across the board, though, more people are making purchases using their mobile device.
Bill Seibel — I wrote about him in July – is an unstoppable entrepreneur whose latest venture, Waltham, Mass.-based Mobiquity, helps companies profit from mobile. Based on his work with companies trying to stay ahead of the mobile game, he has identified five trends that will matter most.
Seibel is not easily deterred from startups. After helping build up systems consultant Cambridge Technology Partners; founding and bringing Internet consulting firm Zefer to the brink of an IPO; starting and selling software maker Demantra to Oracle for $41 million, Seibel founded Mobiqity which has been growing fast.
As he told me in July, “We have 150 clients and have boosted revenues. In 2011 revenues were $5 million, in 2012 they rose to $18 million and so far in 2013 we are up to $24 million with a $40 million backlog and nine offices. We have 200 people, expect to end the quarter with 350 and the year with 400.”
In a December 10 interview, Seibel described five trends that he thinks will predominate in the mobile space next year. These trends look good for Apple, Google, ATT, and Tesla and not as good for BlackBerry, Microsoft, Ford, and GM.
1. Apple will fill the enterprise void created by the impending demise of BlackBerry.
Seibel sees six reasons why Apple will take over from BlackBerry:
- BlackBerry is failing – it lost $965 million in the most recent quarter and is planning to eliminate 40% of its work force by the end of 2013;
- Microsoft lacks the acceptance and market traction needed to fill the gap that BlackBerry’s demise is creating;
- Android is “gaining penetration into the consumer marketplace;”
- Enterprises will invest more in “B2E [Business to Employee] in 2014 and beyond;”
- Apple — with its ”reputation for quick reaction to malware, better device management, and BYOD [Bring Your Own Device -- meaning employees can use their personal devices for work instead of getting IT-approved models] — is continuing to make inroads into the enterprise;”
- Apple is enhancing its enterprise-friendly “capabilities that appeal to the Enterprise (such as security, more control over apps, single sign on, lower cost: iWork bundled for free) — that will help Apple to target and win the enterprise.”
2. Wearables will not catch on until well after 2014.
Seibel believes that wearable computing will only gain market acceptance if it satisfies three tests: function, fit, and fashion. Very few wearables now pass these three tests in his view. He thinks that Google Glass wearers, for example, have earned their “Glassholes” moniker.
As Seibel said, “Even though the form is there today – watches, glasses, rings, wigs, bras; the function isn’t quite there yet. Except for some of the healthcare and fitness wearables. And for wearables, there’s a third F that’s important – and that’s fashion –And for most of the wearables, the fashion is definitely not there yet.”
The iPad was fashionable in his view, but not Glass. Explained Seibel, ”When my first iPad arrived, I remember showing it off. People would come up to me to see it. I have Google Glass, but I’m a bit embarrassed to wear that outside of the privacy of my home. Perception that they create isn’t ‘cool’, it’s geeky and socially awkward. Glassholes. The function and fashion will get there – but wearables will not take off until they both do.”
3. Analytics will help companies change consumer behavior.
Seibel sees that a combination of easy collection of data about consumer behavior coupled with the ability to analyze all that data will nudge individuals into changing their behavior for the better. However, that ability to collect and analyze personal data will make privacy a continued concern.
As he said, “The purveyors of mobile solutions will know more about us than we know about ourselves. But the corollary is that privacy will emerge as a real issue in 2014. For example, healthcare providers want consumer to take their medications and lead a healthier lifestyle.
Mobile has architecture to support it — but analytics is the fuel.”
“For example, Fitbit has data on a billion footsteps and a million hours of sleep. It’s not just more data — there will be seven exabytes of data in 2015 — but the sensors will always be on and companies will be able to target advertisements and incentives to change behavior to each individuak with a unique message for each individual,” explained Seibel.
4. Cars get connected.
Seibel expects cars to get connected in 2014. This will help people to unlock cars, start up their engines, and monitor them remotely.
As Seibel said, “I have seen [these capabilities] introduced for Audi (in car WiFi and Google maps integration) and Tesla’s partnership with ATT. But 2014 should be the year where mainstream car manufacturers introduce smart connected cars and apps that handle a range of functions from remote unlocking starting, to maintenance monitoring to WiFi connection and integration of web services.”
The huge potential for mobile marketing is now being realized, and this sector is growing at a significant rate. Untargeted advertisements provide little value for consumers and low returns for marketers. Thankfully, the wealth of insights travelling across the multiple silos of mobile networks could be the key to mobile marketing success. Guavus‘ big data analytics solutions provide insights that enable marketers to deliver the right advertisement to the right consumer in the right place and context and at the right time.
Marketers must provide something that represents real value in return as a means of encouraging consumers to allow their operators to share their data with them. As such, any advertisement or offer must be tailored to the individual subscriber. It is here that analysis of subscriber data is essential, giving mobile marketers insight into subscriber usage behaviors that will enable them to ensure their messages are relevant to that audience.
In order to achieve long-term success in this space, two things need to happen: First, operators need to provide transparency over how subscriber data is being used, giving subscribers the ability to opt in or out as they choose. Second, marketers need to respond to the data gauntlet that has been placed before them and transform their content so that it provides real value for consumers on an individual level. Once these things are achieved, mobile marketing will deliver tremendous value to consumers and drive serious revenues.