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Hidden Wireless Charges

October 18, 2010 Leave a comment

Have you ever opened your wireless bill and saw extra charges? Well if you answered yes to that question you are not alone. Every day many people are seeing unexpected charges on their wireless bills. The FCC had decided it’s time to put an end to this and expose the hidden charges by implementing rules for cell phone carriers. These rules will require carriers to alert consumers when are they are about to go over their monthly minutes or usage amounts.

These new rules will most likely not be easily accepted by carriers as the rules may require changes to the way consumers are billed. This would require many changes for carriers that will take a lot of time to implement. Additionally these new rules may eliminate a very profitable revenue stream. For example if a consumer is not aware they are going over their monthly minutes or usage, high fees will be incurred which means more profits for carriers. What carrier would want to give up such a high profit stream?

It is hard to say if the FCC will succeed in their efforts to expose the hidden wireless charges. Consumers will definitely want these new rules implemented as I’m sure many Americans are tired of paying the overage fees. However, carriers will be lobbying against these rules as a major revenue stream will ceases to exist of the rules are passed. Is it ethical for carriers to not warn consumers when they know overage is going to occur? Probably not, but that will be up to the courts to decide.

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Research in Motion (RIM) Playbook: Will It Succeed or Will It Fail?

September 30, 2010 Leave a comment

Research in Motion (RIM) announced this week their new tablet device known as the PlayBook. RIM is hoping that corporate users will love the PlayBook and that consumer demand will skyrocket. However, the big problem at hand is apps. In order for a product like the PlayBook to be successful, apps need to be available. Without apps the product will fall into oblivion and have no consumer demand and people will flock back to the Blackberry and other smartphones.

Therefore, RIM needs to attract app developers in large numbers and quickly if the PlayBook is to be a serious competitor in the market. This could impact the demand for the PlayBook as without any apps, the PlayBook will fall to the iPhone and other smartphone devices. However, RIM does have a strong user base which has the potential to pull in app developers.

RIM does appear to have multiple options for app development. Rather than going for the traditional approach of having multiple apps with multiple functions, RIM could decide to develop fewer apps but with more of a centralized business focus. This could benefits buser users who’s apps maybe don’t focus on what is needed and would prefer a centalized focus  over any app that comes to mind.

The overall hope is that consumers will love their PlayBook so much that they will want to use them as consumer devices rather than just work related.  With two different cameras included in this device, it could be an easy transition from work to play. This will hype consumer demand and could potentially draw in more developers for apps.

So will RIM succeed with a more focused concept but possibly less apps or will it fail and taper off being beaten by other devices? Only time will tell…

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Wireless Printing and New Operating System for Apple Devices

September 17, 2010 Leave a comment

Have you ever been on your iPhone and needed to print something, but can’t since you’re not hooked up to a printer? Well that is all going to change. Apple has created “AirPrint” which allows the iPad, iPhone and iPhone touch to find a printer on a wireless network. The person can then print text and photos without any installation necessary just by using the wireless signal. AirPrint can be used with a variety of printers but HP will be developing a line of printers specifically for this technology through a partnership with Apple. AirPrint is part of the new operating system iOS 4.2 which is said to be available in November as a free upgrade.

Additional features of the iOS 4.2 system include:

  • ability for iPads to run more than one application at a time without effecting the hardward or battery
  • unified iPad mailbox where all mail from all accts can be viewed and can respond
  • New accessiblity options including keyboards and dictionaries of many different languages

This is huge for Apple as now applications for the iPad, iPhone and iPhone touch can be made in a single environment since all devices will share the same operating system. This will create even greater benefits for those using the devices, especially for students and professionals who need to do printing while away from their computer.

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