Current wireless industry = PC Biz in its infancy? I think so.

26 June 2009

On June 25th, I attended the afternoon sessions at the Digital Media Conference  held in Tyson’s Corner, VA.  Sometimes these types of events are full of sales people, and while there were some, in general it was an interesting mix of speakers and attendees. Given my work here at H&K, I was definitely looking forward to the mobile apps panel, and I ended up hearing from AOL on mobile platforms, which was unexpected.


Ted Cahall, President of AOL’s Product & Technologies led the lunch keynote, where he set the stage for mobile content and media as the focus of the afternoon.  He noted that currently there are too many hands in the cookie jar of mobile applications and platforms. Carriers, developers, device manufacturers and wireless enablers are all creating competing platforms, however eventually there will be a PC – Mac battle, which is already brewing. Currently the iPhone is in the position of the Mac; however, we’re still waiting to see who will be the PC in the mobile world? Panelist Daniel Odio of stated that Google’s Android platform will eventually take that position. Android’s volume will increase in comparison to the iPhone platform, as Android will be available through various devices and carriers. However, from the four panelists only AP Digital and rmbrME said they had or were working on Android versions of their apps. In addition, all of the panelists agreed that the iPhone’s platform and ecosystem are the most evolved and easiest to work with. I hope RIM’s listening because it didn’t seem to be the most favored platform!


 In the mobile marketing session, Kevin Bertram, CEO of Distributive Networks ; the creator of the Obama text messaging campaign was on the panel. The best take away from the panel was that in order to be successful, mobile marketing campaigns must have call for action to the user and link to traditional media.  Speaking of traditional media I also attended the session titled “Is the Newspaper Dead?” To sum it up, it sure isn’t the same as it used to be. However the panelists all agreed that in order to succeed its print and online sites must not be mirror images, including the ads, online ads must be interactive. In addition, newspapers must focus on what they do best, and add value to its audience. It’s no longer about the product, but the audience, online and print audiences differ. The baby boomers still enjoy opening up the newspaper that landed on their porch and drinking a cup of coffee, however the younger generations are reading the news via a mobile device or online. Publications must cater to both audiences separately to succeed.


Right now the mobile industry is constantly changing, but we all can say that it’s all about the apps and what your device can do for you. The iPhone is sleek and sexy, but it has many other devices nipping at its ankles with the same features. It’s about the experience and what’s inside the phone. Think about it, when’s the last time you saw a commercial about making a phone call?

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