The International CTIA Wireless 2012 Show
is the industry’s main event where the entire community—from carriers to content developers—gets together to discuss “all things wireless.” After three days of talking with exhibitors and attendees (and consuming massive amounts of M&Ms), it was clear – the industry is shifting from mass development to improving the individual user experience. While some are taking to this shift faster than others, overall it is flooding the market with ideas and companies ready to make the next big wave in wireless history.
Most are starting the move where the real money is at – infrastructure. To the untrained eye, these items look the same as they did years ago. But, chat with an engineer or entrepreneur, and they’ll show you the advances transforming these products into solutions to meet customer demands.
Also in this space are carriers and other surviving wireless players. But, unlike their past priorities (e.g. improving bandwidth, capacity and access), this challenge is complicated by the end user’s demand and their own pro-activity. It’s not enough for the industry to simply evolve and react to their own challenges, especially when users are seeking solutions for inadequate power, activity-appropriate protective cases and audio solutions.
Infrastructure aside, the Show presented everything from personal signal boosters to portable battery powered chargers.
Since smart phones (and I may actually stop calling it a phone because voice is not even the main use of the device anymore) are our primary communications and entertainment device, more and more accessories are now available that broaden the capabilities and utilizations. Bluetooth ear buds that stay in while performing extreme sports and cases that protect your device while scuba diving or painting are just a few of the items that have not only identified a need in the market but also entrepreneurial companies to fill it.
The best news is there is no lack of ideas – and not just apps.
So what? To the carriers! I want what I want, where I want it, when I want it. Now go.
To the device manufacturers and OS companies – Bravo, but my expectations are still high. Big or small, old or new, there is a lot of enthusiasm from how you’ve driven the carriers further than where they would have gone on their own and enabled a platform for the accessory and app markets.
To the true problem identifiers and solvers – I envy you. No matter how niche you go, there seems to be a market, reasonable manufacturing and development costs, and distribution channels available to you.
Here is a list of great examples - kudos to these companies:
Favorite case for water sports – Dry Case
Home or office Booster – zBoost