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Saturday, June 1, 2013

6 things you need to know about mobile research, smartphone rumours and imaginary new products

Mark Bridge writes:

Where did it all go wrong?  When did the mainstream mobile industry start to slide away from innovation and into repetitive nonsense?  For a while I suspected the downloadable ringtone was to blame. Just days after hearing 'Barbie Girl' on the mobile phone of a man from Vodafone Value Added Services in the late 1990s, I'd downloaded a poptastic tune to my own Nokia 2110. Soon, the entire mobile world was focussed on 30-second instrumentals instead of technical innovation. It was the beginning of the end.

Actually, no. What's now described as 'content' has become a massive part of the mobile ecosystem. (Yeah, ecosystem. Bigger than a mere industry but smaller than a planet). Ringtones aren't really the culprit. It's mobile itself that's causing the problem, like a parasitic worm nibbling at its own tail.

Here at The Fonecast, we do our best to sort the wheat from the chaff, the iPhones from the iBones and the Androids from the fanbois.

Most of the time the less newsworthy stories are discarded light-heartedly... but every so often there's one that pushes me over the edge. I feel I could be teetering at the moment. So, for all our sakes, let me offer a few suggestions about press releases I don't want to see.

Any kind of list. Ten things you need to know about the Nokia BLD-3. Five Tweets you must read before you die. The seven secret Symbian shortcuts that could change your life.

Statistically invalid research, particularly if it that lets you promote your insurance company by saying something about phones being lost in taxis or dropped in toilets. If we're lucky, it'll be accompanied by a pun in the headline and a half-amusing comment from the MD or Marketing Director. 

Speculation, especially when it involves SEO-friendly topics like a new iPhone, Facebook usage or hashtags. "Could this be the new Google smartphone?"  No, it couldn't.

A product you announced six months ago without much media interest, so you're having another go.

A product that doesn't exist outside some nice 3d rendering. Even worse if you're hanging your virtual news on someone else's virtual product. "Apple iWatch owners want waterproof cases, says waterproof case manufacturer".

But the most irritating - and that's because I occasionally fall for it and get halfway through writing a news article before I realise - is a favourite of research and analysis companies. I'm talking about a new study that's not really new at all but is just a paragraph from a report that was originally released a couple of months ago. Every few months another morsel is released, complete with a quote from the author of the report. Stop it, please. You're supposed to be the people we can trust.

Mark Bridge co-presents The Fonecast alongside Iain Graham and James Rosewell. This week it's all got a bit much so he's taking a few days away from the office.
Author: The Fonecast
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Categories: Handsets and manufacturers, Applications, OpinionNumber of views: 5015

Tags: research opinion

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