The finished company

The Finnish company Nokia (1992) was one of the most successful brands in mobile phone production and within 6 years of it launching its first GSM cellular phone it dominated the market as the leading phone manufacturing company. However, today the story is drastically different. With the launch of mobile phones by Apple (running on iOS) and Samsung (Android), Nokia’s shares have fallen 47% (Lynn, 2010). With a steady decrease in profit and market share, Nokia has today gone on to become one of the most disappointing companies ever.
Having had faced failure at such a large scale, Nokia tied up with Microsoft in order to create a range of smartphones which could help bring the company back from fallen glory. The Lumia series which was born as a result of this tie up initially had the public excited at the prospect of the beloved Nokia finally catching up with the times; however this wasn’t as easy as it sounded. First Apple and Samsung had a collective market base which left no place for any third company to flourish, even Research in Motions Blackberry was no competition for the collective forces of the two. Then the fact that the Windows OS had a relatively smaller market share, compared to iOS and Android, where apps were concerned and did not support many apps including the popular Instagram. Most shareholders wanted Nokia to make phones which supported Android after the 1st quarter of 2013 saw the company facing a loss of $196 million (Rodriguez, 2013)
However though the new range of Nokia phones was looking to carving a niche out for itself in the market resorting to Android doesn’t seem like the ready answer to help increase sales. Other than Samsung and LG no other mobile phone companies seemed to be able to sell their Android powered phones. True facing giants like iOS and Android would prove to be quite a task. The answer as of now lies in selling the phone to the people based on how easy it would make their lives instead of focusing on the specs. Nokia has a good camera for starters, and gradual development, albeit faster, could well facilitate Nokia managing to carve a niche for itself outside the duopoly that is Apple and Samsung.

References:
Rodriguez, Armando, 2013: http://www.cio.com/article/736379/Nokia_s_Fall_From_Grace?page=1&taxonomyId=3061
Lynn, Matthew, 2010:
http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/10_39/b4196007421255.htm

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• Wearable computing. What is it and its future.

Wearable computing was the brain child of Steve Mann who invented the first ‘wearable computer’ in the 1970’s. Wearable computing, as the name suggests, refers to computers or technology which the user can wear on their body, and being speech controlled would leave the hands free to carry out various tasks.
Wearable computers, as of now, serve people like technicians, field workers, soldiers and other military personnel, and researchers- it is always near them, and with information thus being readily available, the output of their jobs increases in quality as well as quantity. Every system built requires timely monitoring which would help in maintaining it for longevity. Wearable computing would make the above easier, in so far as it would enable one to gather the data required for the above and actively use it for it betterment, while leaving the hands free for carrying out the tasks.
Wearable computing, however, is still in its early stages of development. While in the 1800s, the wrist watch was described as a perfect wearable computer- because it allowed the user to see the time without using their hands (this was the time when pocket watches were used). However today wearable computing could be used in a variety of manners. It could help produce an augmented memory to help the wearer in a number of ways like replaying where the person parked the car, using the camera attached, or help an elderly person with poor memory with facial recognition. Other uses could include increasing vision, increasing the output in a sportsperson by monitoring the body during practice, health-care etc.
Wearable computing does have a very prominent future because of all the reasons mentioned above and also because people readily resort to technologies which could serve to make their lives easier. While most of this technology is still being researched and developed, and with the present market base being similar to that of the early days of personal computers, it does not mean that there is no future for this- because wearable computing is what the future will be made up of.

References:
Scholl, J. & Drugge, M.
http://classes.soe.ucsc.edu/cmpe080u/Winter08/Wearable.pdf
Garrett, J. & Burgy, C.

• What is a podcast? Does it have a future?

According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, a podcast is “a program (as of music or talk) made available in digital format for automatic download over the internet.” Therefore, a podcast could well be described as a ‘broadcast’ which is electronically downloaded into an electronic device such as an iPod. The word ‘podcast’ itself is a neologism of the two words which describe it- broadcast and the iPod. However, it could well be accessed on a computer which had the ability to play media files.
Recently, Apple Inc. announced that their database now had over 1 billion subscriptions to podcasts, which threw light on the fact that podcasts were well going on to become a means of mass absorption of information as was evident in the high number of subscribers to the search base that it has. Further, since the files downloaded via a podcast could be accessed even offline increased the convenience access to information thus had.
Podcasting could well be described as a kind of media which was horizontal in nature- in as such that the ones who consumed could well go on to become consumers and vice versa. Today a large number of social brands are resorting to podcasts thus making the medium a part of digital market strategies.
However, it remains to be seen whether podcasting could go on to establish itself more firmly. The Edison Research Study on the Podcast Consumer (Webster, 2012), from 2006 to 2012 there has been a 105% increase in the awareness of the medium. Then consumers who have actually listened to a podcast have grown 163% in the same time period. Therefore a majority of people are aware of this medium, less than a third had actually listened to one (Martin, 2012). However, the graphical representation of listeners drawn out by the State of the New Media 2012 showed a growth rate which was small yet steady. Further, Pew Reports state that there has been almost 100% growth in podcasts via cellphones, in a period of a year.
Therefore, to me, it seems doubtful as to whether there was a future to pod casting. While most of my data has taken into consideration the year 2012, the outcome in 2013 would determine whether podcasting would stage a comeback, seeing as how experimentation continues in the market with new podcasts.
References:
Martin, T. (2012): http://www.conversedigital.com/digital-strategy/podcasting-statistics-trends-future
Webster, T. (2012): http://www.edisonresearch.com/home/archives/2012/05/the-podcast-consumer-2012.php
http://www.merriam_webster.com/dictionary/podcast

• According to Akamai’s latest State of the Internet report, broadband speeds in the UK have risen by 41% over the last year. Its importance.

UK is an advanced economy and its government will usually be super keen to see the superfast broadband working in their country and fibre is mostly adopted in most countries around the world. Another objective is to draw the attention to the need to maximize not only the number of people who use broadband but also to them whoc take the full advantage of that availability.
It is a very good that the broadband speeds have increased by 41% over the last year. It is very important because a fast and ultra – fast internet access plays a central role in economic recovery and provides a platform to support innovation through the economy, as for instance electricity and transport did in the past.
The ushering of fast internet networks stimulates the development of the digital economy, which allows new band width hungry services to start leading to incentives for the further development of ehealth, elearninig, smart grids and media content in the future.
These are explained briefly in the following:
1. The Growth of market economy: Moreover, according to the OECD, cost saving of 0.5% to 1.5% in four key sectors of the economy (i.e. electricity, health, transportation and education) over ten years can result directly from building a new ultra-fast broadband platform. (Ducatel, 2010).
2. The Development of Society: For instance, we hear much about e-government, e-commerce, e-health, and e-education (and smart buildings and smart grids, although differently named, could join the list). Therefore it is not easy to pin down the benefits raised from broadband, thses are the extra benefits from superfast one.
3. The Differences Made by Superfast Broadband: As with any long-term investment, benefits are harder than costs to pin down: benefits are reaped over many years, and are more uncertain the further into the future we look.
http://www.lse.ac.uk/businessAndConsultancy/LSEConsulting/pdf/Costs-and-Benefits-of-Superfast-Broadband.pdf
http://www.akamai.com/dl/akamai/akamai_soti_q113.pdf?WT.mc_id=soti_Q113

• Microsoft announced that it was writing down the value of its stock of Surface RT tablets by $900 million. Does this mean that the tablet boom is over?

By valuing its stock $900 million, the tablet boom might be over. I will discuss the reasons now. The lawsuit filed a case against Microsoft and some of its officers, including the CEO Steve Ballmer, former Chief Financial Officer Peter Klein, Chief Accounting Officer Frank Brod and former Windows marketing head Tami Reller. It was said that they violated the federal securities laws by issuing the fake and misleading statements regarding the financial performance of Surface RT. Along with the other wrong happenings, the lawsuit said that Microsoft already have collected huge amount of stock at the end of its third fiscal quarter and did not tell the investors about it.
Then on early july, Microsoft announced its stock value, which was 900 million dollars. There was a decrease in profit as the inventory adjustment related to a 150 dollar price cut for the Surface RT. This also caused its stock to a downfall of 34 billion dollars of the company market value. Another point which accelerates the fact that tablet boom was over for Microsoft, is that in a document filed in July with the SEC, Microsoft said that it made 853 million dollars sales of its surface tablets in the past fiscal year. This proved that it was going in negative cash flow, as the sales being less than the value of its inventory.
In defense the Microsoft executives said ‘Microsoft’s foray into the tablet market was an unmitigated disaster, which left it with a large accumulation of excess, overvalued Surface RT inventory,”.
However, a university law professor said that it was not surprising for him that a law suit would be filed against the Microsoft. His comment lead to the right decision, which was the ending of boom for the RT tablets. The comment is as follows
“Based on those kinds of very positive statements, people could say they bought stock because they thought things were going swimmingly well,” when, in actuality, Microsoft executives may have known things weren’t going well, O’Connor said.
“That could be a problem for Microsoft.”

http://seattletimes.com/html/businesstechnology/2021604914_microsoftsurfacesuitxml.html