To the delight of my editor at Medipost, I have refrained from cluttering cyberspace with yet another column on the iPhone by someone who's never touched one. Until now. It seems almost petulant not to write about the iPhone in a column about mobile on the day before its release. It is the most hyped phone in history and may well be the most anticipated technology launch we have seen in decades. And I won't be getting one.
In this week of the iPhone, it is good to temper the hype with sober history about the track record of technical marvels in the marketplace. Apple's is not the only mobile convergence device in recent years to hit the market with dazzling hardware, great promotion and press hype to drive it. A couple of years ago, no less a powerhouse than Sony launched its technically scrumptious Playstation Portable (PSP) as a home theater for your pocket. Sony seems to have been learning a hard lesson that some analysts predict Apple may experience later this year. Selling the first few …
As if to remind me of my decrepit media sensibilities, out-of-step tastes, and erudite preoccupations, both my daughter and girlfriend spent a chunk of my birthday watching crappy low-res videos of mindless cat antics on my otherwise high-res, way-oversized HD monitor. The contrast between expensive technology and quality of content couldn't be starker.
YouTube slipped a Web site into the WAP universe this week in what looks like a low-profile beta. This comes many months after a then-exclusive deal with Verizon to put the brand onto the V Cast clipcasting service. Good thing, too. The WAP version (m.youtube.com) is a vast improvement on the V Cast disappointment.
I have been playing around with two mobile video solutions that are way-way off-portal, but are helping me think through some of the hurdles mobile TV may face with consumers. Both SlingPlayer Mobile and Orb are favorites among the early (real early) adopter crowd. Both products let you broadcast your personal video experiences from home to Web or mobile outlets. In essence, they help us imagine a third way of approaching mobile video, and that is where they are valuable thinking tools.
As long as I've been covering the mobile field, I have had trouble getting a handle on how much and how often U.S. mobilistas fire up the data channel on their phones. For activities like gaming and mobile search, I have seen wildly inflated figures passed around -- 30% to 40% penetration rates that don't even pass a simple eyeball check on the street....
Those of us graying at the temples with plummeting metabolisms will recall those dancing, prancing Dr. Pepper spots. Did any of us who tried Dr. Pepper as a result of this ad actually align ourselves with the surface messaging? Were we really joining a crowd of Peppers? Of course not. Note to marketing: There are no Peppers, there were no Peppers. The key to this ad was a low-level irony that fit its era... of low-level irony.
"360" is the new buzzword to wear out its welcome in just a few months of over-use. If I get one more pitch from earnest marketers and publishers about their "360" experience, I will barf... or scream... or die... or whatever clichéd response one has to a tired cliché.
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