Tag Archives: smartphones

smartphone

Arizona Executives Don’t Vacation Without Smartphone

BMO Harris Bank released a study today that found that most business owners and executives in Arizona do not truly “get away from it all” when it comes to vacationing. Seventy-three percent of the respondents admit to checking their work emails during their time off; albeit 11 percent lower than the national average.

“Gadgets such as smartphones have been instrumental in making it easier to stay in touch, contributing to increased business productivity,” said Tim Bruckner, Managing Director, Commercial Banking – Arizona, BMO Harris Bank. “The flip side is that same instant access fuels our need to stay connected at all times.”

Nearly half (42 percent) of those surveyed regularly work more than 40 hours each week. That “always on the clock” mentality translates into long hours focused on work. While 61 percent of the Arizona respondents describe themselves as workaholics, only a small percentage of them (six percent) cite their workaholic tendencies as the primary reason for their success.

online

Closing the digital divide for Arizona students

Arizona students are back in class and in addition to notebooks and lunch boxes, some parents are packing smartphones or tablets in their kid’s backpacks. Some school districts are even requesting that kids bring their own technology to school to enhance their learning.

A recent Pew Internet & American Life study found that more than 80 percent of teachers agree that today’s digital technologies are leading to greater disparities between affluent and disadvantaged schools and school districts. When 76 percent of teachers assign online homework, teachers increasingly find themselves in the difficult position of either leaving behind students without Internet at home or holding back the other “connected students.”

What is truly troubling is that many kids throughout Arizona, even those with Internet-enabled smartphones and tablets, have no access to Internet in their homes. While the majority of Arizona homes have access to a broadband connection in their neighborhood, due to cost, some economically challenged families choose not to connect in their homes. Internet access and digital literacy are essential for today’s students to succeed and ensure that they have the tools to compete in our 21st century workforce.

Connect2Compete (C2C) was created by community leaders, the private sector and foundations to bridge the digital divide to ensure affordable access to the Internet for low-income families. As the largest Internet provider in Arizona, and a company that has a strong history of supporting broadband adoption through programs such as the Boys and Girls Clubs technology centers, it was a natural for Cox Communications to be part of this effort to ensure that affordable Internet access is available to those students most at risk of falling through the digital divide.

While the main goal of C2C is to improve student engagement and increase graduation rates, it also benefits other members of the household. Just consider this – in the U.S. today, more than 80 percent of Fortune 500 companies post their job openings online only and require online applications – the same is true at Cox Communications.

So how does it work? Families who have at least one child enrolled in the national free school lunch program are eligible for low-cost access to high-speed Internet through Connect2Compete. A consortium of hardware and software partners provide low-cost computers and digital literacy training, and Cox Communications provides a two-year commitment of Internet service for $9.95 a month, free installation and a free modem rental.

Cox Communications believes that all kids in Arizona deserve to have the same tools for learning and Connect2Compete is one important way we can do our part. For more information, visit connect2compete.org/cox/.

 

Susan Anable is the vice president of public affairs for Cox Communications Arizona and is the mother of two school-aged children.

online

Closing the digital divide for Arizona students

Arizona students are back in class and in addition to notebooks and lunch boxes, some parents are packing smartphones or tablets in their kid’s backpacks. Some school districts are even requesting that kids bring their own technology to school to enhance their learning.

A recent Pew Internet & American Life study found that more than 80 percent of teachers agree that today’s digital technologies are leading to greater disparities between affluent and disadvantaged schools and school districts. When 76 percent of teachers assign online homework, teachers increasingly find themselves in the difficult position of either leaving behind students without Internet at home or holding back the other “connected students.”

What is truly troubling is that many kids throughout Arizona, even those with Internet-enabled smartphones and tablets, have no access to Internet in their homes. While the majority of Arizona homes have access to a broadband connection in their neighborhood, due to cost, some economically challenged families choose not to connect in their homes. Internet access and digital literacy are essential for today’s students to succeed and ensure that they have the tools to compete in our 21st century workforce.

Connect2Compete (C2C) was created by community leaders, the private sector and foundations to bridge the digital divide to ensure affordable access to the Internet for low-income families. As the largest Internet provider in Arizona, and a company that has a strong history of supporting broadband adoption through programs such as the Boys and Girls Clubs technology centers, it was a natural for Cox Communications to be part of this effort to ensure that affordable Internet access is available to those students most at risk of falling through the digital divide.

While the main goal of C2C is to improve student engagement and increase graduation rates, it also benefits other members of the household. Just consider this – in the U.S. today, more than 80 percent of Fortune 500 companies post their job openings online only and require online applications – the same is true at Cox Communications.

So how does it work? Families who have at least one child enrolled in the national free school lunch program are eligible for low-cost access to high-speed Internet through Connect2Compete. A consortium of hardware and software partners provide low-cost computers and digital literacy training, and Cox Communications provides a two-year commitment of Internet service for $9.95 a month, free installation and a free modem rental.

Cox Communications believes that all kids in Arizona deserve to have the same tools for learning and Connect2Compete is one important way we can do our part. For more information, visit connect2compete.org/cox/.

 

Susan Anable is the vice president of public affairs for Cox Communications Arizona and is the mother of two school-aged children.

St. Mary's

Cox introduces NCAA March Madness Live App

The NCAA March Madness Live® app now offers Cox Communications’ customers free streaming, live coverage of the 2013 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship when and where they want it at no additional charge across all tablets, smartphones and desktop computers using a broadband connection. NCAA March Madness Live® features social and interactive components to provide portable access to the tournament and is available via download from Google Play and the Apple App Store.

“We know our customers look forward to exciting basketball in March – whether they watch on their TV, online, mobile or tablet, they won’t miss a minute of coverage! Cox customers who subscribe to the Essential package or higher can experience all of the action wherever they are and at no additional charge,” said Susan Anable, vice president of public affairs for Cox Communications.

The 2013 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship will be televised by CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV now through the Men’s Final Four® and National Championship Game from Atlanta on April 6 and April 8.

Cox communications will offer a wide array of viewing options so that its customers can enjoy the entire NCAA Championship tournament through their:

· Television: For the third consecutive year, all 67 games will be televised in their entirety across four television networks — TBS, CBS, TNT, and truTV.

· Computer: Cox customers with access to TNT, TBS and truTV on their TV will also be able to watch the games live online by going to www.ncaa.com/march-madness and using their Cox User ID and Password to sign in.  All games broadcast on CBS are available with no registration.

· Tablet/Smart phone: Cox customers with access to TNT, TBS,CBS and truTV on their TV will be able to watch the games live via the March Madness Live ® app.  The app is available on Android or Apple smart phones and tablets.

smartphones market growth

Smartphones Lead Cellular Market Growth With 44.4% Increase

Mesa-based Forward Concepts’ annual market study of the worldwide market for cellular terminals and their chips, “Cellular Handset & Tablet Chip Markets ‘12,” compares Q1/2012 vs. Q1/2011 vendor unit shipments for all cellphones, smartphones and tablets. It also gauges their 2011 revenue and unit shipment performance over the prior year.

Although cellphone and cellular-enabled tablet vendors and their respective market performances are covered in detail, we believe our coverage of chips that enable them is without equal.

Importantly, the study estimates 2011 market shares of chip vendors and forecasts virtually every chip type in units, average selling price and revenue through 2016. Market metrics are the central focus of the study, and some key top-level findings include:

  • Worldwide sales of mobile phones (budget, midrange, feature and smartphones) to end users reached 379 million units in the first quarter of 2012, a 9% decline from the first quarter of 2011.
  • Sales of smartphones continued to drive mobile device market growth, reaching 139 million units in the first quarter of 2012, reaching 37% of the global cellphone market.
  • Smartphone vendors, Apple and Samsung, raised their combined share to 45.7%, up from 30% in the first quarter of 2011, and widening their lead over Nokia – which saw its smartphone market share drop to 8.6 percent.
  • In the first quarter of 2012, Apple iPADs achieved a 59.3% share of the media tablet market (which includes the sub-$199 Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble Nook).
  • Apple’s multimode LTE “iPAD3” has positioned the company to offer the iPAD2 at lower prices, causing a decline in Android tablet shipments.
  • Ereader manufacturers shipped just 1.4 million units in the first quarter of 2012, down from 4.2 million units shipped in the final quarter of 2011.

According to the principal author, Carter L. Horney, “Global sales of mobile devices declined in Q1 more than expected due to a slowdown in demand from the emerging regions. All vendors were impacted at different levels; however, Chinese white-box vendors suffered the most with bloated inventories.”

Will Strauss, Forward Concepts’ president and editor of the report, said, “We are confident that this study provides the most comprehensive coverage of cellular handset and tablet chip markets available.”

For more information on this market study on cellphones, smartphones and tablets, visit Forward Concepts’ website at fwdconcepts.com.

digital stream 1's and zero's

QR Code – Encoding And Promoting

Local businesses generate leads, experience immediate results with effective QR code strategies

In just six months in 2010, from July through December, the use of QR codes (abbreviated from Quick Response Codes) increased twelvefold. And in 2011, ScanLife’s mobile barcode trend report documented that, worldwide, scans increased by 440 percent.

QR codes were created in 1994 in Japan to track vehicle parts. So why did they suddenly, almost in a virus-like effect, become as widespread so quickly?

The answer: smartphones.

While it’s no secret businesses, including top brands such as Starbucks, Ford, Best Buy and Audi, are taking advantage of the QR code boom, there are a few businesses out there baffled over how to use them correctly and effectively.

QR codes are a type of matrix barcode that encodes information, and its contents are able to be decoded at high speed using a QR code scanner app on smartphones. They have been found virtually everywhere — product packaging, business cards, magazines, restaurant menus, marketing collateral and more. But, the real question is, can all businesses benefit from using QR codes?

According to both Jeff Gottschalk, CEO of Gotty Code, and Rebecca Heft, senior creative director for Gate6, QR codes can work for nearly everyone, it just takes a bit of creativity, targeting the right audience and following up. Not only are the results immediate, but this is also a cost-efficient way to interact with customers and develop one’s brand.

“Every business can benefit from QR codes if they have a compelling use for them and the right customers,” Heft says.

Heft recommends businesses think about what they want to deliver to their customers and then determine if adding a QR code would enhance the experience.

For example, Amber Cox, Phoenix Mercury president and COO, says the team used QR codes on placards given to fans in the arena, on signs located near the ticket office and in other in-arena advertisements. Scanning the QR codes offered fans an opportunity to win prizes. However, she says, this was also an experience for the person to engage with the Mercury brand on another level.

“We’ve been able to quickly accumulate sales leads for people that we know have engaged with the Mercury on some level prior to us talking to them,” Cox adds. “That is valuable in itself.”

Shell Vacations Club, which offers vacation ownership in destinations nationwide as well as Canada and Mexico, used QR codes to gather data and leads with a giveaway. If you scanned the QR code, you earned a chance to win a one-night vacation at a Shells Vacation resort.

“They captured 866 leads in 30 days,” Gottschalk says. “They experienced more than 1,300 visits to the campaign on their website.”

Other popular uses for QR codes include offering coupons, product information, making purchases and linking to the business’ social media pages.

However, for GreenbergTraurig, LLP, which takes a business-to-business (B2B) approach, QR codes were used as an electronic medium for paperless delivery of attorneys’ white papers to the business community with timely, relevant information.

“QR codes have allowed GreenbergTraurig attorneys to become even more effi cient with their presentation of resource materials and community education on legal aspects of timely topics within the business marketplace,” says Matt Burrow, director of client relations and business development.

For instance, two GreenbergTraurig lawyers put a QR code at the end of their powerpoint presentation during a seminar and asked the audience to scan or opt in for a report that covered everything they discussed. They garnered about 37 leads, improving their leads by about 1,000 percent.

“QR codes offer real world interaction where companies are able to tell their story and capture data in an environment where they normally wouldn’t,” Gottschalk says.

“Businesses need to understand what data will give the most return in investment and help make your marketing initiative as effi cient as possible moving forward.”

More importantly, Gottschalk says the key is following up and using the data collected through the QR code campaign, data such as names, emails and phone numbers. “The fortune is in the follow-up,” he says.

So when is the right time to use a QR code? According to Heft, perfect opportunities to scan QR codes are during those with built-in waiting times, where potential customers or clients have to wait.

“Give a virtual-world bonus for your real-world location,” Heft says. “Think about places where people have to wait, such as airport. Create a fun and interactive way for them to get to know your brand by using a QR code as a catalyst.”

Cox agrees that QR codes are an innovative way for companies to interact with their customers, crucial to the development of a brand. And with more than 450 million smartphones sold in 2011 and a total of more than 600 million sold by 2015, now is the time for businesses to consider their mobile presence.

“With mobile Internet set to outpace desktop Internet usage towards the end of 2013,” Heft says, “it is becoming more and more important that businesses think about way to promote themselves on the mobile Web.”

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QR Code Tips

1. Know your audience target market: Are they tech savvy? If not, offer instructions.
2. Give them a reason to scan: Entice them, and give them an incentive — a powerful call to action.
3. Placement; where will it go? Consider places where people have to wait.
4. Make it mobile friendly: Don’t send people to a website or video not formatted for mobile use. Be sure the page or link loads quickly.
5. The bigger the better: But, QR Codes must be high contrast, too.
6. Get creative: Create a memorable, fun experience, and get them excited.
7. Collect data to generate leads, and follow up with your customers.

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Arizona Business Magazine March/April 2012

CES 2012

The Best Of The Consumer Electronics Show, CES 2012

Another year, another Consumer Electronics Show. Forgive my late “best of” blog; I had to rest a little after this year’s show. Every year I tell myself I’ll have a plan of attack, and every year I find myself wandering way off track and aimlessly between the halls — no bother as it’s hard to turn any corner at the International CES 2012 and not find something incredibly cool.

I didn’t get a look at Snookie or the Beib’s, but I did see some really cool innovations. Here’s a list of the best in the most popular categories.

Ultrabooks

Haven’t you heard? Laptops had to re-brand. At the show this year, it was all about the Ultrabooks; these are laptops that meshed the lines between notebook, tablet and high-powered machine — for around $1,000.

One might not think Lenovo, akin to the clunky ThinkPad, could produce something absolutely elegant in this category. They did. Enter the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga. The beautiful machine has a slim but sturdy frame, advanced multi-touch, Windows 8, and … wait for it … the double-hinge design lets you use it as a tablet or a notebook. Pick your poison.

Coming this February is the HP Envy 14 Spectre, equipped with a nine-hour battery life, Intel Wireless Display, HP’s CoolSense technology and premium software, including Photoshop, and a two-year subscription to Norton Internet Security. And, by the way, it’s stunning. This Ultrabook is a tad heavier than the others debuted at the show, weighing in at a hefty 3.8 pounds. And its price tag is a smidge heavier, too, at $1,400.

Tablets

Last year was all about tablet-mania at CES. This year, we got to see some serious next-generation goodies.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab really caught my eye as a nice improvement over last year. Samsung is calling their Galaxy Tab 7.7 the thinnest and lightest of Samsung’s tablet line.  It’s the first tablet with a 7.7 inch Super AMOLED Plus display at a 1280-by-800-pixel resolution. The screen is incredible, and gamers will like the vivid lighting and color display. This tablet will only be available through Verizon for now, but here’s hoping that will expand to other carriers by the end of the year.

Android, of course, had a big year again, powering some of the best tablets and smartphones being shown. One example that created quite a bit of buzz at the show was the Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime. This beauty runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (yum) and is extremely powerful for a tablet. Playing with this, you may realize you don’t need a laptop at all. Asus announced at the show that the Prime will have a 1080p panel to boot, making the display unparalleled. It’s also blazing fast with a Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor that will be appreciated by serious business users and gamers alike.

Smartphones

Speaking of Android, smartphones featuring the new Ice Cream Sandwich OS abounded. I was really impressed with Sony’s venture into the smartphone world, launching the Sony Xperia Ion through AT&T. This phone, also a gaming device, has a very nice 720p glass screen and a 12-megapixel camera. Its dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor is in there to handle PlayStation games as well as other media, such as music and videos. Right now it’s running on Android Gingerbread, but Sony promises an upgrade later this year.

The LG Spectrum was a great example of something else new this year — HD smartphones. This device also sported a 720p screen but with advanced HD features that make text, images and color on the screen really pop. There’s even an HD-specific app store (HD Angry Birds?). Like the Sony Xperia, right now this slim Spectrum is just running on Gingerbread, but an upgrade soon to ICS is promised by the summer.

For more information about CES 2012, visit cesweb.org.

 

Samsung Galaxy Tab

Three Tablets Ready for Work

In a very short two years the tablet market has lit up like a wildfire and business executives have a plethora of options. The iPad still reigns supreme, with an estimated 80 percent of the tablet market. But that could change very soon with Android’s Honecomb platform, built just for tablets and now available on several new devices from makers like Samsung and Motorola. With more big players entering the tablet market and sales moving through the wireless carriers, soon we’ll have as many to choose from as we do smart phones. And with that, if you feel like the iPad is a bit too game or entertainment focused for your work needs, here are three alternatives that will get the job done.

RIM BlackBerry PlayBook

BlackBerry PlaybookMillions of business executives around the world have held their steadfast loyalty to RIM and their crackberries. And it’s easy to understand why. Blackberry was arguably the first line of smartphones built with the executive in mind. Palm may have kicked off this trend, but Blackberry took a very swift lead when it started churning out smartphones for every kind of business user, leaving Palm in the dust. For RIM devotees, there’s the new Blackberry Playbook and it’s living up to its noble name. The user interface is just as intuitive, the design sturdy and elegant, and the browser is top rate. Like the others mentioned, the PlayBook has full Flash-video support. And it has something the others don’t have yet; it can wirelessly send files between computers on the same network. Synching with your Blackberry smartphone is of course a breeze. RIM hasn’t added a video chat feature yet, which may be a hindrance, but you can bet it’s probably not too far behind. It does have a camera though, and can run apps simultaneously for multitasking. Starts at $499 for 16 GB.

Motorola Xoom

Motorola XoomThe Motorola Xoom is building quite the little buzz storm as the first tablet to use Google’s new Android Honeycomb system. That and users really love how fast, cool and powerful it is. It too has Flash support, something that’s becoming more and more of a deal-breaker for business tablet users. It also has a growing list of apps, multitasking, a camera for web chat, and you can transport content from the device to an HDTV — this is a great feature for both home and business user. Presentations delivered through the tab are clear and beautiful, and if you’re on the right network, incredibly fast. This tablet also promises a 10-hour battery life, which can be a lifesaver for the executive who chooses to leave the laptop at home and travel just with the tab. Starts at $599, so not exactly more affordable than an iPad.But user reviews indicate that this tablet is totally worth it.

Samsung Galaxy Tab

Samsung Galaxy Tab
This might be the most popular iPad alternative yet, especially for executives who like or need to run Flash. It’s designed to be lightweight, slick, incredibly stylish, and users say it’s as fast as it is pretty. It’s a bit smaller than the iPad, which makes it easier to tote around in a small bag or portfolio. The Galaxy has a camera for both pictures and video, and a front-facing camera for video chat. This can come in handy for video conferencing on the go. The tablet is available through all of the major carriers and starts at just $199. That’s a pretty fair price tag for a tablet that can run loads of great apps, fun entertainment features, and supports your business communications and productivity needs.