Author(s): Peter Bryer
Device addiction. Concerns about smartphone addiction continue to grow. Excessive and compulsive use among both younger and older users has caused a "heads down" society in many developed markets. New virtual reality headsets have the potential to create even greater social withdrawal and could spark calls for more warnings about device addiction (see our Daily Insight Screen Junkie Generations).
Equipment instalment plans. When Apple unveiled the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus in September 2015, the most notable part of the product announcement wasn't a hardware feature but a change in the sales model. Apple introduced a device financing plan called the iPhone Upgrade Program, which enabled users to finance a smartphone over a two-year period or upgrade to a new device after one year. The concept of equipment instalment plans (EIPs), which had been trending among several US carriers, was suddenly adopted by a leading smartphone maker, further altering the chemistry between device supplier, network operator and subscriber. EIPs could become one of the more disruptive developments in the mobile industry, causing a rift in subscribers' relationships with service providers (see our Daily Insight Unlocked and Loaded).
LTE Broadcast. Mobile TV services have been stigmatised by headline failures over the past few years, including the inability of DVB-H and MediaFLO to make any impact. A narrow portfolio of compatible devices and a thin selection of content led to consumer apathy. But as video content makes up an increasing proportion of mobile data traffic, a more efficient content distribution model is needed to optimise network performance. LTE Broadcast won't replace unicast scenarios such as streaming Netflix video, but it is suitable for live broadcasts like news and sporting events. Unlike DVB-H, which required specific handsets, LTE Broadcast is supported by many Qualcomm-based smartphones (see our Daily Insight LTE Broadcast: One to Watch).
Moodables. Several companies have introduced or are developing wearables that can detect a user's mood and adjust output accordingly. Dell, Google and Microsoft, for example, are developing sensor-based technologies and usage algorithms to determine attitudes (see our Daily Insight More on Moodables).
Zero rating. The Internet equivalent of a toll-free call, zero-rated or sponsored data provides users with free access to particular services. Facebook, for example, subsidises data costs in India, enabling users to access Facebook and a limited number of other services. But users do not have access to the open Internet, a critical aspect of zero-rated data (see our Daily Insight Giving It Away).
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