Cell Phone Trends For Niche Target Customers
So how do you think cell phone trends enter the public space? Well let me tell you a little secret about those cell phone guys that are behind the scenes ;-) They get their information from 'Research' and 'Marketing' reports. Research shows in a poll taken by 18-64 year old Americans....Tell me, have you ever taken a poll about your cell phone or cell phone service? LOL. Exactly. The people usually included in the poll is some person who is the Senior level person on a huge frickin' corporate account that has someone solve their problems for them. And most of them don't answer those questionnaires anyway. Why is the number always something like 1,500 people. There are over 2 billion frickin cell phones being used in the world and more than 1 billion sold last year. That's supposed to be how cell phone trends get out to the general public??!?!
Aside from consumer cell phone trends that are driven by politics, cell phone trends are come from niche interests. They are often hard to predict because I don't think there is such thing as 'mainstream' anymore. With so many applications and ways to personalize cell phones based on your lifestyle and interests there are just too many specialty groups to appeal to now: baby boomers, tweens & teens, girly girls, women, gamers, tech heads, application developers, eco freaks, infotainment enthusiasts, news junkies, brand afficianados, business professionals and globetrotting high end trendsetters. Following are some of the cell phone trends I have been following:
Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friends...And Metrosexuals Too
Luxe phones for true fashionistas. Now you know that when Investment Bankers in NYC are bringing home 7 figure salaries and $600,000 annual bonuses and they are not even in Senior Level Management, that there has to be a cell phone (how insulting that we even call it that) embellished in sapphire crystals, made of stainless steel and comes complete with an ear pillow. OMG- who thinks of this stuff? I so do not get this whole concept of paying thousands of dollars for a rock from the ground. People- get a clue. And for the man who wants to marry me- no diamonds - ok, I will happily take cold hard cash or a cash equivalent in vacations around the world. And I am an independent and creative woman so I will totally not take it personally that you didn't give me a 'personal' gift made to your specific cut that as far as I am concerned is a sign of ownership anyway, or if you don't want to travel with me- I'm cool wit dat as well. Give me a plane ticket and a nice itinerary and I will work it out from there.
Anyway, a $10,000 phone??!?!? No- actually it's more like $9,600 give or take a few dollars.
GPS and Location Based Services
They are big now, but it was back in the day around 2001 when I started selling Telenav GPS services to my corporate accounts. I am still kicking myself in the butt for not buying Garmin or Trimble stock. As late as 2005 I still could have picked them up at around $20-23 a share and could've tripled my investment by now. Could've, would've, should've, that's the story of the big cell phone trend that never made it, huh? Got to act on it when you think of it. But long gone are those days, I have customers wondering how they can get their hands on jamming devices, lol. Now that's probably the next big cell phone trend, how NOT to be found by your boss or significant other, lol. I am pretty sure they are not available for consumer purchase. I think they are only available if you work in certain Government agencies and have some super duper top secret clearance or something.
Here are a few other GPS and Location Based Tracking Cell Phone Trends:
Tracking Devices for your Pets
Tracking Your Lost Cell Phone
How to Track Someone Via Cell Phone
GRRRL POWER Cell Phone Trends
Trends that tend to quickly become successful on a large scale usually either solve problems or are products and services that focus on specialty markets or a little bit of both. Blame it on an oversight by those 'old cell phone guys behind the scenes, lol'.
Problem: Women had no place to 'clip' their cell phones or they kept losing their phone in their purses.
Problem Solved and Trends Evolved:
Beaded and Cool Wrist Lanyards
Mini Purses with cell phone pockets
Problem: 'Industrial' and Utilitarian Phones
Problem Solved and Cell Trends Evolved:
and pink phones, gag. Both are just a little too girly girl for me. But for all of the women who hated their industrialized phones, it was more than a trend, it was an instant success.
Skins Make your phone uniquely you!
And yes, you can thank us women for small cell phones. You're welcome :)
Upcoming Cell Phone Apparel Trend: Man Purses Out, lol, Solar Bags In
I am so not down with that trend, 'murses' (man purses)..who thought of that??!? But I am totally digging this trend: cool and hip solar powered bags from Germany and Denmark. The Danish site is in Danish of course, so I had my friend Per (thanks love) translate and he said the messenger bag that looks like the dark grey runs around $250 which is the same cost as many of the 'not so attractive' solar bags I have found offered here in the states. The German bags are around $650 (price is not listed). But let me tell you since the mid 90's I have been getting nice leather bags from Germany that remain in impeccable condition forever. The craftsmanship and aesthetics and smartly designed interior of the bags are soooo uber 'German'. Ganz gut! I don't even buy bags in the states anymore. I am so getting one of these solar bags when I head to Austria to ski this winter :)
This cell phone trend is starting to go mainstream thanks to the Apple iphone
Visual voice mail got it's much needed hype via the iphone and now 'Got Voice' is piggybacking that new consumer based trend. 'Got Voice' converts voice mail to email and allows consumers to view their voice mail on their website.
Everybody is all gagglin' about how they can see their voice mail and respond via email on their iphone.
But let us not to be quick to forget that the former Nextel was rocking a similar cell phone trend and concept aka NextMail via direct connect back in the summer of 2004. Lord knows, how many of those voice mail boxes I had to fumble around with and get set up for my customers.
Do not EVEN get me started on what's old is new again. Talk about being resourceful and 'timing' as we are not even out of the decade yet.
"High End" Cell Phone Trendsetters:
How on Earth did trendsetters become a trend within a trend? Needless to say these high end markets are also a profitable and successful market within the cell phone industry. I really think that this group is growing because reality is EVERYBODY whether they can afford it or not would rather pay for a nicely designed product with good quality that is going to last than pay for the garbage that lacks no craftsmanship, original design, useful functionality or aesthetic value whatsoever. Why do we have to pay a premium for something that is manufactured properly and looks nice? What kind of nonsense is that? And why does a big orange home improvement warehouse only sell raggedy low end products from like 4 manufacturers with some insanely high mark up? It's like companies think that if you don't fall within the 20% of wealthiest people in the world, then by default you want low end poorly manufactured, ugly, low quality, going to be broken up after you use it 3 times products, but still sold at some ridiculous cost with 100% plus mark up. Does anyone make a mop with wooden handles and a real cloth head anymore? LOL.
101 Cool Gadget Blogs and Sites
On the flip side....look at life on the end other end of the spectrum.
Cell Phone Surveillance, Cell Phone Security and Cell Phone Forensics Trends
I always feel like somebody's watching me...and I have no privacy :) Unfortunately, consumer confidence is low and it expands into our lifestyle. People are not so open and trusting anymore, not to mention convenience, that is why I think that cell phone surveilance is going to be the next big trend in the cell industry. Second homes, elderly parents, your stay at home puppy, nanny cams, social networking and cheating spouses are all leading the way for the need of cell phone surveillance. With a cell phone, media player and home security system you can watch what is happening in real time. Might not like what you see, but I suppose that is what it's for, right?
Wireless Digital Forensics
When you press delete is it really deleted? Negative. Just like a hard drive on your computer can be rebuilt, essentially so can one on your cell phone. These kinds of cell phone trends totally creep me out. Will make you think twice about what you send in that SMS or whose number you store in your company cell phone.
Cell Phone Trends for Eco Freaks and Geeks (me included, lol)
No, I don't live in a solar house...yet. I'm working on it ;-)
Put your fragile egos aside because being green or socially conscious has nothing to do with being considered a liberal, lol, or cool, it is just having a bit more self-awareness and understanding how what you do (or don't do) affects many people on levels that you cannot even begin to imagine. This may include your immediate family or grandchildren.
Problem: Consumers have more applications and features integrated into their mobile handsets and they use their phones 24x7 which quickly eats up the battery life.
Problem Solved and Cell Trends Evolved
As what is old is new again in the world of cell phone battery trends and we continue to wait another 5 years for improved cell phone battery technology...I have been searching for something else that is available now: Solar powered bags. I found the coolest solar powered bags in Germany and Denmark. It's almost as if the ones in the states were purposely made in the U.S. to be somewhat unflattering so that the trend would never catch on. Instead we have to buy another battery for $90 from the company that made the phone with a battery that only lasts a year, you know what I'm sayin? ;-) And then all the batteries end up in the landfill somewhere.
Wind Powered Chargers
Hand Powered Cell Phone Chargers
Conserve Space and Wear Your Technology
Battery Technology Trends: There's a lot of room for Improvement
Why it takes so long for battery technology to evolve. NPR Audio Interview from Summer 2005.
A mini explanation on fuel cell
From smaller and smartly designed LCD's/Displays to fuel cell technology, there is so much room for improvement. Folks were talking about fuel cell powering cell phone and laptop batteries back in 2003, 2004. They also wrote it about it in Wired Magazine way back when. I highly recommend you invest in a subscription (it is very inexpensive and a wonderful resource) especially if you are interested in the real evolution of a cell phone trend or any wireless related trend for that matter.
In the late 90's day I used to always be into whatever the latest cell phone trend was and would subscribe to all kinds of magazines, trade publications and follow industry trade shows (before the days of blogs). And it seems that sometime around 2003, I just lost interest. I think I just got tired of everyone hyping a product and then you delay purchases and wait and wait and wait. They show you this cool prototype at this big Consumer Gadget Show and you read about it extensively and in the end its just another utilitarian cell phone completely dumbed down. It looks absolutely nothing like what you saw at the show and of course it costs $150 more than they originally stated it would. Then they advertise that one of the greatest benefits is that it has improved sound quality and reception and also it now has a flash on the camera, something that falls into that 'gray' cloud I always talks about that exists in the industry. Part of me understands the nature that it is wireless and somewhat abstract, but other things I just don't get...
...Like what will drive the next big cell phone trend. Only time will tell.
Business and Corporate Cell Phone Trends
I am not sure what happened in the corporate space. I remember a day when most of the potential new cell phone trend setting products were tested in the corporate campus enviromnents long before they were introduced to the general public. And for the most part that still happens, but somewhere between the testing and the release of the product somebody forgot to take care of the customer so I don't think corporate industries overall have truly been able to fully embrace and leverage a lot of the technologies out there. And more and more content providers are sprouting up everyday but they all focus on something so tiny and they fail to see how it fits in the big picture. I really want to see some developers put egos aside and start doing some creative joint ventures and creating more cell phone trends geared towards businesses in general as opposed to just business professionals. So as it turns out, the customer did all this feedback and testing and all the rest of it, but then got dissed at the end. As this is my primary target customer base, I am very disappointed to see the trends that are touted for this market. I know that Telecomm and Wireless Expense Management has been all the buzz...is it forward compatible, backwards compatible, how well does it integrate with other emerging trends, such as ERP (Enterprise Resource Pla nning) and RFID (Radio Frequency ID) solutions. After all it should do more than 'manage cell phones', it should manage every piece of wireless communications, hardware, software and invoice they have with no special add on configurations required. As everything is going wireless it's a necessity, not an option right?
I am starting to see a trend where companies are wiring their offices for wireless, think multi-carrier, forward compatible networks that will support everything from wi-max to future generations of technology that have not even been released yet such as the 700mhZ network. The cool thing about it as that no additional wiring is needed and all of the wireless access sites are small and aesthetic and the infrastructure is modular and can be easily hidden in a telephone closet. I have been consulting on both a small and big scale on numerous projects like this. If you need more info on the technology that is avialable just hit the contact us button on the nav bar and let me know what you are looking to do.
As folks are starting to use their cell phone for more and more content rich services, I also want to see more trends that focus on security of wireless data. And also I would love to see cross collaboration between multiple kinds of devices to be more of a focus i.e. with one piece of software you can view and edit the same calendar from anyone in your departments cell phone pda collective calendar whether they have a BlackBerry, a smartphone or an HP running windows mobile 5.0.
Other Cell Phone Industry Trends I Would Like to See
I would like to see more cell phone trends and concepts that focus on the training and support side for helping consumers with common everyday problems:
* Confusing & difficult to read cell phone bills
* Nobody reads the manual! Let's build a cool training application to run in the cell phone itself.
* Lack of overall cell phone support for business accounts
* Just like your always on email on your BlackBerry Phone, instead of going backwards and trying to emulate that on cell phones, try doing it on laptops
I'd also like to see 'flash technology' get here just a wee bit faster for cell phones and other multimedia devices.
Problem Solved and Cell Trends Evolved:
Enter your ingenious idea here :)
Cell Phone Trends in Public Policy and Consumer Advocacy? Hmmm, now I wonder who thought of that? ;-)
Are You In Your 'Right' Mind?
See cell phone trends that focus on 'Brand You'
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