’s Top 6 Posts for August 2014

by Jeff Wiener on September 1, 2014

1. Navigating the Back-to-School Technology Craze

If you’re a parent or simply one who likes to watch TV you’ve no doubt noticed the commercials advertising back-to-school supplies; you know, the ones that have been playing since the day after school finished for the summer. In fact, parents often find themselves buried under a torrent of targeted tech advertising designed specifically to convince you that your children, regardless of their age, need the latest and greatest technology to learn; a sentiment your children will likely echo.

But technology wish lists aside, in this modern age of mobile devices—smartphones, tablets, netbooks, portable video game consoles and everything in between—what do your children really need as they prepare to return to school?

2. Sprint Drops T-Mobile Bid and Replaces Chief Executive Dan Hesse

After months of back and forth, and numerous statements claiming that it cannot compete without a merger with T-Mobile, Sprint has decided to abandon its acquisition bid for T-Mobile, according to the Wall Street Journal. The decision comes after Sprint faced mounting resistance from regulators who said such a merger would impede competition.

Its decision to go it alone also came with the surprise decision to replace CEO Dan Hesse, who leaves the company in pretty much exactly the same state he found it in: in a mess and in need of a turnaround. This new Sprint, however, remains optimistic about the future, the company’s new management team not wasting any time on its plan to get competitive on price. But it remains to be seen if such marketing tactics will be enough to revive the perennial third place finisher.

3. Apple’s Enterprise Dreams Rest on the Keyboard

It’s clear that next technological frontier for Apple is the enterprise market, as competent and secure mobile business solutions have been in short supply of late, particularly given that most people just bring their favourite consumer devices like the iPad or iPhone to work anyways.

But the problem for Apple is that the business world does not yet view the company as enterprise savvy, and thus many industries are still looking elsewhere to fill their mobile computing needs. Even as Apple tries to shore up these enterprise weaknesses the one thing that will continue to hold the company back is, to put it simply, the lack of a physical keyboard for the popular iPad.

4. Xiaomi Poised to take Mobile Market by Storm

You may have never heard of the name Xiaomi before, but this Chinese company is taking the smartphone market by storm. In fact, despite being a relative unknown outside the Asian mobile market, Xiaomi has skyrocketed up to the world’s fifth largest smartphone company, trailing only the significantly more recognizable brands Samsung, Apple, Huawei, and Lenovo.

Only four years old, Xiaomi has employed its own spin on a tried and tested formula for success, mimicry, as the company has come under fire of late for flat-out copying Apple’s iPhone design. But will riding on Apple’s coattails bring Xiaomi any lasting success; will it allow the company to capture markets outsideAsia? Some say yes, and argue that with the company’s solid products, affordable pricing, loyal fan base, intuitive user interface, and the addition of former Google tech heavyweight Hugo Barra, the world will soon know the name Xiaomi.

5. The Internet of Things Requires a United Front

The growing Internet of Things (IoT) has sparked interest across a multitude of industries as companies vie for a piece of this burgeoning new market. But with such a myriad of diverse industries now rebranding and refocusing their products in an attempt to fit somewhere in the ever-growing IoT ecosystem it threatens to create a cacophony of technological chaos, with each company or product trying to go it alone in a market that, by definition, is founded on interconnectivity.

In fact, as several companies have already realized, to create this comprehensive web of connectivity simply requires too many moving parts for any one company to handle, meaning partnership, cooperation, and collaboration will be the keys to our technological future.

6. Successful Companies Need a Mobile-First Strategy

Increasingly consumers are transitioning towards a mobile-first lifestyle, abandoning not only traditional tethers like the home phones, but more recently ones like the desktop computer as well. This shift has created a new kind of consumer, one with real time access to information, purchasing, and unimaginable amounts of data. But if consumers are becoming mobile-first, shouldn’t businesses follow suit?

The simple fact is that workers are now able to be more productive away from the office, out in the field or even at home, while still staying connected via a mobile device. This productivity and connectivity have changed the face of the modern worker, and businesses should be embracing it, yet for some reason adoption of dedicated mobile strategies has been disturbingly slow.

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