Worst of the Week: Fruit du jour


Hello! And welcome to our Friday column, Worst of the Week. There’s a lot of nutty stuff that goes on in this industry, so this column is a chance for us at RCRWireless.com to rant and rave about whatever rubs us the wrong way. We hope you enjoy it!

And without further ado:

As has become a custom whenever Apple launches anything, this week’s unveiling of a new iPad drew oohs, aahs and boos.

I also was throwing around some rumors, including that the device would be part Transformer and able to physically beat up other tablets or people you did not like; would also double as a jet ski for those times when you need a jet ski; and was also a banana. Well, I guess my guesses were about as good as those with real “sources.”

Instead of blowing our socks off – another feature I was certain the new iPad would have – Apple showed off what could be described as an evolved device. It sports a crisper screen that Apple dubs a Retina Display, which many seem to use to describe the clarity of the screen in comparison to other screens, but that in actually is just a marketing term devised by Apple to describe a higher resolution screen. It also has a faster graphics processor for those crazy gamers and an updated operating system for people that are into that sort of thing.

All and all a pretty good update for a device that really did not need to be updated if analyst reports and store traffic are to be believed. But it was good to see that Apple was not just resting on its laurels.

However, it seemed that some were less than impressed that the new iPad was not the life-altering change they needed to finally leave their parent’s basement. Most of these people took to all the popular social media sites to view their frustrations just prior to then packing up their camping gear and heading down to their local Apple store to begin the countdown to March 16.

I guess I can throw myself into the camp of the disappointed, but for entirely different reasons. Let me ‘splain.

First, Apple caved and installed LTE capabilities into the device. I am sure that for those people that use their iPad for serious work when outside of an office environment this is a big deal, and for those few I would agree. However, this additional capability may indeed lure more people to pick up those LTE-equipped iPad devices and thus begin using them as everyday utensils wherever they roam.

It’s bad enough that people seem to have lost their connection with humanity due to the proliferation of smartphones, but by now making tablet devices more useful in more places this Devo-lution of the species has accelerated.

Thankfully, wireless carriers remain afraid of letting people get to crazy with wireless data and are pricing access to these services at a rate that will dissuade most from jumping on board.

Second, Apple lost a chance to come up with a better name for this device. Sure, they managed to avoid throwing on another number to the end of the iPad name, but that was only a partial victory. I know Apple is locked into this whole “i”-whatever naming game when it comes to its mobile devices, but if you really want to appear to be a forward thinking company you gotta break out of this monotony.

Third, and most important, Apple improved the rear-facing camera on the device to make it more appealing to use for both pictures and video. Now, from a technology advancement point-of-view, this would seem to be a good thing. But to me this will only encourage people to increasingly use their tablets as a real camera.

Do we really want people running around our streets, holding up their goofishly large tablet devices taking pictures? The beauty of camera phones is that they are still relatively small and you don’t look like a knob when using them … for the most part. But having been in crowds where people have started holding up these picture frames to take pictures is both hilarious and angering.

This is an epidemic we need to nip in the bud yesterday. Yes, your iPad is awesome, but it’s not awesome when you are running around trying to take pictures with it.

I guess I can’t lay all of my qualms at Apple’s feet as people have taken what was a sort-of fringe consumer electronics item and made it a statement as to who they are as a person. Plus, now that Apple has released the device we can get back to the fun that us predicting what the next one will be. My first guess: inflatable companion.

OK, enough of that.
Thanks for checking out this week’s Worst of the Week column. And now for some extras:

–A T-Mobile USA executive remarked this week that device subsidies are hurting the market and de-valuing smartphones in the eyes of consumers. This from a carrier that seemingly every other weeks announces some reason to provide free smartphones to new customers and has gone on record as saying it would love to offer the iPhone, which one would only assume would require deep subsidies to sell.

I do admire T-Mobile USA for echoing what has been said for several years by just about every player in the mobile space, but the industry has only itself to blame for the current subsidy predicament and it will take more than admitting there is a problem to fix it.

–OK, now try to stick with me on this one. So, I received a press release from a “coupon code website” that claims a third of camera phone users have used the video calling capabilities of their device for … um … well … er … practicing an intimate experience. In addition, 5% of those who have been more intimate with their mobile device that what should be legally allowed have “accidently” sent “compromising” pictures of themselves to “strangers.”

Wow, that was awkward.

Now for the tricky part. What, how, where and who is a coupon code website getting involved with asking people about have sexy time via their mobile device? I want to see their mandate.

The company goes on and on about various results of the survey, but until I can get that first questions answered I refuse to get involved in the gory details.

I welcome your comments. Please send me an email at dmeyer@rcrwireless.com.

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About Author

Dan Meyer

Editor-in-Chief, Telecom Software, Policy, Wireless Carriers
Dan Meyer started at RCR Wireless News in 1999 covering wireless carriers and wireless technologies. As editor-in-chief, Dan oversees editorial direction, reports on news from the wireless industry, including telecom software, policy and wireless carriers, and provides opinion stories on topics of concern to the market such as his popular Friday column “Worst of the Week.”