Watch out for that smartphone! The iPhone, Android phones and the like are the weapons of the latest technology war, in the view of flash memory maker SanDisk, which supplies the memory chips that hold pictures, video and apps to the phone makers.
Nokia Chief Executive Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo spent much of his keynote speech at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas talking about the growth prospects for emerging markets. He showed moving videos about people in India and other parts of the world using cellphones for everything from finding out crop prices and ordering fabric, to mapping the spread of killer diseases and learning English.
BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion is a victim of its own success. Having dominated the market for corporate e-mail devices for years, it is being forced to seek out growth in consumer markets, where, so far, it has had trouble differentiating its products.
Motorola launched its Hail Mary pass in the smartphone market and it goes by the name of Cliq, or Dext, depending on where you live. One would assume plenty of branding research went into the names (Cliq in the U.S. and Dext elsewhere), as this is the company that created such easy-to-remember names as Razr, Rokr and Rizr.
News from Helsinki:******In a spurt of generosity, the world’s top cellphone maker Nokia plans to pass on to smaller Finland-based firms some 100 ideas for which it has not found any use in its core business, figuring the move could lead to new business opportunities for others.******”The current economic climate is just right for a critical evaluation of intellectual property portfolios and the release of the innovations that are more suitable for others to exploit,” Esko Aho, Nokia’s Executive Vice President for Corporate Relations and Responsibility and Finland’s former prime minister, said.******Some expect Finland’s economy to sink about 5 percent this year due to its heavy reliance on exports, and the country is looking desperately for new ideas to boost its economy.******Nokia itself is expected to recover from the market slump faster than its rivals, but it reported its first-ever quarterly pretax loss for the January-March quarter.******The new public-private initiative includes opening access to Finnish state investments for companies involved in the program. So far, some 300 firms have said they are interested in participating. Most of these firms are outside the IT industry — even a concrete foundry from Tampere, Finland’s third largest city, has said it would like to get access to Nokia’s bag of ideas.******Nokia’s Aho said it would be easy to see additional value from mobile services for the concrete foundry.******”With location-based services they can make sure the concrete is poured down at the right plot,” he said, adding that if all goes well, some of the ideas could end up with Nokia in the end anyway.******”It would be easy to see this river flowing also in the other direction,” Aho said. “It could well be that some idea lead to the situation where the result can later be added to Nokia’s offering.”******Smart thinking, right?