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Device Previously Known as a Mobile Phone

Strategy Analytics finds that a quagmire of regulatory delays is hampering Mobile TV spectrum availability in Europe, as described in its recent report. That one problem will hold back the DVB-H adoption over the next two to three years.

"These regulatory delays, combined with the success of ISDB-T in Japan, the momentum of DMB services in Korea, the commitment of the two largest operators in the U.S. to using MediaFLO, and the rising chorus of support for MBMS in 3GPP2 will create a much more fragmented mid-term for mobile TV adoption globally," states Chris Ambrosio, Director in the Wireless Practice at Strategy Analytics.

"With regard to music adoption, the next challenge is for device vendors to find a way to push music into mid-tier price points without negatively impacting usability," states Bonny Joy, Analyst at Strategy Analytics.

"Sony Ericsson and Samsung have the advantage in marketing these entertainment features alongside strong consumer electronics brands. While Sony Ericsson has made huge strides in this direction with Walkman, Cybershot and Bravia sub-brands, Samsung and Panasonic are struggling to leverage strong consumer brands to drive handset sales."

I believe that the usability issues on the device previously known as a mobile phone will continue to be a major obstacle to value added services (VAS) adoption. If you think that your current device feature configuration menu is complicated now, then just imagine what it will look like once all planned enhancements are included. The user experience is the essence of the product, for mainstream consumers, not the brand.

Other findings in the report include:

- Proactive OEMs like Nokia are trying to carve out differentiated streaming-video enabled product positions in order to leverage the Web 2.0 phenomena. In the long-term, streaming video features will serve as the next major enabler beyond messaging to drive broader mass market demand for smart 3G devices.

- Global camera phone shipments have slowed to 21 percent annual growth in 2006. Growth will continue to taper off and OEMs will wrestle to balance the opposing needs for 2 MPXL+ with rich sets of supporting usability features on 3G products in mature markets with low cost, VGA-enabled products driving demand in emerging markets.

- FM Radio will prove to be a valuable check-box feature on both 2G and 3G handsets. By the end of 2010 a new generation of FM radio stations in emerging markets will act as another catalyst in driving FM radio features into half of handsets sold annually.

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