Thursday, October 22, 2009
08:30 AM - 02:30 PM
3000 Hanover St., Building 20
Palo Alto, CA 94304-1185
They're called handsets, terminals, phones, handies, mobiles, smartphones, and a bunch of other colorful names, and they're the place where the industry meets the customer. As the delivery vehicle, handsets are a critical part of EVERY industry stakeholder's value chain. In recent years, handsets have proven the unique ability to actually churn customers away from competing carriers. That makes them more powerful than network quality, footprint, content, and services. And this year, the handset-specific Content Store has emerged as the most interesting app distribution channel. Year after year, the phone is becoming an increasingly important and powerful part of the whole product. The first iPhone set off a flurry of handset innovation: from UI to touch screens, faster processors, Wi-Fi, sleek designs, and an end-to-end ecosystem. Now, the success metrics are unmistakable, and every vendor wants to mimic the seminal success of the Apple device, while every carrier wants to see the spike in monthly revenues that a top-flight handset stimulates across more subscribers. The flagship phones, the Omnia, the Pre, the N96, the Storm, the HTC Magic, the X1, are delivering the biggest margins, and helping handset vendors become content dealers. Meanwhile, the category is stretching upwards, and Qualcomm even proposes Smartbook devices that overlap Netbooks. And at the lower end, function-specific phones (like the INQ social phone) are making inroads, and also driving increased data use. At our meeting, we’ll ask the handset vendors to discuss:
- What innovations can we expect from the current generation of phones and the next?
- What role will handset vendors play in content distribution?
- How can entrepreneurs influence future handsets?
- Touch, haptics, faster processors, rounded-square icons, screen size, buttons, keyboards. What are the physical elements of success?
- What do handset Corporate VC and R&D groups want from Silicon Valley?
Our Annual Handset Innovation Review is a ½ day meeting to showcase the handset development lifecycle, what innovations are coming to handsets, and how new innovation gets inserted into handsets.