Feb 03, 2014

No Time to Sit Back and Relax

In the hi-tech industry, a major deal can make all the difference for a company. A big manufacturer decides to deploy your chipset, and certain companies could just stand by and count the money as it rolls in.

Of course, in the mobile industry, things are not so simple. We have to fight every single day for our next customer, and for our existing customers to stay with us. It’s a hyper-competitive industry, and that competition breeds a certain intensity that we all share … at least all of the successful companies.

So when Altair announced that Verizon Wireless had selected us for its new tablet, the Ellipsis 7, we didn’t even think of using that news as an excuse to sit back and relax. Had we done so, we’d likely be facing some pretty serious consequences.

But one thing we did do was notice that an announcement like that one with Verizon turned out to be somewhat of a catalyst for the market. After all, seeing one of the largest carriers make the decision to go single-mode LTE with its only self-branded/manufactured product would cause anyone in the industry to take note and ask themselves certain questions, like “Perhaps our next device should be LTE-only?” and “Why did Verizon decide to leave 3G out when it created the Ellipsis 7?”

So here we are, just a couple of months later, and sure enough, other companies are following, such as HP, which just launched an LTE-only Chromebook two weeks ago, right after CES.

I experienced an interesting phenomenon at CES; at least, I consider it a phenomenon.  The questions continued to come there, but they were not about LTE-only versus 3G-enabled devices. They were not about 3G as a fallback technology.

Instead, they were these kinds of questions:

“How is the Verizon product selling thus far?” “What is the service plan of the Ellipsis like?” “What kind of people buy this Verizon device?”

And the fact that the industry had moved on from questions about technology to questions about sales and marketing, to me, is big.

Because if the question is no longer about whether LTE-only makes sense, but rather how such devices are to be marketed, well, we are there, folks.

Something has changed, and this “premium feature” called LTE is now selling to mainstream audiences.

And now that we’ve reached this point, we truly have no time to sit back and relax. There is a tremendous amount of work to be done, especially if we want a truly connected world.