On the Wednesday following the 2010 Wireless Summit, a group of us made a trip to the Scottsdale Fashion Square Mall. Fashion Square is interesting for a couple of reasons. It's actually the largest mall in Arizona and the American Southwest. Here's some of what Wikipedia has to say about it:
This week, the Microsoft PDC (Professional Developers Conference) 2010 is taking place in Redmond, Wash. and a number of iQmetrix staff members will be making a road trip down to participate. PDC is one of the premiere development conferences in North America, with attendance between 5,000 and 8,000, it is arguably only second to Apple's WWDC. Unlike most conferences, PDC is not a yearly event; Microsoft only puts it on when it has something big to announce or when it is pushing a new technology. In the past, Microsoft has unveiled iconic products like Windows 95, Win32 API, Windows NT 5, .NET Framework and Windows 7, along with official releases of XP, Vista and IE7. PDC has a history of big announcements and exciting keynotes and this year is shaping up to be no different. It will also be the first time PDC will be held at the Microsoft Campus in Redmond -- it sold out in only a few weeks (also a first).
"You get a first look at innovation here,” says Jonathan Bergman a 2010 Summit attendee, WiBOC member and CEO of Sell Well Now, a Missouri-based wireless retail consulting firm. “So if you’ve never come to this show, you’ve got to come to this show.
In recent years, wireless and electronics retailers have been making efforts to better serve female customers. Even industry giant Best Buy has stepped up its lady-friendly game, as reported by Miguel Bustillo and Mary Ellen Lloyd of the Wall Street Journal (June 16).
Last week was a bad week for U.S. mobile phone carriers. On Oct. 13, the FCC said it would consider new rules for carriers to reduce customers’ frequent complaints of “bill shock” (see FCC Proposes Rules for Carriers to Address 'Bill Shock'). That same day (Oct. 13), the Better Business Bureau of Western Washington reported that tech companies (mobile phone carriers, household Internet service providers and software publishers), made up four of the top five businesses drawing complaints from customers (carriers were number one).
On Friday (Oct. 15) research firm Gartner predicted worldwide media tablet sales, driven largely by sales of the Apple iPad, would reach 19.5 million units by the end of the year.
Just last week (Oct. 14), the Federal Communications Commission announced its new “bill shock” plan, which requires wireless carriers to begin alerting users once they have exceeded or are about to exceed voice, text or data usage.
Last May, ForeSee Results reported that online customer satisfaction has been on the rise. Satisfaction levels with computer and electronics e-tailers, for example, went up from 74 to 78 percent between 2009 and 2010. A big reason why consumers enjoy shopping online is because it is simple and convenient. Another reason? Consumers often don’t want to be “sold to” by overeager salespeople.
Verizon Wireless announced Sunday that it would pay up to $90 million in refunds to 15 million cellphone customers who were wrongly charged for data or Intenet use, making it one of the largest customer refunds in telecommunications history, reported Edward Wyatt of the New York Times (Oct. 3).
Roger Cheng, of the Wall Street Journal, reported last Friday (Oct. 1) that Microsoft will be formally unveiling a lineup of smartphones using the revamped version of its mobile operating system on Oct. 11. AT&T will subsequently begin offering the new phones four weeks later, he added.
BlackBerry maker Research In Motion unveiled its first tablet computer last Monday (Sept. 27) at a developers’ conference in San Francisco. “But in a return to its roots, the company said that the new device, the BlackBerry PlayBook, would be aimed mainly at business users,” wrote Ian Austen of the New York Times (Sept. 28).
Consumers’ frequent use of sites like Facebook and Twitter, particularly via smartphone, makes social networks ideal places for retailers to generate word-of-mouth referrals. In June, Experian Simmons reported that two-thirds of U.S. Internet-connected consumers visit social networks (a 230 percent jump from 20 percent penetration in 2007), and 43 percent of respondents visit these site more than once a day.
2010 has been a watershed year for mobile commerce. It seems like everywhere you turn, you’re seeing or hearing something about how shopping and mobile technology have collided. Things like Foursquare, shopping apps, and mobile coupons are becoming more accessible, due to both increased smartphone adoption (IDC: Smartphone Sales to Jump 55% in 2010) and companies’ willingness to send consumers deals directly to their phones.