I had fun at Mobile World Congress last month demonstrating a new go-anywhere ruggedised phone from Sonim that can withstand being rolled over by a rubbish truck or used as a hammer to knock a nail into wood.
Now AT&T, the second largest US mobile network operator, has launched its first ‘intrinsically safe’ rugged device – the A25is smartphone by Aero Wireless.
One of the likely reasons that initial sales of Google’s critically acclaimed Nexus One smartphone have been disappointing is that Google chose to sell the device directly to consumers and tied its 3G performance to T-Mobile USA, the fourth largest US wireless network operator.
(As we reported, Google and HTC which manufactures the Nexus One, sold just 135,000 units in the first 64 days according to Flurry, the web analytics firm.)
How quickly the cycle turns. Barely a year ago D-Ram chipmakers couldn’t move fast enough to cut capacity as they struggled with oversupply during the industry’s most severe downturn. On Wednesday, the head of investor relations at Micron, the US memory chip company, confirmed what many analysts had been predicting: There is a shortage of Nand flash memory and D-Ram in the market.
This good news is tempered by the consideration that, over the history of the D-Ram industry’s existence, any shareholder gains made during the upturn have inevitably been destroyed in the next downturn. Many D-Ram makers, when presented with that fact, had last year vowed to be more disciplined should they make it out of the downturn, but can the tiger really change its stripes?