Cantillon: Linking up your gadgets – a clever device
If a consumer has a sizeable portfolio of apps on either iTunes or Google Play they will be less inclined to switch to rival devices
While the tech blogosphere is ripe with speculation on fingerprint recognition features on the next iPhone 5S and whether the next iPad Mini will have retina display, the longer-term focus amongst the financial community seems to be less about handset features and more about making smartphones marry with other appliances.
With work reportedly under way on the Apple iWatch – and Sony’s Smartwatch pencilled in for launch in September– - the idea of having a common interface on your tablet and smartphone will start to be replicated on watches, in cars and even in general household technology like TVs and perhaps even worktops.
The reasoning behind a common operating systems seems sound. If a consumer has a sizeable portfolio of apps on either iTunes or Google Play they will be less inclined to switch to rival devices.
If your music, ebooks and general media content are married to one system then you may already less inclined to change phone. Add a common interface to your watch – for which you may pay several hundred euro – your car and perhaps your TV, and it’s obvious how creating a single ecosystem creates a loyal customer base.
If the devices only fully function with either Apple’s iOS or with Android you might understandably feel limited in your choice of purchases. It also suggests that smaller players, such as Blackberry with its BB10 operating system, are facing big challenges.
Watches are the first foray into the marriage of phones, tablets and wearable technology. Google Glasses are also on the way.
Meanwhile the motoring world is becoming a major tech battleground, both among automakers and IT firms. The next version of Apple’s operating system, iOS 7, will include car connectivity. The idea is that your phone will automatically link to the car’s media screen and feature a stripped down version of your apps. While you might not base your car purchase on your phone, it might well work the other way round.