brand news

In the News: BP, GE, Tata, Yahoo

Posted by Dale Buss on October 15, 2010 09:00 AM

In the News

Apple tries to crack the code for China, as Verizon Wireless prepares to start carrying the iPad in the U.S.

BP stations in the U.S. are looking to rebrand, presenting a challenge for new CEO Robert Dudley.

Cadbury introduces "Most pampered bar in the world" campaign.

DoubleTree by Hilton rebrands globally.

Gap Inc. is focusing on international and online growth, CEO Glenn Murphy tells investors.

GE reports quarterly growth in orders after long drought.Continue reading...

tech talk

Nokia's Focus: New Tech, Emerging Markets, CRM

Posted by Shirley Brady on September 16, 2010 12:00 PM

Nokia showcased its next-generation technology at its Nokia World 2010 developers summit in London this week. Nokia, the only non-US top 10 brand in Interbrand's just-released 2010 Best Global Brands, slipped in this year's rankings from #5 to #8, its brand valuation dropping 15% in brand valuation because it has "fallen behind" in innovative smartphones, according to Interbrand's analysis.

New CEO Stephen Elop, however, isn't banking on smartphones alone (such as the new C3) to turn around the brand's fortunes. According to The Independent's coverage of the event, "Nokia is putting its money on the next big trend in the mobile phone market. It's not smartphones, says the company, but mobile phones for the emerging market that will drive the next handset revolution."

"More people will join the information age using a Mobile phone than a PC," Nokia's mobile phone EVP Mary McDowell said during her keynote address yesterday (watch it after the jump). "With approximately 80 percent of the world's population in reach of a cell tower, it is the mobile phone that will offer the first PC-like experience for many of the next billion people who will come online."Continue reading...

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tech talk

Nokia Shakeup Continues

Posted by Shirley Brady on September 14, 2010 11:30 AM

The news that Nokia had hired its first non-Finnish CEO in Microsoft executive Stephen Elop, who starts next week, continues to reverberate. Yesterday saw the resignation of Anssi Vanjoki, the head of its smartphone business.

Today its chairman, Jorma Ollila ("the executive credited with turning the Finnish company into the world's largest handset maker," notes the Wall Street Journal) revealed that he will step down too, although not until 2012. The Journal added that today's "surprise announcement, coming just days after Nokia said that it had hired Elop to replace its chief executive (Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo) signals that a deeper transformation could be in store at the company than many had anticipated."

Elop's challenges include restoring its former dominance in markets where it's slipping in the face of competitors (notably, Apple and Google) steadily whittling away at its share of the European market, where the Nokia brand still dominates.

The company is reporting record attendance at Nokia World — its annual meeting with developers, partners, analysts, investors and press — in London. Nokia unveiled new phones (such as the biz-friendly E7) and announced there it's bringing, with Orange, a new integrated Ovi service "that widens the developer ecosystem and gives Orange customers using Nokia handsets easier access to more content" to customers in the UK and France.

going green

O2 Ranks Mobile Phones’ Green Ratings

Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 27, 2010 10:15 AM

O2 just launched the UK’s first eco ratings for mobile phones.

The reason for divulging its internal ranking of "sustainability credentials": customers told the Telefonica-owned wireless service provider "that they want the whole story about the phones they choose. So as well as specifications on battery life, web-access and connectivity, they also want to know about carbon performance, how ethical our suppliers are, how free from complex chemicals the handsets are, and so on."

The only hiccup to the ratings, as Brand Republic notes — Apple refused to participate.Continue reading...

China's Wireless Aspirations

Posted by Laura Fitch on June 25, 2010 11:00 AM

If Chinese electronic companies have their way, techies worldwide will soon be reaching over Apple’s latest gear on the store shelf for the Huawei handset in the back.

Lack of experience and knowledge in other industries—notably the auto industry—makes “Brand China” a tough sell.

In the telecommunications industry, however, Chinese companies have a chance at creating a breakout brand that will be recognized beyond the country’s borders.

Of course, China's nascent Silicon Valley will have to compete with Japan and South Korea for a corner of the Asian telecom market, and with giants such as Nokia for a piece of the global telecom industry.Continue reading...

health matters

Cellphone Safety Debate Heats Up

Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 18, 2010 01:00 PM

Right to know

San Francisco is living up to its forward-thinking reputation by passing a new law enforcing cellphone users’ “right to know” about the possible dangers of their wireless devices.

New legislation, strongly supported by Mayor Gavin Newsom, will require retailers to post information about ‘specific absorption rates’ (SAR’s), and the requirement that any phone sold in the U.S. have a rate no higher than 1.6 watts per kilogram. This info must be posted "in at least 11-point type" as part of retailers' phone displays.

SAR’s, the amount of radio waves absorbed into a cellphone user’s body tissue, is a highly contentious topic.Continue reading...

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stuck in neutral

Startup Targets Texting While Driving

Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 16, 2010 10:00 AM

Chuck Serapilio’s Cellution is a Rochester, NY-based wireless company that is trying to discourage customers from using their wireless devices, at least while drivign. Cellution's latest product aims to stop drivers, especially cell-happy teens, from texting while driving.

Developed with researchers at the University of Utah, Cellution's Key2SafeDriving disables a cell phone while its owner is driving. Key2SafeDriving is an easy to install, mobile phone application and hardware Activator. When the car's engine is turned on, the phone is automatically switched to Safe Driving Mode, which limits access to phone features based on a user’s profile.

Texts and incoming calls can be blocked and receive an automatic response, and the driver cannot opt-out. Parents can control a Key2SafeDriving system with a pass code.Continue reading...

social media

Foursquare Courts More Brands For Its Geosocial Ballgame

Posted by Anthony Zumpano on February 9, 2010 11:46 AM

Foursquare fans – those who find Facebook updates too static and oh-so-2009 – will soon “check in” to learn that the geosocial networking site has executed partnerships with several media brands, according to Mashable.

Foursquare, which runs on mobile devices and leverages their GPS locators, takes status updates to another level: As the New York Times describes the service, it’s not about what you’re doing right now, but “Where are you, and can I come join you?”

A Foursquare user “checks in” at her current location so friends know where to find her. Foursquare encourages frequent check-ins by presenting itself like a game, offering virtual badges that are unlocked by visiting particular venues. Many of these venues, along with their related brands, offer their own badges, as well as tangible rewards such as discounts or freebies.Continue reading...

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