MobileCon 2013 is off and running. While we don't expect big announcements to rumble through the San Jose Convention Center's halls between now and Friday, there are a few signs of life in this last fall CTIA show.
Read on for the latest at this enterprise-first shindig.
Exclusive: Look for Sprint's new messaging app to land on Windows Phone
Sprint isn't the sexiest carrier, but it does have a new messaging app in Messaging Plus. The app culls just about every kind of messaging method, from texts to phone calls to video chat, into a single location.
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Currently it's only available on iOS and Android, with Sprint planning to pre-load Messaging Plus on all its Android handsets starting next month, but Amir Sarhangi, CEO at the app's maker Jibe Mobile, told us that Windows Phone is definitely on the table:
"What we're doing is all about multi-module communication," he said. "Whether Windows Phone, whether it's the web. For us, this is kind of the beginning. With Windows, we're definitely looking at that side."
Fancy a smoothie with your NFC?
How to win people over to your mobile wallet? Offering them something for free is a good start.
Isis and Jamba Juice announced Oct. 16 that they're partnering to give away 1 million free smoothies to customers who tap-to-pay using their Isis app. The giveaway gets going later this year, so you've got plenty of time to download Isis on your Android.
Customers will also need an "enhanced SIM" from Isis' partner carriers (AT&T, T-Mobile or Verizon) to take advantage of the service.
Are free smoothies enough to get people using Isis? Probably not, but stay tuned for more from the conference's Mobile Commerce Panel.
Here are our predictions for what to look forward to at MobileCon, made before the show officially kicked off.
It's with a pang of sadness - a very small pang - that we prepare for MobileCon 2013. That's because this is the final CTIA fall show before it and its springtime twin are combined into one event.
The super-CTIA is going down Sept. 9 - Sept. 11, 2014 in Las Vegas, but that's neither here nor there. For now, we look ahead to what we can expect from the fall MobileCon's last hurrah.
The ol' network dominance line
Network dominance is a perennial talking point of the spring and fall CTIA shows. With Verizon President and CEO Dan Mead (pictured below) participating in the Day 1 keynote panel, we expect him to drop a line or two about Big Red's network dominance at the first chance he gets.
Given T-Mobile's recent figures on its nationwide 4G LTE roll out and its new international roaming plans, it would be particularly timely of Mead to stick it to its upstart magenta competitor.
Sprint will also haunt the convention halls, and we plan to pin the No. 3 carrier on whether it plans to speed up its own 4G roll out now that it's lagging behind T-Mo.
Where's my mobile wallet?
Mobile payment systems are a recurring theme of these shows, and with the Day 1 afternoon keynote session devoted to the topic, you can expect plenty of talk about how this can finally (maybe) get off the ground.
Mead will join Isis CEO Michael Abbott, American Express Group President of Enterprise Growth Dan Shulman and Jamba Juice CEO James White in a "Mobile Commerce" panel on Oct. 16. The first three fall into the "usual suspect" line, but White may have a fresh (and health-conscious) angle to lay on the crowd.
Panelists posed during MobileCon 2012 that mobile wallet success equates to one in four U.S. citizens using such a service in 5-8 years. Are we any closer to hitting that goal, or will this year's panelists offer a different view of what mobile payment success looks like? We expect an answer closer to the latter.