.

SmartMoney Blogs

Pay Dirt
A daily look at what we buy, how we spend, and the companies that do right - and wrong - by their customers.

Wireless Life Beyond The iPhone

Of all the news flow this week from the CTIA-The Wireless Association’s convention in Orlando, Florida, the latest wireless penetration data got lost in the hype. It reached 96% at the end of last year, versus 93% in mid-2010 and 13% in 1995.  It’s on track to reach 100% this year. Several analysts expect it to go as high as 300% in the years that follow. That is, most people will carry up to three wireless devices.

Wireless hold-outs are a dying breed. So what happens now?

Getty Images

You’ll still need to walk the dog. But, depending on how well trained he is, you just might be able to buzz him to come home. As technology evolves and companies look for new sources of revenue, analysts predict, a whole new remote-controlled world will open up with “machine-to-machine” communication: devices that talk to household appliances. Imagine putting on the kettle using your smart phone, rather than checking your Facebook.

Wireless data traffic soared 110% annually in the latter half of 2010 to 226.5 billion gigabytes, the CTIA says. And that’s before cell phone companies, starved of new customers, start developing new ways for you to spend money using your phone or tablet or – given time – a hybrid of both.

Going beyond the wireless saturation point will also have a major impact on how cell phone companies vie for your business, with pricing plans based on your family’s usage patterns and what time of day you decide to download data, analysts say. Plus, a dizzying array of smart phone models will likely finally phase out those clunky feature phones.

Pay Dirt spirited into the CTIA convention and heard some fancy predictions from industry experts about what the impending wireless saturation point will mean for consumers. Analyst Jeff Kagan says the next five years will bring another period of massive change: “Remember what it was like five years ago when the iPhone and Android didn’t even exist? The wireless device will be a remote control for our lives.”

Andrew Seybold, an independent consultant in wireless technology, says pricing plans will dramatically change: “The all-you-can-eat data plans are going away very rapidly because of the increase in data demand. Time-of-day pricing will be big. If you download a movie at 2am instead of 2pm, that could be included that in your price plan.”

Seybold, who has been working with wireless since the days of two-way radio in the 1960s, expects penetration to reach 300% as people carry several smart phones and tablets. “We’ll have a lot more machine-to-machine devices, like those that turn on your air conditioning and more sophisticated dog collars with a cellular phone device to tell your dog when to come home.”

Todd Day, industry analyst in the mobile and wireless division at Frost & Sullivan consulting firm, agrees that new machine-to-machine devices will help the wireless penetration reach three times the population. “When that takes off, that’s when you will see penetration rates skyrocket. Toasters, refrigerators, washing machines, all of these things could have cellular devices.”

He sees smart phone ownership rising to 60% by 2015, up from what he says is a realistic 30% today. “Smart phones will become the dominant phone in the market,” Day says. He expects consumers swapping their phone at least every year for the latest and greatest model, as companies find new ways to boost profits as that all-important and lucrative resource of new customers dries up.

What’s your dream machine-to-machine magic app?

Comments

We welcome thoughtful comments from readers. Please comply with our guidelines. Our blogs do not require the use of your real name.

Comments (2 of 2)

View all Comments »
    • Online jobs are so nice cause they can really pay up

    • By WebOsPublisher

      Every time I reinstall Windows XP on my home computer,I always forget how to change the icons so that they have a transparent background. The default dark blue
      How to Remove the Background from Desktop Icons
      of your document –
      Archives
      Featured
      Reviews
      Categories
      Help Desk
      Linux
      Office Tips
      Tools Review
      Windows 8
      Windows 7
      Windows Xp
      How To
      How to Remove the Background from Desktop Icons
      May 18th, 2009 by Aseem | File in: Windows XP Tips
      Every time I reinstall Windows XP on my home computer, I always forget how to change the icons so that they have a transparent background. The default dark blue background with white text is just not very nice looking.
      It really sucks if you have a cool looking wallpaper as a background, but all your icons have large dark blue borders. Instead, if the text looks like it’s written right onto the wallpaper, the effect is much nicer.
      So how can you make the background transparent for your desktop icons in Windows XP? Follow these steps.
      Step 1: First open the Control Panel and click on System.
      Step 2: Now click on the Advanced tab and click on the Settings button under the Performance section.
      В 
      Step 3: Finally, scroll down and check the Use drop shadows for icons labels on the desktop box.В 
      That’s it! Now all of your desktop icons will have the blue backgrounds removed and will appear transparent.
      Now doesn’t that look much better! Sure does to me! By default in Windows Vista and Windows 7, all the icons already are set to have transparent backgrounds, so you don’t have that problem in those operating systems. Enjoy!
      8 There are 8 comments, care to add yours?
      Tweet
      More posts from the Windows XP Tips Category
      Transferring User Files and Preferences to a new Computer
      How to Use Diskpart Utility in Windows
      How to Force Group Policy Update in Windows 2000, XP, Vista, and 7
      Customize Folder Display Type in Windows XP and 7
      Popular Posts This Month
      HDG Guide – Storage Spaces and Pools in Windows 8
      Refresh, Reinstall or Restore Windows 8
      DAILY EMAIL NEWSLETTER

      FEATURED POSTS
      5 Ways to Make Sure No One is Monitoring Your Computer
      HDG Explains – Swapfile.sys, Hiberfil.sys and Pagefile.sys in Windows 8
      Should You Upgrade to Windows 8?
      Help Desk Geek Ultimate Guide to Taking Screenshots in Windows 8
      RECENT POSTS
      Refresh, Reinstall or Restore Windows 8
      HDG Guide – Storage Spaces and Pools in Windows 8
      Install Windows Media Center on Windows 8
      20 of The Best TV Streaming Devices
      MOST COMMENTED
      Fix “Windows was unable to find a certificate to log you on to the network”
      Share a Printer from XP to Windows 7
      99 Ways to Make Your Computer Blazingly Fast
      Windows 7 File Search Indexing Options
      8 Responses to “How to Remove the Background from Desktop Icons”
      Robert says:
      November 2, 2009 at 5:54 am
      Your suggestion is the correct one, and is repeated on many other sites. However, in my case (WinXP SP3), this checkbox is in effect BUT DOES NOTHING TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM. Clearly I have a deeper issue. BTW, all my updates are done, latest versions, etc. Any other thoughts?
      Reply
      huzeyfekiran says:
      March 6, 2010 at 5:36 pm
      In Visual Effects, Use drop shadows for icons labels on the desktop is on but they are still not transparent?
      Reply
      dr_apprentice says:
      March 22, 2010 at 7:11 am
      It does not work, the backgrounds are still there. Any advice?
      Reply
      priyakumaresh says:
      March 22, 2010 at 10:34 pm
      yeah, it’s working for me! thanks a lot
      Reply
      madhan says:
      March 15, 2011 at 9:26 pm
      I followed these steps. but the background color is not removed. Please let me know if you know why.
      Reply
      sivakaran says:
      November 21, 2011 at 12:04 am
      i have the same problem too.
      Reply
      dnr_ron says:
      October 16, 2011 at 3:00 pm
      If this solution does not work, you may have the display set to High Contrast. This feature, which also tends to place a frame around clickable areas (like hot spots on a web page) is used to help the impaired pick out selectable areas. You may be able to get the transparency back by turning off this feature. To do so,
      - go to Control Panel
      - go to Accessibility Options
      - select the Display tab
      - remove the check mark next to “Use High Contrast”
      Parts of your display may go black as the settings are adjusted.
      Good luck
      Reply
      Srikanth says:
      January 16, 2012 at 3:40 am
      Tried above mentioned steps, but it doesn’t work…….
      Reply
      Leave a Reply
      Click here to cancel reply.
      Name (required):
      Mail (will not be published) (required):
      Website:
      Comment (required):
      Authors .authorImagedisplay:block;height:50px;width:50px;float:left;margin:4px 5px 0 0
      .authorImage#aseembackground:url(‘s.helpdeskgeek.com/wp-content/themes/helpDeskGeek/images/sprite-avatar.jpg’) no-repeat -100px 0;
      .authorImage#loribackground:url(‘s.helpdeskgeek.com/wp-content/themes/helpDeskGeek/images/sprite-avatar.jpg’) no-repeat -50px 0;
      .authorImage#ericbackground:url(‘s.helpdeskgeek.com/wp-content/themes/helpDeskGeek/images/sprite-avatar.jpg’) no-repeat 0 0;
      ASEEM KISHOREFounder of Help Desk Geek and managing editor. He began blogging in 2007 and quit his job in 2010 to blog full-time.
      LORI KAUFMANA technical writer and geek who loves to write tutorials and help people make their lives easier using technology.
      ERIC FLEMINGEric Fleming is a freelance writer who focuses on Linux and other free software. He began using Ubuntu in 2006, and has been writing technology articles since 2007.
      SIGN UP FOR DAILY EMAIL NEWSLETTER
      CONNECT WITH US
      RSS
      Facebook
      Twitter
      YouTube
      Email
      ABOUT HELP DESK GEEK Welcome to Help Desk Geek- a blog full of help desk tips for IT Professionals. My name is Aseem Kishore and I work as a Systems Analyst in Dallas, TX. I graduated from Emory University in Atlanta, GA in 2002 with a degree in Computer Science and Mathematics.
      Read More
      Home
      About
      Contact
      Archive
      Featured Post
      Reviews

About Pay Dirt

  • Pay Dirt examines the millions of consumer decisions Americans make every day: What to buy, how much to pay, whether to rave or complain. Lead written by Quentin Fottrell, the blog examines these interactions, providing readers with news, insight and tips on shopping, spending, customer service, and companies that do right – and wrong – by their customers. Send items, questions and comments to quentin.fottrell@dowjones.com or tweet @SMPayDirt.

.