Report: RFID Use by Manufacturers Likely to Rise
June 27, 2006

50 percent of enterprises plan to have two to 10 of their manufacturing sites RFID-enabled by 2008, according to a recent report by AberdeenGroup. The report, “The RFID Benchmark Series: Scaling RFID Implementations from Pilot to Production,” says that 50 percent of companies will have automated RFID tagging in place in the next two years. John Fontanella, senior vice president of research for AberdeenGroup, advises, “expect RFID to be an integral part of operations going into the future.” He credits this to increased confidence in RFID as a reliable technology. Free copies of the report are available here: <a

DealerData -- Online Retail: Reaching Stable Ground
June 20, 2006

It should come as no surprise to hear that online retail is steadily on the rise. But what may be surprising is how many consumer electronics retailers do not have Web sites or dismiss e-commerce as a valid sales channel. And yet, it’s getting harder to support such arguments. An upcoming report by Forrester research—The State of Online Retailing Report—offers some insight. According to the group’s survey of U.S. retailers, online sales are expected to reach $211 billion in 2006, over $176 billion in 2005 and now accounts (not counting travel sales) for five percent of the retail market. Perhaps more importantly, within these numbers

Survey: Price Trumps Brand Name in Consumer Choice
June 20, 2006

Vertis’ Consumer Focus 2006: Home Electronics study recently concluded that 29 percent of adults categorize brand name as the most important factor, after price, when deciding where to make a home electronics purchase. This is a drop from the 40 percent who considered brand name important in 2004. 19 percent consider discounts and coupons to be the most important factor, up from 15 percent in 2004. Jim Litwin, vice president, market insights at Vertis says, “Findings from the study show circulars are an effective medium to reach home electronic consumers, therefore marketers looking to communicate offers to consumers should consider advertising

Report: New Class of Handsets to Drive VOIP Market
June 19, 2006

Light Reading’s VOIP Insider recently released a report which states that a rise in handsets that can perform double duty as both cellular and 802.11 wireless local-area network (WLAN) phones will cause a corresponding rise in the popularity of voice over IP (VOIP) as the network of choice for many companies. The report, “VOIP & WLANs: Enterprise Market Challenges,” covers the development and availability of these kinds of phones, the quality of the WLAN’s on which they would run, the industry standards involved, wireless network operators’ attempts to accommodate these changes and the key drivers for this technology to gain acceptance. The

Study: Those Who Read Newspapers Online More Likely to Shop Online
June 19, 2006

According to a recent study conducted by MORI Research for the Newspaper Association of America (NAA), frequent visitors to newspaper websites are more likely to make online purchases. The study identified “Power Users” as those who visit newspaper websites on an average day and compared their online habits to infrequent visitors, dubbed “non-users.” 82 percent of Power Users buy products online versus 55 percent of non-users. Power Users are also more likely to browse products, download coupons and check store hours and locations online. NAA President and CEO John F. Sturm commented, “These compelling results show that newspaper Web site

White Paper: DRM/CA Conflicts Could Burn Digital Entertainment Industry
June 14, 2006

iSuppli Vice President of Multimedia Content and Services Mark Kirstein recently released a white paper entitled, “Digital Rights Management and Conditional Access: Keys to the Digital Content Kingdom.” In it, he explains how conflict over Digital Rights Management (DRM) and Conditional Access (CA) could cripple the progress of the digital entertainment industry, with hundreds of billions of dollars at stake. According to the paper, the future of broadband video, digital music, next-generation DVD, home networking, mobile TV and IPTV all hinge on the decisions made now about CA and DRM, which concern access to the content involved (CA) and what the

June 13, 2006

The NPD Group reports that mobile phone sales to consumers in the U.S. have reached 34.8 million units in the first quarter of 2006. Representing an increase of more than 11 percent from sales in the first quarter of 2005, NPD predicts total first quarter 2006 consumer sales will be around $2.3 billion. NPD’s Mobile Phone Track percentages show Motorola continuing to lead in the U.S. market. The company experienced an increase in share percentages for its first quarter from 27 percent to 29 percent. Other leaders include Nokia and Samsung with 18 percent and LG at 15 percent. Looking at the GSM market,

Survey: Men Outgab Women on Mobile Phones
June 13, 2006

A survey conducted by International Communications Research on behalf of Cingular Wireless revealed that men average 546 minutes a month on their phones as opposed to women, who use 470. This gap has been fairly consistent over the past six years, though female cell phone use has steadily increased in that time. Conversely, women use the home phone for calls more frequently than men, to the tune of 471 minutes per month against men’s 274. Women also make more use of their phone’s camera, with 51 percent claiming to use the feature “frequently” or “occasionally” versus 40 percent of men giving

Coping with COPE
June 9, 2006

The controversial COPE (Communications Opportunity, Promotion, and Enhancement) Act is being voted on in Congress this week. The bill, which primarily strives to provide a national franchise for cable companies would, in the opinion of the bill’s opponents, do so at the expense of local authorities’ ability to regulate those franchises. In other words, if a new company (such as AT&T, a supporter of the bill) wanted to open a cable franchise in Durham, they would have to jump through a fair number of hoops. To open another in Indianapolis, they would have to jump through a completely different set of

How Rising Gas Prices May Affect Your Business
June 7, 2006

Rising prices for energy and raw materials are slowing growth in service industries according to a report by The Institute for Supply Management. In the meantime, prices paid by retailers and builders are at their highest since September. The Federal Reserve predicted such changes and is considering a halt on its current interest-rate increases. In another sign of an economic slowdown, employers hired fewer employees in May than they have in the last seven months. Some credit these retail woes to high gasoline prices which are shaking consumer confidence. Put simply, if it costs too much to drive to