The mobile world moves at a breakneck pace, and it's difficult to keep up--even without the technical jargon most industry insiders throw around. And they do love to toss those terms about.
This week, I explain what a geo-fence is, why a feature phone is really just a dumb phone with a niftier marketing title, and why companies love rebates.
So for some light reading, here are a few terms (and definitions) commonly used by telecommunications experts who assume everyone understands them.
Alignment: Look, it's another code word for layoffs. While not exactly the best example of telecom jargon, it's a relevant term given Nokia's decision to "align" its workforce, which means shedding 3,500 jobs on top of a prior plan to cut thousands of other jobs. It's in the same vein as synergy and redundancy, fancy words that mask the ugly truth that a lot of people are getting canned.
Feature phone: This is the industry's term for any phone that isn't a smartphone, which runs on a more complex operating system that can run applications. You have to admire the marketing spin on what is essentially a dumb phone.
I, for one, hate using the term, and have largely stuck to calling them basic phones.
Feature phones are in a phase of gradual decline as people jump to smartphones, which are getting more affordable. Leap Wireless CEO Doug Hutcheson said he expects smartphones to cost $100 or less without a contract by the holidays, just slightly more expensive than a feature phone.
HTC's global marketing chief, Jason MacKenzie, boldly said he sees his Rhyme smartphone as a better upgrade for feature phone users than the iPhone.
Geo-fence: It's a virtual perimeter you can set up anywhere to ensure your child or pet stays in a certain zone. If they leave the designated area, an alert is sent to your phone. … Read more