Avi Greengart is the Research Director for Consumer Devices at Current Analysis (Mobile Phones, Connected Devices, and Digital Home). He also regularly writes for Slashgear, sporadically blogs at Home Theater View and Tweets far too often as @greengartAvi's expertise lies in understanding consumer electronics marketing, consumer behavior, and technology adoption patterns: where new technologies meet the mass market. 

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Current Analysis Spotlights

I have been asked by numerous colleagues and friends why I don't blog any more. The short answer is that I do, but my blog covers home theater and digital entertainment (http://www.HomeTheaterView.com), as opposed to mobile devices. My mobile device analysis is largely restricted to Current Analysis clients. However, Current Analysis Spotlights are reports that are freely available, and, with the company's permission, I have linked here to some of the Spotlights I have written.

Spotlight Listing:

bulletThe Importance of Functional Branding
bulletiPhone First Impressions
bulletApple Phone: Who Cares? (And Why)
bulletCellphones: $49 is the New $99 This Holiday Season
bulletIs Microsoft’s Zune Chasing The Wrong iPod? (Why Apple Must Build a MusicPhone)
bulletMotorola Q Arrives Fashionably Late, Wearing Low Cut Price
bulletDo Any of These New Phone/BlackBerry/Tablet/Notebook Things Make Sense?
bulletAre Fashion Phones A Fad?
bulletHow Does Apple’s New iPod Impact Wireless Carriers and Handset Vendors?
bulletWill Musicphones Take a Bite Out of Apple?
bulletSay "Cheese" (Just Don't Say, "Print")

For a listing of newsletters and recent Current Analysis Spotlights from all Current Analysis analysts, click here
For a complete listing of Current Analysis Spotlights from all Current Analysis analysts, click here

The Importance of Functional Branding
Avi Greengart, Principal Analyst, Mobile Devices at Current Analysis
April 16, 2007 (Note: a shorter version of this report also appeared as my RCR Wireless Analyst Angle column)

I’m a mobile devices analyst, and I test literally hundreds of gadgets a year. I change phones at least weekly and sometimes more frequently than that (playing with toys is a tough way to make a living, but someone has to do it). However, convincing my wife to “upgrade” is a lesson in how much of the real world works. [click title to read full report]

iPhone First Impressions,
Avi Greengart, Principal Analyst, Mobile Devices at Current Analysis
January 9, 2007

I left CES early – very, very early – this morning to head up to San Francisco and attend Steve Jobs’ keynote at MacWorld. I was also able to ask Apple questions afterwards and all-too-briefly use an iPhone myself, an experience that greatly colors my analysis. Here are some first impressions. A full report will follow... [click title to read full report]
 

Apple Phone: Who Cares? (And Why)
Avi Greengart, Principal Analyst, Mobile Devices at Current Analysis
January 4, 2007

Apple’s strict pre-launch secrecy has helped fuel rampant speculation among the financial analyst community and press that Apple will launch a phone next week at MacWorld as a defensive move to protect its iPod franchise. Of course, when it’s a secret, it can be all things to all people, so Apple risks a backlash if it doesn’t release a revolutionary product, or doesn’t announce anything at all. We do not claim to know what products Apple is working on, when they will be available, or how they will be distributed. On the other hand, we’ve gotten the question so often that it’s time to answer, “what might an Apple phone mean for the industry?” [click title to read full report]
 

Cellphones: $49 is the New $99 This Holiday Season
Avi Greengart, Principal Analyst, Mobile Devices at Current Analysis
November 20, 2006

Cellphones are consumer devices, and like other consumer purchases, there are magic price points at which new groups of customers are compelled to buy into a category. The last major price reset for multimedia handsets was in mid-2005, when Verizon Wireless priced Motorola’s E815 at just $99 after rebates with a two-year contract. Well, it’s happened again. Due to a variety of competitive factors, Cingular, Verizon Wireless, and Sprint are all offering super-thin clamshell 3G multimedia phones for just $49. [click title to read full report]
 

Is Microsoft’s Zune Chasing The Wrong iPod? (Why Apple Must Build a MusicPhone)
Avi Greengart, Principal Analyst, Mobile Devices at Current Analysis
July 24, 2006

Microsoft has recently admitted that it plans to launch “Zune,” its own digital media player and music download service to challenge Apple’s iPod and iTunes. The logic behind the move is sound: Apple is increasingly making iTunes the gatekeeper to digital content, Microsoft’s partners haven’t made a dent in Apple’s market share, and some of the Zune details around social networking and content sharing are proven concepts on the web. However, Apple’s biggest threat is not another digital audio player, but the musicphone. Apple acknowledges as much, and promises it is “not sitting around doing nothing.” Is Microsoft chasing the iPod just as Apple is about to move on to musicphones? [click title to read full report]
 

I was the "featured analyst" on Current Analysis' home page for a month, and as part of the promotion, three reports I had written on Motorola's Q (the announcement, launch, and a product assessment) are available for download. Here's the headline/summary from the most recent one:

Motorola Q Arrives Fashionably Late, Wearing Low Cut Price
Avi Greengart, Principal Analyst, Mobile Devices at Current Analysis
May 24, 2006

The Q is the first smartphone consumers would be willing to be seen with after 5 PM, making it an attractive proposition for prosumers buying a single device for dual business and personal use. And its $199 price point reshapes the price curve for QWERTY devices. However, the Q is dependant on Microsoft for its built-in e-mail synchronization. ActiveSync still lags RIM in providing a polished push e-mail experience, and lacks critical end-to-end security. As such, many IT managers are likely to stick with RIM, but Palm will suffer collateral damage. [click title to read all three reports on the Q]
 

Do Any of These New Phone/BlackBerry/Tablet/Notebook Things Make Sense?
Avi Greengart, Principal Analyst, Mobile Devices at Current Analysis
May 17, 2006

Even in a world gone mad with convergence, the line between computers and phones used to be pretty clear. You used a phone when you needed to make phone calls. You used a PC when you needed to get work done. However, with beefed up mobile operating systems such as Windows Mobile 5.0, QWERTY keyboards, WiFi, and sliding or clamshell form factors, today's smartphones are edging into notebook territory. Meanwhile, subnotebooks have gotten even smaller, and routinely come not only with an Ethernet jack and WiFi, but with Bluetooth and modems for cellular networks (EDGE, EV-DO, or HSDPA), too. No carrier has offered a voice plan to go with the access embedded in notebooks, but connected notebooks can act as VoIP stations when used with a headset. [click title to read full report]
 

Are Fashion Phones A Fad?
Avi Greengart, Principal Analyst, Mobile Devices at Current Analysis
February 7, 2006

Valentine’s Day will be here soon, and with it comes the annual surge in purchases of flowers, chocolates, and …pink Motorola RAZR phones? Yes, just in time for Valentine’s Day, Cingular, Verizon Wireless, and T-Mobile are all carrying the iconic Motorola clamshell in slightly different hues of pink (though T-Mobile calls the color of its hot pink RAZR V3 "magenta").

Eighteen months ago, phones in the U.S. were black or silver, bar or clamshell, and vendors hyped imaging capabilities or focused on the next big thing, music and video playback. Today, there are three different pink RAZRs, round PEBLs, slim Samsung sliders, and a Special Edition Sidekick II from noted tattoo artist Mr. Cartoon. Nokia is pushing a $900 stainless steel slider with no standout features to speak of, but notes in the press release that it contains "specially reinforced glass used in luxury timepieces" and the slider uses "a bi-stable spring mechanism and stainless steel ball bearings, like those used in high-performance automobiles." What is going on here? [click title to read full report]
 

How Does Apple’s New iPod Impact Wireless Carriers and Handset Vendors?
Avi Greengart, Principal Analyst, Mobile Devices at Current Analysis
October 20, 2005

First Apple overshadowed the debut of Motorola’s iTunes-phone, the ROKR, with the simultaneous introduction of the tiny, beautiful nano. Then, only a month later, Apple replaces its iPod photo line with a new model that plays video. A video iPod doesn’t seem like something that affects sales or design of phones unless you subscribe to the Limited Wallet Theory of Consumer Electronics (“consumers can only buy so much stuff, so if they buy an expensive iPod, they can’t also buy an expensive phone and data services”). However, even acolytes of the Plastic Theory of Consumer Electronics (“consumers will just put the other thing on the credit card, too”) must stop to consider that wireless carriers were promoting that their shiny new gadget-phones are perfect for playing short videos. Won’t somebody please tell Steve Jobs to slow down? [click title to read full report]
 

Will Musicphones Take a Bite Out of Apple?
Avi Greengart, Principal Analyst, Mobile Devices at Current Analysis
June 28, 2005

As we approach the middle of the year, it’s clear that the hot new mobile device category is the musicphone. Nearly every handset vendor has announced its take on the idea; Nokia has a diminutive slider phone which includes a 4 GB hard drive planned for later in the year, and Sony Ericsson is attaching the venerable Walkman brand to its music-oriented phones. However, the press has been busy writing about the only product that hasn’t been introduced: the iPodphone, expected from Apple and Motorola. BusinessWeek and The New York Times ran articles when Motorola didn’t launch an iPodphone at a trade show earlier in the year, and gadget websites are trading rumors about Apple’s next big announcement, and when it will be. What’s so special about the iPodphone that rumors about it overshadow actual products? [click title to read full report]
 

Say "Cheese" (Just Don't Say, "Print")
Brad Akyuz, Analyst, Mobile Devices; and Avi Greengart, Principal Analyst, Mobile Devices at Current Analysis
March 22, 2005

The world's first mobile phone integrating a digital camera module was commercially introduced less than five years ago. Today, built-in cameras are standard features for all handset segments other than cost-sensitive entry level phones and security-conscious enterprise devices. Once captured, users can share and/or print the photos, opening up a whole new revenue stream for wireless device and service vendors, as well as cross-category players in the printing and imaging arena. Currently, the cameraphone printing business is extremely small, so vendors are trying various strategies to simplify or enhance the user experience: image transfer/print via proprietary Web services, Bluetooth, moblogging tools, IrDA, MMS, PictBridge, and more. Which approaches make the most sense? [click title to read full report]