[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]By Mark Landiak
September 12, 2016 – Well, CTIA Super Mobility 2016 is in the books.
It was perhaps a bit more intimate than in years past, but absolutely worth the time. For myself, it was an indoctrination back into the business after a 5-year hiatus. I had an opportunity to reconnect with some old friends and create dozens of new relationships. I realized just how much I missed being around wireless people. Our industry is unique in that way. We know each other and make new friends easily through this abstract force we call “the wireless connection.”
If you missed CTIA, here’s a snapshot:
New Stuff (including Virtual Reality)!
- For retailers, creating more income per customer can be found in non-traditional accessory items. Need an example? Just look up. There were drones everywhere at Super Mobility! I saw the world’s smallest drone that can fit in the your palm of your hand (with room to spare for several Hershey’s Kisses pilfered from the bowls put out by exhibitors to lure you into their booths). I really like the mini-drone as it has the potential for good margins and could be a hot Christmas item.
- Apple introduced the iPhone7 with a bit of a ho-hum reaction from the industry experts. It was nothing too exciting, and their removal of the headphone jack means customers have to buy one of their wireless ear thingies (ear buds) along with their $650 phone. That said, Apple devotees will like the new camera and the feel of the product.
- Speaking of ear thingies, BlueParrott has an amazing new noise-canceling headset that is worth carrying in every store for those who work and play in noisy environments.
- Reserve power and charging products were plentiful and there were some innovative products here as well. AlphaComm and CellHelmet had very impressive offerings in this category.
- Bluetooth speakers were blasting out tunes in many booths and this seems to be a finger-snapping sales opportunity for the holiday sales season. I really liked the Scosche Boom Bottle™ product line.
- It seemed that every corner you turned, attendees were sitting in chairs looking like members of the 80’s group “Devo” (dating myself) as they tried out the multitude of virtual reality glasses. VR is going to be a must in your stores as popularity is predicted to soar. Remarkably, prices started as low as $5 (which means we’re being way overcharged for sunglasses).
5G & More
- There was a lot of talk about Fifth Generation (5G) and the Internet of Things (IoT). More on that in follow up blogs. But the bottom line is it is coming. Large carriers are trending in that direction, so we best get educated. Before long, you’ll be able to operate a lot of items and see a lot of things without getting out of your chair.
- Fitness devices abound, so no worries about looking like the spaceship people in the movie “Wall-E”. There was an entire session devoted to wearables and fitness tracking devices. Just as we all got rid of our watches in favor of keeping time on our phones, they now want us to start wearing them again.
- Exhibits and seminars on mobile commerce and the wireless home were aimed at simplifying lives (but might actually complicate things for the non-technoids among us). For instance, Samsung aims to facilitate mobile commerce with Samsung Pay.
- Repair services were also big this year. With phone costs at $700+ for a lot of models, this may be worth looking into as an ancillary revenue stream.
Making Money in Wireless 2017 (MMW 2017)
- We came to CTIA Super Mobility with this as our mission/theme. Many dealers at the show shared their feelings from the pinch of higher costs, lower commissions, and lots of competition. Nevertheless, many were still looking to the future with the bright-eyed, kid-at-Christmas optimism that defines the wireless entrepreneur.
- We’ll be putting more product/service info on the Wireless Business Owners Consortium(WiBOC) website and continuing to seek out new ideas that help wireless resellers create incremental profit and draw traffic to their stores.
- Wireless dealers: to register for the Making Money in Wireless 2017 (MMW 2017)initiative, contact Meg Nigro at (630)-778-9991 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Registration is free for wireless business owners and managers.
- Suppliers with unique products and services that are interested in helping the wireless dealer community drive profits and operate more efficiently should contact Meg Nigro at (630)-778-9991 or via email at email@example.com for more information on participating in the MMW 2017 Supplier Partner Program.
Click here to read about the author and wireless industry expert, Mark Landiak.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]