A new research has been initiated by COSMOS (Cohort study on mobile communications) to identify the long term effects of using a cell phone and its relation to health problems such as cancer and Alzheimer’s.
The sample size for this study will be a whooping 250,000 people between the age 18 to 69 years, from five different European countries will be studied for 20 to 30 years. The study conducted at this magnitude is only a small portion of the 6 billion mobile phone users around the world. Mereille Toledano, co principal investigator was quoted saying in cnet.com as “For the benefit of current users and for future generations, it is important for us to carry out long-term health monitoring of a large group of mobile phone users so that we can identify if there are any possible health effects from this new and widespread technology that has become so central to our everyday lives.”
Another study initiated by COSMOS in UK from Imperial College London has invited about 2.5 million mobile phone users to participate in an online survey. The study aims to understand cell phone usage, health factors and lifestyle. And the participants are also requested permission to monitor their phone use for at least 20 years.
Although the research initiated by COSMOS aims to identify the long term health issues on cell phone users with special focus on exposure to radiation and cancer, it does not include children in the survey who are more susceptible to health issues than adults.
Not so long ago, a wise IIM professor told his young students that the competition for a product or service often comes from players in a completely different industry. And today we find the evidence of it everywhere around us. For instance most of us know that the biggest and the obvious competitor for Nokia is probably Sony Ericsson or Motorola, but one should not be surprised to learn that they are also a competition to brands that manufacture watches, alarm clocks, cameras, transistors and walkman.
Another example that is often discussed in many B schools, are the fate of Airline industry. While every Airline has one obvious competitor within the same industry it also has other competitors who are encroaching into its business. With many companies opting for tele-conferencing and video conferencing services, they save a lot on travel budget and it only makes more sense at the time of economic crisis. Who would have thought that the Airline industry will loose a substantial amount because of telecommunication companies like AT&T!
The same wise professor quoted another example that is something more closely related to common people like us. The Indian Bollywood league oops! Correction – the Indian Premier league that has brought together two completely different industries together. By exploiting the love for cricket in India, the franchise and the players make money, sponsors get their share of attention for their products or service and people get to watch the three hour entertainment. The boring aspects of cricket have been removed and its tailor made to suit a larger audience which would otherwise not be interested in a test cricket or a 50 over match. Now this kind of fusion of industries gives a win-win situation to all. Of course it also happens to attract too much attention from Income Tax dept.
Ok with all this said, what does this mean to us, the common folks? Well, to begin with, as consumers, our overall experience of using a product or service will constantly improve and we will get better value for money. Don’t be surprised if a proposal is made in distant future to install a chip in your head for credential purposes to allow a range of things like bank transaction, passport identification or even right to vote. As for companies that produces good and services, they will need to look out for competition in different industries and will need to constantly innovate and add value to their products or service to stay in business.
Following the strong demand of ipad in the US, Apple has announced that it will delay the international launch by a month, until the end of May. Apple claims to have delivered about 500,000 ipads during the first week of its launch in the US and the demand is far higher than it was initially predicted. Also it has taken a sizeable number of pre-orders for ipad 3 G to be delivered by the end of April.
This high demand is the US is likely to continue and exceeds the supply over the next several weeks. Apple has mentioned in the press release that it will announce the international pricing and begin taking online pre-orders on 10th of May.
Although the ipad has received some negative review from its users especially for its inability to multitask and discomfort in holding the tablet, its sleek design and many other features attracts more buyers each day and proves that ipad is a runaway success in the US. And this delay in release to international customer is sure to disappoint many.