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Wireless Dealer Magazine Staff W ir less Dealer Magazine.com 1-800-862-2609 CEO & Publisher | Kathy Katcher Kathy@W irelessDealerMagazine.com COO | Laurette Veres Laurette@W irelessDealerMagazine.com CFO | Wayne O’niel Wayne@W irelessDealerMagazine.com Art Director | L.Medrano L eo@W irelessDealerMagazine.com Assistant Art Director | Thomas Vela Thomas@W irelessDealerMagazine.com Advertising & Sales Deputy | Donna Early Donna@W irelessDealerMagazine.com Research Analyst | Lydia Taylor Lydia@W irelessDealerMagazine.com WDM News Anchor | Chelsea Rogers Chelsea@W irelessDealerMagazine.com Director of Finance | Jessica Hiatt Jessica@W irelessDealerMagazine.com
Contributing Authors & Writers David Tal Meghan Lafferty Mark Teo
W ireless Dealer Magazine Headquarters Houston, Texas For advertising or subscription inquiries, please call toll free 1 (800) 862-2609 or visit W irelessDealerMagazine.com W ireless Dealer Magazine is published quarterly as an independent, wireless industr y publication in Houston, Texas. Written materials and requests may be mailed to: W ireless Dealer Magazine 1217 Prince Street, Houston, TX 77008 [not responsible for any unsolicited materials] For advertising or subscription inquiries, please call toll free 1 (800) 862-2609 or visit W irelessDealerMagazine.com
Phone Plans, Not Features, Will Drives Sales In 2016
is shaping up to be the year of true mobile innovation, but not in the way we’ve come to expect. As smartphones gradually rose to dominance this past decade, year-over-year the big story always seemed to focus on their shiny, new physical features: “Look how many megapixels are packed into this model’s camera!” “Smartphone sizes are getting out of control. I can’t even fit this model into my pocket!” “Now that NFC is standard in this year’s models, the era of mobile payments can finally begin!” However, this year, similar to 2015, there seems to be a new feature fatigue. Phones will continue to get thinner, faster, and more energy efficient, but that’s no longer exciting the masses. These days, consumers care more about how much value they can get out of these phones, how much deeper they can integrate them into their everyday lives. And with today’s economic climate, they also care about the affordability of their plans, without missing out on features. This is why 2016 is a key year for mobile retailers and distributors. Growth in smartphone usage will come from never-before-seen mobile plans that are both innovative and affordable. And luckily for you, the reader, a sampling of those plans can be found in the following pages. Of course, all this isn’t to say that innovation in smartphone technology is dead. Manufacturers will continue to surprise, especially in the latter half of this decade as they begin introducing features like virtual reality accessories, early holographic projectors, as well as bendable phones. But all in all, 2016 will be the year where phone plans, not features, will drives sales. David Tal Quantumrun.com Publisher CES Edition Editor for Wireless Dealer Magazine @DavidTalWrites @Quantumrun
Wireless Dealer Magazine
028 MENGTOR’s Lofty Goals for the Cellular Parts Industry
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the world’s biggest cellular parts supplier is on a mission [by MARK TEO] Every successful person believes two things: First, that the world can be changed for the better. Second, that they have the power to do it. These were the principles
that drove Mengtor’s founders, and after nearly two decades in the business, they’re concepts inspire the company to this day. Consumers are reminded of this mission everytime they bring in their smart phones for repairs. That’s because as the world’s biggest cellular parts supplier, Mengtor has changed the world for the better.
But let’s rewind for a second. Mengtor wasn’t born an industry leader. They became one, building their reputation on reliable, top-notch service.
Their story begins in 1997, a year when phones looked
more like shoeboxes than sleek, gorgeous luxury items. At the cusp of the mobile revolution, Mengtor established itself
as China’s premier supplier for cell phone parts. They grew into online sales titans, becoming the primary e-commerce
distributor for mobile parts globally. Over time, they grew
their business—and helped grow the business of others— by setting up shop in the U.S. in 2009. Outposts in Australia and the U.K. weren’t far behind.
So, how did Mengtor manage to navigate a crowded, competitive industry to become a global industry leader?
What did Mengtor do differently than the hundreds of other vendors in China? In a word: Everything.
They offered ultra-competitive prices, wonderful value,
and a deep inventory. Need cables? LCD screens? Parts for Apple, Motorola, Samsung or Huawei phones? Device
repair training? Need tools? No need to look anywhere else—Mengtor’s a one-stop shop. When it comes to variability in product, no competitors come close.
Critically, as China’s economy has fluctuated—the world’s
second-largest economy has had fitful growth throughout
2014-2015—Mengtor’s reliability hasn’t wavered. Their prices have remained competitive, their inventory remains
deep, and when it comes to ordering parts, their shipping
is cheap, reliable and fast. It’s everything customers need from a supplier.
Mengtor often talks about “staying true” to their values,
and that’s no joke: Their products, customer service, and
shipping have all remained wonderfully stable. The economy
hasn’t been nearly as kind to many of their competitors, who have struggled to maintain their consistency and
quality in less-than-stable times. Mengtor, on the other
hand, has built a reputation on their trustworthiness, and they haven’t yet faltered.
More to the point, Mengtor hasn’t only managed to keep up with the
ever-changing world of mobile tech— they’ve also kept a close eye on the
needs of their customers through
their first class customer service infrastructure.
Mengtor manages a fast and reliable return department. They developed a
app to help their customers on the
go. They gather intelligence from defective parts to constantly improve
their offerings. They have a speedy
restitution guarantee. And they are always talking with their customers,
looking for new product and feature ideas to bring to the market.
Overall, has Mengtor delivered on
their promise to change the world for the better? We certainly think so.
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e x p e r i e n c e
[ by MEGHAN LAFFERTY ]
w o r l d
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UNLOCKED MOBILE PHONES AT
In the past five years,
MOBILE DEVICES HAVE TRIPLED IN PRICE!
As you can guess, this hasn’t gone unnoticed by consumers. That’s why unlocked devices are continuing to innovate and disrupt traditional distribution models in the mobile industry. It’s also why Posh Mobile has worked hard to establish themselves in this niche. Unlocked mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, are manufactured to work with all GSM (SIM based) networks throughout the world. This means your consumers can select their phone manufacturer and service provider separately. This freedom of choice for the consumer is creating demand for the more
aggressively priced Android smartphones, phablets and tablets that comprise the Posh Mobile portfolio today.
FREEDOM OF CHOICE IS DRIVING DEMAND FOR AFFORDABILITY
While this might sound straight forward to most retailers, it creates a big gap in the market a gap that drives the innovation and design of Posh Mobile devices.
At inception in 2013, Posh Mobile set out to be the world’s first true global OEM brand of unlocked mobile devices. Where other competitors have migrated to mobile devices costing $299+, Posh is focused on offering similar devices for an average MSRP of $139.99. Posh delivers the technology consumers seek at an affordable price.
CRAVE AT THE
RIGHT PRICE 37
8 PRODUCT FAMILIES, 15 MODELS, AND 60+ SKUS
Posh Mobile’s current portfolio of 8 product families, 15 models, and 60+ SKUS has a device for each consumer segment and user group. Posh’s diverse product line includes the Micro X S240, the mobile market’s smallest smartphone, a micro-sized device with a 2.4” LCD, as well as the new Equal Max S900, an oversized 9.0” tablet for today’s pro-sumer.
The company’s strategy is to provide device variety, without creating a mobile overload for the retailers who market and sell the devices to consumers. With 60+ active SKUs in stock, Posh Mobile can provide retailers devices that fit every consumer’s lifestyle and mobile needs.
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Equal Max S900
See full Portfolio on www.poshmobile.com.
Today Posh Mobile markets and sells its devices through independent wireless retailers, and other major online retailers, including Amazon, eBay, and Newegg. Posh offers a 1 year warranty for all US consumers and a partner support portal demonstrating they understand firsthand the importance of full scale support for all their channel partners and consumers.
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According to Mark Krolian, Posh Mobile’s Director of Product Development, “Posh is determined to maintain its current position as the leader of the sub $199.99 mobile device category by continuing to provide exciting and unique devices for today’s mobile consumers. Our
Mark Krolian Director of Product Development Posh Mobile
partnerships with Mediatek, Qualcomm and Spreadtrum enable us to provide technology that meets the continually evolving demands of the global mobile market.”
Whether you are a retailer, eTailer, dealer or distributor, Posh Mobile is interested in partnering with you. Visit www.poshmobile.com today.
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Meet the Mybat Brand -Product manufacturer showcase-
[by MARK TEO ] Standing out in the overcrowded, wireless tech industry can be tough, especially since it’s set to grow to $101 billion by 2020. (Yes, you read that correctly.) But there’s one company that’s ready for the spotlight. Valor deals in superb and innovative products that give the tech-obsessed peace of mind. They treat their retail partners with respect, work ahead of the curve with market trends, and develop protection for the newest gadgets under the Mybat name.
How does Valor accomplish all this? Actually, it’s quite simple...
...They focus on innovation.
Valor hires an expert team of designers and engineers dedicated to bringing brilliant protective solutions to market. They draw inspiration from everywhere, from Milan’s runways to the trending topics on Twitter. And the impact is immediately visible in their products—from diamond-studded luxury cases to boardroom-ready leather wallet covers, Mybat’s offerings are effortlessly versatile. No small feat. But for their covetable beauty, Mybat cases are designed
to combat life’s unexpected accidents. The thinness and beauty of today’s luxury phones make protection nonnegotiable, and that’s where Valor steps in. At a fraction of the cost, their cases offer unrivaled quality and eyepopping craftsmanship. Sound too good to be true? It isn’t. Here’s how they pull it off. 48
Unlike others who are content to slap their logo on massproduced items, Valor makes its own products. Call it an upsized family business: They combine manufacturing, distribution and their creative work under the umbrella of a single company. They don’t outsource to multiple parties, meaning they can decrease production leadtime and leverage capacity, all while increasing their quality. In straightforward terms, it means Valor can get better products in your hands faster. Your mobile device can thank us later. It all begins in Shenzhen, China. Valor’s eagle-eyed quality control teams perform diligent inspections, and that results in two things: First, it ensures that everything’s legal with international regulations. Second, it saves money by avoiding costly defects. The Mybat product that lands in your hands (or on your shelves) will meet all its specifications and quality standards before leaving the factory. That’s a promise. Unsurprisingly, Valor’s a demonstrable leader in the wireless industry. They have spent years perfecting their supply chain, and it’s matured into a thing of beauty—from the inception of a product, to research and development, to factory operations, to their headquarters in sunny California, to the tech they use for inventory management.
If you’ve ever stepped foot into a wireless kiosk at your local mall, you’ve already encountered a Mybat product. They are carried across the globe by electronics and wireless retailers, by wholesalers, and by distributors. And
infrastructure, they are able to manage any quantity without sacrificing quality. That’s no exaggeration: Valor carries more than 16,000 products at any given time, and their U.S. and Chinese teams are creating 100-
plus items every single week. Are you a Samsung
fan? Do you have an iPhone? A Nexus? No matter.
Valor’s products span 300-plus phone models for 20plus carriers, including Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T, Boost Mobile, Metro PCS and more. If you have a phone, it’s likely Valor has a protective solution.
Stocking inventory in a
Valor’s website is expertly designed for a balance of creativity and power - user functionality. Interactive features help you shop the best-selling goods. Customer support is a phone call away during business hours. Real-time inventory management helps you pre-plan releases and restock hot items. Multiple payments make orders easy.
PATENTED, PROTECTED AND PROUD Valor’s designs are masterfully engineered. That’s why they patent these designs as part of their promise to making styleforward, one-of-a-kind products for those who are serious about their tech. They have more than 20 patented designs for Mybat to ensure that their products are often imitated, but never duplicated. Valor’s flagships? The TUFF, TUFF Merge, TUFF Trooper, TUFF Extreme, NeoUrban MyJacket, and the Challenger Hybrid, which uses two different materials in one indestructible case. Function and form—with Valor’s Mybat brand, you can have them both.
Valor recognizes that their customers don’t have mass-produced needs, and accordingly, they allow their retail partners to create custom designs and packaging. Valor offers ODM (Original Design Manufacturing) that allows them to build things tailored to client needs. You know your customers. You know your retail
environment. Valor’s here to help—and to help you boost your revenue potential. Building a unique product with Valor is a journey.
They will guide you, side by side, through product planning, design conception, manufacturing and delivery. Ask around: Valor has a stellar reputation in delivering private-label programs for some of
the biggest American chains around. But don’t worry—they can also scale down to meet the needs of local and regional merchants. Have a question? Don’t be afraid. Just ask!
THE BIG PICTURE
Quality products. Wonderful variety. Extensive catalogs. Low RMA returns. Killer customer service. Prompt shipment (and same-day shipment prior to 2:00 p.m.). That’s Valor’s promise. 52
Valor is more than a hub for premium wireless musthaves. They also have a wealth of industry expertise to help retailers find new opportunities to grow. Their big picture is to earn the loyalty of their partners, and they achieve that through supporting themâ€” in every aspectâ€” as true business partners. When Valor shares the same vision as their clients, everyone wins. Join Valor today! For more information visit:
www.mybat.com or www.2valor.com
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[ by WDM STAFF ] 56
No software. No special machine.
With their ever changing and adaptability to the wireless industry, they have managed a staying power second to none. Anchor Graphics Incorporated, one of the oldest and most renowned label companies in the wireless and telecommunications industry is now bringing you their new Photobackz product. Anchor Graphics has been a leader for solutions in the wireless and telecommunications industry for over 25 years. In that time they have created answers to their customer’s needs. Anchor Graphics is still the leader in products such as lens tapes, gaskets, IMEI/ESN labels and printer packages as well as liquid indicator labels.
weather resistant decals. personalized messages. contact information. company logos.
Anchor Graphics continues to offer its refurbishing and repair customer’s top OEM-quality products for their models at a fraction of the cost of OEM’s. Being around the wireless industry since its inception Anchor Graphics has watched the industry explode especially over the last ten years. They have worked tirelessly to keep up with customer’s ever increasing needs while offering a customer service experience second to none.
Leaping forward. With their new product “PHOTOBACKZ” Anchor Graphics is taking a leap into the wireless retailer market. Offering a do-it-yourself product that allows the dealer to customize their customer’s own wireless or communication device right there in the store while they wait. You can now create beautiful color and weather resistant decals right in your own store. The best part of “PHOTOBACKZ” is that it does not require special software. Anyone can do it, just open the image of choice in the Windows® photo viewer and it is ready to go. This patent pending process offers an easy, user friendly way to customize personal electronics with pictures or designs straight from a customer’s phone or PC with just a few clicks. Quickly customize any photo to add any desired text such as name, captions or contact information.
Chasing your tail is for the birds. PHOTOBACKZ also offers the most inexpensive insurance for return of your communication devices. Just use the same templates provided to print personal return information to attach to the device. Just like that you have easily identified your property and provided return instructions to anyone who finds it. Also, it is a great corporate advertising tool. Now, wireless retailers can offer their corporate accounts the ability to add logo marks to all of their employee company phones. Call Anchor Graphics today at 800-875-7859 to ask about the Dealer Pack Special with FREE inkjet color printer!! Or visit the web at www.AnchorGraphics.com. Please stop by Booth 361 to visit Anchor Graphics at CTIA Super Mobility 2015.
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SOLUTIONS FOR THE COMPLEX
WORLD OF BYOD
Retailers, get introduced to the ultimate wireless service partner [ by MEGHAN LAFFERTY ]
Looking for a change of perspective on the wild world of wireless? If you’re a retailer who already carries wireless services or one that’s interested in offering wireless to your customers, you’re probably looking at carrying multiple carriers, dozens of different brands, all on different networks. All these different brands come with multiple retail offers, which may or may not work in any given area or for a particular set of your customers. This is especially true if you’re interested in offering a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) wireless option to your customers. In order to sell this complex category, your staff must be trained
on all these different brands (all of which use different carriers) and have a comprehensive understanding of what each one offers to properly serve your end customer. This could - and maybe already does - leave your staff confused and overwhelmed. You also need to figure out a way to fit all these different service providers and their point-of-sale
collateral into a very limited space without turning your store into an unsightly jumble of posters, banners, and flyers.
Isn’t there a better solution to all this complexity? 67
Meet Red Pocket Mobile. Red Pocket Mobile offers service on all of the country’s top wireless networks under one brand name and one set of simple, competitive rate plans. Instead of carrying a confusing mess of all different brands and carriers, select the one partner that offers
service that works with virtually every phone in America. Get an incredible value for your costumer, simplified store training, and
a highly efficient SKU count to meet the needs of nearly every wireless user in America.
Your customer gets to keep their phone, their number, and even save money. Major retailers – both brick and mortar and online – are turning to Red Pocket Mobile for comprehensive solutions to their wireless category. In fact, choosing to partner with Red Pocket in order to offer wireless service was a no-brainer for one of the biggest marketplaces in the world: eBay. Manu Sachdeva, eBay’s Head of Wireless Consumer Electronics, said, “Red Pocket’s unique ability to provide wireless service to virtually every device, at an extraordinary value to the customer, makes them a great addition to our vibrant community of mobile phone buyers and sellers.” In November 2015, eBay announced the launch of an exclusive partnership with Red Pocket Mobile to offer no-contract wireless plans compatible with virtually every cell phone sold on eBay.
Whether the eBay costumer is buying an iPhone or an Android device, they can land one of these great value plans.
For an upfront annual fee of just $199, the unique Red Pocket plan on eBay includes 1,000 minutes, 1,000 text messages and 1,000MB of data every
month. If the customer is willing to toss in another $30 dollars, they can upgrade to the “Gold” plan that features unlimited text messages for the entire year. Additional minute and data upgrades start at just $10.
Family Dollar is another major retailer that turned to Red Pocket Mobile for a multi-carrier wireless service offering that fits its customer base perfectly. Red Pocket Mobile crafted a unique plan for Family Dollar’s 8,000+ retail stores that provides unlimited service on any phone for seven days for just $9.99. The Red Pocket weekly plan at Family Dollar accomplishes two critical goals for the giant retailer: a) providing a retail price point matched to their customers’ preferred per-visit spending level while b) generating repeat store visits throughout the month.
As you can see, Red Pocket Mobile brings a unique flexibility to the
wireless world. Whether you’re an established retailer or a newcomer to the business, discovering Red Pocket Mobile opens many possibilities for your customers. Whether it’s the BYOD option, or just a great new wireless plan, Red Pocket Mobile allows you to offer convenience and value without the cost.
The road to success starts with Red Pocket Mobile!
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NEED A BETTER B2B SOLUTION FOR YOUR WIRELESS INVENTORY? Consider selling it on B-Stock Supply
Between technology upgrades, trade-in programs, damaged devices and fickle buyer behavior, wireless dealers are left with millions of dollars in merchandise annually; most of which can’t go back on store shelves. Having a plan in place for merchandise – especially the items slated for liquidation or wholesale – is critical, and if you’ve historically relied on traditional methods, like selling to a handful of buyers, you are most likely leaving a lot of money on the table. 72
So what makes for a better, more efficient solution? It starts with an automated, web-based platform. Sean Cleland, Director of Business Development at B-Stock Solutions, explains why leveraging an established B2B online auction marketplace that caters directly to thousands of business buyers, like B-Stockâ€™s platform B-Stock Supply, is the best way to quickly turn your excess inventory into cash. 73
What are the benefits of selling inventory via a business-to-business marketplace versus more
inventory directly to a concentrated base of secondary market business buyers. We’re talking about tens
If you’ve historically sold your inventory to a handful of buyers, chances are your recovery value is low, as they’ve most likely negotiated prices down in order
inventory. Unlike other solutions, B-Stock Supply enables a direct relationship between sellers and buyers; it cuts out the middleman and provides a level
to maximize their own profits. Not to mention, time spent negotiating deals for every lot of merchandise you have to sell takes you away from core, strategic business activities.
On the other hand, a web-based solution, in the form of a B2B online auction marketplace, makes it possible to have thousands of buyers compete for your inventory, pushing prices up. Leveraging an online marketplace platform not only delivers the highest price your buyer community is willing to pay, but it also automates the sales process, delivers a faster sales cycle and generates proprietary market intelligence in the form of real data on market prices. B-Stock offers this type of B2B online marketplace platform. How does it compare to other solutions out there? B-Stock Supply is our branded B2B marketplace where organizations large to small can sell their
of thousands of active business buyers from 135 countries across the globe that are interested in your
of transparency unmatched elsewhere.
Another great benefit is that the B-Stock Supply marketplace is designed for a quick sales cycle meaning you can expect to sell it and ship it quickly. This allows room for more inventory and better yet, frees up cash for future purchases.
What can a wireless dealer expect in terms of recovery when selling on a B2B marketplace like B-Stock Supply? By leveraging a B2B marketplace you will – hands down – experience an increase in recovery over traditional channels. That being said, the exact amount of recovery depends on a few factors including product type and condition. The good news is a buyer base exists for just about any device type or condition; you just have to know how to tap into it. On B-Stock Supply, an increase in recovery of 30 or more percent is typical for our sellers.
What type of wireless dealer is a good candidate for selling on a B2B marketplace like B-Stock Supply? There are three critical success factors: 1) having a
consistent supply of inventory 2) having an obsession with providing great customer service and 3) having a liquidation mindset, not a wholesale one. To be most successful a dealer should plan on listing merchandise at least monthly or even weekly. There is a direct correlation between those who list regularly and achieving a high recovery rate for the merchandise as sellers develop loyal followers who regularly bid
on their inventory. In addition, successful sellers are committed to providing great customer service. In an auction environment the importance of happy, repeat bidders is even more significant than in fixed price sales environments. Finally, BStockSupply.com is a liquidation marketplace where the successful sellers’ objective is to convert inventory into cash at the best possible price right now (regardless of their cost or targets). Sellers who think, “I have to get $x / unit, have a wholesaler’s mindset and will not realize the benefits of our approach. What advice can you offer to a small business retailer who has excess inventory to sell and is looking for a solution? Look for an established, marketplace solution that gives you access to a global buyer base. Multiple bidders will
help drive prices up, rather than having a handful of buyers negotiate them down. The ideal marketplace will have a great reputation among buyers, a seller support team with extensive knowledge of the wholesale market, be cost effective, and a transparent approach.
Remember that auction strategy is an extremely important driver of success, so be sure to partner with someone who can demonstrate their capabilities in this area.
*** B-Stock Solutions powers the largest network of B2B liquidation marketplaces for Fortune 1000 retailers and manufacturers. Hundreds organizations, including one of the nation’s largest wireless carriers, have leveraged B-Stock Solutions’ technology and service offerings to sell billions of dollars in consumer returned and excess inventory. For more information please visit http://bstocksolutions.com. 75
Connect Transform Streamline Imagine
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The mobile industry is transforming how consumers connect with their everyday lives and the possibilities are endless. CTIA Super Mobility 2016 shows you the whole picture, connecting you to the next-gen mobile that will impact your business, your customers, your career and your future. Come see the technology, people and ideas driving mobile innovation. Build a world where EVERYTHING IS WIRELESS.
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Meet ROK Mobile: NOT YOUR AVERAGE WIRELESS COMPANY ROKing the MVNO marketplace ROK Mobile is the “ROK n Roll” genre of the US wireless industry, according to the company’s CEO, Gabriel Rene. Its aim is to provide innovation to the prepaid mobile industry, and its mantra is to do it in the most disruptive way possible—kind of like what rock and roll was to mainstream. But how is ROK Mobile shaking up the wireless industry? “We are challenging the entire marketplace by suggesting there are new categories and new ways of doing things,” says Rene, who’s been with the company since its creation by serial entrepreneurs John Paul DeJoria and Jonathan Kendrick. “We’re doing things in a way that’s scrappy, edgy.” ROK Mobile is packaging the most in-demand services for consumers, particularly focusing on entertainment services like music and video, into an all-in-one mobile bundle. “It’s about innovating the way we’ll look at access to entertainment in the future—which is really about
connectivity as it relates to access to content more than communication,” says Rene. ROK
(MVNO), meaning the company doesn’t own the wireless infrastructure it uses to provide services to customers. The company is dubbing itself as your “phone with benefits” and is providing the no-contract wireless world with
competitive pricing plans at $49.99 a month, including 5GB of 4G LTE data, unlimited talk, text, and the kicker: access to 20 million songs via the company’s own streaming music service, ROK Music.
ROK’ing the industry Most of the current top streaming services—both past and present—even amidst multi-billion dollar valuations are struggling to break-even. While 70% of the general U.S. population are listening to streaming services, Rene points out that a recent study from MusicWatch, for instance, shows that less than 10 percent of them currently pay for on-demand music content. However, ROK Mobile, backed by a reputable team, presents an innovative (and disruptive) business model, which monetizes music through their wireless plans essentially making the music service “feel free” to consumers, while still compensating artists and labels. “In order for us to have a legitimately competitive offering, people need to know they’re going to still be able to have access to the same music, artists, and release times as they would from anywhere else,” Rene explains. “It really comes from having that relationship directly with the labels.” And, according to Rene, building a rapport with mobile dealers is just as important, adding that dealers are using the term “refreshing” to best describe the company. “We’re not just here to drive sales, we’re here to build a brand that prepaid consumers can come to rely on,” he says. “It’s a differentiator in terms of the content and the attention we’re giving to the brand itself. It’s our commitment to dealers that we’re here for the long haul.” 80
Roll’ing out change Headquartered in Culver City, between downtown Los Angeles and Venice Beach, ROK Mobile finds itself in the heart of entertainment central, surrounded by music and film studios, tech companies, and agency startups—encompassing what the company represents. Premium quality, content, and connectivity to the prepaid marketplace are its commitments. “If you look at our track record in terms of service offering, I think what you’ll see is we have demonstrated real insight into where the wireless market’s going in terms of bundled services,” says Rene. “As a prepaid provider, we’re not just following the marketplace, we want to lead it, but we are attempting so as a startup and not as a multibillion dollar postpaid carrier.”
“We’ve got more surprises on the way,” says Rene. “You can expect the unexpected.” So stay tuned.
As for 2016,
YOUR CELL PHONE NEEDS CLASS!!! AND IBRAND GIVES IT TO YOU!! Houston, TX - Smartphones tend to feature slim designs and glass materials, so protection accessories have become a virtual necessity to safeguard smartphone owner’s investments. iBrand introduces branded and officially licensed cellphone accessories with maximum protection and minimum bulkiness. “Dress your iPhone in Karl Lagerfeld... or ride your Galaxy on Ferrari….. or get them in the field with New England Patriots……. iBrand offers a whole range of designs from NFL, NCAA, Ferrari, BMW, Mercedes Benz, Bugatti, Aston Martin, Corvette and Chevy - to name a few! Also fashion collections from Karl Lagerfeld, Paul & Joe and many more.” said Khalid Sattar, CEO & Founder at iBrand.
MagicBack Screen Protector – World’s innovative and invisible protector that provides BACK BUTTON option to your iPhone right next to the home button. iBrand promises to bring top quality products that gives respect each brand’s specific language so that each accessory represents perfectly the spirit of the brand. Learn more on facebook.com/ibrandsllc or visit: www.ibrandaccessories.com
Two years ago, Khalid launched a small project that quickly grew into something unbelievable. Today iBrand has become the largest platform WHERE BRANDS MEET, and company is negotiating with other iconic brands to bring exceptional one-of-a-kind items to the wireless industry. To top it up, iBrand launched a utilitarian accessories that protects your devices with its ultimate Bullet Proof Screen Protectors and enhance your iPhone experience with
TUFF Hybrid Case in Rose Gold This color is very popular among the iPhone users, as well as non-iPhone users. Rose Gold is the color of the year for us! We also have a whole line of Rose Gold cases ranging from the simply transparent cases to rugged hybrid cases.
Features & Benefits of the TUFF: • • •
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Double layer design ensures dynamic phone protection from impact and falls Construction consist of a scratch resistant polycarbonate harshell and soft rubberized inner sleeve Soft interior layer offers shock-absorbing capabilities, reinforces vulnerable corners and adds side grips for better control of your phone Hybrid design provide superior drop protection. Slim profile with minimal bulk Exterior case is made of two pieces that snap together for easy installation and removal. Available for iPhone 6s/6, iPhone 6s Plus/6 Plus
Are lost, stolen and illegitimate mobile devices affecting your business?
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The ChargeHub™ impacted the technology world this last year by becoming the world’s first 7-Port USB Universal Charging Station utilizing SmartSpeed™ Technology to optimally charge mobile USB devices with a single power supply. It has now been referred to as the “power strip of the 21st century”. The technological demands of today’s world often force consumers to use multiple devices, leaving many in constant need of charging. The ChargeHub™ was created to combat the struggle of having to find power sources and then choose between which device to charge, or having too many cords plugged into an outlet. Visit www.thechargehub.com to view additional accessories available!
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UNIVERSAL CHARGING STATION
THIS LITTLE PUCK
The ChargeHub™ is a 7-port USB universal charging station that has the ability to charge up to 7 USB devices simultaneously with one power supply, minimizing the ever-increasing potential clutter with today’s growth in technology.
[ by WDM STAFF ] 080 100
Showing off its durable polycarbonate plastic encasing in a stylish high-gloss finish, it made a successful debut at CES 2014 and won a “Best of CES Award”. The ChargeHub™ utilizes patent-pending SmartSpeed™ Technology that provides optimal charge for virtually any USB chargeable devices (based upon the number and type of connected devices), with an output of 2. 4A max per port and 8.8A max total output current. Pair this product with Cell Phones, Tablets, MP3 Players, Gaming Devices, Bluetooth® Headsets, Navigation Units, Video/Digital Cameras, Mobile Hotspots, Portable Power Chargers or virtually any USB device. The ChargeHub™ is available in square or round shapes and in a variety of colors including: Black, White, Red, Blue, Purple, Pink and Edge-Glow Green. The sleek design fits in with most home and business decor. The blue LED power indicator light shows the ChargeHub™ is on and functional and the adjustable blue LED underglow effect can be used in the dark. Additionally, various safety features are built-in to assist in the protection of all connected devices, offering a UL / cUL listing, FCC certification as well as RoHS certification. The ChargeHub™ is backed by a 1-Year Limited Warranty. Consumers can use the FREE online DesignStudio to personalize with any logo, text, graphic or artwork. It’s as easy as 1-2-3…Simply upload, personalize and print. The product is thoughtfully packaged with its eye-catching packaging featuring state-ofthe-art soft touch technology with Spot UV finish.
Charge up to 7 USB devices simultaneously with one power supply. The 48W power supply is simply one cord to the wall and it eliminates excess cable and numerous plugs, outlets and power strips to maintain a neat and organized space. The ChargeHub™ is portable and can be used in a variety of places from home and work, as well as on-the-go that includes: cars, trucks (commercial), RV’s, boats and most airplanes. Included with each standard packing is the ChargeHub™ 3 ½” CableLinx™ Micro to USB Cable. The Vehicle Power Cable, Travel Case, International Travel Kit, and a variety of their other 3 ½” CableLinx™ Cables — including 30-pin to USB, Micro to USB, Lightning™ to USB and Mini to USB are sold separately. Also available is a similar collection of MFi certified CableLinx™. For the consumers who need all their charging needs in one package, the ChargeHub™ offers a Super Value Pack, which includes the ChargeHub™ and wall adapter, one (1) Vehicle Power Cable, two (2) Lightning™ to USB Charge and Sync Cables, two (2) 30-Pin to USB Charge and Sync Cables, two (2) Micro to USB Charge Cables, and one (1) Mini to USB Charge Cable. Cables are available in both black and white to coordinate with the variety of ChargeHub™ color options. Check it out at www.thechargehub.com.
PEBBLE GRAIN FOOTBALL CASES ALL 32 TEAMS IN STOCK
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BY MEGHAN LAFFERTY
Big-League Hearables are Hitting a Home Run You don’t have to swing hard to hit a home run. If you got the timing, it’ll go. ~Yogi Berra Yogi Berra is talking about baseball but timing couldn’t be any better for the newest wearable market know as “Hearables” to hit a home run. With smart watches in a stall, willing big money investors and breakthrough smart technology at the ready, there are a few technology companies leading the way and willing to swing for the fences in this new hearable arena. Hearables is the latest innovation from the wearables market. They are a completely wireless, high-tech earbud, that allows you to quiet the sounds you don’t want to hear and concentrate on the ones you do.
What Are Hearables and Why Will I Sell Them? Wearable technology is becoming immensely popular and is primed to soon become a mainstream consumer product. Millions of dollars have poured into the technology and sales are rising. Hearables are quickly gaining recognition as one of the most dependable and versatile wearables on the market. Not only can some hearables give you complete control over the audio of your surroundings, but they can also be used as your personal physical activity tracker. It’s for this reason that Hearable tech is gradually being integrated into a range of upcoming headphone, ear bud, and Bluetooth devices over the next one to two years.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella declared a new era in computing defined by wearable devices. “People keep asking the question what’s next after the smartphone? There are early signs of it, things you wear on your wrists, in your ear and on your eyes,” he said.
Hearable technologies are projected to be $8 billion in sales by 2018
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Big-League Hearables Continued
Big League Advantages Want to turn up the bass at the concert you’re listening to? No problem.
According to Dr. Steven LeBoeuf, president of biometric sensor manufacturer, Valencell, “Your ear has a unique structure, which allows you to pick up heart rate and respiration rates. Also, your tympanic membrane (located between the outer and middle ear) radiates your body heat, so you can get your core body temperature.” Devices tracking our physical activity have gained considerable consumer
Want to turn down the conversation happening behind you? Sure thing.
momentum over the past few years. By March of this year, the popular fitness tracking wearable, Fitbits, sold over 20 million units, and that’s just one of many similar products on the US market. However, what many don’t realize is that you get more accurate vital signs from a wearable worn on your ear, rather than your wrist. So move over wrist-worn devices, the hearable is coming through! The hearables currently on the market can give you accurate physical activity results, while being discrete and comfortable. These tiny wireless devices can also record and transmit your readings to your smart devices, just as a many wrist worn activity trackers would. But why stop there? Hearables incorporate their health tracking capabilities alongside the high quality audio we’d expect from a premium earbud. But they do more than just give us high quality audio; they give us high quality audio we have control of. With the simple swipe, tap, or touch of a button, you get to customize the way your ears hear sound. These pint-sized hearables pack a lot of punch. To give you a better sense of the specs behind this technology, we interviewed the makers of two market leaders in the hearable space.
Big-League Hearables Continued
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The Dash By Bragi Bragi, a German based company, just released their version of a hearable, The Dash. Users wearing The Dash can listen, track, and communicate with optical touch; that means the user only has to tap and swipe. There are no buttons. The Dash also acts as a Bluetooth head set and makes an excellent activity tracker that’s waterproof for up to one metre in depth (a feature not seen in other earbuds until now). In an interview with Marjio Sarac, CMO at Bragi, we took an inside look at The Dash’s features. First and foremost, Sarac emphasized the importance of one of its most basic features: wireless functionality. “This characteristic is thought to enable the user a fully natural interaction with the earbuds, an experience where the hearable fuses with the body without altering daily routine,” Sarac said. He also points out that The Dash can be used as a stand-alone device, using its built in audio player with 4GB of storage—thereby avoiding the need to carry around an extra iPod. Another important feature Sarac highlighted was its size; not only of the earbuds itself, but of its case, which charges The Dash up to 5 times while on the go. Most important, Sarac said the main goal for The Dash was to create a smart product that is useful and drama free. Given this innovative approach, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that The Dash has attracted a large following as of late. After debuting the product on the crowdfunding site, Kickstarter, Sarac and his team ended up generating over 3.3 million to further develop and commercialize the Dash. Sarac admitted they had high expectations but they were very surprised at the massive amount of support and encouragement they received. Now, because of this support, you can pre-order The Dash for $299 plus shipping.
“Thanks to our self-developed technology, we created a smart product that doesn’t need the support of any device to function and that allows, at the same time, free movement. …The Dash is not an accessory, it stands on its own.” ~Marjio Sarac 109
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Big-League Hearables Continued
Here Active Listening System By Doppler Labs. Doppler Labs is responsible for the creation of the Here Active Listening System. During our interview with Noah Kraft, Doppler Labs Co-founder and CEO, Kraft described this innovation as, “The first augmented audio experience that allows you to immerse yourself in a live audio environment. Instead of headphones, which remove you from an environment and plays recorded music, this hearable lets you fully control how you hear the real world around you (in real time).” Right off the bat you can see that Here and the Dash have similar characteristics, however these two hearables are tailored to slightly different audiences. While discussing who would benefit most from Here, Noah said that based on feedback from ‘discerning listeners’ (audiophiles, musicians and more), live music scenarios seem to be the biggest area of interest for this product. Kraft mentioned that his team was excited with this feedback, and they decided to focus in the direction of music as they finalized the first product. Here allows you to control your audio settings through a free mobile app on your phone. The Here app has many sleek features to help you personalize your listening experience. You can:
3 3 3 3 3 3
Stylized filters created by the acoustics team at Doppler Labs. Use the ‘Hendrix’ filter to rock out, or the ‘Blue Note’ for something more relaxing. Use specialized algorithms with Here’s pre-set modes. Target and turn down certain sounds while still giving full audio attention to others. Augment your audio reality with sounds effects. Add reverb to turn a peaceful room into a rock concert or have some fun by adding an echo to your our voice.
Big-League Hearables Continued
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Doppler Labs has revealed it’s raised $17 million in Series B funding, in addition to the $635,000 snagged through its recent Kickstarter campaign. The technology behind this ground-breaking device is complicated. Here uses a variety of signal processing algorithms that target specific frequency ranges to modify sound as it enters your ears. It captures incoming sound waves, processes the audio, and then plays back the desired result with no perceivable latency. As Kraft explained, “This hearable lets you fully control the world around you.” Here also received an incredible amount of support on Kickstarter. Kraft said he used Kickstarter as a platform for building a community around Here. Like Sarac, Kraft also exclaimed how surprised and humbled he and his team are over the amount of support and feedback they received thus far. Doppler Labs received $635,189 to bring this project to life. You can now join the waitlist for Here online to make sure you’re one of the first lucky customers to get your hands on this amazing product.
The Future of Hearables With hearable products as diverse as the Dash and Here, we asked both companies what they thought the future of hearables might look like. Both emphasized the wide range of possibilities and features hearables could one day offer. For example, Sarac said he plans to one day expand Bragi’s knowledge and expertise to conquer other areas, such as industrial or medical applications. He added that in five years we’ll look back and classify the products available now as toys.
HERE NAMED A BEST INVENTION OF 2015 BY TIME MAGAZINE!!!
We predict that the technology behind the hearable will become a common feature in most wearables. Companies that currently have wearable products on the market will be jumping at the chance to incorporate this phenomenal technology. As a consumer, get ready to see this technology integrated into all your favorite recognized wearables. By 2018, hearables are projected to be a 8 billion dollar market. Overall, with futuristic designs and first of its kind features, it’s no wonder why hearables are making a splash in the wearables industry!
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Big-League Hearables Continued by WDM Staff Writer
Jabra makes their Hearable Case Jabra releases report Productivity at the Office – Challenges 2015, October
Workplace productivity findings:
think office meetings diminish productivity
think noise levels are the most distracting issue in the office
2015. Research reveals businesses suffering from productivity pains. Jabra report outlines knowledge workers’ collaboration and concentration challenges: over one third of the workforce think meetings reduce productivity and almost half are interrupted by background noise . Productivity of time spent at a desk is also crucial: workers spend most of their time at their desks, over 66 percent of the working week (over 6 times more than in meetings), so it is where the most significant productivity gains can be made or lost. However, knowledge workers deal with up to 17 distractions during work, many of which are caused by other people. Most common are distracting noise levels (46 percent), interruptions from colleagues (43 percent), and number of emails (28 percent). People also value environmental factors that could be better controlled, such as temperature, air quality and lack of privacy. Re-thinking desk space for time spent concentrating could eliminate a host of issues that negatively impact productivity at work. Holger Reisinger, SVP, Jabra concludes: “Businesses have to facilitate a unique balance of collaboration and concentration. To-date, they have made great strides in enabling workers to achieve more through collaboration and they must do this while ensuring employees don’t lose time trying to use ineffective technology. Otherwise, organizations are wasting resources each time a worker fails to conduct a conference call or meeting. While this remains a challenge, businesses also have to consider achieving productivity in an employee’s concentration time. An adaptable workspace depending on the individual, task
are annoyed by or job role is the new way of working businesses must accommodate.” too many emails, JABRA ANNOUNCES NEXT GENERATION though 78 WIN PARTNER PROGRAM percent would Jabra’s President, North America Business Solutions, Peter Fox said. “Our WIN rather send an Partner Program is all about investing in those partners who make the conscious email than make decision to invest in us. It’s about getting serious about accelerating growth – a call to resolve we’re asking partners to get serious about Jabra, and in return, we’ll put some serious muscle behind helping them grow. If they grow, we grow. It’s that simple. an issue That’s what we’re all about.”
Big-League Hearables Continued by WDM Staff Writer
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Jabra Move Wireless Headphones
JABRA SPORT COACH 4.0 Wireless sports earbuds with intelligent audio coaching optimized for cross training and indoor workouts. With integrated cross training app. • Intelligent audio coaching • TrackFit™ motion sensor • Immersive wireless sound
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for Hearable Technology News, Products and Trends.
April 11-13, 2016 • ORLANDO, FL DRONE DEALER EXPO: Bringing the Channel Together Over 50 classes and sessions! Meet with 40+ drone vendors!
If you are a drone reseller, distributor or adding drones to your product lines, attend Drone Dealer Expo to: • Meet with new manufacturers • Learn the product roadmaps of the major players in the industry • Find new products to sell • Learn what’s hot and how to sell it • Understand the changing face of FAA regulations • Learn the best techniques in merchandising, warranties, and selling Sessions, panels, and case studies will focus on drone distribution and market trends, merchandising and e-commerce techniques, best practices for selling, supporting and servicing drone buyers, selling to vertical markets, marketing and promotion, and the rapidly changing legal environment
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Wireless Dealer Magazine 800.862.2609 CEO & Publisher | Kathy Katcher Kathy@WirelessDealerMagazine.com COO | Laurette Veres Laurette@WirelessDealerMagazine.com CFO | Wayne Oâ€™niel Wayne@WirelessDealerMagazine.com Art Director | L.Medrano Leo@WirelessDealerMagazine.com Assistant Art Director | Thomas Vela Thomas@WirelessDealerMagazine.com Advertising & Sales Deputy | Donna Early Donna@WirelessDealerMagazine.com Research Analyst | Lydia Taylor Lydia@WirelessDealerMagazine.com WDM News Anchor | Chelsea Rogers Chelsea@WirelessDealerMagazine.com Director of Finance | Jessica Hiatt Jessica@WirelessDealerMagazine.com Advertising Inquiries 800.862.2609 x222 Marketing@WirelessDealerMagazine.com Contributing Authors & Writers David Tal Meghan Lafferty Mark Teo
Wireless Dealer Magazine is published quarterly as an independent, wireless industry publication in Houston, TX. Written materials and requests may be mailed to: Wireless Dealer Magazine 1217 Prince St., Houston, TX 77008 [not responsible for unsolicited materials] For subscription inquiries please call toll-free 800.862.2609 or visit www.wirelessdealermagazine.com A special thank you to Quantumrun for their new editorial contribution to WDM! To read more visit: www.quantumrun.com
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