The notion of a kill switch on your cell phone has enjoyed wide interest in recent years, but new research offers in plain budgetary terms some new reasons to support the idea.
A kill switch is basically hardware embedded in a cell phone that would permit it to be deactivated remotely if it gets lost or stolen. This would enable the protection of the victim owner’s personal contact information, apps, and graphics as well as blocking unapproved charges.
Buyers overwhelmingly approve of the kill-switch idea for the security it guarantees in the case of possible misplacement of theft of one’s phone. But it turns out that, in addition, cell phone users could avoid losing $2.6 billion every year if such engineering were made standard on all telephones, according to a study distributed recently by Creighton University’s Heider College of Business.
Why some lawmakers object to the implementation of kill switches
Senators in California voted against the inclusion of a kill switch in new smartphones. They cited concern that the technology would hurt local businesses. According to tech industry insiders, kill-switch technology makes mobile devices vulnerable to attacks, which increases the cost of preventive measures.
However, tech companies reversed their opposition about a month ago when the CTIA, an exchange association that speaks to the versatile telecom organizations, made a promise to make the anti-theft programming standard on all telephones from certain providers and transporters, including Samsung, Google (the maker of the dominant Android operating system), Verizon, Sprint, AT&T and T-Mobile.
The decision to incorporate the product may ultimately remain voluntary for these organizations, however.
Legislators’ opposition at odds with general public sentiment
Ninety-nine percent of the 1,200 cell phone owners interviewed by Creighton University said mobile companies ought to give all buyers the choice to deactivate a stolen cellphone. Eighty-three percent thought the implementation of a kill switch might lessen smartphone theft.
Finally, 93 percent believed that Americans shouldn’t be required to pay additional charges for the convenience.
Buyers could save another $580 million a year by not having to replace stolen telephones and an additional $2 billion a year by downgrading from premium mobile insurance to more basic plans offered by competing businesses.
The total amount saved amounts to about $2.6 billion a year, the study concluded. As the technology continues to develop, more Americans are relying on mobile devices for everyday needs.
Tablets have all but replaced laptops as the dominant platform for watching mobile video.
Compared to the 89 million people who rely on laptops for communication and mobile connectivity, 113.4 million are expected to use tablets for the same tasks.
Google continues to dominate the mobile software market with its Android operating system, which incorporates the software into a slew of new wearable gadgets.
Still in its infancy, wearable technology is receiving support from investors to the tune of about $5 billion in 2014.
Naturally, more people watching video on mobile devices implies more ad money spent on mobile video. However, advertisers still seem to favor the traditional marketing channels of desktop and laptop Web browsers.