CTIA Day 2: Incipio’s Kari Nishimura, E7 and Handmark – the Grand Daddy of Moble App Stores 2


Image courtesy of Handmark.com

Our colleague RJ Bardsley (@rjbardsley), is live at CTIA this week. Here’s his report from day 2 in Las Vegas.

So it’s Day Two at America’s Most Influential Mobile Show….

…And there is still a ton of cool stuff to take in and take on. My day started shortly after the keynote sitting down for coffee with some of the folks over at Handmark. They’ve had a ton of cool news out lately and at this show they brought the curtain up on some great mobile apps for partners like the Associated Press. Handmark does a number of things, but they’re also the great grand daddy of mobile app stores – they started way back in 2000 when most phones still had cords and the iPod was only a music player that sat gazing longingly across your desk at the cell phone (which was probably the size of a small loaf of bread).

Anyway, my next stop was at a pretty unlikely booth. If you’re a mobile junkie like me, you probably walk right by a lot of those conference booths with all the phone covers and rubber protectors. I mean, really – we’re interested in all the cool apps and gee-wiz electronics on the mobile, not the pocket protector you wrap it in. It’s all about the hi-def video recorder and the new Shape Writer app that revolutionizes the way I enter data into my phone – right? Not so fast. Incipio has some of the coolest iPhone accesories I’ve ever seen. The thing that struck me first and most about this company was that it’s phone covers and hard drive socks looked more like something you might see on project runway or in a museum. There was the cool super hero line, the artistic Japanese wood block line, the executive but stylish line. Before I knew it I was snapping photos like the paparazzi at fashion week. I got the chance to chat with Kari Nishimura, one of the lead designers for Incipio and she explained a little bit about what inspires her and how she knows what will sell. “I was a studio art major in college, but my first love was illustration. A lot of the designs here are stuff that I love to draw…I watch what’s happening in music and pop culture…and I have a good idea of what will sell because I’m pretty close to the demographic we’re targetting.” For more on Kari and Incipio check out their Website.

My last significant stop for the day was with a company called E7. Check this out: E7 wants to reduce waste in the cell phone ecosystem by refurbishing your old phone and sending it back to you so you can use it again. In general this is a very cool idea – except personally, I usually switch phones because I’m lured by the latest shiny gadgets and software. E7 refurbs the battery, the GPS radio, and all the plastic and chrome parts. And, they do all the work in Atlanta, so they’re conforming with the buy American part of the stimulus plan.

Well, that’s it from CTIA for now. Catch you guys next at the iHollywood Forum’s Mobile Entertainment Summit on April 22.

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