Krishna Baidya’s Random Musings

Posts Tagged ‘apple

Gartner predicts that worldwide sales of smartphones will grow by 29 percent year-on-year to reach 180 million units in 2009, overtaking notebooks in total unit terms. The research firm adds that it expects smartphone sales revenue to reach US$191 million by 2012, higher than end user spending on mobile PCs, which is forecast to reach US$152 million by the same point. Currently smartphones account for 14 percent of overall mobile device sales, but Gartner expects by 2012 they will make up around 37 percent of global handset sales. However, it adds that the PC vendors’ cumulative share (Apple excluded) of the smartphone market has remained static at around 1 percent and is unlikely to rise above 2 percent during the next three years, highlighting the challenges faced by PC vendors looking to tap into smartphones.

“PC vendors will find it difficult to simply use existing supply chains and channels to expand their presence in the smartphone market,” said Roberta Cozza, principal research analyst at Gartner. “The smartphone and notebook markets are governed by different rules when it comes to successfully marketing and selling products.” Gartner notes that PC vendors have traditionally introduced smartphones based on the Windows Mobile platform, which have mainly attracted business users. But it adds that PC vendors will face extreme challenges in having to adapt and base their smartphone offerings on a consumer-focused value proposition based on short life cycles, fashion design, hardware and software platform diversity.

Advertisements

Mobile advertising market is emerging as a huge growth area with the rise of web phones like the iPhone, Android, Blackberry and Palm. According to the Kelsey Group, a market research firm, the mobile advertising market will balloon from $160 million in 2008 to $3.1 billion in 2013.

Of course, that is just an educated guess which will turn out wrong. But there is no doubt that mobile advertising will be much bigger in four years, perhaps even ten to 20 times bigger than it is today.

Where will all of that mobile ad money go to? Display ads are projected to go from 13 percent of the total to 18 percent, while SMS ads will decline as a percentage from 63 percent to 9 percent (see charts). So once again it looks like search is going to be the big winner. No wonder Google is so focused on mobile search as one of its major sources of growth.

US Mobile Advertising Revenue

Think about it. Display ads take up precious real estate on your phone screen and tend to just get in the way and be an annoyance. That’s whymost people don’t like them . But when you are doing a search on your phone, you are often looking for something nearby?a store, a restaurant, a dry cleaner. You are more open to ads, especially if they are relevant to your search. As reported by TechCrunch, the Kelsey Group also projects that mobile search will go from 24 percent of the total mobile ad market last year to 73 percent of the much larger pie in 2013, according to a recent research note put out by Citi Analyst Mark Mahaney. He said that Mobile search is particularly tuned for local search ads. “Given the nature of mobile devices, local queries on mobile should, over time, be greater than local queries on the desktop,” he added.

Indeed, the Kelsey Group predicts that local searches will rise from 28 percent of all mobile searches in 2008 to over 35 percent by 2013. And as a percentage of mobile search ad revenues, local search is already half so that it will be a $1.27 billion market opportunity in four years just for local mobile search.

Source: Silicon India, Washington Post

They thought this day would never come: Ladies and gentlemen, AT&T Inc. will now allow VoIP applications to run across its cellular network, not just Wi-Fi.

The carrier has blocked IP-based voice apps for the iPhone from running on 2G and 3G in the past, including Skype and, famously, Google Voice. Though AT&T never mentioned why, speculation as to the reason blockage includes, of course, a reluctance to lose voice call revenue, and network congestion concerns.

But it’s caught a lot of flak for those decisions, and as VoIP continues to become an embraced application in the industry in general, who is AT&T to blow against the wind, right? Competitively, Clearwire, several cablecos and even Verizon Wireless have said they won’t block third-party VoIP on their 4G or 3G networks, even if cellular voice remains the bread and butter revenue stream today.

Officially, the carrier said it made its decision because it already enables cellular VoIP on other devices, and, well, the sky hasn’t fallen. “iPhone is an innovative device that dramatically changed the game in wireless when it was introduced just two years ago,” said Ralph de la Vega, president and CEO for AT&T Mobility & Consumer Markets, in a statement. “Today’s decision was made after evaluating our customers’ expectations and use of the device compared to dozens of others we offer.”

It’s good news for Vonage too, which this week launched an iPhone app for its voice service.

Regardless of the reason, AT&T is now cellular VoIP-friendly on the iPhone, saying it has taken the steps necessary to let Apple enable VoIP applications to run on AT&T’s wireless network. AT&T this afternoon informed Apple and the FCC of its decision.

Skype took a vindicated tone: “Since launching our iPhone application six months ago, consumers have downloaded and installed Skype on 10% of all iPhone and iPod touch devices sold,” said Josh Silverman, president of Skype, in a statement. “This clearly demonstrates that our customers are extremely interested in taking Skype conversations with them on the go on the iPhone.”

He added that while Skype is naturally happy about the turn of events, “the positive actions of one company are no substitute for a government policy that protects openness and benefits consumers and we look forward to further innovations that will enable even more mobile Skype calling.”

Source: VON newsletter

Came across the following story about “Courier” – Microsoft’s planned Tablet.

Some nifty features and all …. but will this be something of a game changing?  Read through and decide for yourself.

500x_courier4Mashable waxed poetic about Apple’s mythical Tablet recently (and even seen some more evidence to support it). But Microsoft, too, has a rather attractive looking tablet-like device in the speculative stages as well: the Courier.

Now, a leaked video of the Courier’s user interface sheds more light on some of the design aesthetic behind this still unconfirmed device that appears to be part tablet and part digital planner, with a dual-screen hinged design and pen and finger controls.

In the video, unearthed by Gizmodo, we see a very fluid interface where any item can be drag and dropped easily. The overarching metaphor is apparently dubbed the “infinite journal,” where items can be clipped and stored from the web, annotated and highlighted, moved around, and modified with a palette of drawing and design tools. An on-board camera handles bringing in visuals and documents from the physical world as well. Everything is searchable for later retrieval, with a Courier Pen handling text input duties. Of course the device overall is a touchscreen, and designed with finger control and gestures in mind as well.

Easy Publishing, But No Apps?

According to the video, publishing from your Infinite Journal is easy, with pages and sections exporting to Courier files, Powerpoint presentations, or PDFs. And according to Mary-Jo Foley, the device will run Windows 7 … but not be able to install Windows 7 applications. Say what? Yep — apparently that’s because someone up high thinks the first generation of Microsoft Tablets failed because the apps weren’t specific to the form factor. There could be some truth in there but still — we hope for Microsoft’s sake they come up with a better alternative app store than what they’ve done with the Zune HD to-date.

Check out the video below and let us know what you think: are you sweating this device? Which interests you more: the mythical Apple Tablet, or the mythical Microsoft Courier?

Source:

Apple yesterday reported a strong growth in quarterly profit and revenue, boosted by sales of more than 5.2 million iPhones during the period. Revenue came in at US$8.34 billion for its fiscal third-quarter (ending June 27, 2009), compared to US$7.46 billion in the year-ago quarter, whilst profit was up 15 percent at US$1.23 billion.

The company’s gross margin was 36.3 percent, up from 34.8 percent a year earlier. Its iPhone sales represented a 626 percent unit growth over the year-ago quarter and helped offset a seven percent decline in iPod sales.

“We’re making our most innovative products ever and our customers are responding,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO, who only recently returned to work after six months medical leave. “We’re thrilled to have sold over 5.2 million iPhones during the quarter and users have downloaded more than 1.5 billion applications from our App Store in its first year.”

Apple’s latest quarter was one where it released a new, faster, version of its iPhone (pictured) and halved the price on an older model to US$99. Apple’s results were even better than had been expected, especially in light of the recession, with the company’s stock up 4.5 percent at US$158.39 in late trading yesterday. “Times are tough. Apple continues to post pretty strong numbers,” Shaw Wu, an analyst for Kaufman Bros., told AP News. “It’s pretty incredible. It truly is.” Apple said it expects revenue in the range of about US$8.7 billion to US$8.9 billion in the fourth fiscal quarter of 2009, with diluted earnings per share in the range of about US$1.18 to US$1.23.

Source: Mobile Business Briefing, GSMA

Giving a firm release date to one of the most anticipated new mobile devices to run on the Android operating system, from Google Inc.(GOOG), Amazon’s United Kingdom site is listing the HTC Hero for pre-ordering. The smartphone will begin shipping on July 15; it’s expected to become available in the U.S. later this year.

Icon_Use_Scenes

Based on the mobile O.S. developed by Google, the Hero also features HTC Sense, the Taiwanese company’s new user-interface, which offers a 3.2-inch capacitive touch screen along with gesture controls and customizable widgets and icons that can be quickly launched from the home screen. If you have missed on the promises, you could check them out at the video link in youtube.

The Hero, which will be offered by the U.K. through Orange and T-Mobile, will also be sold in an unlocked version that’s not tied to a single carrier. The dual-band cellular/WiFi device will cost $712 with no carrier contract.

The Hero also includes support for Adobe Flash Web-content software, something the iPhone, from Apple(AAPL), lacks.

The Hero is the third Android-based device to hit the market. Several other manufacturers are hurrying to get Android mobile devices to market before the Christmas gift season this year.

Windows store to launch with 600 apps Microsoft will offer around 600 certified applications when it opens its mobile app store later this year, according to a Washington Post report, despite the Windows Mobile platform having more than 20,000 applications developed for it overall. Consumers will be able to buy applications on their credit card or through their operator bill, and will also be able to return apps within 24 hours if they are not completely satisfied. Microsoft has already signed up a number of software partners, including web music service Pandora, games publisher Electronic Arts and social network site Facebook. Other partners include another games publisher, Gameloft, weather website Accuweather.com, and News Corp’s MySpace social network. The store was officially unveiled in February and is scheduled to launch in the first half of this year on smartphones running Microsoft’s new Windows Mobile 6.5 platform. Microsoft’s app store will compete against a raft of rival platforms launched in response to the phenomenal success of Apple’s App Store, which offers around 50,000 apps.

Google’s Android store offers around 5,000 apps whilst Palm reportedly only offers around 30 at present. Microsoft said in an earlier statement that Windows Marketplace would launch in 29 countries and offer third-party developers a 70 percent cut of revenue-share, the same rate offered by Apple and Google.

In separate app store news, Dow Jones Newswires reports that China Telecom plans to launch a mobile app store for its 3G network, though no details on timescales were released. Operators including rival China Mobile and Vodafone have been quick to jump on the application store bandwagon, going head-to-head with software and handset vendors.