Krishna Baidya’s Random Musings

Posts Tagged ‘iPhone

NexusOne1Google has performed a u-turn on its strategy to sell its own-brand Android smartphone, the Nexus One. In a statement yesterday, the company announced that Vodafone will from this Friday start selling the device in the UK via its stores, online and over the phone. “Soon after,” Google said, it will be available via SFR in France, as well as via Vodafone’s other subsidiaries in Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain. More operator launches look to be on the horizon, as Google noted that Vodafone is the “first European partner to distribute the Nexus One.” The move is a direct contrast to Google’s original retail model for the device; when it launched the high-profile phone in January Google surprised many industry watchers with plans to only sell the product via its own online store. Such a move broke heavily with traditional mobile industry business practices, bypassing the mobile operator retail stores that serve as a key distribution channel for mobile phones. Meanwhile, US operator Verizon Wireless has been dropped as a partner for the device; despite being touted as an initial partner at launch, Google is now advising customers to instead “pre-order the Droid Incredible by HTC, a powerful new Android phone and a cousin of the Nexus One that is similarly feature-packed” and available in stores on 29 April. The Nexus One remains available to T-Mobile USA customers.

Reports have been quick to cite analysts as stating that the actions represent a setback for Google’s plans to carve a role for itself in the mobile business and to redefine industry practices in the process. The move is also likely to fuel speculation that Google has been forced to change its strategy due to less-than-stellar demand for the Nexus One; analysts believe Google sold about 150,000 Nexus One devices in the first quarter. By contrast, Apple sold 1 million iPhones in the first 74 days after releasing the gadget in 2007. However, earlier this month Google’s CFO Patrick Pichette said Nexus One is “a profitable business for us”, whilst Jeff Huber, SVP for enginnering, added that the company is “very happy with the device uptake and the kind of impact that’s had across the industry in terms of raising the bar for what devices can do.” Huber added that Google’s Android system is powering 34 devices and that more than 60,000 Android devices are sold and activated each day. Android also had 38,000 apps in the previous quarter, up 78 percent from the last quarter.

Source: GSMA Daily

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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

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

Will the Palm Pre be the last in a storied line of products, or will it mark the beginning of a new era for the once and former Palm, Inc.?

urlBeing a fan of palm’s handheld PDA (those mono-chrome ones), I always thought they would lead when it comes to making a great PDA phone/ smart phone. Looks like they have missed the boat along the way and never actually made that great effort until when they tried to revive the glory through “Pre”. “Pre” had created great pre-launch buzz in the industry and many dubbed the device as “iPhone killer”. But reality has been far from it. Lets look at the sales number.

According to Ed Snyder, co-founder and wireless industry analyst at Charter Equity Research, Palm sold 300,000 of the new smartphones in June, and another 75,000 in late May. Neither Palm nor sole-carrier Sprint have yet disclosed numbers, and some analysts put the June sales figure at 150,000. Snyder estimates that Palm will deliver about 1 million units during the first full quarter of manufacturing.

Apple’s new iPhone 3GS, with the 3.0 operating system, sold that many in its opening weekend. I guess the argument ends there.

Came across a great slide show “From Palm Pilot to Palm Pre: A Brief History of Palm’s Handhelds” @ network world paying tirbute. May be bit nostalgic for old fanboys of Palm PDA users.

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.

picture-1Apple yesterday took the wraps off a new and improved iPhone model, whilst halving the price of its entry-level device to US$99. The Cupertino, California-based vendor used its Worldwide Developers Conference to unveil the iPhone 3G S (pictured, left), which sports a number of upgrades from its predecessors, including a doubled memory capacity of 32GB, a digital compass, 3MP camera, voice control, longer-lasting battery, and the ability to record videos. It also includes the latest iPhone operating system (version 3.0). This upgrade of software also means that now the iPhone will have capabilities such as cut, copy and paste which was ma complete miss from numerous end-user’s perspective. Apple said the device will support HSDPA networks offering theoretical peak download speeds of 7.2 Mb/s, with the ‘S’ in iPhone 3G S standing for ‘speed.’ A 16GB model will retail for US$199 and the 32GB model for US$299.

See the new iPhone 3GS ads > HERE and watch the new iPhone 3GS > Guided Tour 

US operator AT&T and O2 in the UK will be among the first operators to begin selling the iPhone 3G S on 19 June. Telenor will launch the device in Norway on 9 July. In a statement, Apple said the device will also be available “in more than 80 countries in the coming weeks.” Meanwhile, the vendor also dropped the price of its year-old 8GB iPhone 3G model to US$99 in an effort to push the smartphone to a wider audience. Reuters reported that Morgan Stanley estimates the halving in price could double existing sales. The news agency also noted that Apple CEO Steve Jobs did not put in a much speculated-about appearance. Despite Jobs’ no-show, Apple’s event has arguably overshadowed the launch of Palm’s ‘iPhone rival,’ the Pre, last weekend. The high-profile Pre reportedly experienced strong demand at store opening on Saturday (with between 50,000-100,000 units sold) but analysts are now concerned Palm will not be able to ramp up production supplies quick enough.