Month: February 2009 (Page 1 of 2)

Mobile Internet is Reality!

A Nielsen survey commissioned (sic!) by backhaul specialists Tellabs found that the mobile Internet is pretty much a part of life nowadays – at least in the territories covered by this. They asked 50,000 consumers in EU5 (Germany, France, UK, Spain and Italy) and the US about their intentions with respect to 10 mobile data services. 

Italians are the quickest adopters, and Germans are slowest. 
The top 5 data services were (in order of ranking):  Mobile Internet, MMS (yes, really. I am skeptical, too), uploading photos, Software/app download (presumably includes games) and E-mail.

Here are some of the findings:

  • Mobile Internet usage will ignore the global recession and ramp up significantly in the next 12 months.
  • 71% of consumers anticipate daily use but concerns remain over – you guessed it – cost, speed and quality of service.
  • There are c. 200m mobile data users in the surveyed markets (which by my count equates to about 1/3 of the total population).  More than 50% of these users plan an increase of their usage in the next 2 years.
  • 25% of the users who do NOT currently use data services, plan to do so shortly (this would be another 100m).
This would all suggest that the recent signs of an accelerated move into smarter phones is actually being underpinned by the respective service use. Anecdotally, this was always known: the more sophisticated the handset, the higher consumption.
What is still worrying is the concerns over cost, etc. Carriers do move increasingly into flatrate data plans but their varying degrees of interpretation as to when a rate is flat (or rather what constitutes fair use) still leaves consumers cautious (and, frankly, as long as a few MB of data constitute the cap of fair use, this is likely to remain like this; not good…).
So all good! Even if Tellabs have a somewhat vested interest in this: they make their money with backhaul and service reliabity, a firm as reputed as Nielsen will not have cooked the numbers on this!   

Top 10 Phones in the US, December 2008: the Ascent of the Smartphone

There’s new data out on the bestselling handsets, and this time it is not being derived from accessory sales (which may have its flaws as I pointed out here) but from a survey amongst service reps and store managers across the 4 big US mobile networks (Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile; these comprise 85% of the total subscriber base). Now, this would arguably reduce the recorded sales for the iPhone since this is also being sold via Apple’s own retail stores as well as Walmart, Best Buy, etc. So again not an entirely accurate yardstick, huh?

It is noteworthy that only one handset is available on more than one carrier (and, yes, it ranks prominently amongst the top 1) and that Nokia, despite all waiting, has still not managed to break the top 10.
It is also noteworthy that most of the handsets would certainly be classified at smartphones (the Samsung Rant might be the exception). And this is certainly good news. The T-610 and RAZR may finally have left the building…
So here we go (number in brackets is the previous month’s rank):
1. (1) Blackberry Curve
2. (2) iPhone
3. (3) Blackberry Storm
4. (6) LG Voyager
5. (4) LG Dare
6. (5) Blackberry Bold
7. (-) Samsung Rant
8. (9) Samsung Behold
9. (10) Samsung Instinct
10. (8) LG Env2
Source: Rankings are by Avian Research LL.C. (via the above link)

Carnival of the Mobilists #162

Nothing much from me last week due to Barcelona meeting frenzy but thank goodness there are more prolific bloggers than me out there. The carnival goes on (not that one), and this week the Carnival of the Mobilists is hosted by Sachendra Yadav over here. Good stuff there, too, including some analysis showing that 3G is actually a success wherever it launched and a look at the spread between a technology launch and wider adaption (the latter being necessary to make it commercially feasible).

And, yes, I’ll be back with more of my own later this week! Promise! 🙂

Carnival of the Mobilists #161

In spite of Mobile World Congress being in full swing, this week, too, has another Carnival of the Mobilists for you. It is hosted over at Mobify and can be found here. It also features my most recent post on the iPhone and its impact on the game developer spcae. Enjoy whilst I will jump back into the crowds here… 

Barcelona, here we come…

Judging by the many Twitter updates today, I seem to be the last one to arrive at Mobile World Congress tomorrow: everyone appears to being already in the midst of networking, hunting for new revelations and, well, parties and tapas.

I’ll be setting off tomorrow morning at the break of dawn, so if you would like to meet up, drop me a line. E-mail will be safest as the show is traditionally one of the most frantic ones. Try me at volker [dot] hirsch [at] gmail [dot] com.
If you’re into gaming and all things mobile entertainment, you might want to check into the Mobile Backstage event on Thursday. I will be contributing on a panel on next generation gaming. But there will also be proper celebrities around with and Kevin Spacey headlining the music and film sections…
And then I’ll be back next weekend with hopefully interesting learnings to share! Adios!

Samsung Goes Green (or Blue?)

Ahead of the Mobile World Congress, Samsung announced a super-cool device. Cool because it has the word “blue” in its name (it’s name is “Blue Earth”)? Or because it’s all touchscreeny-feely? No! Because it’s very green: 

It’s solar-powered, it is made from recycled plastics (water bottles, just like the Motorola one I blogged about recently). Packaging? Recycled paper. And then it also has a couple of sweet little gadgets: you can for instance see how much CO2 you saved by using the in-built pedometer. Now, this (not the pedometer, the phone) is something rather cool! 

I will maintain – again – though that the question remains why they then do not do this kind of thing across all their products? In particular a company of Samsung’s size and might could surely make a difference if this would not only concern one handset but their entire product portfolio. Come on, guys!

Top 10 Smartphone Games & Apps 2008

Smartphone content vendor Handango releases a smartphone “yardstick” every year containing the top sellers from data in their store. Anecdotally, smartphone apps are more often sold via direct stores (rather than operator decks) than “normal” (not smart?) phones, owing of course to the better connectability (not necessarily connectivity) of high-end phones: input mechanisms (Querty, touchscreen, better D-pads), almost always 3G phones, etc make for a more satisfying user experience (try inputting a web URL via a basic phone keypad… painful!).

They had just under 10,000 apps on offer (spread across Blackberry, Windows Mobile [pro and standard], Palm, Symbian and Android). The average price point was a rather healthy $19, and users downloaded 1.12 apps on average.

Handango also says that games rose as part of overall “top category” sales (whatever that is) from 11% in 2007 to 19% in 2008. This is encouraging. Even so, there is no game amongst their overall best-sellers for 2008. Here’s the list (price points at the end of each line):
1. Spb Mobile Shell 2.1.4 (today screen plug-in) – $29.95
2. MobiTV (streaming television) – $9.99/month
3. Ringtone Megaplex (ringtones) – $19.95
4. Spb Backup 2.0.1 (file backup) – $24.95
5. Spb Pocket Plus 4.0.2 (today screen plug-in) – $29.95
6. Pocket Informant 8 (today screen plug-in) – $29.95
7. Spb Phone Suite 1.3 (phone features) – $19.95
8. VoiceControl (voice command) – $6.00
9. Colour Your Trackball (trackball customizer) – $4.95
10. eWallet (Professional Edition) (PIM manager) – $29.95

The top 10 games across platforms for smartphones is this:

1. Spb Brain Evolution 1.2 (puzzle game)
2. Aces Texas Hold’em® – No Limit (card game)
3. TETRIS (puzzle game)
4. Guitar Hero 3 Mobile (music game)
5. Bejeweled (puzzle game)
6. Aces Solitaire Pack (card game)
7. The Sims 2 (strategy game)
8. Jewelrumble 2 (puzzle game)9. Sudoku Puzzle Pack (puzzle game)
10. Solitaire Buddy Gold (card game)

And here’s a chart of the game categories – and, no, still no first-person-shooters in the top 10:

A noteworthy bit in the “Yardstick” is that Android already makes up for 10% of their sales (or so would the below graphic tell us). 

From this, it also occurs that Handango does not consider the iPhone to being very smart. Hm… Well, it’s probably that everyone who buys content on that one will buy not buy it from Handango but through the AppStore. OK then…

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