Tag: RIM (Page 1 of 6)

Carnival of the Mobilists # 260

As per usual, another week, another carnival (if things were only like this in real life, too…). This week’s edition of the Carnival of the Mobilists is being hosted by the formidable Antoine RJ Wright, and it is full of goodies. He is featuring:

  • Not one but two posts on BlackBerry (and I have no involvement in either; cf. my About Me page for disclaimers), one looking at its (apparently) impending death and offering advice on how to fix it and one looking at its (apparently) robust health despite recent dips.
  • A very interesting post on how handset UX affects testing.
  • A book review on HTML5 and the mobile web.
  • A report on mobile in the MENA (Middle-East and North Africa) region.
  • My own little piece on the mobile component of Facebook’s IPO (hint: there is none).
  • An interview with one of GigaOm’s mavens.
  • Plus about 10 or so more incredibly worthwhile reads including by singularity rockstar Ray Kurzweil, mobile influencer #1 Tomi Ahonen (not my but Forbes’ words) and, and, and…

Go, get a coffee (or green tea, or whatever you feel inclined towards) and allow yourself half an hour of good reading on all things mobile over here. And, if you would like to participate in the carnival yourself, you can: to submit a post, just e-mail mobilists@gmail.com. If you want to host, check out the Mobilists website for processes etc.

Conference season: Where I will be…

Yes, conference season is firmly upon us and, before I descend into the mayhem that tends to come with it, let me tell you where you can find me over the next couple of weeks.

This week sees London at the centre of a lot of things gaming: the Mobile Games Forum opens its doors on Wednesday in the Hilton Tower Bridge in SW1, which combines with the Social Games Forum. I will be speaking on a panel on “How to engage cross-promotion for social game discovery”.

There is also ICE in town but not the freezing variety but the big gaming (as in proper gaming for money and such) expo over at Earl’s Court, which rolls a variety of gaming-related tracks into this. I will be speaking on a panel on their mobile gaming track with the concise title “Incorporate Social and Mobile to create the Ultimate Modern Gaming Experience”.

Only a little later, on 7/8 February, we will be in Amsterdam for BlackBerry DevCon Europe. It is well worth coming to this to get a glimpse of the “new” BlackBerry and our plans there [disclosure: I work for BlackBerry]. Sign up here and hit me if you are a developer; I have a few discount codes left. I will lead a breakout session on Social Gaming with Scoreloop there.

Onwards to my old stomping grounds in Hamburg from there for the annual European edition of Casual Connect where I will deliver a talk on how BlackBerry will deliver on gaming (yes, you read that right!).

After that, there is a two week (conference) break before heading to Barcelona for the monster that is Mobile World Congress. I’ll be there all week!

Barely a weekend’s rest and the Game Developers Conference (or GDC) opens its doors at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. Again, it’ll be a full week for me there.

I hope I will meet you at one of those. Sorry that Asia isn’t featuring in this tour de force this time but, hey, it’s still early in the year, huh? 😉

Image credit: http://gapingvoid.com

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Conference: Mindshare Media Summit Dubai

Things heat up, and not only because I am traveling South this week, more specifically to Dubai where, on Tuesday (1st), the Mindshare Media Summit 2011 will open its doors. It carries a heavy focus on marketing and media in a multi-screen world where screens and user experiences converge. The organizers have a great line-up of speakers, including:

  • AKQA
  • Nissan
  • HSBC
  • LinkedIn
  • BBC Worldwide
  • Google
  • Yahoo!
  • The MBC Group
  • (of course) Mindshare
  • The Arabian Radio Network
  • and many more (including yours truly).

So if you would like to hook up in one of the most vibrant regions in the world, in one of the swankier settings and soak up some sun before the winter (if you live in the Northern hemisphere, that is), come by! 🙂

This week: NY Games Conference

This week, I will have the great pleasure to attend (and speak) at the NY Games Conference. If you are on the East Coast and into games, this is where you need to be. Join us! It’s worth it. There are speakers from:

  • Ubisoft
  • Samsung
  • Majesco Entertainment
  • Yesware
  • Sony Computer Entertainment
  • TAG Strategic (yes, Ted, the man himself!)
  • Freeverse
  • Greystripe
  • Badgeville
  • OnLive
  • Atari
  • EA Sports
  • OpenFeint
  • GameHouse/Real
  • Sulake (of Habbo Hotel fame)
  • Ogmento
  • CBS Interactive
  • Fremantle
  • Wedbush (Michael Pachter himself!)
  • Tapjoy
  • RockYou
  • Hi5 (yes, Alex St John will be there to delight)
  • NVidia
  • Wild Tangent
  • GameStop
  • MTV Networks
  • Google
  • and… me…

Add to this the formidable events for which Digital Media Wire are renowned, cool downtown NYC and nothing else going on that week (well, perhaps except F8), and you’re on for one hell of a gaming conference.

See you? See you!

Conference: Mobile 2.0 Europe – Open Ideas (Barcelona)

The ever industrious Rudy de Waele and his team are staging the next version of Mobile 2.0 Europe in beautiful Barclona on 16/17 June 2011. Last year’s version was awesome but this year they seem to have upped the ante significantly again. Staged in Telefonica’s mindblowing R&D centre Diagonal 00 (just look at the picture, for heaven’s sake!) and boasting a speaker line-up that should everybody get going!

It’s a developer conference, so none (or little) of the usual preaching but you will get more hands-on workshops on everything from app store marketing to HTML5 development. And all this in summery Barcelona! Go on, sign up here!

And if all that is not enough, here’s a selection of the people that will speak with you, work with you, talk to you (a full speaker list is here):

  • Peter Vesterbacka, Rovio (yes, he, the Mighty Eagle of the “Angry Birds” guys)
  • Daniel Gurrola, Orange
  • Sanyu Kirulata, Blackberry
  • Reimund Schmaid, Nuance
  • Carlos Domingo, Telefonica I+D
  • Jose Valles, BlueVia (Telefonica)
  • Lucas Allen Buick, Synthetic (they of “Hipstamatic” fame)
  • Matthias Sala, Gbanga
  • Andy Goodman, Fjord
  • Caroline Drucker, Soundcloud
  • Vincent Hoogsteder, Distimo
  • Andreas Constantinou, Vision Mobile
  • Tom Hume, Future Platforms
  • John Roberts, Quostodian
  • Yes, and yours truly will also be there 🙂

See you in the sun very soon! 🙂

 

Top 5 Handset OEMs 2001-2010 / Infographic

Nice infographic from the good folks over at Visionmobile on the largest handset OEM of the last 10 years (by volume of handsets – not market cap, margins or anything else, OK?).

And if the numbers are right, RIM and Apple became “mainstream” in 2010 for the first time, Nokia hangs on to its #1 spot with some 150m  (!) units ahead of #2 (but on what handsets and for how much longer?), Samsung keeps charging, and, oh, does anyone remember Siemens? No, thought so…

Top 5 handset OEM

 

Which handset? An update…

Two months ago, I mused over handsets, packages, and the like. The reason was – if I may briefly recall – that my contract ran out. I reported on a number of options but never told what happened. Here’s what:

The Carrier

I hinted as much before: it is Vodafone who have me in their grip now. The data roaming rates did it (although they have fairly decent international rates, too, specifically with Vodafone Passport, which must be one of the first programmes where a large multi-national carrier leverages its geographical spread; T-Mobile, take note!).

The Handset

Quick recap: I was looking at device options (the contracts I tend to be on are unhealthily big, which normally gives you a free device on top of it, and why the heck not). Since I already have an iPhone (3 and 4), a Google Nexus and various Nokias, I thought what next? Do I try out another Android device? Do I give Windows Phone 7 a go? Or do I return to my old love, Blackberry. And the last one won me over. So I fell for it, and went with the brand-new Blackberry 9800 Torch. Touch screen plus QUERTY plus Blackberry e-mail. You should think that that’s pretty need and, really, all you could wish for (sorry, Microsoft, I didn’t dare – yet).

Trials and Tribulations

But, alas, it was not so. It turned out that two-odd years in the claws of the iPhone and Android had seriously spoilt me, also – and this was concerning – with respect to e-mail. I first learned that I could actually type pretty damn quickly on a touch keyboard now (better on the iPhone, less so on the Nexus), so the keyboard did not really do it. But that was not really it. The little things did it:

  • Checking multiple e-mails at once so you can delete or file them all in one go? I’m sure there was one rather ingenious shortcut to do this but it was not very obvious and I had forgotten how it worked. Do I look it up on the web? Nah, it should really just work, shouldn’t it? It just felt clunky.
  • Maps: a nightmare! It put me regularly miles away from where I was (and I was actually on home turf, so – thankfully – was able to survive without accurate directions.
  • Browser: unusable (and, yes, I know it already is a little better than the old one).
  • App World: slow and not very well stocked, is it? And, mind you, I was not looking for a gazillion funny novelty apps like light sabers and such. But even some fairly standard ones were not available.
  • Speed: the handset does not run on the quickest of processors, and you could feel it. Some latency in certain processes, no really smooth pinch-zooms, etc, etc.
  • Camera: OK but not more.
  • Even the beautiful Blackberry Messenger (or BBM as it is also affectionately known) managed to confuse me a little: where on earth can I find that 3D barcode that allows me to add a contact on BBM? I still haven’t found it. Once up and running, it is a beauty as it always was. However, there are now many IM apps that are similarly good, and with most smartphone users on data plans, the fact that BBM is free might no longer matter as much.

On the good side? There is of course Brickbreaker (new high-score: 28,350 (!!!)) but, aside from that, the fairly solid feel of the handset, the nice rubbery back (really nice in fact) and the somewhat quaint but familiar design lines plus decent touch was all very good. I really liked the handset as such. But what was in it, not so much.

The New Kid

So – you probably guessed it – I gave it back and exchanged it for an HTC Desire HD. Only a couple of years ago, this would have been unthinkable. Not only was I a fairly die-hard Blackberry fan but to replace a Blackberry with a Taiwanese newcomer handset? Voluntarily? Noooo! However, it is gorgeous (besides being a bit of the big – no, really big – side). It does all the things that so frustrated me on the Blackberry so much better. Well, slicker at least. E-mail set-up is a breeze for Gmail but only a little less onerous than on the Blackberry for others (and, yes, the QUERTY does help for weird password combinations), but, once done, it works really well. And then, there’s of course the little things: 8 mega-pixel camera with stunning quality (although the lens sticks out a little at the back, which might be not so good), comparatively wholesome goodness when it comes to apps (in spite of the shortfalls of Android Market), heck, it synced all my apps from my Nexus automatically. And, Apple get this, it adds little raindrops (and a windscreen wiper) in one quick animation should it rain where ever you are (which, in England’s North-West, it does quite a lot, I’m afraid). Sweet! Browser works beautifully, maps come with proper satellite navigation on par with dedicated devices, and so on, and so forth.

Mind you, I am not yet sure if I may not change back to my iPhone 4 (which is, let’s face it, damn slick!). But I will give the Desire its run, and it does pretty well so far.

Blackberry Needs to Up the Ante!

But let’s look at my old friend Blackberry. Read through the last two paragraphs, and you know where Blackberry needs to up the ante. The Torch – its newest handset with its newest OS – feels slow, sluggish, dated, laboured.

But not all might be lost: last week, at CES, I could catch a glimpse of the future: RIM’s Blackberry PlayBook, which runs on QNX, rumoured to be the foundation for the next generation of “proper” Blackberries, too. And a beauty it is: much more hardware power (dual-core processor, namely a 1 GHz Texas Instruments OMAP 4430), swish graphics (1080p video inclusive), really impressive multi-tasking (HD video + game + websites + whatever open in parallel and seamless change from one to the other in an easy and casual swipe with no lag in any of it), and it will apparently be available on Sprint’s 4G network. Check here for the full specs.

It did however lack e-mail! Yes, you read that correctly: you can apparently not get RIM’s mother of all killer apps on the PlayBook – unless you also happen to have a “normal” Blackberry (or something to that end; the folks at the Blackberry booth were a little shy about this). What were they thinking???

But let’s take stock. What does RIM have? A – so far – healthy balance sheet, good hardware, still great e-mail service infrastructure (albeit not as unassailable as it used to be), in BBM a hit in the youth market and – arguably – a bit more of a runway than most because of the – again arguably – longer times it will take enterprise IT departments to swap systems (or something along these lines; Dell is probably an exception so far). In QNX, it also seems to have a really powerful OS at its disposal (just add e-mail, please). And, finally, it has a proud history of very good handsets (the Bold must have been one of the best ever) as well as demonstrated expertise to break into new verticals (as the Pearl had shown).

So, my dear friends from Waterloo, Ontario: do it. I think you can, just show us, will you? 🙂

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