Archive for July, 2009

Billion and a half apps… far fewer dollars!

Every minute about 3000 apps are being downloaded just on the iPhones of the world. Imagine the number of apps that will be downloaded when other phone manufactures and service providers (Verizon, Blackberry and others) develop and promote their app sites. But as this BBC article notes, it is extremely difficult making money off of these apps. Consumers are reluctant paying for an app unless it adds real value. And any information an app can provide is alternatively available using a search engine like Google. And Google has announced that it’s not the app store but the browser applications which are the future.

So what should companies do to make money off these apps? Well, first of all, most companies try to create that killer app and promote it enough to get into the top-25 list. Numbers of companies have gotten into the idea of making an application meaningful or appealing which adds some value to the user and the customer may be ready to pay for it. Apps which utilize the concepts of social network get popularity faster compared to individual use app if the app is able to cross the tipping point. Finally, companies should look to tie up with someone who can place ads on your app (for example

As the BBC article points out, currently 90% of the app store developers end up in the red. As the market matures, the Pareto principle (80-20 rule) should kick in and I believe this number might settle around 80%. Also, as can be noted from this chart, there are various categories across which these apps have been divided. Wouldn’t it be interesting to know which of these categories make more money even if they not very large in number?  For example, health and fitness section may be only 2% of total apps in number, but customers may be more willing to pay for those apps compared to some games. Often times, such deep insights provide valuable information about the customer and companies can utilize such information to best tailor their strategies. One such example of a report on the mobile media space in the Indian market has been carried out by CellStrat. Click here to check it out.

July 24th, 2009

World-Class BlackBerry Service in South Delhi…

About 2 weeks back my BlackBerry Bold’s trackball got stuck and would not move up or down but only left or right. Slowly it stopped moving towards left too an then finally stuck for ever and turned black in color instead of normal white…atleast it seems so to me…

I frantically searched for all possible solutions to make it move, get it repaired etc.  from various sources but most of the guys eithers said that they will have to take it with them for anywhere between 2-14 days. Also, they were all asking for anywhere between Rs.1000 ($20) to Rs.4000 ($80) for getting it working again. Checked up with Vodafone, my preferred wireless carrier but to no results. I was ready to spend money but could never decide to leave it with anybody as India is known for all kinds of spurious activities that happen in mobile repair shops and leaving so costly gadget with any technician could mean change of whole internal hardware of this expensive device.

Finally, one good soul in a carrier’s customer support centre told me about two shops in Delhi where I could get good, fast and cheap service for the same. One I could not find after lot of search too. But the other one was easily traceable. Finally I was able to get the trackball changed in just 15 mins in front of my eyes in merely Rs.600 ($12). This shop repairs all kinds of mobiles very fast and at very economical rastes…

From that time on, I have already got 3-4 other mobile models with my friends and relatives got repaired there with world-class quality and service. Simply amazing…

July 24th, 2009

Would you like Google to be your Phone Company???

I would surely. :)

Google recently announced that it was going to make the Voice service widely available to users in the U.S. soon. Unfortunately, it will not be available in India and thus Indian audience will again have to wait for long before they can test the new service…

These mobile versions of the Google voice service will allow folks to not only manage their Google Voice connections –- to access and playback voice mails, send and receives SMS messages and read message transcripts — but also make local and long distance calls from mobile phones. The apps are fully integrated with each phone’s contacts, so you can call via Google Voice straight from your address book.

(Excerpts from Gigaom)

July 16th, 2009

Doctor at your Finger-tips…

Dr. SMS is an innovative G2C service for providing health care through a SMS. It was launched in early 2008, in Kozhikode city of the south Indian state of Kerala. It provides information on the availability of hospitals, medical centres, facilities and doctors in the designated area, that the sender wants to know….

July 13th, 2009

Amazon goes Wireless too yesterday announced the beta launch of AmazonWireless (, a new Web site offering cell phones and service plans from Verizon Wireless and AT&T, with Sprint and T-Mobile USA reportedly coming soon. The site touts the elimination of “rebate hassles” and free two-day shipping. 

The new Web site currently offers more than 120 phones, including a selection of smartphones. Customers can shop for phones by carrier, phone feature, price, color and brand. The site’s shopping cart guides customers through each stage of the purchase process, where customers will find familiar Amazon features like bestseller lists, detailed product descriptions and customer reviews…

July 11th, 2009

Price Wars in USA

Dow Jones reports that first Boost introduced the flat rate plan of $50 and now wireless industry was again rattled by the recent introduction of a $45 pre-paid flat-rate calling and text-message plan by Tracfone Wireless Inc.’s Straight Talk service.The move reignited concerns over a stepped-up price war and underscored the growing difficulties in winning over new wireless customers. With most consumers already packing a cellphone, carriers are eyeing each other rather than any pools of untapped customers.

Straight Talk represents a dangerous threat to the other pre-paid players such as Boost, Leap Wireless International Inc. (LEAP), MetroPCS Communications Inc. (PCS) and Virgin Mobile USA Inc. (VM). They’ve enjoyed success recently because their plans are cheaper, and they don’t require a credit check or lengthy service contract.

Similar is the story in India where majors like Airtel, Vodafone etc. were the preferred carriers until recently among all young and old. But since Aircel has come in, lot of young people are shifting fast from expensive data plans of these Airtel and Vodafone to Aircel.

I feel price under cutting and thus price wars are the trends of the day around the world. With ever decreasing ARPU, only option carriers are left with are, either tap each others subscribers or tap the untapped territories like rural sectors in India…

July 9th, 2009

Nokia – the number one choice in mobile navigation in Europe

Espoo, Finland – According to the study conducted by Frost Sullivan amongst European and Russian consumers, Nokia is the number one choice for mobile navigation over other leading handset manufacturers.

July 8th, 2009

Top news from mobile finance world…

1) Western Union and M-Com partner to launch Mobile Account to Cash.
2) Wells Fargo Launches its Mobile Banking Application for the iPhone and iTouch
3) Western Union establishes a strong mobile vendor program
4) Mobile payments predicted to skyrocket
5) MasterCard launches new mobile person-to-person payments service in the U.S.
6) Canadian Mobile Network Operators launch new mobile payment and money transfer service (Zoompass)
7) Western Union wins “Model Bank” award for its Mobile Money Transfer Service


July 7th, 2009

223 Million Smartphones to be Shipped with Open Source Operating Systems by 2014

The number of Smartphones shipped with open source operating systems (OS) will increase from 106 million this year to 223 million by 2014 according to a new report from telecom consultants Juniper Research.

July 6th, 2009

Now mobile to act as a Credit Card

Citibank has rolled out its Citi Tap and Pay program on a pilot basis in India. Using near-field communications technology, Citibank has launched a next-generation, contact-less, credit card payment mechanism in Bangalore.

July 4th, 2009

Previous Posts