Posts tagged 'India'

Facebook not quite “Home” yet on mobile phones

Apparently, Facebook “Home” is not to be, not yet at least.

The Android application launched by Facebook to create an FB overlay on the Home screen of the phone was supposed to be the big bet by FB to control the first touchpoint screen for a smartphone user. But due to poor reviews by initial analysts, Facebook is said to be revamping the FB Home application. The device which was supposed to launch this was HTC One and in US, AT&T was to be the exclusive carrier for this. In UK, operator EE and Orange were planning to launch it. The social network is said to be encouraging the carriers to delay the launch to give the firm more time to create a more palatable user experience.

The battle for the phone user is becoming more intense as time goes by. With smartphones overtaking web users globally, it is of paramount importance for tech firms to own the phone customer and drive more and more smartphone traffic to these firms’ offerings, in order to attract ad revenue and other commerce monetizations.

Without a doubt, Facebook social network application remains one of the top apps on all mobile systems including Apple iOS and Android. But Google, Facebook, wireless carriers and other media are jostling for more and more of user attention on phones as well as real estate on the limited phone screen, which are the next evolution of internet cycle.

Facebook released the following statement on Thursday evening via Engadget: “Following customer feedback, Facebook has decided to focus on adding new customization features to Facebook Home over the coming months. While they are working to make a better Facebook Home experience, they have recommended holding off launching the HTC First in the UK, and so we will shortly be contacting those who registered their interest with us to let them know of this decision. Rest assured, we remain committed to bringing our customers the latest mobile experiences, and we will continue to build on our strong relationship with Facebook so as to offer customers new opportunities in the future.”


HTC First aka “Facebook Phone”  (Photo: Courtesy / HTC)

After extremely disappointing sales of the HTC First, Facebook will reexamine the Facebook Home before expanding its operating system to more phones in more countries.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has said he would’ve rebuilt Facebook as a mobile exclusive app if he had the chance, so clearly offering a solid mobile experience means a great deal to Facebook. In this regard, the Facebook phone was a brilliant idea and makes a great deal of sense — like Google and Android, a true Facebook phone would allow Zuckerberg & Co. to have complete control over the user experience and ad strategy. The HTC First was the company’s first attempt at such a device — Facebook would focus on software while HTC would focus on hardware — but with the phone failing so soon after its initial release, Facebook will need to take a long look in the mirror. 

Failure of the HTC First may be blamed on Facebook’s decision to make Facebook Home features too accessible to other mobile users on Android and iOS, or maybe Facebook will realize that the Facebook Home features were not that stellar to begin with.

Facebook has fumbled on mobile before, when it launched it’s first mobile site using the mobile browser channel – with poor user feedback on that approach, Facebook later changed course and focused on more cleaner mobile apps, but this was much later in it’s lifecycle; Facebook mobile has a history of bouncing back. The early years of Facebook mobile efforts were limited to working on a common mobile website version of it’s platform addressing multiple platforms like iOS and Android with one approach. It later realized that that approach did not augur well and got into building platform specific Facebook apps, which have been superb hits since.

The last note above take one back to mobile site vs mobile app debate, which continues to simmer in the mobile development world. So far, it seems, the Apps are winning with many firms (eg Financial Times) having switched from a common approach to custom mobile apps for each mobile platform. More on this later in this space.

(with extracts and ideas from International Business Times article dated May 24 by Dave Smith)

May 26th, 2013

A Fresher Should Have At Least One In Resume : Five Booming Tech Fields

After spending these many years in educating oneself, the one and only ultimate goal is to get a Job…! But how to get it and why most of them are not getting it? Is it the recession hindering or competition is tough? All these question’s answers point to one thing- Same Resume Content.

Recession and Competition inversely varies each other, balancing it is bit difficult. The thing that only matters is: How your resume stands different from others? A very simple answer lies in Tech & Skills part. That’s what you have to do, upgrade your Resume with one of these booming tech domains and see the difference. Let company approach you, you don’t have to approach them…..!

1 . Mobile OS – Trend has been changing so dramatically that now you won’t find silly Mobiles in everyone’s pocket, most of them are using Smartphones, Tablets, iPad, etc, and world is pivoting towards it. It’s all about Android, IOS, Windows, Blackberry, etc.  The functionality and graphics provided by these OS’s are simply awesome! Learn the tech, develop an App and launch it to the App Store and you are in the market and if you really bombard the market, one of the Mobile developing companies will hire you…..!

2 . E-commerce – Who cares to go to the shops and purchase a thing? Everyone wants to relax at home, view the product on site, compare it, place an order and they’ll deliver to your doorstep. That’s what E-commerce means and its growing and growing day by day. Learn various E-com technologies like, Magento, WordPress, Prestashop, etc,. Develop a basic E-commerce site for yourself and launch it or highlight in your resume about your knowledge or start a service base program with your friends where you can develop an E-commerce website for others.

3 . Social Media Marketing – Everyone is aware with Social Media like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Linkedin, Pinterest, etc,; Most of them are aware with Marketing like sales, product, etc,;  But very few are aware with a thing called Social Media Marketing. This is the field where all companies are going for,  Marketing via Social Media in most inexpensive way.  Who wants to pay 1000 bucks for advertisement where it can be achieved by 10 bucks. Get familiar with and try implementing instead of surfing it.

4 . Cloud Computing – Cloud is very cutting edge technology in the market and still most of them doesn’t know about it.  Amazon, IBM, Eucalyptus, etc., played a major role in Cloud Computing.  You want to access a resource from point A to B Cloud will help you, want to download in a faster way Cloud will help you. Still India is yet to flood with this concept as it is quite expensive and rare thing to implement and execute., but future is in and within Cloud.

5 . Big Data– The name itself suggests what it is, it’s like Big Dam storing trillions gallons of water….! On any field or domain, one has to deal with data storage and manipulation and it never decreases.  Big Data has already influenced the market on very large scale. Facebook, Google,  EMC and most of them are on this side of Big Data. Master in it and go for it.

May 21st, 2013

Map wars

Since the launch of Apple iOS 6, one is seeing major activity in the world of Digital Maps. Both Apple and Google have been duking it out recently on this front. Before the iOS 6 was released, Google Maps was the default map application installed on the iPhones. But map application in recent times has become perhaps the most popular mobile app and hence substantial customer engagement and media sales get initiated with the map experience. The primary fruits of iPhone mapping app were being enjoyed by Google, until iOS 6 came along. With iOS 6 and iPhone 5, Apple decided to take the Map app internal and worked on Apple Maps for this version of iOS, thereby dropping Google Maps as the default Map app on the new iPhone.

In it’s haste to release the Map App along with iOS 6 launch, Apple mapping team seemed to compromise on reliability and accuracy in Apple Maps. The error proved deadly, as the Apple Maps app was widely criticized after iOS 6 was launched, being that rest of the iOS 6 as well as iPhone 5 was much appreciated. Apple Map Apps shows incorrect placement of landmarks and is frustrating mobile users around the world who rely on smartphone maps to guide them around cities.

This resulted in Tim Cook of Apple issuing an apology to Apple customers. Google, with a guilty pleasure, enjoyed the Apple Map criticism. Google has since announced that they are working on a custom Google Maps app for the iOS 6 platform. It is expected to come out before the end of the year.

Why are Map Apps such a big deal after all ? In an App survey conducted by Wireless Technology Forum, Atlanta, Google Maps was rated as the most popular mobile app. That means that navigation and directions via smartphone maps has become the most key use of these phones. One knew that Mapping Apps were popular and widely used, but who would have guessed that Map App is “the” most popular mobile app out there. Especially Google Maps. Obviously, smartphone users really use this app in their daily movements.

Maps are also used for the most cutting-edge of phone applications, that is Location-Based Services or LBS. LBS refers to finding businesses nearby and guiding customer traffic to those businesses. LBS also enables local advertising and shopping. LBS is key aspect of SoLoMo – Social Local Mobile – a concept referring to convergence between local commerce, mobile phones and social shopping.

Maps also facilitate searches now – Search is more relevant if locational aspects are added to it. Search Advertising has been a revolutionary concept and LBS makes Search even more relevant.

When the iOS 6 Apple Maps app faced ridicule, Tim Cook suggested that iPhone customers download Bing or other Map Apps from App Store. Google, of course, had not planned a iOS 6 compatible Map app, until it realized that iPhone users were clamoring for the Google version, after having experienced the cloogy Apple Map App. Apple Map flap has caused many a casualty at Apple office – with many execs including one of the most senior execs, Scott Forstall, being asked to leave. Just today, Apple fired another manager in charge of Map App.

With the Apple Map app mess, other mapping programs have gained eg Embark and Bing Maps.

Mapping wars are front and centre in the smartphone evolution, the various map providers need to check their coordinates in this new war.

November 29th, 2012

GPS navigation in India’s top-selling cars now powered by MapmyIndia

The year 2012 has seen an exponential increase in adoption of navigation into automotive platforms, with over 200,000 cars scheduled to come with built-in navigation systems in India in 2013.

MapmyIndia, India’s leader in digital maps, GPS navigation and location apps for consumers and enterprise, today announced that India’s top-selling car models now offer GPS navigation powered by MapmyIndia. The leading car models include Honda City, Tata Manza, Mahindra XUV 500, Mahindra Ssangyong Rexton, Ford Endeavour, BMW 7, 5 & 3 series, Jaguar-Land Rover Freelander 2, Fiat Linea and Renault Scala. MapmyIndia has upgraded its navigation solution to include the latest version 7.1 maps of India. The maps – India’s most comprehensive, exhaustive, detailed and updated map coverage – cover 7.1 million places of interest, 1.9 million road kilometers, 600,000 towns and villages, 4,751 cities with street-level details, 39 cities with house-level details and 36 cities with full 3D city models and includes best-in-class advanced and localized navigation and driver assistance features such as extended lane guidance, junction views, sign-posts, live traffic, city guides and rich points of interest, regional voice guidance and regional maps.

MapmyIndia’s maps are being aggressively adopted by Indian consumers and car manufacturers, with MapmyIndia occupying the dominant market leader position in automotive navigation. Top-selling car models have introduced MapmyIndia navigation as part of their offering, starting this festival season – such as the new Honda City sedan, the new Tata Manza entry-level sedan, the top-selling Mahindra XUV 500 SUV and the premium Mahindra Ssangyong Rexton SUV, the Ford Endeavour SUV, the BMW 7, 5 and 3 series luxury sedans, the Jaguar-Land Rover Freelander 2 Luxury SUV, the Fiat Linea sedan, the Renault Scala sedan, among others. MapmyIndia has already collaborated with all leading car manufacturers across India to offer MapmyIndia GPS navigation to their consumers, including BMW, Jaguar-Land Rover, Mercedes, Toyota, Honda, Volkswagen, Renault, Mitsubishi, GM, Ford, Tata, Mahindra and Maruti.

MapmyIndia’s own GPS navi-tainment systems, including Portable Navigators, CarPads and fitted in-dash systems, are the best selling navigation systems and MapmyIndia has sold over 140,000 such systems already through its network of over 1500+ car showrooms and car accessory shops across 100+ cities in India. MapmyIndia’s version 7.1 maps provide first- and best-in-class advanced navigation and driver assistance features with visual cues, such as:

  • Extended lane guidance (telling the user which lane to get into prior to a turn or exit)
  • Junction views (how the upcoming intersection looks in real-life)
  • Sign-posts (which major landmarks, localities and cities lie in the direction of upcoming turns)
  • Day-time based turn restrictions (based on time and day, whether the particular road is 2-way or one-way in a particular directions)
  • Live traffic (what is the live congestion on roads in the city)

(Source: MapMyIndia)

November 8th, 2012

Do you want to be part of Social Commerce…& Future???

India Digital Forum will be attended by Inspiring customers to discover insights on social commerce from speakers who are CEOs and other top professionals of some of the best companies around the world like Crazeal (Groupon-India), Rocketalk, Sulekha etc.

The ways customers purchase and participate with products is fundamentally changing. The ubiquitous social + mobile connections between people and to their favorite brands has changed the marketplace. Not only are they connected, they’re empowered.

Brands must integrate commerce into social and mobile now or play catch-up later. Because SocialLocalMobile is the future…catch it young or be left out

In this India Digital Forum, you’ll learn the benefits of social commerce,

  • Acquire new customers and fans and drive brand awareness
  • Increase share among loyalists
  • Drive growth by unlocking new customer segments
  • Sell inventory across the product life cycle
  • Acquire actionable insights about customer behavior, demographics and influence

You’ll also learn about the best practices and emerging trends we’re seeing as brands commit to a repeatable, scalable and easy to manage approach to social commerce campaigns.

So join the forum early on to avail early prices or wait until prices rise. You may follow #IDFIndia on twitter up to the event to be updated on who is going to join us for the event.

October 12th, 2012

What is Simulcasting???

Simulcasting is broadcasting of a single program on multiple channels at the same time.

Just Dance which aired across the Star network, was the first entertainment program to be simulcast in India. More recently, Star did it again with Satyamev Jayate (SMJ), the first show to be simulcast in six languages across C&S and terrestrial homes, bringing Star and Doordarshan together, besides ETV Telugu.

Factors that drive simulcasting:

  1. One of the driving factors behind a simulcast is the massive viewership it helps generate. Raj Nayak, chief executive officer, Colors, says, “According to us, reach is the key. With the increase in global reach through a simulcast across three networks, we are able to reach out to a larger cross section of audience thereby building engagement. Shows that attempt to reach out to mass audiences would undoubtedly do well through simulcasts.” Anita Nayyar, chief executive officer, Havas Media, adds, “Simulcast helps to bring in new viewers, which the channel would not be able to do on its own. For a show like SMJ, a simulcast made a lot of sense to reach the masses and the choice of Star and DD was a great choice.” Star TV claims that SMJ was watched by 49 crore people.
  2. A by-product of simulcasting is the fragmentation of audiences in markets where both the channels broadcasting the show are present. While it’s true that simulcasting the show will fragment the viewer base, the increase in global reach will also allow channels to reach out to a larger cross-section of audiences and win them new audiences. Simulcast usually happens in cases where audiences are different on the two channels. E,g, audience of Star TV would be different from those of Doordarshan.
  3. Simulcasting helps channels garner revenues too. E.g. Dabur’s sponsorship of Sur-kshetra. “If Sur-Kshetra was not simulcast along with Colors, Dabur would not have taken it at all. A simulcast makes a lot of corporate sense as then brand is addressing different audiences in a single telecast. The added advantage simulcast offers is that the sponsor can choose the broadcaster depending on which brand it wants to push and which markets it wants to explore. It is possible to run a different ad on Colors and a different one on Sahara one. This is an advantage because there could be certain brands for which we would target the Sahara markets of UP and Bihar, and there could be other brands for which brand could cover through Colors.
  4. Dabur India was the associate sponsor of both Satya Mev Jayate and Ramayan that aired on Doordarshan and not on private satellite channels. Rates and RoI play a role in determining the choice of channel, as does the choice of associating with a particular kind of show. When you know that the show is very good, and you want to be associated with it, but don’t have a very large budget, you can opt for the lower priced channel even if it means a lower reach.
  5. Future for simulcasts: It will continue and increase because from the channel’s point of view, they are able to recover monies better. From the advertisers point of view, it would be different for different advertisers.

What it means for…


  • Option of selecting channels based on budget & reach
  • Ease to reach different markets with different ads


  • Increased viewership
  • Increased revenue
  • Shared cost of content

(Source: Campaign India)

October 5th, 2012

Social Commerce, the future of commerce…

Social Media is coming of age now. Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter stormed the world in the last few years with a ferocity few could foresee. Everything got “socialized”, right from relationships, data, content, sales and engagement. Companies and consumers alike have taken to Social Media as bees to honey. The implications to businesses, large and small, are truly astounding. Geography and country does not matter. All sorts of boundaries have been obliterated. Businesses must master the sales and marketing on these channels and tackle the phenomenal eyeball storm on these platforms. This is the New Media, which directly or indirectly effects all sales and engagement activity today.

This has been proved by Faceboook. On last Thursday (Sep. 27th., 2012), unveiled Gifts, the company’s major initiative into the world of social gift giving and e-commerce. It’s exactly what it sounds like. Users can choose, mail and pay for real-world, physical gifts — not the lame virtual ones Facebook offered a few years ago — to send to one another, all completely inside of Facebook. They’re tied to the significant event reminders that pop up on occasion — say, a friend’s anniversary, or a birthday. Or even better for Facebook, users can also just buy gifts for others for the heck of it.

It’s a major undertaking for Facebook, tackling an entire new segment of online commerce and adding a brand new revenue stream to its business. And to a degree, we’ve known it was coming for some time — after all, on the same day Facebook went public, it acquired Karma, the social gifting application upon which all of Gifts is based and built.

Perhaps more significant, however, is that now users aren’t limited to just the desktop to send and receive gifts; the entire Gifts program is accessible on mobile phones.

CellStrat’s next event on 07th Feb in New Delhi, the  India Digital Forum 2013 is unfolding at an exciting pace. It will be addressing this topic “Social Commerce” with many more examples. Some big names speakers are lined up to speak, we will announce these in the coming weeks. Social Selling and Social Media Analytics are complicated but exciting topics which marketers and brands are trying to comprehend, for the simple reason that the users and eyeballs are rapidly adopting these platforms, and processing the voluminous data these channels generate is causing jitters to even the bravest of tech and media brethren. Attend the India Digital Forum to derive world-class insights into Social Engagement and Social Data Analytics. Twitter hash tag for this event is #IDFIndia

October 4th, 2012

Texting program helps track, manage patient satisfaction but tablet apps get better feedback

Some US hospitals use text messaging to identify how patients feel about their hospital stay, and track down the source of any unpleasant experiences, according to a story published by MedCity News recently.

The texting program–CareWire, by vendor Healthy Heartland–communicates with patients before and after their stay, providing appointment reminders, procedure information and questions about their experience in the hospital. The most useful segment of the program, MedCity reports, is a post-discharge text sent to patients a few hours after they leave the facility. The text asks the patient to rate his or her experience on a 0 to 10 scale. CareWire uses an algorithm to parse out the reason for any low scores, such as the type and time of the visit, which doctor the patient saw, and other relevant data. Customer service reps then can follow up immediately on any low scores.

Hospital officials tell MedCity the program has boosted patient satisfaction rates, although they don’t say how much. Brett Long, the health system’s vice president of strategy and growth did say that the program has been so popular, they expanded from an initial five-facility pilot project to using the service at all 19 of its primary care locations, with plans to later roll out to specialty clinics, etc., as well.

The big value is in getting patient opinions in real time. However, It’s not the only way to get faster (and more) response on patient surveys. Some hospitals, like Brockton Hospital in Massachusetts, have mobile-enabled their surveys for tablets, rather than texting, according to another MedCity News piece.

Brockton uses a commercial app, Survey on the Spot, that is loaded onto an iPad. Staff hand the tablet to patients just prior to discharge for completion. Hospital officials indicate it has improved response rates and satisfaction as well.

In India, we did a texting promotional campaign for Fortis chain of Hospitals back in 2008, to huge number databases in Punjab, Chandigarh and Haryana regions of North India promoting Fortis Hospital’s new OPD facility and generated huge patient line-up on their opening ceremony. From then on, Fortis chain of hospitals is a regular user of texting facility for engaging their current and prospective patients.

(For complete story, read here)

September 16th, 2012

News Corp., AT&T join hands to for providing Mobile Education on Tablets

News Corp. is forming a partnership with AT&T Inc. to provide tablet-based learning and assessment products for kindergarten through grade 12.

The two companies said Monday they would offer a 4G mobile platform on tablets through a pilot program this coming school year. News Corp. also announced that its education business would be named Amplify.

The media company’s statement on Monday was its most detailed outline of its plans for expanding into the education sector since it spent $360 million in late 2010 to buy 90% of Wireless Generation, an education technology company that makes online tools to evaluate students and personalize instruction. Wireless Generation forms the core of Amplify.

Amplify will take Wireless Generation’s offerings a step further by introducing more original curricula and tools designed for students rather than teachers. In an interview, Joel Klein, News Corp.’s executive vice president in charge of Amplify, said it was critical that students have access to the platform both at school and when they take tablets home. “The idea that you can do this 24-7 can really change the game,” said Mr. Klein, who was chancellor of the New York City Department of Education before joining News Corp. in 2011.

The K-12 e-learning market in the U.S. is roughly $5.4 billion currently, a fraction of the amount spent on traditional educational materials like textbooks. But the digital market is growing about 20% annually, according to Michael Horn of Innosight Institute, a non-profit think tank.

Educational publishers such as Pearson PLC, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Co. and McGraw-Hill Cos. education unit are already endeavoring to expand in digital, while technology companies including Apple Inc. also are trying to establish a presence. At the same time, states are cutting back on spending for textbooks.

Most of the content of companies like Pearson, McGraw-Hill and many others for K-12 segment is being digitised and programmed into tablet formats in Bangalore, India too as a cost cutting measure as well as they are also able to find market for their products in India and thus lot of schools and corporates are getting subscription based services for accessing such content on tablets.

(Excerpted from article in WSJ)


August 1st, 2012

Samsung Launched Smart TV for Indian Market

Samsung Electronics launched smart television for the Indian market that would allow users to control TV through voice or motion commands. 

The products are built on three parameters- Smart Interaction, Smart Content, and Smart Evolution.

Smart Interaction enables Smart TV owners to communicate with their TVs via voice control, motion control and face recognition. For instance, consumers can use the Samsung Skype HD camera and dual-microphones to prompt the TV. Say “Hi TV” and turn on voice control, speak “Web Browser” to get online, and browse and select results or increase the volume without touching the remote.

Smart Content includes the expansion of more robust and personalized content through Smart TV apps, as well as AllShare Play, which enables consumers to easily access personal content across multiple device screens – anywhere, anytime. Additional exclusive services include Family Story, Fitness and Kids. Smart Evolution is defined by Samsung’s new Evolution Kit. Each year, the kit will include all necessary hardware and software enhancements using proprietary system-on-chip technology. Select 2012 TVs will come equipped with a simple slot-in to the back of the TV.

“The South-West Asia region remains a strong growth market for Samsung and will continue to grow as consumers today lead increasingly dynamic lifestyles, requiring technology and products that will enrich and enhance their experiences,”  quoted by Samsung Electronics President and CEO (South-West Asia) B. D. Park.

(Source: IBN)

March 20th, 2012

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