Posts tagged 'nokia'

Mobile Device Parade looms this week

This week, we watch in excitement as a mobile device parade looms from leading device makers. Motorola, Nokia and Amazon are all expected to announce new devices ahead of Apple’s iPhone5 announcement next week.

Motorola is bringing out a Droid Razr smartphone, which amounts to revival of the Razr brand, which Motorola sold successfully for many years before smartphones stormed the markets. Motorola, now owned by Google, has been a struggler in the last few years, and none of its smartphones have caught the fancy of the consumers yet, so far.

Nokia is announcing new Windows 8 phones – Windows 8 phone OS is the prelude to the Windows 8 desktop OS to be announced by Microsoft later this year. Windows 8 is supposed to work seamlessly across PCs, phones and tablets. Nokia’s Windows OS, so far, as been lackluster. Windows Phone OS has only 3% market share in the smartphone market compared to 64% Android share and 18% Apple iOS share.

Jeff Bezos of Amazon is set to announce the next version of Kindle Fire at an event on Thursday. Kindle Fire’s last version has reportedly sold out, as per Amazon, one is sure these device makers produce such products in limited quantity to create the marketing effect of a device in short supply. But certainly, after the iPad, Amazon Kindle Fire is the most successful tablet so far.

Then comes the big brother Apple on Sept 12th, with its reported iPhone5 launch.

While we feel that Apple is the mover and shaker of the mobile smartphone business with bulk of app and device profits as well, sometimes one wonders if the Android market share of 64% vs iPhone OS market share of 18% bodes well for Apple or not. No wonder, Apple is spending millions in it’s lawsuits against the Android device makers like Samsung.

Samsung had recently released the Galaxy Note 10 inch version – Galaxy Note has been a runaway success for Samsung as was the case for Galaxy smartphones.

Device wars are heating up and it can only get better for consumers the world over.

September 4th, 2012

The Memorable Smart Phones, Apps and Services of Mobile World Congress 2012!!

There was plenty of new hardware to keep the gadget fans happy, but the big buzz at this year’s Mobile World Congress was about software and services

What Mobile World Congress was asking attendees to keep in mind as the exhibition opened in Barcelona this week. More than 60,000 people will have passed through the closely guarded doors of Mobile World Congress by the time the event closes later today, with more than 1,400 exhibitors cramming themselves into the exhibition halls.

And with the GSMA – the association that runs the show – estimating the numbers of connected devices will more than double from the current nine billion to 24 billion by 2020, its clear mobile will continue to be an important platform.

Although previous years have seen some major phone launches at Mobile World Congress, this year, things were more measured. Hardware announcements were made, with plenty of phones and tablets to keep gadget fans happy, but it was the software and services that really mattered at this year’s event.

Even Facebook got in on the standards discussion; with chief technology officer Bret Taylor saying that the company would get behind the move to improve web standards so apps can be delivered to users without having to go through app stores.

“The social networking site Facebook and mobile were made for each other,” Taylor said in his speech at the event.

“Mobile operators will hope that working with Facebook could help mobile operators create a new eco-system, that over, time dilutes some of the power held within the industry by the current market-leaders in the application-store space: Apple and Google.”

Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt, meanwhile, told attendees at his keynote speech that smartphone prices would become more aligned with basic feature-phone costs next year. “A mobile experience at least at the level of today will be available to almost everybody, at a fraction of the price,” he said. “If Google gets this right, there will be an Android in every pocket. At our current growth rate, this is possible.”

Nokia also showed off the 808 PureView. The handset grabbed headlines for its staggering 41-megapixel camera. However, rather than opting for its favoured Smartphone platform, Nokia put the hardware into a Symbian handset.

As usual, the Irish contingent was well represented at the event. About 25 Irish firms were exhibiting at Mobile World Congress this year, with several taking space in Enterprise Ireland’s pavilion, including Solaris Mobile, Socowave and AltoBridge. Other companies moved outside the Irish pavilion, with payments firm Ezetop and Newbay both exhibiting elsewhere. Movidius showed off new 3D camera modules at its stand, with the company poised to take advantage of the new wave of 3D in mobile devices.

Payments firm BoxPay was on hand to show off its new Android one-click payment method, allowing users to buy smaller items through their phones and add it to their mobile bill. It also now offers recurring subscriptions payments, and is setting its sights on new markets.

BoxPay wasn’t the only firm trying to revolutionize mobile payments. Earlier this week, Vodafone announced a deal with Visa that would see consumers pay for goods with their mobile phones through near-field communications, with an account based on Visa’s prepaid system.

Vodafone’s chief executive Vittorio Colao described the mobile wallet as the “next stage of the Smartphone revolution”.

(Source: http://www.computerworld.com)

March 1st, 2012

Best Phones @ Mobile World Congress 2012

The Mobile World Congress is happening in Barcelona, is the world’s largest mobile phone trade show. Where technology companies discuss future of communications and the network society. MWC 2012, offering the world the fastest and most powerful new mobile devices on the planet. This conference has attracted over 3000 chief executive officers from the telecommunications sector around the world and expected to give a platform for players in the mobile industry to make announcements of their latest innovations. This year quad-core processors are likely to be a big theme from all the top manufacturers. On the opening day of Mobile World Congress, Nokia, HTC, Huawei, Samsung, and Sony Mobile announced more than a half dozen new phones.

Nokia Lumia 900: First announced in January for AT&T’s LTE network in the US, the Nokia Lumia 900 will now be available worldwide in an HSPA+ edition. The Dual Carrier HSPA phone will allow for downloads up 42.2 Mbps. With a 4.3-inch ClearBlack AMOLED display.

Nokia Lumia 610: It’s aimed at young people who want access to a smartphone experience at the right price. Offering access to social networking, games, Nokia Maps and navigation, web-browsing and Nokia Music

Nokia 808 PureView: A 41-MegaPixel Nokia smartphone, the 808 Pureview offers enhanced low-light performance as well as sophisticated image compression designed to help users share pictures.

HTC One X: This is a killer phone. The One X features the Tegra 3 quad-core processor. It has four 1.5GHz main cores and a secondary core for low-power tasks. It boasts a 4.7-inch Super LCD display with 1280 x 720 pixels for full HD resolution. The 8-megapixel camera is aided by an ImageChip to help process images faster. It comes with Android 4.0.

HTC One S: This is also a killer phone, but not quite as killer as the One X. The display drops down to 4.3 inches and qHD (960 x 540) resolution, it has a dual-core SnapDragon S4 processor, and substitutes plasma-coated aluminum for the One X’s polycarbonate shell. It has the same camera and same software as the One X. The good news is that the One S will debut on T-Mobile’s network in the coming months with support for 42Mbps HSPA+.

HTC One V: The One V is a middle-of-the-road smartphone from HTC that still offers good looks and solid features at an affordable price point. The phone has a 3.7-inch display with 800 x 480 pixels, a 5-megapixel camera, a 1GHz S2 SnapDragon processor, and Android 4.0.

Huawei Ascend D Quad: Huawei claims that the Ascend D Quad is the fastest smartphone ever built. The company is using its own processor –rather than one from Nvidia or Qualcomm. Other features include a 4.5-inch 1280 x 720 HD display, 8-megapixel camera with 1080p HD video capture, and a 1.3-megapixel user-facing camera for those video chats. Huawei plans to introduce several variants of this phone in a number of markets during the second quarter.

Sony Xperia P: Sony added two phones to its Xperia NXT line, and the P is the first of them. It’s not as amazing as the Xperia S, announced at CES earlier this year. It has a 4.0-inch Reality Display with Sony’s BRAVIA Engine and WhiteMagic, a new display technology for an ultra-bright and power efficient viewing experience. It also has a 1GHz dual-core processor, 16GB of storage, 8-megapixel camera with HD video recording, and NFC (near field Communications). Unfortunately, it ships with Android 2.3 Gingerbread and owners will need to wait until later in the second quarter for Android 4.0 to arrive.

Sony Xperia U: The Xperia U is aimed more at the entry-level range and has the specs to back that up. It has a 3.5-inch Reality Display with BRAVIA Engine, 1GHz dual-core processor, and 5-megapixel camera HD video recording. It also has “xLoud” stereo sound. The Xperia U has the same Android 2.3 OS out of the box as the Xperia P, and will see Android 4.0 later in the year.

February 28th, 2012

The Indian Web and Mobile Markets by the numbers

(excerpted from GigaOm Pro article at http://t.co/20B9JVyo)

Katie Fehrenbacher with Gigaom is traveling with Geeks on a Plane in India. She writes following stats provided by Google CEO Rajan Anandan to the Geeks on a Plane group :

Rajan Anandan on Indian internet scene : “We’re probably in 1996 in the U.S. in terms of the Internet market in India.”

Here’s the stats from Anandan’s deck. India has:

  • 1.2 billion people
  • The 9th largest economy in the world, with $1.7 trillion GDP
  • 600 million people below the age of 25
  • 22 languages
  • 250 million in the consuming class — these are the folks that buy e-commerce
  • 900 million mobile accounts, with 600 million unique mobile subscribers (many people have more than one account)
  • 30 million PCs — it’ll be a mobile broadband world
  • Average revenue per user (ARPU) is $3
  • 100 million Internet users, and 120 million Internet users by the end of 2011
  • By 2015 there will be 300 million to 400 million Internet users
  • 37 percent of Internet users access the web from home, 27 percent from an Internet cafe, 22 percent from an office, 3 percent from school
  • There are 50 million mobile data subscribers
  • 5 million access Internet only on the phone
  • In 2010/2011 e-commerce emerged as a $7 billion market, with $6 billion of that going to online travel
  • By 2015 the e-commerce market is expected to be $40 billion
  • 67 percent of e-commerce customers by electronics and cell phones. 18 percent buy apparel.
  • 15 million 3G mobile subscribers
  • Broadband is 250 kbps to 500 kpbs fixed line
  • The use of smart phones will grow 52 percent CAGR
  • There are 37 million Facebook users
  • Google Plus use is bigger than Twitter use
  • 23 million unique users on YouTube India
  • There will be $1.3 trillion in online ad spend in 2011
  • The English Internet will not scale beyond 200 million, says Anandan
  • 159 million read Hindi newspapers and 31 million read English newspapers
  • There will be a massive tsunami toward vernacular content on the web, says Anandan
  • 70 percent of non-travel e-commerce is “cash on delivery” (no online payments, buyers pay cash when goods are delivered)
  • This cash on delivery market has a 30 percent return rate
  • Web 1.0 and 2.0 are happening at the same time in India, says Anandan.

Some Internet sites that have found success in India:

Thanks to Gigaom for the above post.

December 14th, 2011

A tribute to the World Changer: Steven Paul Jobs

I’ve never worked at Apple.

I didn’t know what it was like to use Apple’s early products.

I didn’t own anything from Apple until late 2009 and that was a second hand iPod, which was gifted to my wife by a friend from US who had been after us to try Apple products. I still have it.

I wasn’t one of the first to buy a Mac and I still don’t own one today.

I just watched the 2007 Keynote (which is an awesome video and I could not stop myself from watching all parts from that keynote), I was awestruck by his command over the audience and his content. His eyes had an intensity, softened only by the pride and happiness in the lines surrounding them as he unveiled his dearest baby, the iPhone. It was also amusing how he made sweeping statements with absolutely no sense of irony or apology. “(The iPod) didn’t just change the way we listened to music, it changed the entire music industry.” He meant it. He believed it. You don’t get to such blatant confidence without conviction in your work. That’s a thing to be learnt from him. It’s easy to sell your work if you believe in it.

Steven P. Jobs, the Apple Inc. chairman and co-founder who pioneered the personal-computer industry and changed the way people think about technology, died Wednesday at the age of 56.

His family, in a statement released by Apple, said Mr. Jobs “died peacefully today surrounded by his family.”

The company didn’t specify the cause of death. Mr. Jobs had battled pancreatic cancer and several years ago received a liver transplant. In August, Mr. Jobs stepped down as chief executive, handing the reins to longtime deputy Tim Cook.

President Obama said that “the world has lost a visionary,” noting that “there may be no greater tribute to Steve’s success than the fact that much of the world learned of his passing on a device he invented. Tributes also came in from Facebook creator and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg, Google’s co-founder Larry Page, Nokia’s CEO Stephen Elop and China Mobile’s Chairman Wang Jianzhou, among many others. During his more than three-decade career, Mr. Jobs transformed Silicon Valley as he helped turn the once-sleepy expanse of fruit orchards into the technology industry’s innovation center. In addition to laying the groundwork for the industry alongside others like Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates, Mr. Jobs proved the appeal of well-designed products over the power of technology itself and transformed the way people interact with technology.

The most productive chapter in Mr. Jobs’s career occurred near the end of his life, when a nearly unbroken string of successful products like the iPod, iPhone and iPad changed the PC, electronics and digital-media industries. The way he marketed and sold those products through savvy advertising campaigns and Apple’s retail stores helped turn the company into a pop-culture phenomenon.

Jobs co-founded Apple in 1976 but was ousted from the firm following a board power struggle in 1984. His return to the helm in 1997 prompted Apple’s revival via a series of ground-breaking products; first via the iMac (1999), then later with the iPod (2001), iPhone (2007) and iPad (2010). At the beginning of that phase, Mr. Jobs described his philosophy as trying to make products that were at “the intersection of art and technology.” In doing so, he turned Apple into the world’s most valuable company with a market value of $350 billion.

October 7th, 2011

Mobile Apps Innovation Report, 2011 now launched…

Essential reading for companies, brands, ad agencies, publishers and developers, CellStrat Annual India Mobile Apps Innovation Report is the first of its kind Market Research project in India dealing with the subject of Mobile Apps and Web innovation in so deeply.

Mobile Apps, App Stores, Mobile Web – the new phenomenon in the Mobile world. Apple iPhone and Apple AppStore have unlocked a new Business Model for developers, brands, infrastructure providers and OEMs. Apple’s 350K apps (as of April 2011) and more than 10 billion downloads has brought the App Revolution to the forefront of technology evolution. You want to play a game – there are thousands of app for that, you want to pray to god – countless apps for that too, you want to watch your weight or track your grocery expenses – there are numerous apps for that too. You name it – “There is an App for that”.

Taking Apple’s lead, Google Android, RIM BlackBerry, Nokia Ovi, all other OEM makers as well as many wireless carriers started apps stores. As of this writing, we count more than 100 app stores (yes you got that right, 100) from global vendors and several others in the pipeline. Whether it is Handset makers, Mobile Carriers, VAS providers, Mobile Marketers, all are either producing App Stores or leveraging the App phenomenon in some fashion. Mobile Apps and App Stores have unleashed the potential of the Mobile Web – the new face of The Global Internet.

– How are Mobile Apps doing in India ?

– What is the adoption of Smartphones in India which can run Apps ?

– What platforms are popular in India ?

– What Mobile OSes should you develop for ?

– How do you leverage Mobile Apps for Marketing and Engagement ?

– What is the state of India’s native Apps and App Stores ?

 

To answer these questions and many more, CellStrat brings you the India Mobile Apps Research Project. This research initiative analyzes the Mobile Apps ecosystem in India and has garnered feedback of App efforts by marketers, consumers, brands, technology firms and app developers. This project provides invaluable research insights into the Mobile Apps and their proliferation in the Indian context.

Some of pointers from report for our readers are given below:



Mobile Apps Survey Participation Mix

Mobile Trends

CellStrat Mobile Apps Survey indicates that Android is getting the maximum budget allocation followed by the iPhone. Interestingly iPad is catching up fast on the budget scale and Blackberry does well as well. There is also good interest in Airtel App Central, probably due to the reach and scale of Airtel as a carrier. But, certainly, Android, iPhone and iPad are getting the maximum budgets from firms interested in App development.

Budget Allocation for Mobile Apps Development

 

App Platforms Selection factor weightage

When quizzed about what factors impact the selection of App Platforms, the response was widely distributed with certain factors like wireless carrier support, maturity of business model and presence of App Store being slightly more important than other factors. Interestingly, carrier support was the most important factor when choosing the App Platform. Surely, India is carrier-centric when it comes to App support. Over time, one expects firms like Apple and Google (and probably Nokia and Blackberry) to gain the upper hand in this selection process, tracking global cues on this front.

The CellStrat Annual Mobile Apps Innovation report provides invaluable insight into the Indian Mobile App environment. Indian firms are, so far, only experimenting with App development and using Apps as engagement and media channels. This market still has some ways to go in India. It is ripe for innovation and specifically, India-oriented innovation. In summary, the App market in India is severely under-penetrated and many stand to benefit from the upcoming App proliferation, right from brands, carriers, consumers as well as the developers.

Report is available for purchase. Kindly contact us to place your orders or for any further inquiries.

August 3rd, 2011

Event Roundup from Mobile Apps Conclave, Bangalore

Mobile Apps Conclave – the conference organized by CellStrat concluded successfully on 29th April, ‘11 at The Chancery Pavilion Hotel, Bangalore. The Conference saw tremendous interest with a large no of audience from all over India. The star-studded speaker lineup and intuitive content on Mobile Apps and Web fueled interest in this event. The theme for this event was : “The Mobile Web Disruption – Life, Media and Business get Appified”.

In addition to Bangalore, audience came from cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Ahmedabad and Chennai, both from brands and senior management of companies as well as the developer community.

More than 200 blue-chip audience participated in this event on the hottest topic in modern times – Mobile Apps, App Stores and the Mobile Internet. Most brands, mobile device manufacturers, app store and app development firms were present to learn about the Business of Mobile Apps and Web.

Details of the event and photographs are available at http://www.mobileappsconclave.com.

Event Brief :
The Mobile Web – the new name of Growth around the world. Mobile Internet Tsunami – as many refer to it.

Mobile is the industry of this decade. Mobile has taken world by storm. The feature phone growth is fast evolving into smartphone growth driven by the emergence and popularity of The Mobile Web and those tiny ubiquitous Apps – hundreds of thousands of them literally. Mobile Web is upending so many industries, it is breathtaking to say the least. Many of these businesses are succumbing to the trend which the venerable firm Apple started – businesses like news and media, advertising, gaming, productivity, publishing, telecom, entertainment, commerce, financial services or healthcare..the list goes on and on. Whoever you are, wherever you are – either have an App and Mobile Media strategy or be prepared to loose substantial traction in the marketplace – because, indeed, your customers are App savvy even if you are not.

You are on the road and want to check nearby promotions, there are many apps for that; you want to track your supply chain, many apps for that too; track Social Network updates; many apps there as well; there is even an app for Confessing to God. Apps are orchestrating the growth in intelligent smartphones; next playground is Tablet followed by Computers. Are you ready for the brave New World of Mobile and Mobile Tablets ? Are you ready for the Mobile Web revolution ?

Conference Sessions :
Here are some notes from the Keynotes and Panels that transpired at this event.

In the morning session, there was an intuitive keynote by Pratapa Bernard, Vice President and Head – COE – Data Services (Emerging Markets) at Vodafone. He addressed the impact of the Mobile Web and Apps on the modern consumer and businesses. He mentioned the imperative need to focus on user experience and not technology itself citing the example of Apple etc. He went on to say that 80% of internet access in India in 2015 will be from mobile devices.

Next came a panel on “Mobile Apps go mainstream – Content, Engagement and Lifestyle on Mobile Apps”. This panel discussed the Mobile App revolution and how Content and Entertainment is being delivered via Apps. The panel speakers included Rajiv Kumar (CEO – RockeTalk), Deepak Swamy (Head – Flypp App Store, Infosys), Sanjay Bhasin (VP-Getit Info Services), Vikram Tanna (VP – STAR Digital), Rajesh Reddy (CEO, July Systems) and Narasimha Suresh (CEO – TELiBrahma). This panel focussed on App monetization and how developers are finding it a challenge to monetize their apps. This panel also discussed the need to “Indianize” the Western business models, cost structures as well as offerings to make them work in India. On HTML5, the panel members said this new standard will be big against Mobile apps but the “when” is not clear yet.

After the first panel, there was an interesting keynote by InMobi (top Mobile Advertising firm) executive Sridhar Ranganathan (VP-Product Management) on how market pressures are forcing firms like InMobi to push the boundaries of creativity with immersive advertising and the need to think of Mobile Ads like mini-apps. He mentioned the need to un-learn the PC and focus on Mobile as a separate experience.

In the afternoon session, there was an innovative keynote by Sunny Rao, MD – India and APAC of Nuance Communications. Sunny spoke about some of the innovations in Mobile Web world surrounding Speech Technology, Voice-based Social Networking and automotive vehicles as mobile channels. Sunny’s keynote was followed by an interesting panel on innovations in Mobile Apps and Mobile Web. This panel had some true Mobile innovators in Amiya Pathak of ZipDial, Kalyan Manyam of MojoStreet, Indus Khaitan of Bitzer Mobile and Soumitra Sharma of IDG Ventures. This panel discussed specialized vertical Apps which are popping up in industries like Payments and Commerce, Social Gaming, Healthcare and Education.

The Mobile Innovations panel was followed by a Startup showcase where Sriram Mohan, Associate Editor at YourStory.in helped introduce some startups which are creating innovative business models in the Mobile App ecosystem.

The last (but not the least) panel was on Emerging Devices and Tablets. Advent of Apple iPad has opened a whole new world of possibilities and truly heralds a world of post-PC era. Prabha Aithal, CTO at CanvasM moderated a panel of speakers which included Alap Ghosh of Mobango (App Store), Pradeep Rao of Research in Motion, Ashish Gupta of Helion Ventures and Dr Sharad Jaiswal of Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs. This panel discussed the impact that the tablet and emerging devices are having on the ecosystem. Emerging Devices is a hot new area and is seeing digitization of content at a blistering pace from a variety of industry verticals like publishing, entertainment, retail, media etc..

Conference Partners :
Overall, it was an action-packed conference with active participation from speakers and audience. Partners included Presentation Sharing Partner authorSTREAM on which the presentations by CellStrat, event speakers, exhibitors and partners can be found. The Mobile App Partner, Hazel Media provided an event app for this conference. Whereas the Mobility Partner, MobiVite published a Mobile WAP site for the same.

InMobi was the Platinum Sponsor for this event. AgileCO was the Gold Sponsor. Other supporters included partners like MOMO Bangalore, The Morpheus and Indian Angel Network (IAN). Media Partners include the online media firm YourStory.in and TelecomLead.

YourStory.in was a Premium Partner for this event and it provided online media visibility as well as Anchor support for the event.

Mobile Solutions Expo :
This conference also saw an interesting exhibition on Mobile Solutions where some innovative app companies exhibited their apps and solutions. This Expo dazzled the audience with some interesting apps and solutions in the Mobile space. The exhibitors included WINIT, Nanostuffs, RockeTalk, Bitstream, Softtrends, MobiVite and some others.

For photos and other details from the event, check the event website at : http://www.mobileappsconclave.com.

Shyam Kamadolli (Director – Fidelity Growth Partners India) was one of the attendees and has some intuitive notes from this conference on his blog : http://skamadolli.wordpress.com/2011/04/29/india-mobile-apps/.

May 16th, 2011

TV Everywhere – access Video and Movies on the go

I recently attended a TV Everywhere session where there was a discussion on the evolution of the Television and Video industry with the advent of IPTV and Mobile access devices.

Clearly, TV Everywhere is a a huge trend and there are many factors driving this trend :

  • Broadband

Today one sees DSL and Cable Modems have replaced the erstwhile Dial-ups. The 312 KBPS+ bandwidth running upto 50 MBPS for high end Cable modems in advanced economies (speeds in India top out at 1.5 to 3 MBPS etc for most providers) is enabling the ability to access high-speed graphics, video and gaming content from home and work computers.

Firms like Netflix in the US and Canada have figured out compelling business models to stream movies over the internet and are threatning the traditional movie rental business and regular cable television.

India’s broadband penetration rate is woefully small and speeds are still on low end of the spectrum, so Live TV Streaming in India is still a very niche industry. However with the expected surge in internet penetration expected over the next decade (some estimates put India’s internet penetration at 30% households in next few years), the IPTV and online TV streaming is expected to surge. Firms like seventymm.com which have led the online DVD rental business in India (India’s Netflix) will likely evolve into movie streaming firms as India’s broadband penetration takes hold, similar to what Netflix has done in the United States.

  • Mobile Connectivity

Broadband sticks and Laptop connect cards (offered by most carriers) enable the laptops and tablets to be wirelessly connected over a reasonably fast GPRS/UMTS/3G network – with the advent of 3G in India, this pattern is sure to accelerate.

Consumers today are demanding YouTube and Cricket streaming video from their laptops, smartphones and tablets. Content providers and distributors have to oblige if they hope to keep these consumers engaged and commercially viable.

For India, Mobile is specially important as it has close to 800 million Mobile Subscribers already. Granted that more than 90% of these are carrying feature phones and using the 2G/2.5G networks, smartphone penetration rate is accelerating and wireless tablets are being introduced as well by a variety of handset firms. Between the smartphones, tablets and 3G, one is looking at increasing Mobile Video and TV access over the airwaves in the coming years.

  • Consumer behaviour

As mentioned above, Consumer is the King. With proliferation of devices around the home and on the go, plus busy urban lifestyles, consumers are demanding DVR recording capabilities as well as anywhere, anytime access to their favorite programs. A common trend in many households, which have acquired the new tablets like iPad, is that as soon as the first tablet arrives, members of the household including parents and kids make a grab for it and want to curl up in the bed with their favorite channels on YouTube, Netflix or other streaming services.

TV Everywhere is a developing trend and is being demanded by the consumer. Entertainment and Media industry are happy to oblige – to drive new revenue growth and keep the customers engaged with the brands.

What are the prominent TV and Video Streaming services in India :

  • CNN-IBN Live : TV Portal as well as Live TV
  • NDTV 24×7 : TV Portal as well as Live TV
  • In.com : Has a Video Social Network (not live streaming generally)
  • CNBC TV18 / moneycontrol.com : Business news streaming
  • ESPNStar.com : Video Portal (not live streaming) – has lot of Cricket coverage for World Cup and IPL
  • YouTube / Indiatimes.com : streaming ICC World Cup as well as IPL cricket matches
  • Nautanki.tv : currently it’s website is not accessible (so not clear on it’s status)

April 16th, 2011

“Year of the Tablet” – notes from Wireless Technology Forum (Atlanta) session on Tablets

(from our Atlanta desk)

It is commonly said that this is the “Year of the Tablet“. Certainly, with Apple iPad, Samsung Galaxy Tab, Motorola Xoom and dozens of other tablets and eReaders being introduced in the marketplace, everybody is talking about the “post-PC” era and the impact of tablets on consumers and businesses. Tablets are causing upheavals in the Publishing and Media industries with most major Newspapers and Magazines plotting a Tablet strategy for their periodicals. Netflix and other Streaming Entertainment providers are booming due to the surge in Tablet access subscriptions. Book Publishers are digitizing their books at an increasingly rapid pace expecting a shift away from Printed Books to Tablet or eReaders. 80% of Fortune 100 companies in the United States are trialing iPad for their Corporate employees. Laptops which were hyper-growth computers for the first decade of this century are making way for the Invasion of the Tablets.

Our analyst in Atlanta attended an intuitive session on Tablet computing at the Wireless Technology Forum, Atlanta on March 17th, 2011. Here are the notes from this session :

Speakers :

Mike Lupo, Sr Director – Digital Products, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC)
Karen Truitt, Director – Mobile Devices, Intel
Chuck Rainbow, Technical Manager – Tablets, Research in Motion
Jim Dudenhoefer, Manager – WebOS, HP Palm
Moderator : Dr. Phil Hendrix, Director, Institute of Mobile Markets Research (IMMR), Atlanta

 

A great cast of speakers from top contenders in the Tablet space (the 800-Pound Gorilla, ie Apple, was missing, so was Google). This session focused on the tablet form factor, the applications that will drive adoption and the business models needed to support this new networking paradigm.

(All data below refers to USA Tablet Market)

Dr Phil : Tablets have almost 5 to 7% penetration right now – it is currently one of the fastest growing Consumer Electronics products.

IMMR (Dr Phil’s organization) recently concluded a survey on the Tablet ecosystem. On the question of “Familiarity with Tablets”, here are the stats :

  • On the question of “Familiarity with Tablets” :- 38% audience – somewhat familiar; 26% – very familiar; 35% – not familiar
  • Smartphone familiarity is higher than feature phones in households.
  • 4 in 10 people are interested in purchasing a tablet for someone in the household. Once the tablet comes into the household, it tends to get shared. Over time, some households may become multi-tablet households.
  • Lower prices will unlock demand. $500 is the breaking point for most folks when they get discouraged from spending on tablets. iPad is at a higher price point but has still sold like hotcake – this is due to Early adopters, who are buying high end tablets today. But significant opportunity exists for cheaper tablets below the $500 threshold.
  • Preferred Tablet OS :- Apple iOS – 58%, Windows OS – 36%, Android OS – 35%, BlackBerry – 13%, HP Palm – 9%. Interestingly, Windows OS beat out Android slightly.

Mike (AJC) : AJC Newspaper has just developed its iPad App and it is currently in Beta. AJC also has an iPhone/iOS App called AJC Digest which is available on App Store today.

Karen – Intel, which is a strong leader in the PC microprocessor industry so far, is looking to expand into tablet microprocessors, chips inside cars, etc.

Jim – HP had acquired Palm recently and HP plans to deploy the Palm WebOS in many of its tablet devices over the years.

Chuck - RIM is about to release its Tablet play titled “Playbook”. There is much excitement within RIM with this upcoming launch.

Dr Phil - Why now for tablets ?

Karen - Apple has created the game-changing device in iPad. Apple is a master of simple products that work well. They made the Mobile Device, App and App Delivery ecosystem simple enough to allow for a mass market adoption.

Chuck – Tablets are now because chip processing and battery power has reached a point where these devices are possible (our take on this : RIM won’t admit to Apple’s role in opening this market :). These devices are now feasible. We are reaching an inflection point where tablets can substitute for laptops, devices which are anyway more difficult to lug around. People are not getting acclimatized to these devices.

Jim- Consumers today demand anywhere access to content and data. Tablets are just another end point in this evolution. It’s about data access – moving it to the cloud and the desire to access it from anywhere. Phone screen is too small to allow an optimal experience for this. Jim also noted that they are not concerned about Apple’s dominance so far. Jim has a great point of view that, if at all, Apple has been a positive contributor in creating a huge new market for all device makers to play in. Jim said market is huge for many to thrive. This is a market where all boats can and will rise. (Good point)

Mike - In an average American home, people think of tablets as lean back experience whereas PC is work – so tablets make sense now for AJC. Newspaper is about relaxing and consuming the news. So it makes sense for AJC to work in tablet space.

Dr Phil – The 800-pound gorilla (Apple-who else) is not in this session. Where is the gap in Apple’s tablet strategy which others could potentially exploit ?

Karen- Apple has created the benchmark. Everybody else is trying to catch up to that. Android Honeycomb from Google is an attempt to catch up to the iPad benchmark. However the user experience of Android still has to mature for it to be a strong contender. AS to Apple’s weak points, Flash is certainly one – a blatant omission from the likes of Apple. (Karen admitted, however, that Apple does not consider lack of Flash in iOS devices as a weak point).

Chuck- Apple is weak on security. There is a security breach every 4 hours in Apple iOS environment. RIM / BlackBerry is known for security (note that BlackBerry is still dominant smartphone in the Corporate world). Mobile Device security is critical area – virus maker McAfee has smartphone security software today. Apple does even acknowledge the security issue in its iOS environment. Chuck said that until something goes wrong, people don’t take notice. Consumers will start getting concerned when they loose credit cards etc in Apple environment (CellStrat note : Note that Mobile Payments is about to become a big area and here security is of paramount importance).

Jim - Apple is consumer-focused firm. There is lot of opportunity in Enterprise and niche verticals (where the field is still open for all) in addition to the huge consumer opportunity.

Dr Phil : Avg selling price in 18 months?

Mike – 350 or 300 dollar will be great.

Dr Phil - Newspaper in Canada is giving away iPads if folks buy newspaper subscriptions. Will Atlanta Journal Constitution adopt this approach ?

Mike (with a chuckle) – No (resoundingly!)

Karen - Intel has created  tablets for healthcare verticals. Businesses will want ruggedized versions of tablets (a delicate iPad device will not work in many industries) – these devices may get dropped and used in rough conditions in various industries.

Dr Phil – Amazon (Kindle) and Barnes & Nobile (Nook) eReaders will have more and more of tablet functions over time as the boundaries between eReaders and tablets will become indistinguishable. Printed Books may become redundant. Tablets will take over though it will take some time.

Q/A :

Ques : Will HTML5 replace Flash?

Dr Phil - Depends on how quickly content makers adapt.

Ques : Where is the money?

Karen – Apple is making money and also App developers. Carriers are making money also because of rapid growth in Data plans.

Jim- Dynamics of the industry is changing. It is still wide open to pin down the business model. Revenue Models are evolving still.

Chuck- When the PC came around, money was in hardware sales. Then, software became more important and apps like Microsoft Office made money. A similar ecosystem will evolve in Mobile Devices (implying mobile device hardware will make money followed by software over longer term).

Ques : What about accessories business ? The new Apple Smart Covers for iPad 2’s is all about margins (for Apple). Will USB attachments and such accessories be a lucrative area ?

Chuck - Ultimately Bluetooth will be dominant. Apple model of side-loading will be replaced by Cloud services. (Chuck said that in spite of this, Blackberry Playbook will have USB and HDMI port to cover all bases).

Ques : HP Palm strategy to win over developers given Apple’s popularity in Developer ecosystem (50,000 Apps already available customized to Apple iPad and HP Palm has hardly any, so far) ? After all Developers make or break Mobile platforms. Also, Apple deducts a large chuck (30%) from Developer App revenue as commission.

Jim - HP talked to a lot of developers and they are struggling on revenue generation with the Apple App Store or even the Android Store. Certainly there is room for developer innovation here in terms of Business model which helps them.
HP’s strategy will be to be as open as possible (Open Mobile environment) – ultimately this will help Developers. Eg Kindle Book Store will be available on HP Palm – this means that HP Palm Tablet will have 800,000 Kindle Books available from the get go. Also, HP will offer both models in its App ecosystem – the App store approach for mass market as well as Private distribution for corporations.

Chuck – Even though Apple iPad has 50,000 custom Apps, most are trivial (he referenced iFart apps on Apple Store:). Average Usage per app among the 50K apps (on iPad App Store) is less than one day. RIM / Blackberry has much higher average usage of its mobile apps. (our take : Good point but can one discount the mass Developer and Consumer Crowd running after Apple ?)

Ques : On Tablets replacing PCs ?

Karen - Tablet is a consumption device. It will do well but won’t replace PCs/laptops. PCs will always be ahead in graphics and processing power.  So tablet will not replace PCs/laptops that fast (our take: they better not – else Intel’s primary business is in jeopardy :) 

Overall a great session on Tablets. Kudos to the folks at Wireless Technology Forum (Bob, Steve, Maury, Scott, John, Ed and others) for organizing this event.

March 18th, 2011

Does Mobile Web fit your Integrated Media Strategy ?

Mobile Apps and Web have taken the world by storm. Certainly, Apple deserves credit for orchestrating the Mobile Web experience when it created the iPhone and its App Store. In the process, Apple unleashed the creative energy of hundreds of thousands of Mobile developers worldwide. As of last count, Apple App Store counts 350,000 Apps in the store. With the launch of the iPad tablet, Apple popularized the Tablet computer category and now lot of developers are developing Apps for the Tablet version. Tablet has started what most refer to as the post-PC era. Certainly firms like Microsoft, HP and Intel are in lot of trouble as many consumers and businesses are going the Tablet way instead of upgrading or buying regular PCs and laptops. Now Apple is trying to bring the App experience with its launch of the MAC App Store.

Mobile Web is the latest and greatest Media channel today. It is a most apt media channel for a variety of reasons which we will explain a little later in this post.

Are the various Media firms and Brand Marketers prepared to adjust to this titanic shift of Mobile-based Media ? Do Mobile Apps and Web even belong in a firm’s Integrated Media portfolio ? We will attempt to answer these questions below.

Today media consists of various channels :

Media Channels

 How does Mobile Web fit in this scheme ? The schematic below elaborates the various Digital and Mobile Advertising formats :

Digital Media Channels 

 Consider this (taking Indian context here) :

  • There are 770 million Mobile Subscriptions today (out of a total population of 1.2 billion people) – granted only 550 million are Active Mobile Subscribers : still almost 45% of Indian population are active Mobile Subscribers
  • India has less than 10% internet penetration
  • Mobile is the first and only communications tool for most Rural and Semi-Urban Audience in India
  • Mobile is personal, has context, is location-aware and is always ON
  • Admittedly 90% of Indian mobile market is comprised of feature phones, leading to SMS as the dominant marketing channel in India. But the fastest growth rate is now seen in Smartphone uptake – with acceleration in sales of cheaper smartphones from the likes of MicroMax, Lava etc in addition to established Brands like Nokia, Samsung etc. Mobile Web is now proliferating throughout the Indian consumer class much more rapidly than the feature phone growth.
  • The 3G launches this year will only accelerate the move to Broadband Mobile Services (think Mobile Web with much superior user experience and faster speeds)
  • The post-PC era may have started with Tablets taking over the role of laptops and computers. Many leading businesses and business execs are using tablets for business travel instead of their laptops now.
  • Print Media and Book Publishers are rapidly shifting en masse to Mobile Apps and Mobile eReaders as the delivery channel.
  • People are increasingly consuming media, content and advertising on Mobile phones and tablets.

Given the above advantages – Mobile can be a top Media and Marketing Channel for any Agency or Marketer today in India, much better than the Internet at least.

Now how many Brands and Media Agencies in India have actually integrated Mobile in their portfolio ? Our research indicates that most Media Agencies and Brands in India are yet to include Mobile as a captive Media channel (more on this in our upcoming Research Report : “Mobile Apps Innovation Report for India“. Contact us for details). Though many firms have tried the SMS and VAS marketing route in India, the future now lies in capturing the Mobile Web and Mobile App Media market which is developing rapidly in India.

Our upcoming conference on Mobile Apps (April 29th) – the “Mobile Apps Conclave – Bangalore” will address the entire gamut of topics on Mobile Web and Mobile Apps. Do not forget to register – there are some early registration promotions going on right now.

March 7th, 2011

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