Posts tagged 'smartphones'
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 http://m.xyz-firm.com 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
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
An affluent global market of more than 40 million tablet owners is the target for Mojiva’s new mobile ad network. Mojiva Tab is “a specific ad network with dedicated resources and dedicated packaging,” said Mojiva CEO David Gwozdz. The idea is to take advantage of the wider mobile canvas afforded by tablet screens, compared with the tinier screens of smartphones.
(via MMA Smartbrief)
October 19th, 2012
Microsoft’s Surface RT tablet is available for online pre-orders with a starting price of $499 with delivery expected on Oct. 26. The starting price includes a 32 GB tablet running Windows RT, a version specifically made for tablets powered by smartphone chips. Microsoft’s innovative thin Touch Cover keypad option adds another $119 to the price if purchased separately.
The Surface RT is unique in a few respects and represents a new strategy for the company. This is the first Microsoft-designed computer that the company is selling; something that Microsoft’s hardware partners were caught unaware of in advance. This edition of Windows 8, called Windows RT, also runs on ARM-based chips that typically power smartphones and consumer tablets. With Windows RT, as well as the Surface device that it designed, Microsoft hopes to slow down Apple’s iPad momentum, which currently has a majority share of the overall tablet market.
I agree that Surface RT will surely create some dent with it’s price in the overall tablet market (for people who feel more comfortable with MS products or are highly sensitive to prices in developing countries like India) which has been forecasted to hit a whooping 377M units by 2016. But, I also feel, it’s a dead miss from the word YES. Unit sales will be very disappointing considering non-inclusion of the cover (priced at $100 just to say tab costs just $499), the apps just aren’t there – stick with an ecosystem that has the apps you want (Android or iOS). At this price, they will be perceived as an “also-ran” and will not gain the momentum to substantially move people from capable and proven consumer tablet alternatives.
October 18th, 2012
As if you have not heard enough about iPhone 5 already, here is more of it
Apple announced iPhone 5 on Sept 12th. The other big thing that happened that day was Quantitative Easing version 3 announcement by US Federal Reserve – one wonders, it was a synchronized announcement – just kidding.. Certainly, some market analysts have said that iPhone 5 may do more for US GDP growth than Fed’s QE3..amazing..
Well, intentional or not, both the announcements have a dramatic impacts – QE3 will accelerate the stock market rise around the world, fuel more inflation etc. Apple announcement will lead to Apple maintaining it’s hegemony in the smartphone ecosystem. I know, I know, some of you are on side of the table which is less than enamoured by the new iPhone 5. However, our take is that the ecosystem of Apple is much too strong and still underestimated by most. The vertical integration of iTunes, Macs, iPhones, iPads, licensed content in there, seamless charging via iTunes, cross-device synch capabilities are so intense and so transformational in the tech world, that few can match up with Apple prowess over the marketplace. Apple ran out of online inventory of iPhone 5 in one hour of opening the sales..validation enough of a huge pent-up demand out there.
Lack of NFC or some other popular features, now commonplace in other smartphones, will not deter iPhone 5 in creating breakthrough success once again for Apple sales. What most people fail to realize about Apple is that it does not usually toe the line created by others – it creates new models which, in many cases, become the benchmark over time. Coming back to NFC, Apple did bundle a feature called Passbook in the new iPhone 5 – a loyalty and coupon management feature – this is not payment enabled but it could evolve into a Digital Wallet. Many leaders like eBay, Square, Paypal are making do without NFC in Mobile Payments and quite successfully at that. It is likely that NFC may never become the mainstream mobile payment tech if Apple and others listed here do not push it.
As to what Apple iPhone 5 does pack, it has a laundry list of neat features :
LTE (4G capable), Thinner, Lighter, bigger screen (4 inch diagonally), all new Apple-designed A6 chip, better retina display, improved camera (although megapixels remain at 8 megs), enhanced HD video recording, 5 rows of icons on the screen, improved Siri assistant, new lightning connector, new Apple mapping app, better iCloud integration, 700,000 apps, new iOS 6 OS, Passbook loyalty feature, the list goes on and on.
To view all iPhone 5 features, click here.
As far as we can visualize, we still feel demand for iPhone 5 will be back-logged and people will go gaga over this device the world over. Apple mobile leadership is far from being threatened, not until they make major blunders or others truly can provide a neat vertically integrated ecosystem. So far, we see only Amazon as being anywhere close to providing the vertical ecosystem with Kindle platform. Samsung tried but it is missing many major components for creating a complete ecosystem, music partnerships to begin with, among other things. Google does not try as their focus is entirely different – to monetize via search engines on Android devices.
So – for now, it is Apple’s world to rule in the mobile arena, until somebody else “does an Apple” on them.
September 17th, 2012
MANILA, Philippines – The country’s largest foreign bank recently unveiled a suite of Mobile Banking Applications for three platforms – Android, BlackBerry and iPhone. Citibank’s latest move enables both its credit card and bank clients to access their accounts and complete a range of banking transactions using their preferred smartphones.
“Technology has made banking services omnipresent. Our investment in these platforms is in line with our commitment to continue to drive innovation in the banking industry, where we already enjoy a strong track record of success,” quoted by Sergio Zanatti, Consumer Business Manager for Citibank in the Philippines.
“This launch bolsters our claim that Citi services are available to our clients anywhere and anytime, now through whichever communication channel they prefer – be it landline or mobile phone, smart phone or Internet,” added Zanatti.
The Mobile Apps allow bill payments, fund transfers, even Rewards points’ redemption. But Zanatti expects users to welcome the new features that include instant access to Citibank offers, exclusive dining and shopping deals in nearby establishments or at a specific location, as well as bank branches and ATM locator in the Philippines and around the world.
Zanatti said, “We expect clients to be very excited about the real time offers that we can quickly upload and share with them using these Apps. We are investing in the latest technology to deliver relevant offers to our clients and when they need them”.
To download the app on Android phones, go to the Marketplace application and search for Citibank Philippines. Select Citibank PH from the results list then click download. Once successful, the Citi Mobile icon will appear on the phone’s home screen.
For iPhone users, go to App Store and search for Citibank Philippines. Select Citibank PH then click install. The Citi Mobile icon appears on the home screen after installation. This can also be installed in the iPod Touch. All Citi Mobile Apps are free to use and download.
Zanatti said as newer technologies were rolled out, banking becomes highly accessible and increasingly flexible for everyone. “Citi will be providing customers with the latest technology as we continue to enhance and facilitate service. We want to be the leading digital bank, here in the Philippines and elsewhere in the world.”
March 29th, 2012
(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
“India Inside : The Emerging Innovation Challenge to the West” is a new book authored by Nirmalya Kumar and Phanish Puranam, renowned professors at the elite London Business School. The book is published by Harvard Business Review Press and released in Nov 2011.
This book is about the “invisible” innovation which India today provides to a multitude of corporations and entities around the world. The book starts with questions like “Where are the Indian Googles, iPods and Viagras?” and “Can Indians innovate?”. Valid questions but which make slight of the fact that innovation is much more than consumer facing direct innovation. Indian ingenuity is enmeshed in so many products other multinationals make – likes of GE, Microsoft, IBM, AstraZeneca, Intel, Motorola and many others.
Globally Segmented Innovation :
As Western firms have outsourced large parts of the IT and research work to their Indian divisions and R&D labs, the skill profile of the Indian worker is increasing and firms are increasingly entrusting them with higher-end tasks. In this regard, the authors talk about the Skills Ladder concept – which says that when one creates an army of talent at the bottom of the product development pyramid, it is likely that innovation leaders emerge from this lot and remain in the geography where they are situated – as such, one can say that, thanks to Western outsourcing, a huge no of Indian engineers and innovators are being trained and are likely to boost the local innovation ecosystem via new entrepreneurial ventures or contributions to domestic economy.
In short, there is a talent shift to Asia from the Western hemisphere, which in turn will lead to accelerating growth and innovation in that part of the world.
Outsourced R&D :
For multinationals, Indian service providers like Wipro, Infosys, Tata and HCL are conducting outsourced R&D in labs all across India. Wipro pioneered the concept of outsourced R&D with it’s innovative Product Engineering Services division or PES starting way back in early 80s. Infosys products like Finacle and others like i-Flex have become global leaders in banking and finance. Outsourcing of R&D to India-based outfits creates talent pools in that part of the world and self-perpetuates further innovation and increased western investments.
Process Innovation – An Injection of Intelligence :
Indian call centers are often staffed with folks who are normally more qualified than a mundane call center job. This has caused the so called “injection of intelligence” into the mundane call center and BPO processes – processes which the Western world had written off as commoditized and boring. As a result, call center outsourcer 24/7 is injecting analytics-driven market intelligence into customer service calls and interactions – thereby increasing web / phone consumer loyalty and conversion rates. Higher qualified Indian talent is converting routine BPO processes into more strategic higher-value initiatives for western clients, thereby increasing ROI on outsourcing even more.
Management Innovation – The Global Delivery Model :
Infosys and other Indian IT firms have pioneered the global outsourcing and cost efficiencies which can be achieved in large projects. Saving costs and making the process faster, leaner and efficient is certainly innovation in it’s own right.
Visible Innovation – Frugal Engineering :
The emerging Asian middle class is known to demand and desire Western style products at cheaper cost. The Indian concept of “Jugaad” - or an ability to make do with less resources and still get things done, is now finding acceptance as a strategy in global Boardrooms. Tata Nano (and more recently Aakash tablet, I might add) are changing the debate of value vs cost. Developed markets are fascinated by Indian creations like Tata Nano and are studying such models closely to see how a quality mass market product can be developed at such a lower cost.
The authors also acknowledge the India’s innovation challenges eg slow bureaucracy, lack of infrastructure, lack of capital and population’s risk-averse nature. However, the Indian innovation train has started and few can turn the clock back now. As such, authors provide recommendations to both Indian and Western firms as to how to leverage or face the oncoming Indian innovation onslaught. We highly recommend this book to those who are interested in learning about the India’s growth and innovation story.
CellStrat Book Rating : **** (4 out of 5 stars)
December 1st, 2011
An app is a piece of software that a consumer downloads onto their phone from a specific location or store created by either their cell carrier, the device manufacturer or third party app stores (such as GetJar). Simple apps exist for standard feature phones, but today’s mobile apps are typically associated with smartphones where their functionality is enhanced by richgraphics, animations, video and the ability to trigger phone functionality such as the GPS or the camera. Apps are specific to a phone platform and must be developed for them: iPhone, BlackBerry, Symbian and Android are the current major platforms followed by all others in India as per CellStrat research.
Depending on what type of a company you are, there are three main types of apps that marketers can be concerned with:
Branded Apps: These apps are specifically developed to enhance some aspect of the company’s product and while not typically used to sell that product, they encourage use of it. Examples of this might be the Zippo Lighter App (the phone looks like a lighter), Coke’s Spin the Bottle (play the iconic game with a Coke bottle), the Weber’s On the Grill (get recipes and grillingadvice) or KRAFT’siFoodAssistant (menuplanning with grocery list functionality), or the BMW M Power Meter (measure the vehicle’s acceleration and Gforces.)
Mobile Media-Related Apps: These are often extensions of well-known media properties that have functionality unique to the apps. Top media related apps include CNN Mobile, NDTV app, TimesOf India App, The Weather Channel Mobile, The Los Angeles Times etc. These apps sometimes have paid or metered versions, but are often ad supported and thus are free for downloading.
Mobile Shopping/ Commerce Related Apps: Retailers such as Macy’s, Amazon, Best Buy and Target are taking the lead with their customers and trying to establish a continuous on-phone presence on mobile devices through their apps, which offer m-commerce made easy if the consumer has their payment data stored with that provider. ShopSavvy is another very popular app (nearly 18 million apps downloaded as of April of 2011) that consumers use to scan a barcode and do comparison price shopping.
b. The Mobile Web
The mobile web is the Internet accessed through a mobile device. All smartphones and some feature phones have a browser built on to the interface and the browsers are specific to the device, but with some technical work and a mobile UI, a mobile optimized site will be viewable by all the major smartphones. Marketers typically need to be concerned with four forms of mobile web sites:
Branded Mobile Micro Sites or Landing Pages: These are created specifically to focus consumer attention on one aspect of a company’s message or brand, such as http://Huggies.mobi or are used as a “landing page” or simple payoff to the consumer to get more information from a larger marketing campaign. The marketers typically tag their company URL in broad scale ad campaigns, they can now actively promote their mobile web presence through their “m.URLs” or drive them through mobile ad campaigns that click directly to these landing pages.
Corporate Mobile Sites: Basic corporate sites featuring a mixture of static and dynamic content. May include secure, membership area or even be a pure B2B site. Examples include Hunter Douglas (http://hdfab.com) or AutoVantage(http://autovantage.com).
Mobile-Media Web Sites: This could be a media-driven site optimized or created specifically for the mobile web (major media companies mentioned above as well as CBS, NBC, MTV among others) have mobile sites and generate millions of views per month through them.
Mobile Commerce Sites: For any retailer, the last three years have been a wake-up call to the fact that consumers want to connect with them through the mobile web. Any company would be able to note that simply looking at their web log files and parsing out “user agents” (devices that access the web which showup as operating systems such as Windows, Mac, Android, IOS or Apple) can showed them just how much activity is coming directly from mobile devices – and what brands of mobile devices their customers tend to have.
Mobile web activity can often be driven by a consumer wanting to know a store location on the go or a phone number to check product availability and can often lead to a mobile commerce transaction.
In this category in particular, understanding customer need and determining optimal content strategy is essential as is the ability to tie into overall company promotional efforts. If your company is dropping millions of circulars or runninga national television campaign in a given week, chances are that specific content is what consumers may be looking for on the mobile web.
Many retailers with mobile sites have received higher order sizes and conversion rates with mobile optimized sites, as compared to non-optimized mobile sites. While to marketers, it may seem that a distinct choice between focusing on one mode or another should be made, the reality is that consumers have voted on this issue with their phones: consumers do both and marketers need to do parallel path development.
August 16th, 2011
Mobile shoppers are still a minority among worldwide consumers, but already a significant minority in developed countries like USA, Japan etc. And understanding how these early adopters are shopping via their mobile phones can help retailers prepare for the growing consumer adoption of mobile commerce.
Consumers are using their smartphones for shopping, although most are not executing purchases through the devices. Other shopping activities, however, may lead to purchases elsewhere, either at stores or via another form of e-commerce. Movie tickets and travel services are found to be among the most popular offerings explored via mobile.
Paypal already did a business worth $750 million last year and they expect to do a whooping $3 billion worth of business over mobile devices this year. These figures already prove that mobile payments are fast taking over consumer’s mind across the world.
While not all of them may be buying products and services directly through a mobile phone, they are using the devices to shop in ways that can lead to purchases in stores or through e-commerce & m-commerce sites. In five years time, estimates say that mobiles will command at least 10% of e-commerce payments.
Examples of the kinds of payments that mobile will command among the above 10% e-commerce payments could be:
- Retails of Point of Sale: It is when consumers buy at the cash counters in retails stores using their devices. But, it requires lot of back end integration on retailers part and lot of education would also be needed to change the consumer mindset to adopt the same. This is being done by large companies like Metro retails markets.
- Mobile point of sale: This is when a merchant does’nt have a fixed point of sales and wants to be able to charge at any point he is, like in trade exhibitions, road side demos, events etc. This is being tried and tested by even small companies like New Delhi (India) based Mobivite, an event hosting company that provide mobile front end for all the event info. They are trying to stabilize the mobile payment options for their customer’s event’s audience. iXigo, MakeMyTrip & Cleartrip being other large travel companies with their respective mobile apps and enjoying in-app purchases by their customers on mobiles.
- Unattended point of sale: these may be in transit or in vending machines. Coke had earlier tried it with some vending machines in the developed world. It’s also quiet prevalent in hi-tech countries like Japan where people are always running to and fro from their offices. It was tried by a retail chain of super stores by placing QR coded posters, the exact copies of how food looks like in their store shelves. People were able to scan the code with their mobile phones and order groceries right out of that store while standing on stations waiting for their trains.
Japanese and Korean youth is famous for being heavy buyers of virtual goods through gaming and other apps on their mobile phones.
(Source: Brief excerpts from MMA & Mobile Payments Outlook)
August 5th, 2011