Jul 11

UK: Smartphones head to 'tipping point' -

Every four weeks about 2.5% of feature phone owners have shifted to smartphones since April 2010 in the UK, suggesting that the “tipping point” when smartphones make up half of all users lies about a year away, in June 2012.

And if you think this is not being driven by fashion and network operator subsidy you are wholly wrong.

Perhaps by 2020 half these ‘smartphone users’ might do more with their device than phone, message, take photos and check/update Facebook.

The Road Ahead in Mobile Games -

Excellent piece by Dean Takahashi at Venture Beat that discusses the challenges faced by the Mobile Gaming industry. Some familiar problems discussed:

The distribution power is what the game developers need in order to stand out from the nightmarish competition. How to get your game discovered in a sea of content is still an unsolved problem. The problem of discovery gave rise to mobile social networks such as OpenFeint, which offer tools to socialize a game with achievements, leaderboards, and friend competitions. In Japan, DeNA became a billion-dollar company because tens of millions of Japanese phone users used DeNA’s Mobage network to find games.

As with social networks, yet again, there is a prevailing opinion that one or two appstores will dominate globally. This parochial way of thinking is plainly wrong.

Jul 06

Getting the cash is the easy bit -

Not often that I would rate an opinion aired at Techcrunch:

Instead of focusing on the companies that are creating the most value for their customers, we’re talking about who raised the largest round or who’s part of the billion dollar valuation club.

However hard fund-raising is (and it is hard) it’s also, without a doubt, the easy bit. The difficult part is execution.

Jul 05

End of All You Can Eat data is coming -

Thirteen months after rival AT&T stopped offering unlimited smartphone data plans, Verizon Wireless is ready to follow. New customers on or after July 7 will have to choose between four tiers of monthly data, ranging from 75 MB to 10 GB of mobile broadband service.

The new monthly plan costs and limits break down as follows, with a $10 overage for an additional GB of data:

Crazy prices…

Pringles Can Antenna Turns 10 -

Ten years ago, over a hot 4th of July weekend, a few of us “alpha geeks” were hanging out on Rob Flickenger‘s porch in Sebastopol, CA testing out homebrew microwave antennas when we stumbled upon the fact that you could squeeze about 12db out of an empty Pringles can and some miscellaneous hardware. At the time, antennas of similar gain would set you back about $150. With our design, you could build two for about $10 (one for each end).

The Muthas of Invention

Jun 28

E-reader Ownership Doubles in Six Months Tablet Adoption Grows More Slowly -

Hispanic adults, adults younger than age 65, college graduates and those living in households with incomes of at least $75,000 are most likely to own e-book readers. Parents are also more likely than non-parents to own these devices.

Would love to see this compared with some old-fashioned paper book sales figures.

Who cares about anything except iOS and Android? -

I would like to offer a new philosophy regarding mobile Web browser support: Concentrate on iOS and Android exclusively. Send everyone else to the regular HTML site.

The basic message is focus on devices that have sophisticated browsers with multi-touch capabilities. Everything else, you are on your own.

In fact, in the last mobile experience I designed, we decided to detect iOS or Android. If not, we redirected to the full HTML site and good luck to you. By the way, get a real smartphone while you are at it.


Jun 27

Fierce Mobile says "Face it: Video chat is iPad's killer app" -

Yeah right, just like you see everyone glued to Facetime on their iPhone everywhere.

Easy to be scathing I know. I can see this claim perhaps being true in the Enterprise where all and sundry are trying to justify corporate subsidised iPads or a BYOD policy that allows for the king of the tablets.

Elsewhere, well, you know, I truly believe we have a few years to go before video calling goes mobile…and it’s nearly ten years since I made my first video call from a mobile.

Apple changes its rules in Taiwan to allow users 7 days to test an app? -

9to5Mac reports that Apple has changed the T&C on its appstore to meet the Taiwanese local Consumer Protection Act.Customers now have seven full days to decide whether or not they wish to permanently purchase an app.

Imagine what Angry Birds sales would have been like if you’d had seven whole days to get thoroughly sick of it?

Just imagine..

Jun 24

Roamler - Mobile Help for Small Tasks -

Digital Examples writes:

Roamler is a mobile app (currently in beta) that allows people to sign up to perform small tasks based on their location.  It’s kind of a cross between Zaarly, a mobile marketplace for services, and Fiverr, where people perform small tasks for $5.

An app-as-a-service that helps to solve a real life problem - I like it.

Many cities have a street where, by custom, casual day labourers congregate in the early morning hours to pick up work. London contractor Murphy’s still hires in this way today and I bet most of the guys wielding a Kango on the roads of the City actually do have a smartphone.

Roamler - hope you have excellent, visionary and humble Business Dev people on the team.