Monday, April 30, 2007

Chinese Fake Super Brands

You have to give it to the chinese, they are the most rampant when comes to fake brands. Some would use the original brands and copy them exactly and others would copy the design and have their brands "renamed" but somehow you will get the idea of the new "renamed" brand.

Foreign companies have frequently complained of trademark violation and only recently USA has filed another official complaints to the WTO. China recently has also cracked down on fake brands by closing down business retailers in order to build a better positive image to outsiders. Check out some of the fake "renamed" brands below.

Feel free to comment.

Global Wireless Data Market Update 2006

Chetan Sharma Consulting conducted its bi-annual study of the global mobile data industry. They took a look at wireless data trends in over 40 major countries - from developed and mature markets such as Japan, Korea, UK, and France to high-growth markets such as China, India, Brazil, and Russia. The study also took a detailed look at over 30 prominent operators.

In 2006, mobile data industry grew across every geography. From the true and trusted SMS messaging to new services such as Mobile TV, LBS, and others, different services helped in adding billions to the revenues generated for the year. Japan and Korea remain the envy of the global markets and the countries to study and learn from. The US market has been steadily making strong comeback and is soon going to become the biggest mobile data revenue generating market in the world.

Below are some interestings findings :

- 2006 was a great year for mobile data. Revenues from mobile data were up in all major regions and for all major carriers with data contributing double digit percentage to overall revenues in most cases. The overall subscriptions rose to approximately 2.7B and we should be crossing 3B by the end of 2007. The wireless industry is on its way to gain the quickest billion subscribers within the next 3 quarters.

- Japan led the way with almost $20B in annual mobile data revenues. US and China were next with $15.8B and $9.2B respectively.
- NTT DoCoMo became the first carrier to cross the $10B barrier for a given calendar year amassing $10.5B for 2006 in data revenues. The Japanese market was followed by China Mobile at $6.9B, KDDI at $6.6B, Verizon Wireless at $4.5B, and Cingular Wireless at $4.3B. They were followed by Sprint Nextel, SK Telecom, Softbank, O2 UK, and China Unicom to make up the top 10.
- A majority of countries we tracked got double digit growth in mobile data average returns per user (ARPU) except for a handful of countries which registered a decline from 2005. Some of the prominent ones being US (33%), Czech (40%), Brazil (32%), Netherlands (31%), UK (20%), and Japan (14%). Japan registered the largest dollar amount increase with $2.08 increase from 2005 levels. US and UK data ARPU levels grew by $1.72.

- In 2006, SMS grip on data revenues loosened a bit with many carriers seeing an increase in non-SMS data revenues. On an average, Japan and Korea have over 70-75% of their revenue coming from non-SMS data applications, US around 50-60%, and Western Europe around 30-40%.

- The top 10 carriers increased their revenue by 13% during the second half of 2006 to reach an aggregate amount of $46.8B for the year in data revenues.

- In terms of data ARPU, Japan continues to lead the pack with almost 30% of its revenues coming from data services amounting to almost $17 data ARPU. Ireland, Norway, Switzerland, UK and South Korea also registered significant data ARPU. US crossed the ($5, 10%) block, where $5 is the data ARPU and 10% represents the % share of overall ARPU. As of Dec 2006, US stood at ($7, 13%). For detailed US Wireless Market update, please see "US Wireless Data Market Update 2006"

- NTT DoCoMo's position at the top of the wireless data world has been challenged recently by several carriers esp. by its archrival KDDI which surged past DoCoMo and remained ahead pretty much for the entire year. Their data coordinates stand at ($17, 31%) and ($17, 30%) respectively. However, it is 3 UK that is inching towards ($20, 30%) mark with $26 in data ARPU contributing over 29% to its overall ARPU. 3 Italy with ($16, 35%) is also amongst the leaders.
- The biggest % contribution by data ARPU has been consistently registered (since mid 2002) by two Philippines carriers - Smart Communications and Globe Telecom with almost 50% (or $3) contribution coming from data services.
- Even though China reported approximately $9.2B in data revenues, and the % contribution is over 20%, data ARPU is around $2, confirming what we already know - it's a volume game. For India data ARPU is just under $1. Approximately same for Brazil and Russia. Actually, in 2006 the overall wireless service revenue for US was two times the overall revenues of the four BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) countries combined. So, lessons are pretty clear as to which markets to approach for what products and services.

- In terms of overall ARPU, it has been a mixed picture compared to 2005. Of the 40 countries we looked at, it was an even split, with half of the countries registering increase in overall ARPU while the other half were at the same level or experienced decline in ARPU. US, China, and India all registered declines while Japan, Russia, Italy, UK, and Canada had an uptick in their ARPU numbers.
- All the carriers in the top 10 wireless carriers by wireless data revenues list exceeded $1B in data revenues for the second six months of 2006 and $2B for the year.

- Western Europe officially crossed the 100% wireless subscriber penetration mark (primarily due to multiple SIMs and double reporting) with several nations reporting up to 140% subscriber penetration. US crossed the 75% penetration mark.

- China crossed the 400M subscriber market in 2006 and is on its way to cross the 500M mark this year. However, its growth rate was overtaken by India which is experiencing tremendous growth. Its net-adds approached 7M subs/month compared to 6M/month for China (though in March 07, monthly net-adds dipped below 4M probably due to the pressure from the government to prove the reported numbers). India crossed Japan and Russia to stand number 3 behind China and US and is going to get past US in terms of total number of subscribers by 2008.

- As expected, China Mobile is way ahead of the second ranked Vodafone with total number of subscribers. China Unicom, America Movil, Telefonica, SingTel, Deutsche Telekom (T-Mobile), and Orange (France Telecom) are the next six largest telecom groups in the world. In terms of individual carriers, Cingular and Verizon now occupy the #3 and #4 spot respectively ahead of NTT DoCoMo, which is at #5. The two Chinese carriers round up the top two positions and are likely to stay perched at their lookout vistas for some years to come. Telecom groups in mature markets are under enormous pressure to either come up with a global expansion strategy or accelerate their existing plans. Carriers in Japan and Korea are the most under duress.

- Japan became the first nation to have more than 50% of its subscribers using 3G. DoCoMo and KDDI have 60% of their subscriber base using 3G devices. Korea is close second approaching 50% 3G penetration. 3G is starting to pick-up steam in both western Europe and North America per our discussion in the cover story article "3G: Hitting the Mass Market" published in Wireless World Magazine. US and Western Europe crossed the 10% mark for 3G penetration (Italy stayed ahead with over 25% of its subscriber using 3G phones). The difference between 2G/2.5G/2.7G and 3G is palpable, for example, for DoCoMo the difference FOMA (3G) and mova (2G) was approaching 200%.

- China and India represent the biggest opportunities for Infrastructure providers. China has postponed its 3G decision for the umpteenth time and is having technical and political problems to get something in place before the 2008 Olympics. India is going through its 3G spectrum policy but unlike China is likely to resolve the issues in short order. Some of the biggest infrastructure contracts will come from these two countries that are looking to expand coverage.
- Carriers with nationwide 3G networks and good distribution of handsets are seeing uptick in data ARPU. The Japanese and Korean carriers along with operator 3, Verizon, Sprint Nextel are all seeing benefits of rolling out their 3G service. Deployment of 3.5G technologies such as HSDPA and EV-DO Rev A (and B) are also gaining momentum. Networks are getting deployed and market is being seeded with some of the early handsets.

- In terms of applications, messaging accounts for lion-share of data revenues. However, other services such as Mobile Music, Mobile TV and video streaming, Mobile Games, IMS, LBS, Mobile advertising, and others have captured industry's imagination. Though not much talked about, enterprise applications are also being adopted widely esp. in North America as more workers become mobile and corporations seek efficiencies in their operations and supply-chain.
- China Mobile overtook Vodafone as the most valued telecom operator in the world which in turn was surpassed by AT&T though China Mobile is likely to get its title back within a few quarters.

Review - Apple iPhone

Apple iPhone the name the entire free world had all but unanimously been waiting for and its due to release soon. Sweet, glorious specs of the 11.6 millimeter device include a 3.5-inch wide touchscreen display with multi-touch support and a proximity sensor to turn off the sensor when it’s close to your face, 2 megapixel cam, 8 GB of storage, Bluetooth, WiFi that automatically engages when in range, and quadband GSM radio with EDGE — and amazingly, it somehow runs OS X with support for Widgets, Google Maps, and Safari, and iTunes (of course) A partnership with Yahoo will allow all iPhone users to hook up with free push IMAP email. Apple quotes 5 hours of battery life for talk or video, with a full 16 hours in music mode -- no word on standby time yet.
The 4GB iPhone will go out the door in the US as a Cingular exclusive for $499 on a two-year contract, 8GB for $599. Ships Stateside in June, Europe in fourth quarter, Asia in 2008.

I had previously showcased iPhone many times on my blog but having reviewed N95, i think i had to do iPhone some justice afterall I m a big fan of iPhone too.

Pictures speak a thousand words, you will see from the pictures below how awesome an iPhone can be. Kudos to Apple and Steve Job for bringing us another work of art. Its definitely a must have for the geeks and I m definitely waiting to get my hands on one too.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Nokia N95 - The Ultimate Multimedia Device

I rarely made detailed reviews on mobile phones or any other digital devices but the Nokia N95 was just too good not to review it.

Nokia has a vision. Your phone, that ubiquitous device that you carry with you everywhere, will become the ultimate media creation and consumption device. It will be your radio, your camera, your music player, and the terminal you use to view, listen and share all this media.

The N95 is the latest step in their quest to deliver on that vision. It’s a GSM cellular device, with WiFi, a five megapixel autofocus camera (that also shoots 30 FPS video), integrated GPS, and a raft of other goodies. It’s so packed with software that it will be impossible to do it justice in this short review.

Its not launched in China yet but its surely getting alot of publicity mainly from the internet. Although its not officially launched in China, you can still get them from the shops and internet sites who had parallel imported them. Its not cheap and way above the actual Nokia's suggested retail price.

Industrial Design
The phone itself is a small, lightweight slider that will easily fit in your pocket. Nokia has abandoned the Nokia pop-connector in favor of USB for data transfer, which is a real blessing. They’ve also put a small set of near-laptop quality stereo speakers on either side of the case, which makes it easy to listen to music when you’re not using the headset. And, they’ve integrated a standard plug connector into the music controls so you can plug in your own headset.

Perhaps the coolest thing about the N95, however, is the dual slider design.

Nokia continues to crank up the pixel count on the cameras they’ve integrated into their N-Series phones. This third generation improves it again to 5 megapixels. Plus, their latest N-Series phones are sporting some sophisticated preset camera settings for choosing different photography scenarios (outdoor, sports, portrait), different lighting scenarios, and so on. They even have some slick onboard editing capabilities.

The biggest impact of the higher pixel count, however, is simply more flexibility in the editing process. With the N95 photographers finally have enough pixels that photographs can be easily cropped and manipulated without losing too much quality.

This above shot was taken with the N95. As a snapshot camera, the N95 is tough to beat.
The N95’s video capabilities, compared to some of its predecessors, are also upgraded. With 30 frame per second video, and higher resolution, you can shoot lots of spontaneous video footage in all kinds of circumstances.
The music experience on the N95 is roughly the same as prior N-Series phones reviewed here. You can download music to the phone, the integrated media player is a solid workhorse application and the included ear buds are adequate for listening. In addition, the newest N95 firmware allows the music player to run in the background, while displaying on the telephone’s home screen the song which is currently playing. This multi-tasking capability allows you to listen to music and use other features of the phone.

One of the simplest, and nicest additions to the N95 music experience is that you can now use your own headphones. The controller fob has a standard headphone jack on the one side, allowing you to use either the supplied ear buds, or your own headphones.

One of the much anticipated features of the N95 is the integrated GPS. With the receiver hidden under the keypad, one simply slides the keypad open, orients it skyward and waits for a fix. The bundled mapping software can show you your location on a map, and provide directions to get from one location to another.
As with the N80, N91, and N93, the N95 comes with built-in WiFi. It’s much better than previous phones, however. Finding and adding WiFi hotspots is now very easy, amounting to scanning for the hotspot, and entering in the WEP key if required. Kudos to Nokia for this upgrade.

PC Experience
Again, compared to prior N-Series phones, the PC experience is vastly improved. The software installation is easy, and near flawless on Windows XP machines.
Overall, the N95 is a great experience and if you are thinking of a mobile phone replacement and have the budget, i strongly recommend the N95.

Why You and I are not a Billionaire

People always are wondering, why am I not rich? Or, why can’t I make as much money as so-and-so? The answer is, that being rich is merely a state of mind. The excuse to why you are not yet a millionaire is really not because you don’t make enough money, its the way you use your money that determines why you are not yet a millionaire. I would highly recommend reading Donald Trump’s book, Trump: Think Like a Billionaire: Everything You Need to Know About Success, Real Estate, and Life, and everything he says really does make sense.

The reason that you do not yet have millions in the bank is because you do not think like a millionaire/billionaire. Here are ten ways to think more like a millionaire, according to Donald Trump (with some additional inputs from me):

1. Don’t take vacations. As Trump says, if you have a job that makes you feel as if you need to take vacations, you’re obviously doing the wrong job. I think there’s an adage that perfectly describes this concept: “The man who loves his job never labors.” If you find the perfect job, you won’t really be working, and you won’t have to take vacations. I would like to add on the concept of playing in working. Why just work, work and play like how we used to when we were kids. We never felt tired and bored from playing. We never wanted to stop playing, we just kept going on. There was no vacation, it was joy and fun everyday.

2. Sleep is for the weak. Donald Trump says that he only sleeps four hours a night (from 1am to 5am). If you are awake longer than you’re competitors, you already have an upper hand over them. Someone who is sleeping 10 hours a night is much less likely to do better than someone who sleeps around half of that amount of time. Plus, it gives off the aurora that you are omniscient (everywhere). If you’re an owner of a business and you always seem to be awake, even at the late hours of the night and the early hours of the morning, you’re a lot more likely to gain the respect and admiration of your employees.

3. Have a short attention span. People are prone to talk a lot of fluff, especially if you are in a position of power. If you have a short attention span, you’re very likely to get done with interactions with people much faster. Donald Trump says, regarding his interactions with people: “I’ll know what they’re going to say before they say it. After the first three words are out of their mouth, I can tell what the next forty are going to be, so I try to pick up the pace and move it along.” Keep things short and precise and always think ahead.

4. Don’t depend on technology. This is kind of ironic for me to say, since I have been in the internet industry for 10 years and currently working in a mobile advertising startup and posting blogs, but Trump makes a valid point. An email is not as effective as paying someone a personal visit or at least giving them a phone call. Emails lack intonation, and it is very hard to convey emotions through an email. Donald Trump doesn’t even have an ATM card! And my dad even mentioned in his blog that successful people are less likely to even carry mobile phones. You should count how many types of devices you are dependent on and start planning how to be less dependent on them. Life just get more complex with better technology right?

5. Being underestimated is a good thing. When your opponents and competitors underestimate you, it allows you to take advantage of their mistakes and surprise them. Being underestimated is most always a good thing, for example, if you’re playing poker with a bunch of poker veterans, chances are, they’ll underestimate you and never think you’re capable of taking their money. Also, when you’re underestimated by people, and they hear of your accomplishments from other sources, their admiration and respect for you will multiply almost immediately. Its always the best policy to be humble. In your quest of acquiring more wealth, your real challenge is to continue to remain humble. Wealth could certainly change a person and most of the time its for the worst. Keep your head up and never lose sight on who you are.

6. You are a one-man army. You not only have to plan everything in your life like a general or commander-in-chief would do, but you have to get down and dirty and execute your plans as a soldier would do. If you keep thinking yourself as just the general of your one-man army, well, your just never going to get anything done, are you? You have to be a very smart one-man army also.

7. Success Leads to More Success. As you’ve probably heard: Actions speak louder than words. You’re going to impress people much more by results and your success rather than anything that you can possibly said. If you are still young and have not yet had a success, Trump says you have to “create the impression of success”. Its much easier to make deals with people once they see that you are successful. It is said that everything that Donald Trump touches turns to gold. If you have a reputation like that, who wouldn’t want to do business with you?

8. Ponder each decision carefully. The only way your going to make bucket loads of money is through a vast number of decisions throughout your career. Donald Trump says that people should “treat each decision like a lover”. He calls the decisions that people can decide upon immediately “love at first sight”. He goes on to say that when you have a meeting to hear different opinions before taking a decision is like asking all your friends what you think of the person you are currently dating. Decision making is a crucial part of making money, and you have to learn how to trust your instincts and your gut, because they are usually always right.

9. Trust your family. Friends are good to have, but you have to trust your family. If you have good relationships with all your family members, you’ll be successful. You need your family, and a healthy relationship with your family members will help you out in the long run. Blood runs thicker than water, and if you have treated your family members right, they will be much more trustworthy than any friend you can possibly have and I can definitely be an authority on this having experienced and winessed it many times in my life.

10. Curiosity didn’t kill the cat. Successful people throughout history have always been curious. Curiosity and innovation has always lead to the best ways people make money. They see a problem in the way things currently are, and then they improve them. If you are trying to understand everything in the world, you’ll be more alive to your surroundings, making you much sharper. It has been said that every piece of knowledge you learn will always be used.

I hope you found this post informative, and if you liked it, I really recommend you buy some of Donald Trump’s books, they are quite informative as well as an easy read.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Advertising on Tissues

A terrific advertising medium as almost all people use tissues. The tissue sheets on the top could have some benign messages: bless you, get well. The mid-tier would promote nasal drops and cough syrup. The last few sheets could push life insurance. Call it progressive contextual advertising.

Of course, there's a company, AdPack, that already puts ad messages on tissues. Apparently, the medium is big in Japan and has its own wiki entry. Believe it or not, the advertising on tissues revenue per annum in Japan is in excess of US$1 billion.

MySpace China launched quietly launched today in the early morning.

The service is well integrated with its US version. When you signup in its Chinese version, your account works in the US version too. That means every new user to will add one number to And their two profiles are synchronized. The browsing on is more desirable as its fast as the server is located in China.

Its going to be exciting to see how will fair in China having been very successful outside China. I m not too optimistic whether will be successful. They don't seem to have anything special to offer, and they are late to join an already crowded field. Go check it out.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Fastest sales concluded on the World Sexiest Super Car

I had the opportunity to attend the Shanghai Auto show yesterday again to experience and witness the fastest sales concluded on a Lamborghini. It all took less than 15 minutes and the local chinese man in his 40s was the proud owner of the super car.

The Lamborghini's booth had to be temporary closed for the local chinese man to inspect and conclude the sales. All the sales personnel were there to assist him and we were just observing behind the enclosed booth. After he had completed admiring the interior and exterior of a real work or art, he made immediate paymeny for his new toy.

He was crowned the new owner and we were no longer allowed to go near to the car. I guessed his ego must be at its peak.

Story like this are not new as the local chinese are getting so rich these days with Chinese economy growing at such rapid pace. Expect to hear more of such stories in the nearest future.

Mobile Search Dominates

Digital marketing agency iCrossing reports while only 30 percent of mobile subscribers access the web via handset, 75 percent of those who do so conduct searches, expressing a clear preference for major search engine brands like Google and Yahoo over carriers' mobile platforms.
According to iCrossing, maps/directions, weather and local information are the content categories most commonly sought by mobile searchers, although about 75 of respondents said they are unwilling to browse past the second page of search results. In addition, 84 percent of mobile searchers said they expect dedicated mobile versions of the sites they frequent.

"The type of content users seek varies greatly, but websites must be positioned in at most the first two pages of results in order to earn users' clicks," iCrossing writes. "In addition, sites must be optimized carefully so they can be captured in a maximum of three keywords. Convenience, ease of use, speed and relevancy are the values that must remain at the forefront of this ongoing effort."

Mobile content providers and mobile advertising providers have to take such factors into account when planning the delivery of content and advertising to end users. The 2x2 screen size is an important aspect of such consideration and relevance will always be main consideration. Ultimately its the user experience and simplicity that will encourage mobile users to spend more time on your site.

2.7 Billion mobile subscribers worldwide for 2006 - Informa

This is made official now by Informa, the telecoms analyst company provided the official subscriber counts, which is used by the various industry associations, manufacturers etc. Informa's report, Mobile Market Status 2007 gave the final count for the end of the year 2006 of mobile phone subscriptions at 2,704,661,000. As a percentage of total human population, it means there is a mobile phone subscription for 41.4% of the human race.

Informa also gave the final count of new phones sold last year, which was 942,700,000, so we were nearly at a billion mobile phones sold last year, but didn't quite make that mark. We will definitely cross the billion phones sold per year level this year.

Interestingly in this report, Informa also tells us that out of all mobile phone users, 28.8% have two or more subscription (and in most cases this also means two phones). Obviously in countries like Italy, Taiwan, Hong Kong, UK etc where mobile phone penetration is at over 125% per capita, the proportion of phone owners to have two or more phones is near 40%. But even across Europe, now well over a third of the population who have a phone, have in fact at least two subscriptions and mostly also thus two phones.

So if we want to report on the unique users of mobile phones, who have one or more mobile subscriptions, then the count is obviously well below 2.7 billion. Informa tells us that the unique populatoin of mobile phone users was 2.1 billion at the end of 2006. So already 600 million people on the planet have two or more phone subscriptions and this number will certainly grow as more and more people are inclined to have 2 mobile phones or more. One big factor these days leading to having 2 mobile phones is purely fashion. Expect to see more Vanity models from the luxury brands.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Spiderman 3, the most expensive film ever

At $500 million, this would definitely make our favorite hero, spiderman the most expensive film ever produced in Hollywood.

It goes with out saying that you have to spend money to make money, but $500 million? That is a bit excessive. That would make Spider-Man 3 almost 2.5 times more expensive than Spider-Man 2, which grossed $784 million world-wide in 2004. The industry expectations around this latest installment into the Spidey franchise is somewhere around $800 million, so turning a profit is not going to be hard, but one must ask why this film cost so much? Isn’t most of it computer graphics? And with plans for 3 more films, will they continue to become exponentially more expensive?

I m sure this is going to be an exciting summer and come may we will all know whether our superhero will provide great ROI back to Sony.

I read a film blog which claimed that the party has already started in China with copies of pirated version being sold on the street. Not sure whether its the real Spiderman 3 film or other something else as enterprising and daring chinese pirates would pull all kinds of stunts to make quick bucks. Dont be surprised that you end up buying a copy of spiderman 3 dvd with Mr Bean jumping off the screen.

As for me, i m definitely going to the cinema to watch the world most expensive film production afterall i sure would like to know how a $500 million film is produced.

Mobile Monday Shanghai April 2007

I was at Mobile Monday Shanghai the other night. About 2/3 of the participants seemed to be foreign expats. Several interesting companies demonstrated their products namely, Opera, Widsets and Openwave. The topic for the night "Is the pain of surfing on mobile phone over?"

To sum it up, the road ahead for mobile browsing isnt going to be an easy one though the common view is that mobile browsing will certainly play an important role in delivering information to us where ever we are located.

Almost all are of the view that the current mobile browsing experience has been nothing but a real pain. This could be due to many factors but its clear that the current gprs speed for mobile browsing isnt adequate to serve the hungry data mobile crunchers and to worsen matter, its simply too expensive to browse via the mobile phone. The current data rates in China isnt appetizing to encourage users to go online.

The mobile operators in china are still waiting for the green light from the Chinese government to launch 3g network which the industry believes that this should take place before the Olympics next year and with better speed on 3g and more afforable data rates, i believe the subscriber base on mobile internet will surge exponentially in China.

I m confident with a better network hopefully with 3g, it will open up a world of opportunity for mobile players from content to application providers to bring a whole new array of mobile services to the mobile internet users in China. With over 500 million mobile users in China, its without a doubt that the mobile space in China will definitely take center stage creating an infinite opportunities from content creation to mobile advertising and of course to how we share and receive information.

A well done job for the people who has put Mobile Monday Shanghai to great success especially to Bruno Bensaid who is the organizing chairperson. I look forward to the next coming Mobile Monday. Its great exposure and I definitely would recommend you to attend the next Mobile Monday in Shanghai. Bruno has promised this round with Dom Perignon Champagne. Its on the house and drink all you can. Did i get your right Bruno? haha...

Which is bigger? Mobile Content or Internet Content

I think many of you would immediately think internet content is much bigger taking into consideration that it has been around far longer than mobile content. But believe it or not, mobile contents is 5 times larger in revenue than internet content.

I was reading a blog from MobHappy, where Russell Buckley commented on Patrick Parodi's (Chairman of MEF) stat on the worldwide size of both contents :

Worldwide size of mobile content : US$20 billion
Worldwide size of internet content : US$4 billion

I have no idea where those figures were obtained and whether he is refering to all forms of content (ie, including ad-supported content) but it shows the size of the market. It’s mostly ringtones, i reckon. Impressive stat taking into consideration internet content is a whole lot more interesting and better than mobile content but strange enough people would rather spend more money on mobile content.

Its all about user experience and simplicity as its alot more easier to pay on mobile than to pay online. The mobile payment infrastructure based on premium sms is mature and simple thus allowing users the simplicity to make mobile purchase.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Millward Brown - Top 100 World Most Powerful Brands

Here are the top 10 :

1. Google
2. General Electric
3. Microsoft
4. Coca Cola
5. China Mobile
6. Marlboro W
7. Wal-Mart
8. Citi
9. IBM
10. Toyota

To view the details of the top 100, please go to Millward Brown.

Monday, April 23, 2007

PAN-IIT event on “Mobile Advertising - Technical Challenges and Business Opportunities”

An interesting thing to look at is what the mobile advertising industry was forecast to be by 2005 by analysts at the turn of the century—between $890 million and $6.8 billion. In 2006 the actual mobile advertising market was $421 million. On the panel everyone was bullish about the industry (not surprising since they’re all in the industry, Infospace, Medio, Google, Voicebox) but they cautioned it will take time because the “reach” is not there yet.

A comparison was made with Japan: “Japanese Mobile Advertising market: Clearly, Japan has had more experience with Mobile Advertising than rest of the markets. In 2006, the average revenue/user/year stood at around $4. For US, this figure was less than $1.”

Mobile Advertising means different things to different people: Depending on a company’s focus, mobile advertising means different things to different companies. There are over a dozen different channels or strategies at our disposal in this framework, for instance -

¨Messaging – SMS/MMS
¨WAP/XHTML – on-deck/off-deck
¨Search – Mobile, Media, Local
¨Video – Unicast, Multicast
¨Audio – Streaming, Podcast
¨Downloadables – Games, Applications (BREW/JAVA) – Interstitials/In-app
¨Directory Assistance/ Call Inst.
¨Code based – Barcode, QRcode, Images
¨Bluetooth, NFC, WiFi, others

No one provider offers capabilities across a majority of them, you could argue that there is no need but from an advertiser’s perspective, the situation demands aggregation and simplicity.

Brendan Benzing, Infospace talked about the “ecosystem friction” where we have too many players for advertisers to deal with and an aggregated or simplified view is needed for the advertisers to jump in with both feet. Coming from the broadcast and Internet marketing background at TW/AOL, Brendan thought measurement authority like Nielsen is a must.

On the question of targeting, Brendan and Jai , Medio Systems mentioned the use of demographic data available from the carrier to make search results (and advertising) better. Jai went to say that recommendation is another form of advertising which appears non-intrusive and is actually useful for the consumers. Amazon gets a good chunk of their revenues from recommendation clicks. I myself find them quite useful and end up buying dozens of books this way every year.

There was general agreement that industry needs to focus on user’s needs rather than CPC and CPMs at this stage in the game. And that user privacy issues should stay at the forefront. The carriers need to fix the voice quality, reduce data rate plans, and make things usable before consumers are going to tolerate ads.

China Mobile keeps rolling in the profit

China Mobile, the country's biggest wireless operator's first quarter net profit rose 22 % from a year earlier on continued rapid growth in its subscriber base.

The company said its net profit for the three months ended March 31 was 17.56 billion yuan ($2.28 billion), up from 14.36 billion yuan ($1.8 billion) in the year-earlier period. China Mobile's revenue in the three-month period increased to 77.71 billion yuan ($10.07 billion), from 65.02 billion yuan a year earlier.

The company added 14.89 million subscribers in the first quarter this year, up from the 14.08 million users it added in the fourth quarter of 2006. It added 5.12 million subscribers in March, up from February's addition of 4.91 million subscribers.

China Mobile had 316.12 million subscribers as of the end of March. The subscriber base of China Mobile is really mind boggling as it figures surpassed that of the population of US and many other countries. I wonder how much more will this figure continue to grow.

24 carat iPod

iPod in 24 carat. Thats the new look skin that i saw on Gizmodo. Its Amosu's new line of 24 carat gold (plated) iPods. Covered in hardened mirror gold.

So how much will a golden iPod set you back?

30GB = $600
80GB = $800Their Nanos don't seem to be listed
Go look up at to see Amosu's whole range of luxury and customised mobile phones.

Great examples of Guerilla Marketing

First things first, exactly what is guerrilla marketing? The term now covers a plethora of different marketing techniques but I rather like Marketing Terms' ( definition, which says "unconventional marketing intended to get maximum results for minimal resources." Great approach for cash strapped online businesses.

Take the magazine FHM, who projected a 60-foot high image of Gail Porter's backside onto the Houses of Parliament to promote its 1999 poll to find the world's sexiest women. Then there was IBM who employed a graffiti artist to paint pavements and walls in San Francisco and Chicago with the words 'Peace, love and Linux'. The site sent out fake hitchhikers onto Highway 101 in the States to give out promotional masks to any kind driver that stopped to pick them up. These campaigns all focus on creating a buzz around a product or service; it's then passed on by word of mouth as people talk about in pubs.

Here are some great examples that i thought i should post a few of them here. Plain simple but truly eye catching and carries a huge recall factor. If anyone would like to add to the list, please feel free.