Monday, April 28, 2008

China Mobile's profits up with 392 million subscribers

China Mobile, the world’s largest mobile phone carrier, announced today that its first-quarter profits are up 37%. China has the largest population of mobile users, with around 520 million accounts. The government of China predicts that this number will increase to 600 million in the near future.

China Mobile posted a profit of 24.1 billion yuan ($3.4 billion) in the first-quarter that ended on March 31. Subscriptions rose 6% for a total of 392 million. New accounts accelerated by 33% to 7.6 million per month in the quarter, driven mostly by new business in rural China. China’s eastern cities are near the saturation point, so the company is targeting the countryside.

The government will soon issue third-generation (3G) licenses allowing the support of mobile video, faster mobile internet and other services and will further increase the revenue and profit potential for all the mobile operators in China.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Don't judge too quickly

World Most Worthless Currency

Do you know that we can be instant millionaire by just trading off some of our pocket change dollars. Check out the exchange rate below for the most worthless currency.

- 10 million Zimbabwean dollar now valued below $4 on the black market

- 500,000-dong note. U.S. value: $31.37

- 100,000-rupiah note. U.S. value: $11.05

- 50,000-rial note. U.S. value: $5.35

- 10,000-franc note. U.S. value: $2.33

- 50,000-dobra note. U.S. value: $3.47

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Buying Properties in China

The stock market in China has lost close to 50% value from the high in October 2007. And just when you thought that the Chinese investors are broke, they are still queuing up to buy properties next to my apartment in Shanghai. The commotion had started since last night with people queuing and camping beside the development site until this morning.

The price range of the property should start from RMB2.5 million upwards. If you think the Chinese are affected by the global economic downturn, think again. Lets not forget, the initial downpayment for the property is 30% of the selling price. With all the administrative and renovation fees thrown in, the Chinese people would easily need to stump up at least half of the selling price to own the property.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Facebook Chat Launches

Facebook had just launched its own chat application. So far I have found the Facebook chat application to be useful and easy to interact with. Considering that I have over 50 friends online at any given moment, there is always someone to talk with. If you are my friend on Facebook definitely feel free to IM me, just don’t use it as a way to pitch me with business proposals.

The one thing i dont like is that you can only open up a chat window at any one time but i dont reckon this to be a major problem.

Google is No 1 World's Most Powerful Brand

Google has topped a list of the world's most powerful brands, with new research estimating its value to be $86bn (£43bn). WPP-owned research company Millward Brown puts Google at number one in its annual top 100 global brand power list for the second year in a row with a 30% year-on-year increase in its value.

Google beat General Electric to the top spot, with the NBC Universal owner's brand value estimated at $71.4bn. The next most valuable brands are Microsoft at $70.89bn, Coca-Cola at $58.2bn and China Mobile at $57.2bn.

The top five remained unchanged year-on-year, with each company recording an increase in brand valuation by between 15% and 39% compared with 2007.

Apple and Nokia crept up in the rankings this year, breaking into the top 10 companies from 16th and 12th place, respectively, last year. (As a result, they bumped Wal-Mart and Toyota out of the top 10.)

IBM's brand value increased by 65% year-on-year to $55.3bn, moving the technology company up three places in the BrandZ list to sixth spot. Apple was the biggest mover in the top 10, and a new entry, moving up nine places to rank seventh, with a massive 123% increase in brand value to $55.2bn.

China brands are moving up the ranking too. With China Mobile maintaining firmly in 5th place in the global study. Other Chinese contenders are China Construction Bank (31), Bank of China (32), China Merchants Bank, ICBC.

Looking at Asia overall Millward Brown concludes: “Established Asia vs Emerging Asia — Chinese Brands continue to get stronger according to the new BrandZ Ranking. Seven brands in this year’s Top 100 come from mature Asian economies: Japan, Korea, and Hong Kong. Their aggregate brand value increased by only 7% in the last year (to $111bn). In contrast, the value of the four Chinese brands that made this year’s BrandZ Top 100 increased by 51% (to $124bn). China Mobile, Bank of China, China Construction Bank and ICBC are only just starting to expand beyond China so they have considerable potential for further growth.”

The full report can be downloaded here (pdf).

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Talk all you want for $9.95 on Skype

Skype new unlimited calling plan will allow you to make unlimited calls to land-line and mobile phones in 34 countries for only $9.95 per month. The countries include most of Europe, plus Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, China, Singapore, Taiwan, Japan, Korea and Malaysia.

I will be signing up later to check out the quality of the unlimited service. For $9.95 month, its probably the cheapest offer around and its definitely a value for money provided if the calls are of reasonable quality.
I wonder when will calls be free as the rates had been tumbling since the introduction of VOIP in 1997. Perhaps with some ingenious advertising, maybe we will be able to talk all we want for nothing in the nearest future.

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Reality of China can be so Stressful

Public service in China needs a total overhaul. The current system can be so frustrating and stressful. While there are news that paint rosy and amazing stories about how fast their economy is growing but living here and putting up with the public service and the banking service can be such a nightmare. I am an overly patient and forgiving person and even that i broke my cool this morning while trying to get my temporary resident permit done at the police station in Shanghai, China. It was a total nightmare just to get a simple permit.

When i reached the station this morning, i had to endure rude police personnel handling my application. Not only they were rude, they were not helpful too. I thought police officers are supposedly to be guardian of the law and they are paid to protect individuals regardless of whether they are locals or foreigners.

Having filled up my application form, i was then told that i had failed to comply with rules that required foreigners who visit China for work or personal to report to the Police station within 24 hours of their arrival. How are we supposed to know this rule??? According to the police officer, she said that this is a common rule and we should had known as this information is published at the airport. I had been to China for 7 years and I had no knowledge of this rule. I explained of my lack of knowledge and the officer said I will have to pay the fine otherwise they wont issue me the permit.

The only consolation from the ordeal was the police officer had my fine reduced as it was my 1st offence. Since the amount wasnt a big one, i thought i could pay the fine and leave. After being issued the fine, i was told to go to a local bank to pay the fine as they dont accept cash payment for the fine at the police station. Here was the beginning of my 2nd ordeal, i was given the wrong direction to the bank and ended up walking and taxing to 4 banks before stumbling onto the correct one to pay my fine. The trip to each of the bank was horrible as most of the bank officers were so rude and unhelpful. The worst one was the last bank i went to when i was pushed around by 3 duty managers on the floor who had behaved like construction workers than bankers. I m not going to name the Bank's name but frankly, i dont even know how these individuals can be duty managers. Arent they supposed to be helping and directing their customers?? or instead they are some commanders directing their comrades? Even little kids have better manners.

This is Shanghai that i m refering to, a powerful financial city who pride about their stock exchange, their banks and their unique financial system. My conclusion from my experience at the police station and the banks, China has miles and miles to improve and buck up. I cant imagine how such poor service can propel their financial sector to greater height and simply cant understand the justification for the huge market cap of their Banks. Chinese Banks may have the largest market caps in the world but they simply have the poorest in customer's service by any standard. They are miles apart over the likes of Citibank, HSBC and Standard Chartered.

Olympics is a great event and I m sure its going to be the greatest show on earth having seen what they had built in Beijing. China has the best team to manage the Games and more importantly the full backing of their own people to make this a successful event. The Chinese should use the Olympics spirit to drive all initiatives not only for an event in August but to continously improving and driving the initiatives even after the main event. While the success of the Games is of great importance, the development of China towards the 21st century is even more paramount.

I m a great ambassador of China having promoted it everywhere i go, I just hope such poor service mindset will change in time to come and China could in turn be good testimony for other developing nation to follow. At the present, we all had no choice but to continue make do with the existing system until a whole new generation replaces the old one.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

PS3 vs Wii

Spoofs of famous Apple's famously smug "I'm a Mac/I'm a PC ads are everywhere but none are as funny as this one featuring PS3 vs Wii. I have played on both and my verdict is Wii! If you are considering buying a console, just head straight to the shop for a Wii.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Amazing Voice

13 year old Andrew Johnston looks so nervous at the beginning, that you might think he is just another ordinary participant. But you will be certainly amazed by his voice. The whole crowd did with a standing ovation. Believe me its really heartwarming and I m sure it must had helped Andrew regained some of the lost self confidence.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Nokia stocks took a heavy beating for failing to meet forecast

It was the week when Nokia admitted the first effects of the economic slowdown and its CEO warned that the industry worldwide would be hit by poor economic conditions. Shares in the Finnish handset giant fell 13% after it said it expected the global device market to shrink in value for the first time this year.

Nokia reported a net profit of $1.9 billion in the first three months of the year, 25% more than $1.6 billion in the same period in 2007 but below analyst forecasts. Revenue grew 28% to $20 billion from $15.6 billion a year earlier, with strong growth of handsets sales in Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

Markets had been expecting a better result: A Factset analyst poll cited by Dow Jones Newswires forecast a 42 % rise in profit.

Nokia's market share slipped from 40% in the October-to-December quarter to 39% in the first quarter this year. But it sold 115 million mobile devices in the first quarter, up 27 % from a year earlier, and its market share was 3 points higher than in the first quarter a year ago.

Source : Nokia PR

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Lost Generation

This EXCEPTIONALLY clever video depicts a completely different storyline when played in reverse vs forward.

This sort of content is almost painful to hear, especially with the perception that these are the feelings of the new generation… But then the video takes a dramatic twist. Check it out!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Nokia confirms 'iPhone killer' handset

Nokia has confirmed that it’s developing a touchscreen-equipped handset to take on the Apple iPhone codenamed 'Tube', and has shown off pictures of the upcoming phone to drooling onlookers. It supports Java something which the iPhone doesn’t yet officially support - and will allow photos to be uploaded to the web.

It has a pretty respectable list of features, starting with a great resolution touch screen, large screen, comes with a decent auto focus camera better than the iPhone but not as good as the regular Nseries devices.

It has a built in GPS and will support geo-tagging. All of this impressive features packed into a small and compact body similar to N81.

I m not sure whether its really an iPhone killer yet not until i have a test unit with me. I will provide another review once i have test drive it.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

The different food we all eat

Do you know whats the average family from each of the region spent on food per month and what kind of food they eat? Check out below.

The American Family
Average Expenditure for a week - $341.98

The Japanese Family
Average Expenditure for a week - $317.25

The Italian Family
Average Expenditure for a week - $260

The Kuwaitis Family
Average Expenditure for a week - $221.45

The Mexican Family
Average Expenditure for a week - $189.09

The Chinese Family
Average Expenditure for a week - $155.06

The Chad Family
Average Expenditure for a week - $1.23

Source: ©Peter Menzel

Friday, April 11, 2008

Apple's iTunes is the largest music retailer in the US

Apple had just confirmed that they had surpassed Walmart as the largest music retailer in the US. Last month Apple passed Best Buy to become the number two retailer in the the US in December. Now, Apple has ascended to the top of the charts, surpassing Wal-Mart for the first time ever.

The iTunes Store leads the pack with 19 percent, Wal-Mart (which includes the brick-and-mortar stores as well as its online properties) is second with 15 percent, and Best Buy is third with 13 percent. Amazon is a distant fourth at 6 percent, trailed by the likes of Borders, Circuit City, and Barnes & Noble. Rhapsody is in the tenth slot with 1 percent.

The fact that a digital-only retailer has ascended to the top of the sales charts is not unexpected, but it does demonstrate just how much the music landscape has changed since the beginning of the decade. There is a sharp increase in digital music downloads as physical CD sales are drying up fast. Overall, paid downloads accounted for almost 30 percent of all music sold in January, a number that would have been unthinkable just a few short years ago.

The buying patterns had changed drastically with digital downloads as customers are cherry picking what they like instead of buying the whole album and this is certainly not going to sound musical to the record labels who had been enjoying fat margin selling album in CD format. For 2007, that translated into a 10 percent decline in overall music spending according to the NPD Group, and it's a trend that's expected to continue. The future certainly looks very good for digital music distribution and watch out for direct delivery over the air to mobile phones.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

iPhone look-alike at CTIA

Love or hate it, the iPhone has set the bar by claiming the most sexiest smartphone. The touch navigation is the biggest leap forward, making the conventional keyboard a relic. The iPhone's icon display is now, well, iconic. Nearly every new mobile device has followed Apple's design lead, but most are just posers.

Check out the collection of iPhone-inspired devices below profiled at CTIA.

HTC's Intuitive

Samsung's Instinct

Sony Ericsson's Xperia X1


LG Voyager 2

LG Venus

HTC Touch Dual

Deeda Pi

Desay N8 PDA Phone

Meizu M8 Mini One


What had happened to design and innovation?? There all surely look alike. Dont you think device manufacturers should be a little more creative and think ahead instead of being me too??

Monday, April 7, 2008

Exclusive - How to make Viral Videos

This is probably one of the most simplified clip on rules to making great viral videos under 4 minutes. It was created by one of Techcrunch reader based on Dan Ackerman Greenberg’s The Secret Strategies Behind Many “Viral” Videos. This is a great summary of Dan's secret strategies.

Sunday, April 6, 2008


Whats happening to the dollar? Is it because prices are going up or the dollar are dropping like a stone. Check out the clip below and you will have a better understanding of whats happening to dollar in today's world.

Keeping your iPhone clean with sexy bikini babes

Friday, April 4, 2008

Get your Nokia N-Gage NOW

Nokia has released the official release of the highly anticipated N-Gage gaming software for NSeries. N-Gage 2.0 is supported on N95, N95 8GB, N81, N81 8GB and N82 with support for the N73, N93i and N93 coming soon. N-Gage is offering 5 titles with a free trial of each today and 14 titles marked coming soon.

If you have one of the supported phones, download them and check it out.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Best 3G Commercial featuring Adriana Lima

In this commercial, supermodel Adriana Lima strips down and does a sexy dance to showcase the video calling features the phone network TIM can offer.

She gets a video call from a guy, then puts the phone on the counter, runs away and comes back a few seconds later dressed up in a number of outfits, from an all black lacy number to a school girl uniform.

I knew it was a mobile commercial but for the entire clip, i had almost forgotten it being one and guess nobody did care what the commercial was.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

No Wonder so many are heading Russia to look for Brides

Dove’s Evolution ad is one of the most viral internet videos of all time. It’s been parodied again and this time using a Russian mail order bride theme.

In the original Dove ads, an ordinary-looking woman goes through a time-lapse photo-retouching session which ends in her looking like she could be featured in a fashion magazine spread.

The parody features a gorgeous Russian mail order bride, but instead of her digitally re-touched, the background is.

The ad aims to get the message across that some people—like Russian mail order brides—don’t need any fixing up; they’re so absolutely stunning, that it’s their surroundings that need to be spruced up in order to accommodate her.

For the original Dove commercial, please click on this link.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

China to test 3G

It looks like China’s 3G efforts are inching closer to reality. China's main mobile phone company will launch trial service of the homegrown Chinese next-generation standard this week, possibly moving the huge market closer to the long-anticipated rollout of new services.

Companies expect a multibillion-dollar wave of spending on equipment once China awards licenses for 3G service. But Beijing has delayed a decision while it tries to develop its own system to compete with global standards.

China Mobile will be issuing 20,000 phones and 5,000 data cards in Beijing and seven other cities which shall include Shanghai, Tianjin, Shenyang, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Xiamen and Qinhuangdao.

Forbes says the operator will give away 20,000 TD-SCDMA mobile numbers free and will give way the same number of handsets for nothing, with other subscribers offered discounts of 100 to 200 yuan on their phones.

China has the world's biggest population of mobile phone users, with some 550 million subscribers, and standards decisions could have a far-reaching impact on the equipment market.
Beijing has been trying to create its own standard since 2001, hoping to create opportunities for its telecoms companies and reduce the need to pay license fees to developers of the global standards, known as W-CDMA and cdma2000.