Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2009 - Happy New Year from ME

2008 has been a rather memorable and at the same time turbulent one. The biggest story of the year was the announcement of Microsoft's intent to acquire Yahoo. It would had been a great deal for Yahoo's shareholders but instead the offer was turned down with Yahoo deciding to go on their own. 

It didnt take too long before the Yahoo guys realised that they had rejected a deal that they will kick themselves forever. The financial crisis that had started in the mid of 2008 had almost turned any potential deals down the drain. Lehman's sudden demise had sent the global financial market into total chaos with Iceland, Belarus and Ukraine crawling to IMF for financial support. 

More than 19 US banks had collapsed since the beginning of the financial crisis with the US government having to step in to save AIG and recently approved an astronomical $700 billion to bail out troubled financial institutions so as to prevent further meltdown. Even the top 3 largest auto manufacturers in the US are forced to seek financial support from the government with the initial request being turned down at the House of Senate. 

2009 will surely be a difficult year as we now have to face the effect of the aftermath. None of us could predict the outcome of 2009 but one thing for sure, we will definitely head into 2009 with lots of optimism and just like in any bad times, they are going to be alot of losers among us and at the same time, they are going to be winners too. The trick is not to stay sideline and wait for recovery but to continue looking for what works regardless of whether its good or bad times. 

Happy New Year to all of us and may your coming year be nothing short of great. I wish you all the best and I would like to end the year with a special new year video clip below from Apple below. 

Monday, December 29, 2008

The Apple's Evolution

This three-minute video outlining the evolution of Apple over the years provides geeks with nostalgic materials.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Strap up when you are playing with your Nintendo Wii

There must be a reason why you are advised to strap up when playing with the Wii. I dont think you want to end up with a broken TV screen like that guy on the video. 

Friday, December 26, 2008

Internet Overtakes Newspapers as News Source for the 1st time

The internet, which emerged this year as a leading source for campaign news, has now surpassed all other media except television as a main source for national and international news. Currently, 40% say they get most of their news about national and international issues from the internet, up from just 24% in September 2007. 

For the first time in a Pew survey, more people say they rely mostly on the internet for news than cite newspapers (35%). Television continues to be cited most frequently as a main source for national and international news, at 70% but I m sure this is not going to be the case for a long time.

For young people, however, the internet now rivals television as a main source of national and international news. Nearly six-in-ten Americans younger than 30 (59%) say they get most of their national and international news online; an identical percentage cites television. In September 2007, twice as many young people said they relied mostly on television for news than mentioned the internet (68% vs. 34%).

The percentage of people younger than 30 citing television as a main news source has declined from 68% in September 2007 to 59% currently. This mirrors a trend seen earlier this year in campaign news consumption. 

As mobile devices become data-enabled, more and more people will be accessing news from their mobile terminals and soon we will reach a point where almost all news are consumed online. Its really not too far away from where we are now. I have for a long time not made any purchases on newspapers and its only a matter of time where i will soon get quality live streaming of mainstream news on my mobile. 

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy Holidays from ME

To all my loyal readers out there,

Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year. Best Wishes for 2009....

Monday, December 22, 2008

Mobile-originated IDD calls to overtake fixed line by 2009

International voice traffic will grow an estimated 12.2% to 385 billion minutes in 2008, driven mainly by mobile, according to TeleGeography. It forecasts that the number of mobile-originated IDD calls will overtake international fixed-line calls by 2009. Nearly one-third of international calls were placed from mobile phones in 2007, while 45% were mobile-terminated.

It used to be only a fraction of that back in 1997. It wont be long where most calls will be made out of mobile only network. It said mobile's growing share of international traffic was a result of subscriber growth in developing countries and the emergence of low-cost IDD calling plans.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Using sex to sell Jeans

You must had thought that they were about to get on with it right? The tv commercial ends up being about something other than the alluded first sexual experience, yet which still involves unbuttoning your jeans. Brilliant execution.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Google Maps for mobile expands to S60 and Window Mobile Phones

Google announced the launch of Google Maps for mobile 2.3 with Street View on Nokia S60 and Windows Mobile smartphones, expanding the application beyond its existing releases for the Android, BlackBerry, and iPhone platforms.

Street View offers users ground-level panoramic images and directions to help them better establish their location in an unfamiliar neighborhood. Check out this Google Maps for mobile demo video below.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

China confirms 3G license awards timetable

China has finally confirmed it will award 3G licenses to the country's three mobile operators early next year according to the Financial Times. Li Yizhong, China's minister for Industry and Information Technology, confirmed that market-leader China Mobile will receive a license based on TD-SCDMA, the country's homegrown 3G standard, second-placed China Unicom will receive a WCDMA license, and new mobile player China Telecom will be given a 3G license using CDMA2000 1xEV-DO technology. 

The licenses which will be awarded will surely billion of dollars in investments from the three operators and help stimulate the Chinese economy.  

The three operators had also reached an agreement on infrastructure sharing. The frame agreement is to be followed by provincial level agreements for leasing radio and core networks and sharing the cost of new network construction. The network-sharing policy to enforce so-called 'asymmetric regulation' was designed to allow China Unicom and China Telecom to compete more effectively with China Mobile, which currently controls around 70 percent of the market. 

According to the FT, the three operators have budgeted CNY297 billion (US$43.4 billion) in 3G-related capex over the next three years. The report noted that China Mobile was set to account for the biggest share of total investments with local equipment vendors such as Huawei and ZTE likely to secure the majority of the contracts. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Mobile revenue to hit $1 trillion in 2013

According to Informa Telecoms & Media, the global mobile subscriber base will surpass five billion in 21011 with a revenue hitting the $1 trillion mark by 2013. It took over 20 years to reach the three billion subscriber mark, with the next 1.9 billion net additions forecast in just six years. 

As such, total annual revenues derived from mobile operators will grow by over a third from $769 billion in 2007 to $1.03 trillion by 2013. Can you imagine by then we can almost reach anybody by the just 1 click. There was never a device in the history of mankind that had so much intimate and personal connection to us and it only took less than 20 years for more than half of the population on earth to have one. Pretty amazing huh...

Monday, December 15, 2008

Top 10 mobile brands ranked by value, China Mobile is No 1

China Mobile is the most valuable mobile operator brand in the industry with a worth of $30.79bn, according to new research published in the Mobile Communications International. Vodafone placed second, with a brand value of $22.13bn, while US carrier Verizon ranked third with $20.38bn. 

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Homosexual Datevertising

Bj√∂rn Borg’s ‘Love for All’, an online dating service, campaign is sure to cause a wee bit of controversy.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Could 2009 be the year for ANDROID

Google's foray into the mobile space is picking up significant traction and it looks like 2009 could be the year for Android. 

Late Tuesday, the Open Handset Alliance (OHA) announced the additional membership of 14 more companies: AKM Semiconductor, ARM, ASUSTek, Atheros Communications, Borqs, Ericsson, Garmin International, Huawei, Omron Software, Softbank Mobile, Sony Ericsson, Teleca, Toshiba and Vodafone.

With one Android device already available, and a second announced for January, the portfolio of Android-based handsets looks set to swell its ranks from early next year. In 2009, we can expect Android devices from HTC, Kogan, Motorola, Sony Ericsson, Kyocera, Asus, Garmin, Huawei, LG, Samsung and Toshiba.

With mobile broadband adoption exploding, and big screen handsets becoming popular, Google has also tweaked its mobile advertising options to better support the newest breed of mobile phone operating systems.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Gartner: Smartphone growth outlook declines

New Gartner figures published this week reveal that the global smartphone market recorded its weakest year-on-year growth in the third-quarter since the research firm began tracking the industry. The study found that worldwide sales reached 36.5 million units in the quarter, an 11.5 percent increase over the same period in 2007. Nokia retained its market-leading position with a 42.4 percent market share but saw sales decline 3 percent over the year. 

In the smartphone operating system (OS) market, Symbian commanded 49.8 percent of global sales to end users in the third quarter, the first time its market share has fallen below 50 percent. 

The study also found that strong sales of Apple's iPhone 3G in the quarter meant that its operating platform, Mac OS X, overtook Microsoft's Windows Mobile for the first time to claim the number three position in the global OS rankings (behind Symbian and RIM). It took Apple less than 2 years what Microsoft has been trying to do forever with Window's Mobile. Ever wonder why Microsoft is still in the mobile business?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

China Mobile developing its own proprietary operating system

According to Xinhua News Agency, China Mobile is working on its own proprietary mobile operating system known as the 'Ophone'. The Ophone is described as a deeply customised product that will embed a series of China Mobile subscriber services. The move is considered a strategy that will enhance China Mobile's standing in the mobile handset market and allow it to compete with existing handset manufacturers that focus on mobile Internet services. 

During his keynote session at this year's GSMA Mobile Asia Congress, Wang Jianzhou, chairman and chief executive officer of China Mobile, hinted that the operator is also looking at setting up its own application store in a similar vein to Apple's AppStore and China Mobile will be encouraging content providers to offer their own apps via their shop. 

Looks like most of the handset manufacturers can kiss their app store strategy good bye for the chinese market. 

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

10,000 App Store apps released to date

Over 10,000 iPhone applications have been released on Apple's US content store. Two services that track the App Store, AppShopper and 148Apps say the store is dominated by games and that the majority of services are free. 

Highlight findings include:

- Games are the leading category, accounting for one in four apps.

- $0.99 is the most common price point.

- One in four applications are free.

- The most expensive app is iRa by Lextech Labs for $899.99. It's a CCTV surveillance system.

- It would cost just over $30,000 to buy everything on the App Store catalogue.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Demo on Video of Nokia's new N97

Finnish handset vendor Nokia took the fight to Apple with the unveiling of its latest flagship touchscreen device, the N97 which will be released next year.

Packing a 3.5" full touchscreen display and a slide out QWERTY keyboard, Nokia's latest offering seeks to outdo the iPhone with an arsenal of hardware.

The N97 features 32GB of on board memory, which is further expandable with a 16GB microSD card. The camera is 5 megapixels, fitted with Carl Zeiss optics, while the display can handle 16:9 widescreen media and DVD quality video capture.

The internet and multimedia are the focus of the software package, which naturally features Nokia's Ovi platform for content sharing, a full fledged music and media player including support for the Nokia Music Store and Adobe Flash player.

Connectivity is via HSDPA and wifi, with integrated A-GPS offering 'social location' ('So-Lo') functionality for social networking.

The N97 is expected to begin shipping in the first half of 2009 at an estimated retail price of Euro 550 before taxes or subsidies.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Another crazy Japanese Show

The idea is simple, try not to laugh.... believe me its hard as this guy is really super hilarious. 

Friday, December 5, 2008

Android is in hot demand

Taiwanese handset manufacturer HTC (High Tech Computer) has almost doubled its projected shipments for its G1's handset Android-based operating system. By the end of 2008,  HTC expects to shift 1 million units of the G1, available on T-Mobile networks in the US and Europe. This is up from earlier projections of 600,000.

The device, which is a showcase for Google's Open Handset Alliance (OHA) mobile operating platform, only launched in the US in late October, and hitting the other markets in early 2009. 

I have the opportunity to be playing around with the G1 recently and I must admit the phone is very responsive and has a reasonably good UI. All you need is a Google account to sync and you are ready to go. One problem though, a little bulky and the phone is definitely not stylish. 

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The New BlackBerry Storm Ad

Judging by the consistent buzz that the BlackBerry Storm has been receiving for the past couple of months, RIM might just have a big winner on its hands. Take a look at the new Storm Ad and see how it reduces the complexities of smart phones keeping it simple and ease of use of the new Storm phone.

Perhaps this new model will give some competition to the super successful iPhone. 

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Atlantic Records digital revenues surpass CDs

More than half of Atlantic Records music sales in the U.S. now derive from digital products including iTunes downloads and ringtones, the first time a major label's digital revenues have surpassed traditional media formats. 

Atlantic, a unit of Warner Music Group reports digital sales now account for 51 percent of revenues. Despite Atlantic's digital surge, the music industry has largely given up on hopes that digital revenues would eventually offset the declining sales of physical media. Market analysis firm Forrester Research estimates music sales in the U.S. will slump to $9.2 billion in 2013 from $10.1 billion this year. Its tough time ahead for the record labels and gone were the rosy days when they were making heaps of money. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Facebook acquiring Twitter?

More crazy money talk was going around in the world of social networking recently as it rumored that Facebook has been eyeing up Twitter as a potential acquisition.

What crazy money are we talking about? Anything up to $500m according to some reports. Around this time last year, Facebook was apparently valued at around $15bn, after Microsoft paid out $240m for a 1.6 per cent stake in the site. But the problem with these valuations is that there is little substance to them, as well as the fact they are tied to services that don't make any money yet and this is certainly not a good time for talking about crazy money acquisition when the whole US banking systems are in such a big mess. Just because both are hot web 2.0 companies doesn't mean they have to go to bed together. Frankly i dont think how they will fit. What do you think?

Monday, December 1, 2008

Nokia to become a Mobile Virtual Network Operator in Japan in 2009

According to a Japanese daily Yomiuri Shimbun recently, Nokia plans to launch a mobile phone service in Japan next spring. Nokia is expected to use lines owned by Japan's biggest mobile phone carrier, NTT Docomo, under an arrangement called mobile virtual network operator, the paper said.

According to Yomiuri, Nokia will first offer the service with high-end models like the N96 to establish a strong brand. 

With 1% market share in Japan and a competitive Japanese market, I m not sure what is Nokia strategy behind becoming a MVNO. I m sure the intent is to sell handsets and capturing a bigger market share but do you need to become a provider to sell more handsets? With so many MVNO faltering every where in the world, Nokia is certainly diving into an area with much complexities.