Thursday, April 30, 2009

PC Maker Acer Launches its Mobile Phone Line

Acer launched a complete line of smartphones for the Asia-Pacific region. With its five new models, the company professes lofty ambitions of becoming one of the top five smartphone vendors in the world within the next three years.

Prices will range between $400 and $530. In all, five models will be unveiled in the first half of this year. The launch came only two months after the company said it would enter into the mobile phone market in February at an industry event in Barcelona.

Nokia leads the market for smartphones, followed by Research in Motion (RIM), and finally Apple. Other laptop makers are joining the fray with Toshiba already manufacturing handsets, and rumors that Dell is preparing to launch its own line in the near future. I wonder how many more companies will join the bandwagon. Its a tough business and most will find out later that making money in this segment isnt going to be an easy one.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Top 10 Social Networking Sites in China

CR-Nielsen has published the latest statistics of the most popular social networking services websites in China with topping the ranking list by weekly independent visits of 14 million people.

1. - 14 million unique users visit per week
2. - 9.5 million
3. - 7 million
4. - 3.5 million
5. - 2 million
6. - 1 million
7. - 1 million
8. - 1 million
9. - 900k - 800k

Tencent's SNS website Q-zone, which claims to have over 200 million users every month is not included in the top ten SNS websites in China.

Though there are a large number of SNS websites in China, SNS providers from the United States are not able to operate dominantly in the Chinese market due to the culture and language differences and the limits of system and regulations.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Google's new Profile Search

Google had just posted a new feature which enable users to search and find profiles of anybody on Google provided if that person had his google profile set up properly (see above - a profile of me). Google recently upgraded their profile features but the company is now investing heavily in making profiles a more integrated part of search. 

It’s a subtle change but one that could make a massive difference. Right now Facebook has a dominant position when it comes to people search. That position is so dominant that they actually rival Google when it comes to searching for people. Facebook provides additional value over Google by finding people based on how close you are to them in the social graph among a number of other factors.

The new initiative will turn Google into a more effective profile aggregator. By doing so, the company could theoretically continue their pursuit of “out opening” Facebook despite the social network’s continued ability to attract almost a million users a day. While it’s still too early to determine how this will impact the battle to be the leader of the social web, Google is making it clear that they aren’t holding back, willing to use even their most coveted real-estate to fight the battle: Google search results.

Monday, April 27, 2009

China Mobile to launch app store by end of 2009

China Mobile will be launching an application service like Apple Inc.'s App Store by the end of this year as it rolls out its 3G network. Independent developers and companies will be allowed to upload applications to sell in the store, which will be called the Mobile Market.

The Mobile Market was a sticking point in negotiations between China Mobile and Apple Inc. over the terms under which the iPhone would be made available in China. Apple opposed competition for its App Store, but China Mobile wanted to be able to offer iPhone apps in its Mobile Market. Apple is believed to be in negotiations with China Unicom and its quite certain that China Unicom will make the official announcement soon.

Life on the Fast Lane at the Shanghai Auto Show 2009

The Shanghai Auto show is taking place again at the Shanghai Expo Center some 20 min walk from the Long Yang Subway station, half hour drive from the city and almost an hour from where i live (courtesy to Simon Ma, my brother who gave me a ride and a special VIP treat from Porsche). We managed to bypass all securities, check points, the sea of people and straight into Porsche den, which is opposite Cherry booth, a local giant car manfacturer.

The 1st car we checked out was the new Porsche Panamera, the new Porsche Sedan ever made and China has the privilege of being the 1st country to launch it thanks to its fast growing economy and also its ever growing car industry. The China market beckons as a bright beacon for global automakers floundering in other choppy vehicle markets hit hard by the global financial crisis.

First-quarter vehicle sales in China grew by 3.8 percent year-on-year to 2.68 million units, enabling the country to outstrip the US as the world's biggest vehicle market according to latest industry data. China's overall auto market may grow by 6 percent this year while the luxury segment should do double digit growth. Now you would understand why some 900 models are being paraded here at the car show and all the manufacturers are bringing their finest work of art and technology to cater for the hungry Chinese customers.

The Auto Show has made so much improvements from what was previously a small event. I first visited the Auto show in 2007 and in comparison to what its now, its huge and its almost impossible to see everything within a day. Because we didnt have much time, what we did was we zoomed in to check out only the best in class ie, Porsche, Mercedes Benz (which is quite boring), Ferrari and Maserati.

To cut the story short, with so much to explore, i fell in love with the latest Porsche Panamera, the car is simply awesome. The minute i stepped into the driver seat and put my hands on the steering wheel, the feel is simply unbelievable. The price is over RMB 2 million (alot goes to the government coffers as tax) depending on the specs and finishing. In comparison to Ferrari, the Panamera is a whole lot cheaper and more importantly its a real value for money and very practical. Its really a "driver" car and it will only be made available by the end of the year and guess what, according to the sales guy, they had already took orders of over 30 Panamera up until yesterday. What recession are we talking about?? You simply cant feel it here.

While i was in love with the Panamera, i guess the price is a little steep for me, i guess reality kicks it after a while and I had to look at something more affordable. At under RMB 1 million, the Porsche Cayenne looks more realistic. Its a great car with a good feel too. While its no match for the Panamera, its a practical for a family man like me. My wife, Fionne loves it too and she was trying hard to hold my fever and ask me to re-think the idea of buying one. Frankly, i m still having the Cayenne hang over. You will love it too. Check out some of the pictures that i had included and enjoy it.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Samsung Mobile shine despite overall profit plummet

1Q2009 mobile revs up 14 per cent as vendors's overall profits fall by 72 per cent.
Samsung's revenue from mobile hit 6.94 trillion Won in 1Q2009, up from 6.09 trillion Won in Q42008. All other divisions, except for telecomms equipment, made a loss. Worst hit were memory and digital appliances, down 21 per cent and 23 per cent respectively.

Samsung's profit margin on mobile was 11 per cent, slightly higher than Nokia’s 10.4 per cent and LG's 6.7 per cent. Samsung was the only one of the top four handset makers to report an earnings increase for the division. Sony Ericsson last week reported a loss.

The company has launched a number of successful touchscreen devices, in particular the Tocco and Omnia series. It is second behind Nokia in global market share and is targeting 20 per cent share this year.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

App Store downloads pass one-billion mark

According to the counter on the front page of the App Store, Apple passed the one billion mark just before two o’clock today. Whoever won the title of billionth download will be making off like a bandit: The Cupertino company will be contacting them to deliver a 17″ MacBook Pro, a 32GB iPod touch, a Time Capsule, and an iTunes Gift Certificate worth $10,000.

Reaching a billion downloads so quickly is impressive: the App Store has only been open since July 10 of last year. That means it’s averaged 3.5 million app downloads a day, a rate of adoption many other services could only dream of. If we divide the total number of apps by the 30 million iPod/iTouch devices in use (the number Apple gave us in March), then users are downloading an average of 33 applications each.

It’s really hard to judge App Store revenue. Apple doesn’t generally disclose such information, however, it’s not too hard to imagine the company is making tens of millions of dollars per month off the App Store based on what Steve Jobs shared with us about its initial successes last August.

And to think this was a market that almost went untapped. Its amazing how Apple has revolutionise the whole business of mobile device, mobile internet and now mobile apps. 

Friday, April 24, 2009

Apple sells 3.8m iPhones in 1st quarter 2009

iPhone sales drives Apple to unexpectedly successful quarterly results in the face of tight economic times. Net profit reached $1.21 billion during the three months to March 28th, a notable rise from the $1.05 billion attained in the same three-month period last year.

Sales were also uncharacteristically up for a sector looking down, jumping 8.7 per cent to hit $8.16 billion. iPhone sold more than 3.79 million units worldwide in the first three months of the year; a 123 per cent increase on 2008. iPhone revenues hit $2.2 billion for the quarter, while Apple Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook attributed the devices’ success to strong consumer interest in downloading applications.

The sum of the iPhone and iPod touch is now about 37 million units thus providing an enormous platform for developers. It unleashes a whole new level of innovation that keeps Apple years ahead of everyone else. Well done Apple.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

What is the best method to build an opt-in database?

The best way to build a large opt-in database is to provide a text message sweepstakes or text-to-win promotion. People love to win things and will participate if given the chance. Then, with their opt-in permission, you can market to this database of potential consumers via broadcast text messages.

Text message sweepstakes are a great way to build an opt-in database, but you should be aware of the legal issues surrounding a mobile marketing contest.

The first thing to understand is what a “game of skill” is versus a “game of chance.” A game of skill, if structured properly, is legal in all states if the ultimate winner is selected based on his or her skill rather than chance.

In contrast, a game of chance is considered an illegal lottery in all states unless one of the following elements is removed:

1. prize
2. chance
3. consideration

In most cases, the obvious element to remove is “consideration.” Consideration is the payment of some fee to enter a text message sweepstakes. Providing an alternate form of entry that does not require the entrant to make a payment or sign up to receive goods or services effectively eliminates the consideration element from a sweepstakes promotion.

Those who offer text message sweepstakes should refrain from using the word “free” in their advertising. In addition, using the words “winner” or “guaranteed winner” can get you into trouble and comment regulatory procedings against your company.

Please note that this is only a brief overview of the many regulations surrounding the provision of text message sweepstakes. You should obtain legal guidance from a professional with experience in this category prior to launching a mobile marketing game of chance or text message sweepstakes. Again, this is not intended to provide legal advice and the rules may differ from country to country. 

But whatever it maybe, if you are considering building a large opt-in database, a large scale text message sweepstakes or text-to-win promotion is certainly a great way to achieve this objective.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Competition for ad agencies aim to educate mobile advertising

Vodacom Mobile Media has launched the Vodacom Mobile Advertising (MAD) Challenge, specifically designed to educate, inform and entertain advertising and media agencies about the power of mobile advertising through interaction with mobile platforms and services.

Participants register to play and over the campaign period take part in a series of missions that simultaneously educate them about the various mobile advertising propositions offered by Vodacom and at the same time demystify the jargon.

Players compete for a range of exciting prizes, including iPhones, idyllic holidays in Mauritius and Zanzibar as well as mobile media spend.

For more information, and to register to participate, go to the website

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Free Mobile Marketing How-To Guide

Download a free Mobile Marketing How-To Guide courtesy of Lyris.

• In this economy are you doing everything you can to mitigate risk and optimize ROI?
• Are you reaching the highest number of new customers possible?
• Do you need a new, proven way to acquire and retain customers?

Instead of wondering if mobile marketing is something you can do, find out how to do it and how to optimize the email marketing you’re already doing. Download a free Mobile Marketing How-To Guide now here.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

How about stimulating the economy with $99.90

Forget the trillions needed to be spent to stimulate the economy, try $99.90. German underwear brand, Blush Lingerie, shows that you don’t have to spend billions and trillions of dollars on a stimulus package. You can stimulate with just $99.90 with a lingerie set from their store.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Apple's App store almost topping 1 billion downloads

Apple iPhone and iPod touch users have downloaded nearly a billion apps from the company's app store. The App store which was launched in July last year, attracted 10 million downloads in its first week of operation. 

The success of the store has drive Nokia, Microsoft, Blackberry, Android, and Palm all announcing competing app stores of their own, even China Mobile has already embarked on similar trail here. 

As of now, around 948 million apps had been downloaded and bloggers estimate that at the rate the counter is moving, the 1 billionth mark will only be a few days away from now. 

Apple is offering up a single $13,000 prize at the time of the billionth download, including $10,000 worth of iTunes credit and a MacBook Pro.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Super Porsche Mobile Phone

The new Porsche Design P9522 phone was officially released recently. It is gorgeous, with an easy-to-understand touchscreen interface and at $800, this might be a Porsche most can afford.

You’ll feel like a super-sleuth when you unlock the P9522 via fingerprint scanner. The phone comes with integrated GPS and WiFi support, and it also has a 5-megapixel camera with auto-focus. The LED flash can stand in as a flashlight.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Google offers free music downloads in China

Google China has begun offering links to free music downloads, the first time it has done so anywhere in the world.

Google China said it had hooked up with music giants Sony BMG, EMI, Universal and Warner, among others, to provide the legal download service and will share ad revenue with them. 

The music search links to the website, which now contains 350,000 songs and will rise to more than 1 million in the coming months.

The new service is an effort by Google to make up ground on market leader Baidu, which has 62% of mainland China’s online search market, compared to Google’s 28% market share, according to Analysys International.

Rival Baidu provides links to unauthorized music downloads, claiming it is not enabling them but merely answering search queries. Foreign music labels have launched legal action against the firm. The cases are still pending.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Skype releases iPhone application on App Store

Skype has released an application for iPhones that will allow users to make free phone calls over the internet. The application can be downloaded from the App Store. The service, which works over Wi-Fi, will be free between Skype users and calls to other landlines and mobiles will cost less than normal network rates. 

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Demo - BlackBerry App

Mobile Burn checks out the new BlackBerry app world. A demo of the new BlackBerry App World being run for the first time on a BlackBerry Curve 8900 from T-Mobile USA.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Never to miss a Call, it can cost you Millions

A dramatic saga of immigration, rise to fame and fortune, beautiful women and one missed call that costs a young guy millions of dollars.

That is the story of this tv commercial that promotes a phone calling service by Fonecta, Finland. The service can tell you who that missed call was from.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Chinese Social Networks ‘Virtually’ Out-Earn Facebook And MySpace

Social networks are taking off in China. George Godula. David Li, and Richard Yu explores how Chinese social networks are pursuing different business models than their American counterparts, relying more on micropayments and the sale of virtual goods

George Godula is the founder of Web2Asia, an East Asian incubator and also a consultancy for Western startups trying to enter markets in China, Japan and Korea. David Li is a developer of social networking applications such as Growing Gifts, and he also was the developer of OnChat, an early in-browser graphical avatar chat system. Richard Yu is a Seattle native living in China, where he consults for Shanghai-based web startups while writing his blog.

Skype is world's largest international voice carrier

Who could had imagined 10 years ago that the largest international long distance company is a company that resides online. According to Telegeography, Skype became the largest long-distance phone company in 2008, delivering 8% of all international traffic. In total, 417 billion minutes worth of long distance calls were made in 2008, up 12% from 2007, two points lower than in 2007, where minutes grew 14%.

By contrast, international Skype traffic grew 41% last year to 33 billion minutes. Around a quarter ie, 8.4 billion of these minutes were from Skype's paid-for SkypeOut service generating revenue for wholesale international carriers.

Its a amazing result for a company that has only been around for slightly over 6 years at the expense of the traditional international long distance losing lots of revenue and many will go out of business in the nearest future. 

Against the growth in traffic, international long distance revenues have been mainly flat due to declining call prices. The average price for an international call has fallen by over 80% in the last 15 years, and declined 7% in 2007. International long distance traffic grew from 71.7 billion minutes in 1997 to 343 billion minutes in 2007.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Cool Statement

The Rapping Flight Attendant From Southwest Airlines

EMBED-The Rapping Flight Attendant - Watch more free videos

The Rapping Flight Attendant is a viral video climbing the charts. If you’ve ever flown with an airline like Southwest (or West Jet, if you’re in Canada), then you know the type of in-flight entertainment the cabin crew occasionally dish out for passengers.

What a great way to get the attention of everybody instead of the old boring announcement over the air. Well done SouthWest!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Ulysse Nardin Chairman Kinetic Hybrid Mobile Phone

Known for their watchmaking, the Ulysse Nardin has the mechanical intricacy you would expect along with a 2.8-inch multitouch screen, 5-megapixel camera, biometric fingerprint unlocking, WiFi and an email browser. It also provides supplemental power into the battery by harvesting kinetic energy from the revolving rotor on the back. No pricing at this point of time but you can be rest assured that its going to be way above what most can afford for a mobile phone. 

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Free Report - Google mobile adwords/ adsense / search marketing

The guys at mippin have released a free report which goes into a lot of detail about their experiences using google mobile ad words. Mippin cover a load of stuff including:|

Mobile Ad Campaign Components
Quality Score on Mobile
Maximising Relevance in Mobile Ads
Mobile Traffic - Driving Volume
Mobile Ad Creative
Mobile Ad Campaign Objectives
Mobile Control Testing

If you're doing any kind of mobile affiliate marketing or building a mobile internet service this is essential reading.

You can download the report here.