Sunday, May 04, 2008
In case you needed any proof that the No.1 activity on Facebook is goofing off, the chart above from Flowing Data shows the number of applications by category. About half of the 23, 160 applications on Facebook fall into the “Just for Fun” or “Gaming” categories. “Dating” and “Chat” are also high up the list. “Money,” “Classifieds,” and “File Sharing” are the least popular.
Facebook is a marketplace of sorts. It stands to reason that application developers are chasing the categories where they are a seeing the most usage. No surprises here, but a chart like this really drives the point home.
Friday, May 02, 2008
Is e Open Screen Project the answer to content compatibility problems on mobiles ?
Adobe conjures up a mobile alliance for Flash
02/05/2008 - by Ian Scales, Telecom TV
Another twist in the battle for the multimedia mobile this week - Adobe plans to push its next generation Flash Lite media player as the answer to content compatibility problems on mobiles.
It has announced an alliance, called the Open Screen Project, with mobile handset and operating system vendors aimed at pushing its version of mobile Web surfing over multiple mobile platforms. The new player will be launched by mid-2009 and the current list of alliance backers include Arm (chip maker), Intel, LG, Marvell, Motorola, Nokia, NTT DoCoMo, Qualcomm, Samsung, Sony and Ericsson (and Sony Ericsson).
There's no doubt that Adobe is addressing a very real problem here. Mobile operator executives continually bemoan the proliferation of mobile operating systems - Arun Sarin of Vodafone seems to mention it every time he gets up to speak (which must be quite tiring for his family) - on the basis that it will become impossible to support more than a handful. Two or three with one dominant would probably be the best outcome.
One consequence of that proliferation (even the 'open' standards are competing) is that software developers and applications vendors might be more inclined to go 'up' a layer or two (where they can) and think in terms of Software as a Service (SaaS) instead of old-fashioned 'out-of-box' applications. Such an approach 'simply' requires a standard browser (or some sort of client) present on the phone and so should, in theory, be able to operate more independently of the underlying mobile operating system.
That would intercept the broader SaaS trend, which everyone seems to think is happening anyway, and it would elide with the pressing need to make animated content compatible to simplify and expand the market for content providers (further emphasising the importance of the browser as a compatibility-enabler, as it is/was on the wired Internet)
But of course there are a new set of compatibility problems on the browser front - support for video and animated content in bandwidth, battery and screen-size-constrained mobile market being one of them.
All that is tackled by the media player/content development environment and, as the leading player in that area, Adobe could have some real traction if it's able to repeat the success it has enjoyed with Flash on the wired Web.
There are some encouraging signs: in addition to the usual gallery of technology pushers there are a couple of heavy-weight content company supporters: BBC and MTV with more promised.
The stubborn stop-out is Apple, which naturally has its own ideas. Still, as the industry and media seem continually to forget, Apple is a tiny player in this market still. Nokia sells more phones before breakfast than Apple sells all week.
Gathering tut-tuts in May: AT&T finally flicks on its mobileTV
02/05/2008 - by Andrew Beutmueller, Telecom TV
ATT will beam its new mobile TV service onto American handset screens this Sunday, May 4. It's a service a long time coming considering it is a 'me too' rival to Verizon’s identical Qualcomm-powered MediaFLO TV offering called VCAST, on phones since mid-2007.
For the privilege of squinting at the programming that will be tele-broadcast by ATT, users will pay US$15 per month for 10 channels, including CBS, Comedy Central, Fox Mobile, MTV, NBC and Nickelodeon. Not a bad price, but then users must factor the cost of the TV-enabled phone, which in the case of both operators runs to US$300.00 subsidized by a two-year hitch.
Most analysts agree that it will be sport and news programming that will be paying the bills in the 58 markets where the service will be offered. Verizon, by the way, has been surprisingly quiet about its subscriber numbers since its own mobileTV launch – if demand had been anything north of reasonable you can bet the company would have crowed its numbers from the rooftops.
What about the delay? ATT spokesperson Fletcher Cook told the Associated Press that the company "wanted to be sure that we delivered an unmatched, high-quality offering to as many of our customers as possible." They always say things like that.
Thursday, May 01, 2008
Stupendous performance again and well on the way to the 500 mn subscriber target by 2010
India Crosses 10M Mobile Adds in March
April30, 2008, Unstrung
India's mobile operators had a banner month in March, crossing the 10 million mark for monthly new customer additions. The country's 12 wireless operators signed up a record 10.16 million new subscribers in March, bringing the total customer base to 261.09 million.
That made India the second largest wireless market in the world, overtaking the U.S. with its 258 million subscribers. China is by far the largest market, with a subscriber base of 574.63 million by the end of March.
India had 165.11 million wireless subscribers a year ago, and in 2007 it ranked as the country with the second largest growth in mobile subscribers after China, according to Light Reading's report on the fastest growing emerging markets newly published today: Top 10 Emerging Mobile Markets 2007.
Bharti Airtel Ltd., India's largest mobile provider, crossed the 60 million subscriber mark in March to reach 61.98 million. Vodafone Essar , at 44.13 million, is snapping at the heels of the second largest provider, Reliance Communications Ltd. (RCom) , which ended the month with 45.79 million.
Business is picking up again at state-owned carrier Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. (BSNL) , which added 1.89 million subscribers. BSNL’s subscriber growth has been hit by delays in procuring GSM equipment to expand its network capacity, falling to a few hundred thousand, but the carrier seems to have found a temporary fix.
Indian operators also added 240,000 fixed-line subscribers for a total of 39.42 million -- giving the country 300.51 million overall telephone connections.