Here's a new post for you (on Android device deployments this year).
After nearly 2 years on here, I have decided to grow up and start using my very own domain. I will continue blogging at:
A lot of iPhones later, the industry now also has it black on white: Ease of use is the primary reason influencing the choice of a handset for users. Or so we are being told. It is not that surprising, is it? Here's the top answers users gave on what they look at when buying a new phone. It is taken from 1,500 interviews that were conducted for Nuance, a top sponsor of MEX (which is, you guessed it, a conference on Mobile User Experience).
- Ease of use (69.0%)
- Screen Size (61.4%)
- Coolness Factor (61.1%)
- Camera (60.8%)
- Range of Accessories (58.4%)
- Keyboard (58.1%)
- Battery Life (56.6%)
- Music Playback (50.9%)
I know this is a contentious headline but one could interpret the news that Qualcomm is opening its very own app store (which is probably the oldest one!) to any device on any platform on any carrier this way. The provider will open its Plaza service to non-BREW devices (BREW is proprietary to Qualcomm). This could be seen as an admission of defeat in the platform war, which it appears to be losing against GSM platforms.
It was only a question of time before the first carriers would release themselves from the iPhone-imposed stare and come out all action, and the biggest of them all (by sales), Vodafone, has now raised the curtains on its very own app store. It is the biggest app store to date: Vodafone has more than 289m customers who will - eventually - all be able to access the store (which makes it a cool 8x or so larger than Apple's). Unlike on Apple's App Store, you also do not need a credit card (which, however, you are likely to have anyway when you can afford an iPhone) whereas Vodafone, being a carrier, will bill to their customer's phone bills directly. Very, very cool, huh?
Here's another Carnival of the Mobilists, this week hosted by Ram Krishnan on his Mobile Broadband Blog. As usual, lots of goodies: a look at Blyk (check also my 2p here), Tomi Ahonen's reasoning on why the iPhone is better than a laptop, the wider implications of Facebook Connect (yes, there are phones are than the iPhone in this world!) and lots more. Go, go, read it now here!
Blyk, the ad-funded MVNO for 16-24 year-olds has been in the news lately a lot. The trigger was a piece by NMA according to which Blyk had announced it would scrap its consumer offering and concentrate on selling its technology/concept/both to other operators. This was quickly refuted by Blyk. The "final" position appears to being a little unclear.
Orange UK, one of the large carriers in the country with 15.8m mobile subscribers, has released its "Fifth Digital Media Index", containing a set of interesting numbers on the data uptake on their network, and it makes for intriguing reading!
- Music and video downloads increased both by 38%.
- Games only grew by 8% (but at least they grew; anecdotally, some other carriers recorded sometimes dramatic drops in take-up) to a total of 770,000 downloaded games, which equates to a market share of 23% of all UK games downloads (the total UK games market would hence be 3.35m downloads for the year with Orange claiming top spot). From the top 10 downloaded games in 2008, 8 were part of the carrier's embed programme, which shows - again - that users appear more comfortable if they can try it out before (embedded games normally are trial versions).
- Social network use over mobile increased by 129% in page impressions per month and 48% in unique users. The monthly average number of pages per user was 397. In terms of popularity of social networks, Orange's Mark Watt-Jones (@MWJ) fed us additional bits via the Twittersphere: Facebook dominates, Bebo is significant, MySpace less so and Twitter grows very quickly (what was the Oprah moment in the UK?)
- An average of 386,000 GB of data have been transferred via dongles and handsets per month.
- Mobile search grew by 120% with 45% of the results being "off-portal", i.e. outside Orange's domains.
- Good old SMS still looking good, too: 19% growth with 1.7bn sent every month.
Nokia's deal with Skype did not go down too favourably with German carriers T-Mobile and Vodafone, and there had been threats that they would drop the respective Nokia devices (including the long-awaited hero handset N97) from their device roadmaps. Today, T-Mobile provided some "clarification" on the issue: according to a spokesperson, T-Mobile apparently wants to ship the N97 but not with the Skype VoIP client installed ("it is up to us to decide what is on the device").
There are reports and there are reports. From the latter category, we are being enlightened with the latest growth predictions for Android and they come out at a whopping 900% for 2009, compared to "only" 79% for the iPhone. The report does not hide the fact that the calculatory basis may not be fully comparable as it is expanding from a low base.
The most excellent German blog Mobile Zeitgeist alerted me (in German) to a little battle that illustrates the pitfalls of creating the seamless user experience: Nokia appears to being in a tussle with (at least) the German arms of Vodafone and T-Mobile over the pre-installation of Skype clients on some of its forthcoming handset models (including the long-awaited iPhone competitor, N97).
This week's Carnival of the Mobilists, the weekly summary of the best and brightest from mobile blogs around the world, is being hosted by Tsahi Levent-Levi on his VoIP Survivor blog. You can read it here. This week brings you gems from some of the heavyweights, like Tomi Ahonen (on mobile data), Andrew Grill (looking at Google Latitude), Russell Buckley (on an SMS/MMS ad service that works) plus many, many more! Well worth a read - as always really!
Everyone's favourite phone accessory makers, Krusell of Sweden, have released their top-10 list of mobile phone sales, measured by sales of accessories, for April 2009. And here they are:
Nokia's interpretation of an app store will be Ovi, and it will launch later this month. This is a biggie since Nokia (according to its own numbers) still commands an imposing market share of - globally - 37%. True to its huge self, it now said it'll come out with all its guns blazing and kick its app store off with no less than 20,000 "items"! This is being compared to Apple's "few hundred" upon launch.