Samsung Goes Green (or Blue?)

Ahead of the Mobile World Congress, Samsung announced a super-cool device. Cool because it has the word "blue" in its name (it's name is "Blue Earth")? Or because it's all touchscreeny-feely? No! Because it's very green: 

It's solar-powered, it is made from recycled plastics (water bottles, just like the Motorola one I blogged about recently). Packaging? Recycled paper. And then it also has a couple of sweet little gadgets: you can for instance see how much CO2 you saved by using the in-built pedometer. Now, this (not the pedometer, the phone) is something rather cool! 

I will maintain - again - though that the question remains why they then do not do this kind of thing across all their products? In particular a company of Samsung's size and might could surely make a difference if this would not only concern one handset but their entire product portfolio. Come on, guys!

Top 10 Smartphone Games & Apps 2008

Smartphone content vendor Handango releases a smartphone "yardstick" every year containing the top sellers from data in their store. Anecdotally, smartphone apps are more often sold via direct stores (rather than operator decks) than "normal" (not smart?) phones, owing of course to the better connectability (not necessarily connectivity) of high-end phones: input mechanisms (Querty, touchscreen, better D-pads), almost always 3G phones, etc make for a more satisfying user experience (try inputting a web URL via a basic phone keypad... painful!).

They had just under 10,000 apps on offer (spread across Blackberry, Windows Mobile [pro and standard], Palm, Symbian and Android). The average price point was a rather healthy $19, and users downloaded 1.12 apps on average.

Handango also says that games rose as part of overall "top category" sales (whatever that is) from 11% in 2007 to 19% in 2008. This is encouraging. Even so, there is no game amongst their overall best-sellers for 2008. Here's the list (price points at the end of each line):
1. Spb Mobile Shell 2.1.4 (today screen plug-in) - $29.95
2. MobiTV (streaming television) - $9.99/month
3. Ringtone Megaplex (ringtones) - $19.95
4. Spb Backup 2.0.1 (file backup) - $24.95
5. Spb Pocket Plus 4.0.2 (today screen plug-in) - $29.95
6. Pocket Informant 8 (today screen plug-in) - $29.95
7. Spb Phone Suite 1.3 (phone features) - $19.95
8. VoiceControl (voice command) - $6.00
9. Colour Your Trackball (trackball customizer) - $4.95
10. eWallet (Professional Edition) (PIM manager) - $29.95

The top 10 games across platforms for smartphones is this:
1. Spb Brain Evolution 1.2 (puzzle game)
2. Aces Texas Hold'em® - No Limit (card game)
3. TETRIS (puzzle game)
4. Guitar Hero 3 Mobile (music game)
5. Bejeweled (puzzle game)
6. Aces Solitaire Pack (card game)
7. The Sims 2 (strategy game)
8. Jewelrumble 2 (puzzle game)9. Sudoku Puzzle Pack (puzzle game)
10. Solitaire Buddy Gold (card game)
And here's a chart of the game categories - and, no, still no first-person-shooters in the top 10:
A noteworthy bit in the "Yardstick" is that Android already makes up for 10% of their sales (or so would the below graphic tell us). 
From this, it also occurs that Handango does not consider the iPhone to being very smart. Hm... Well, it's probably that everyone who buys content on that one will buy not buy it from Handango but through the AppStore. OK then...