Top 10 Mobile Phones in February 2009

Here's the list of the 10 best-selling phones (judged by accessory sales) as compiled by Krusell, our Swedish holster-maker friends. I will not comment further on the sense or nonsense of this information but reference what I said previously about it.

So without any further ado, here's the list (in brackets the ranking from the previous month):

1. (1) Samsung SGH-i900/i910 Omnia
2. (2) HTC Touch HD
3. (5) Nokia 6300
4. (3) Nokia E51
5. (4) Blackberry Storm
6. (8) Nokia E71
7. (6) Nokia 3109
8. (-) Nokia 5800
9. (7) Sony Ericsson X1 Xperia
10. (-) Nokia 3120

The most noteworthy new entry is the Nokia 5800 (XpressMusic), and the holster-maker's CEO reckons it would shake up the top 3 next month. After Nokia's most recent US launch disaster (see even more poignantly here) for the device, this will sadly but almost certainly not be driven by US sales though...

And as for the remainder: I remain skeptical about the measure (holsters). Other surveys (based on sales, like Sound-Scan used to do for CDs) show VERY different results.

Blackberry App World Gets a Pal

Blackberry Maker RIM launched a holding site ahead of the launch of its Blackberry App World (the equivalent to Apple's AppStore), and it had a little surprise in hand: billing appears to be handled via PayPal (the fine print does not need translation: "to be able to purchase applications from BlackBerry App World, a PayPal Account is required").

This is two things: a) a massive win for PayPal and b) and nice move from Blackberry because PayPal is one of the simpler mechanisms, which will feel, like, so totally easy to many users (everyone who has tried to download applications and pay via credit card on their Blackberry will know how onerous it is/was).

I am thrilled to see this coming on. Apple has had 9 months free reign, and it's about time that its competitors step up and bring commercial stores out. Blackberry will be fantastically suited as - due to e-mail having been its central USP - its users traditionally are on data plans anyway, and will therefore be less reluctant to dig in properly.

MEF's Crystal Ball

Industry body MEF had put out its top 10 predictions for the year a few weeks ago (inexplicably missed by me; well it was somewhere around Mobile World Congress, so probably at least excusable), which they gathered from their members and deep discussions around this. They believe that 2009 - recession and all - will be the year in which mobile entertainment (if you count everything in, apparently a $25bn industry) will start to deliver returns.

So now, without any further ado, here are the predictions:
  • The ‘iPhone effect' -Mobile applications have emerged as a new content category and the mobile internet will finally come of age
  • Greater value and transparency for consumers will help sustain demand in 2009
  • Some delay in the proliferation of mobile advertising
  • Telcos begin to acts as enablers for the Entertainment industry with services such as billing, authentication and zero tariff data
  • The emerging dominance of services that operate at a multi-platform level
  • The rise of ring back tones
  • Social networking becomes an important driver of mobile entertainment consumption
  • 2009 will be the year that mobile video really takes off
  • Emerging economies will become an increasingly important driver for mobile entertainment worldwide
  • A proliferation of touch screen devices drives discoverability and content usage
Now, now. I am glad to see that a lot of this ties in with "what I have been saying all along"... ;-) But let's have a closer look at a few of the points:

The iPhone effect. Yes, I have elaborated on this plenty a time, so I will only refer to previous posts, for instance here, here and here.

"Some" delays in mobile advertising. Also: dealt with on numerous occasions, and a while ago, too (see here and here)...

And now for a whole bunch of stuff that can, I believe, be grouped, namely greater (perceived?) value to consumers and carriers moving into smart-pipe models. The jury is still out on this, isn't it? Although it has to be said that there seems to be a learning curve indeed. But is this from new-found wisdom or because of the fruity pain from the guys in Cupertino?

Another group: multi-platform services and social networking. I would class the latter as the shining beacon of the former: social networks do one thing. They connect the dots, they are the switchboards of the digital life. And since users per se do not really care on which screen this happens, a lot of them have seen significant value contributions from mobile (e.g. MySpace sees incredible growth rates).

So there you have it...