Palm's market challenges became painfully clear yesterday when the manufacturer lowered its full-year revenue projections to $1.6 billion from $1.8 billion because of weaker than expected sales of its Pre and Pixi smartphones. It's a far cry from a year ago when the Pre was hailed as Palm's comeback device.
People are actually buying mobile apps? According to the latest monthly data from mobile ad network AdMob, half of iPhone owners are purchasing at least one premium application per month, and 21% of Android phone owners. (The Android Market, of course, offers only about one-fifth as many titles as the App Store.) If newspapers and other online publishers are counting on only about 10% of readers at best to buy digital content if they adopt paid models, then the sales levels Apple and Google have achieved with paid apps look pretty good.
The major wireless carriers and Google filed their responses to the Federal Communication Commission's questions about early termination fees, but they surely won't put the issue to rest. The FCC isn't likely to be satisfied with the answers it got from the carriers, especially Verizon Wireless, which reiterated much of what it told the agency in its previous response on the subject.
With full year sales results in, it might not be complete hype to call 2009 the Year of the Smartphone. (At least until that title is shifted to 2010). Sales of high-end mobile devices increased nearly 24% to 172.4 million units worldwide last year even as over mobile phone sales dipped 0.9%, according to Gartner Inc. In the fourth quarter alone, smartphone sales surged 41% from the year-earlier period to 53.8 million devices, getting a seasonal bounce. eyond the gaudy sales numbers, another way to look at the impact of the smartphone tsunami is through mobile media usage.
With its latest crackdown on adult-themed applications, Apple has reignited the controversy over the app approval process without providing more clarity. The company has recently purged an unspecified number of risque apps and warning developers that it was removing apps with "overtly sexual content," according to TechCrunch
The iPod shouldn't be thought of by marketers as merely an afterthought in relation to the iPhone, especially when it comes to advertising in applications and games. New research shows that they used differently. Web surfing on the iPhone tends to peak during the week, while that on the iPod peaks on the weekend. Dayparting may seem unlikely for mobile advertising, but its inevitable.
Is realism tempering the mobile industry's boundless boosterism? A new survey of mobile executives globally shows they expect 24% revenue growth in 2010 to $36 billion, down from the 33% increase predicted in the second quarter of 2009.
The Mobile World Congress this week may have set the stage for Microsoft's mobile comeback with Windows Phone 7, but it was Android's coming out party. Handset manufacturers including Dell, HTC, Samsung and Motorola announced launching a slew of new devices using Google's mobile operating system. And in his keynote address at the conference, Google CEO Eric Schmidt said 60,000 Android phones now ship every day, including its own Nexus One.
Like Palm and Motorola before it, Microsoft has launched its own mobile comeback with the unveiling of its long-awaited Windows Phone 7 software at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona Monday. And like the upgraded Palm webOS and Motoblur, Motorola's Android-based software, the revamped Windows Mobile OS have been greeted by mostly positive buzz. The upshot is that with Windows Phone 7, Microsoft has staked its claim to being a legitimate contender in the smartphone wars with Apple, BlackBerry and Google.
A new report from Nielsen sounds an alarmist note, suggesting wireless operators have only a brief window of time to establish themselves as more than "dumb pipes." Commissioned by telecom equipment provider Tellabs, the report warns that in the next six months, "media organizations such as the BBC, application developers such as Facebook and service providers such as Google, will be viewed as the most appropriate providers [of personalized mobile services] instead of mobile carriers."