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Behind the Smartphone Craze: redrawing the map of mobile platforms February 2, 2010

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Thought Android and iPhone are taking over the world? Think again. The device platforms map is more fragmented than ever, while the media hype distorts the commercial reality. […]

The Smartphone Craze
The other day I was reading some of the usual hype-induced reports on the Smartphone revolution. Wanting to put things into perspective I pulled out some old Smartphone forecasts from 2004-2005 by the likes of IDC, Informa and Ovum.

In those pre-historic days the main Smartphone contenders were Symbian and Windows. Blackberry was still an insignificant niche, and touch screen devices were still clunky stylus based UIQ phones and iPAQs. Yet surprisingly, the average Smartphone share of shipments that was forecast for 2010 was …about 30%. So even without the Apple & Google revolution fanning the flames, many analysts believed in the mass migration to Smartphones.

Reality check: by looking at the numbers for the first three quarters of 2009, it appears that last year there have shipped no more than 170-180 million devices considered to be Open OS Smartphones. Indeed Symbian, Windows, iPhone, Blackberry, Android, WebOS, LiMO and Maemo taken all together still only constitute about 15-17% of shipments. This percentage is in fact much lower than the 2009 Smartphone share predicted a few years ago by many research companies. […]

The bets are spreading
As of late 2009, the only companies who are shipping true Open OS Smartphones in mass volumes are Nokia (Symbian), RIM (Blackberry), Apple (iPhone) and HTC (Windows Mobile, now Android). This will no doubt start to change over the course of time as Android shipments start to ramp up and the rest of the platforms realize their growth potential, but it is still not an overnight revolution.

Looking forward, this thesis shows that the market will be much more diverse than the simplistic notion that everyone either wants an App Store capable iPhone or Droid, or alternatively, an ultra-low cost phone to make phone calls. There is many more commercial dynamics at play, making up a complex platform map which is driven by customer ownership.

In 2009 the number of available device software platforms effectively grew, creating more fragmentation in the industry, not less. There are clearly mid-range segments and geographical markets with varying needs, which can be addressed with various software platforms, not necessarily in the traditional view of Smartphones vs. RTOS “dumb phones”. Simply betting on one or two platforms to rule the industry is not a sensible plan.

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Read the full article at VisionMobile.comBehind the Smartphone Craze: redrawing the map of mobile platforms | VisionMobile :: blog

Smartphone Success Centers on Software, Not Hardware November 19, 2009

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Telecom gear vendor ZTE will step up its game in the crowded smartphone space next year with an Android-based handset, and Google is rumored to be working on its own device. But as the smartphone market continues to heat up, manufacturers are learning the hard way that the key to success in mobile phones lies in the software — not the hardware.

Handset manufacturers are increasingly being elbowed out of the way as carriers embrace developers of operating systems and the apps that run on top of them. Motorola, for instance, is an afterthought in Verizon’s big-budget campaign in support of its Droid initiative, and HTC’s brand is nowhere to be found in T-Mobile’s recent commercial pushing the MyTouch 3G. Meanwhile, Nokia continues to fare poorly in the U.S. due largely to its unwillingness to capitulate to American carriers, and smaller manufacturers like Sony Ericsson are becoming irrelevant as they lose market share.

Two phone makers are bucking the trend, though, and they’re doing it by churning out handsets based on their own operating systems. Apple’s iPhone has become an iconic device thanks largely to its intuitive user interface and knockout browser, while Research In Motion continues to gain traction — and mind share — with its BlackBerry, an enterprise-focused handset with software that stresses functionality over fun. Both Apple and RIM are backing their hardware with ad campaigns that put the manufacturer — not the carrier — in front of consumers.

HTC is fighting back with its impressive “You” television commercials, which tout the phone’s Sense user interface and promotes the device’s personalization features. That’s a strategy that will pay dividends as manufacturers become marginalized in mobile, and as software increasingly becomes a key differentiator in the minds of consumers.

via Smartphone Success Centers on Software, Not Hardware.

Windows Marketplace for Windows Mobile 6 and 6.1 November 17, 2009

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After last week’s news, I’m pleased to tell you that Windows Marketplace for Mobile has today reached another major milestone by adding support for Windows Mobile 6 and 6.1 devices. This is an especially proud day for Microsoft because it marks our fulfillment of the Marketplace vision that we put forth only 9 months ago at Mobile World Congress. Last week we expanded the Marketplace experience to the PC and updated the developer portal to include stronger anti-piracy protection features for developers. Today, Marketplace is delivering some great free new features that enhance and expand the Marketplace experience to even more Windows Mobile customers.

Now available for phones with Windows Mobile 6.0 and 6.1

Initially, Marketplace was available for the new Windows phones with Windows Mobile 6.5. Today, almost all people with phones running Windows Mobile 6.0 and above with a supporting data plan can now access Marketplace. We’re delighted to bring the benefits of Marketplace to even more people, and give Windows phone developers the opportunity to reach more than 30 million devices worldwide. To get Marketplace for a Windows Mobile 6.0 or 6.1 based device, customers can simply point their phone’s browser to http://mp.windowsphone.com to start the download process; from the Web, customers can visit http://windowsphone.com/getmarketplace or simply click here. Then browse and shop a wide range of quality applications for work and play; roughly 90% of the apps in our catalogue already support Windows Mobile 6.0 and 6.1 devices.

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via Windows Marketplace for Windows Mobile 6 and 6.1 – Windows Phone Blog – The Windows Blog

Indoor Navigation, The new gold rush? | BDNooZ November 9, 2009

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[…] The New York Times published in October Stops and Starts of GPS Apps “… those portable devices [GARMIN, TOMTOM etc] are under attack from a new source: the smartphone, and particularly Apple’s iPhone. The newest version of the iPhone’s operating system supports turn-by-turn navigation … According to a report from the iSuppli research firm, GPS applications for smartphones are about to explode, growing from 2.5 percent of users today to 10.5 percent in 2013. And half of those will be iPhone owners…”Even Forbes Magazine refers to this trend in warfare terms Google’s Navigation Bombshell “…Location-based service providers suspect the search giant is working on a free navigation app… Google, which generally gives its software away for free and recoups its investment through advertising, would likely sell ads within the navigation application rather than charge users… In early October, Google decided to use this data for its U.S. maps, ending a licensing agreement with map provider Tele Atlas…The shift is telling because companies like Tele Atlas require partners such as Google to pay fees for each person who uses their data…” […]

Avoiding the competitor’s strengths and striking at their weaknesses

All (accurate) navigation systems are based on GPS data. If the weakness of GPS receivers is that they need a clear view to the sky to successfully determine location, the strategy is to attack the indoor world. Additionally, the GPS accuracy lies between 50 to 500 feet, the strategy then is to find customers that need higher accuracy (~10 feet). The third, but not the last weakness, is the need for maps. As we saw before, Google has generated large amount of map data, and in general the market is dominated by TeleAtlas and Navteq. The strategy is to navigate to “uncharted territories”.

Redefining the Battleground – Embracing indoor navigation.

A few weeks ago I was approached by an inventor with a (published) patent. The general idea calls for an indoor navigation system that uses no GPS data. His idea is very good and to my judgment relatively easy to implement.

The system automatically detects a signal directly from sensors, without requiring the communication with a central system, data plans, or even cellular communication. These sensors are small pocketsize Bluetooth transceivers. There is no need for pairing as every Bluetooth device’s tag has a unique ID. This ID can be used for locating the tag.

Indoor navigation – A winning strategy that redefines the navigation ecosystem?

There is infinite number of indoor navigation applications. The most intuitive one is a person walking into a mall that wishes to locate a specific store, or a particular aisle in a department store or even a specific item on a shelf! From here, you can apply the same principle to a customer looking for a specific conference room, a particular booth in a tradeshow, a ride in an amusement park, or a known piece of art in a museum. If not for the convenience, do it to save a tree. No more printed maps. Go Green!!!

The advantage of using Bluetooth is that this technology is ubiquitous, it’s implemented everywhere. Additionally, is a low cost, low power technology, and when it’s relatively free of obstruction it can provide a ~2 meter error range. Furthermore, a Bluetooth infrastructure can be used for purposes like remote monitoring and control among others.

The ecosystem is completely redefined. An architect with CAD drawings is now a map provider. Every single facility is now a navigable site. Every big retailer willing to drive customers to specific products is a potential customer (they can “route” them through the sales isles if they want).  Every shopping property management firm is a customer, as well as convention centers organizations or associations like the Global Retail Executive Council.

We have an ecosystem where the traditional navigation giants are not necessarily present, and there is no defined leader (yet-11/09).

The business opportunity – define a new market

Indoor Navigation redefines Location Based Services as we know them today. The first companies to enter this market will be able to define, create, implement and license ($) new standards and applications. Imagine this: I installed an indoor navigation application in my phone/PDA and subsequently downloaded the map of the mall I usually go to. Next week I’ll visit San Francisco, and upon arrival I would like to visit a local shopping center, or use it at the convention I’ll attend. My application will be useful ONLY if the map of that SF mall or convention center is compatible with the one installed in my phone. For sure I’ll NOT install an additional application per site I visit. This is just the tip of the iceberg. […]

via Indoor Navigation, The new gold rush? | BDNooZ.

The Smartphone Market in 2013 September 30, 2009

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Gold Rush. Those are the two words that a Boston, MA based connectivity consulting group has used to describe the Smartphone market within the next four years. According to The Yankee Group, by 2013 nearly 7 billion US Smartphone apps will garner $4.2 billion in revenue. Furthermore, the number of Smartphones will quadruple to 160 million in the same timeframe.

According to the Yankee Group, the average Smartphone owner downloads 20 apps per year at an average about $0.99 cents per app. The consulting group predicts by 2013,paid apps will cost approximately $2.37, increasing the current market of $343 million by more than 10 times over the next five years. […]

via The Smartphone Market in 2013 | Business News | Technology Digital

Demand for smartphone continues to explode September 1, 2009

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As expected, the global demand for smartphones rose through Q2 ‘09, with analysts predicting continued growth over the next eight quarters.

Nokia still has control of the global smartphone market, with 44.3 percent control, shipping 16.9 million units during Q2. Research In Motion (RIM) with its BlackBerry line of smartphones controls 20.9 percent of the market, with Apple trailing in third place, with 13.7 percent of the market, according to research firm Canalysis.

Apple sold 5.2 million iPhone 3GS and 3G smartphones during Q2, though now faces issues related to overheating and exploding phones.

via Demand for smartphone continues to explode CDFreaks

Smartphone sales set to exceed PC sales by 2011 September 1, 2009

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All-in-one functionality is the in-thing at the moment and is one of the contributing factors towards the huge growth of the smartphone market. An extension of the humble mobile phone, smartphones offer users increasing features and functionality, often cramming features such as 3.5G/HSDPA data transfer protocols, web browsing, Bluetooth, multi-media, Wi-Fi, digital camera functionality and GPS to name but a few, into the one handset.

via Smartphone sales set to exceed PC sales by 2011 | TotalPDA PDA & GPS News

Android taking over more iPhone market share August 31, 2009

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Highlights from the July 2009 AdMob Mobile Metrics Report:

  • Each month, Android and iPhone users download approximately 10 new apps, while iPod touch owners download an average of 18 per month
  • Over half of Android and iPhone users spend more than 30 minutes per day using apps
  • More than 90 percent of Android and iPhone OS users browse and search for apps directly on their mobile device
  • Users who regularly download paid apps spend approximately $9 on an average of five paid downloads per month
  • iPhone represented 60 percent of US smartphone usage in AdMob’s network in July 2009, followed by RIM and Android devices at 13 and 12 percent, respectively

android_iphone_marketshare_july09

This survey was conducted with 1,117 respondents over a one week period, spanning Android, iPhone and iPod touch users on the more than 7,000 mobile sites and 3,000 applications in AdMob’s network in July 2009. […]

via AdMob July 2009 Metrics Report Compares Android and iPhone App Usage – Yahoo! Finance

Which Smartphone Will Own the Healthcare Market? August 6, 2009

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Last week, Software Advice set out to try to answer the question: Which smartphone will own the healthcare market?

Doctors, nurses, students and many others in the healthcare industry responded to our survey and provided results that are bound to be conversation starters.

Which smartphone won out? Read through the results to see. […]


Smartphone Use by Profession

via Survey Results: Which Smartphone Will Own the Healthcare Market?