Archive for December, 2007

Ring tones hype is over

For several time, there was a real madness for ring tones, which was a real gold mine for distributors such as Jamba and Musiwave. But those days seem to be over now. The sales of ring tones in Europe is decreasing rapidly. More and more devices allow to make your own ring tones. If your GSM is equiped with a MP3 player and Bluetooth function, you can easily put your favorite song as ring tone, which works much better than the ennoying polyphonic version of Crazy Frog.
The ring tones suppliers are now working out a new strategy to save their decreasing revenues.


iPhone users love ads

According to a report by AdMod, iPhone users are more susceptible for mobile advertising.
Ad impressions from US iPhones increased from 1,86 million in October to 6,65 million in November, which represents 0,9 percent of all ads served.
It remains to be seen if the results will remain high or are just a temporary result of the launch of the new device.

Mobile radio on Vodafone, a brand of Dutch company Mobilaria, has signed a deal with Vodafone Holland to allow mobile radio services on the Vodafone network.
Vodafone clients can listen to more than 200 radio stations with their mobile phone from anywhere in the world. For this service they pay a fixed fee of 3,50 EUR per month. This fee is used to compensate the streaming limits that are normally applicable. The profit is divided between Mobilaria and Vodafone.
Mobilaria is also in talks with other telecoms, such as KPN.

Nokia starts mobile video service

Mobile phone manufacturer Nokia has presented Medeo, their new mobile service that allows to stream videos on a mobile. The streaming content contains Hollywood news, film trailers, celebrity interviews and red-carpet footage. Check it out on their mobile portal

medeo_logo.jpg wins two Mobistar Awards was the big winner at the annual Mobistar Innovation Awards, which took place yesterday at ‘Living Tomorrow’. The prestigious PlazZza Award was acknowledged to the dealer locator for Audi. The emergency alerting platform Helpi was rewarded with the SMS Award., four years of innovation is no stranger at the Mobistar Innovation Awards. This year’s awards follow previous prizes for their Mobile Tools (2004), Laundromat SMS service (2005) and Samsung (2006). Danny Lein, Managing Director of “It is great when important market players are willing to invest in innovative new mobile solutions. With these awards, the sector has recognised these efforts as well. That motivates to continue innovating!”

Audi, find the nearest dealer on your mobile

The winner of the ‘PlazZza Award’ was the Audi Dealer Locator, an application that developed for D’Ieteren. For the first time in Belgium, it is possible to locate the nearest Audi dealer on the Mobile Internet. The application tracks the location of the mobile user through LBS technology. The addresses of the nearest car dealers are then displayed on a graphical map.

Helpi, emergency service at the click of a button

In the category ‘SMS Award’, the prize went to the emergency service of Helpi. Like the Audi application, the Helpi service uses LBS technology to locate the mobile phone user. This way, a person who is in an emergency situation, simply needs to push the pre-programmed Helpi-button on their mobile to inform the emergency services. Frank De Neve, Manager of Helpi: “The strength of this service is its simplicity: one push on a button informs both relatives and emergency services. That is very efficient and saves time in case of an emergency. The Jury particularly liked that aspect.”

SMS celebrates 15th birthday

It might seem like the hype of the past 5 years, but SMS is in fact much older than that. This month, it has been 15 years ago that the first text message was sent out by a few IT-workers at Vodafone UK. Back in 1992, it wasn’t yet seen as a potential revenue generator, but just as an additional phone service. With the numbers we reported a few days ago, it’s clear they were proven quite wrong…

Mobile music revenue up to 30% by 2011

Market research by Understanding & Solutions predicts that by 2011 mobile downloads will represent 30% of global music industry revenues. Currently it accounts for only 13%. The predicted $11 billion revenue will somewhat compensate the decline in traditional music retail sales. The market will be dominated by Japan and the US,driven by strong mobile subscriber growth and the status associated with music-related personalized mobile products. Meanwhile, the European market will suffer from its fragmentation.

Read more.

Is the iPhone a phone ?

Steve Jobs has done it again: the introduction of the iPhone is without doubt THE event of 2007 in the telecom and internet world. How does a computer producer succeed in shaking up this market? What is so special about the iPhone?
The iPhone didn’t miss its entrance: on September 1st, only 74 days before the introduction, the 1 millionth iPhone was sold. It seems that Apple will easily obtain its target of 10 million sold devices by the end of 2008. Despite these phenomenal figures this introduction should be interpreted on a larger scale: in a market that sells about a billion mobile phones each year, the sales volume of the iPhone are thus far just a fraction.

Certain important innovations can largely explain the success of the iPhone: the simple usability through an innovative and very ingenious touch screen allows new possibilities without the need of keyboard or pencil. The splendid web browser and the simplicity to install widgets creates a bunch of possibilities for customization. The iPhone is also an immediate eye catcher because of its sober and very attractive design. Finally, the media hype – neatly orchestrated by Steve Jobs before the introduction – clearly didn’t miss its effect.

Apple iPhone

Yet we are convinced that the impact of the iPhone will be more than just a brief hype. For us, the iPhone isn’t primarily a phone, but rather a mobile internet device, targeted at a large mass market. The built-in automatic and powerful Wifi detector is an important element for this. It is expected that other mobile phone producers won’t wait long to introduce similar internet products on the market.

So will we all soon be walking around with an iPhone? Despite the fact that version 1.0 already offers an incredible amount of features, it won’t come to that so fast. For example, it is a pity that the current version of the iPhone only provides 2G (gprs, edge) access. In the European countries, where 3G is more and more the norm, this is an important handicap. To enthusiasm a larger mass market for the device – which is clearly the strategy of Apple – the high price tag will also have to be lowered a lot.

With the iPhone, Apple has caused yet another shock in the industry: the mobile operators, with whom exclusive distribution deals were set, pay Apple a fixed amount for each new subscription that is done by the iPhone. Initially, the iPhone was only offered in the States on the AT&T network. The devices were specifically secured for this. Soon however the first crack algorithms appeared online and currently there are more than 250.000 “unlocked” devices in use. Too bad for Apple and AT&T, because this means an important loss of revenue for both companies.

The impact of the iPhone on the development of the mobile internet on the consumer market will possibly even be bigger than the effect that the Blackberry caused on the business segment by making e-mail accessible on the mobile. The Nokia’s and SonyEricssons of this world won’t be erased by the iPhone, but Apple has once again put the standard at a very high level and will without a doubt give a strong impulse to the mobile internet.