Archive for August, 2008

A bright future for mobile payments

According to Juniper Research, about 2,1 billion mobile consumers worldwide will be using their mobile phone to pay for digital goods by 2013.  They point out that ever more digital goods are viewed as necessary by the age group under 35.  People who are 15 or 20 years old today will use their mobile to directly pay for mobile services such as mobile music downloads.  Smartphone devices such as the iPhone encourage this evolution even more. 

While mobile payments can be used for music, games, tickets, infotainment and other digital goods, we don’t see that many concrete examples yet today.  Probably the best prove that it works are the sms parking service and the sms bus tickets that exists is several Belgian cities now.  Last week, De lijn announced that it sold its 200.000th SMS ticket.  Since it’s launch in September 2007, there are about 17.000 travellers a month that their their bus fare by SMS.  62% of those are on the account of Antwerp, the other 38% for Ghent.  Later this year, De Lijn will decide if the project will be extended to other cities.  The advantage for the consumer is that the SMS ticket is cheaper than a normal ticket (1,20 euro instead of 1,60).  Unfortunately, it is only available for Proximus subscribers.

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MobileWeb creates Jobat Mobile for Corelio

Job search & career advice on every GSM, Blackberry and iPhone

MobileWeb, the Belgian specialist in mobile internet solutions, has created the mobile job portal Jobat Mobile for Corelio. Based on the unique Mobile Web Server, jobs and career advice are optimally presented on every GSM, Blackberry and iPhone. MobileWeb has previously developed De Standaard Mobile for Corelio.

Jobat Mobile: find the job of your life, wherever you are
On August 20th, the career website Jobat has launched a new mobile site, covering all domains that are present on the website. “Jobat Mobile allows to check for new incoming job offers any time and anywhere, on your mobile phone or smartphone”, explains Luc Van Haute, managing director of Jobat. “The launch of this mobile service is an important step to bring career opportunities and info closer to the job searchers.” A job search on the mobile site can be done by function, by region or by sector. The site also gives career tips, company profiles, and news articles taken from De Standaard Mobile. Interaction with visitors is possible through the weekly poll.

An optimal presentation on every GSM, Blackberry and iPhone
“The job search on your mobile phone should be easy and user friendly, no matter which mobile device and which operator you use”, adds Danny Lein, Managing Director of MobileWeb.be. “Depending on the type of device, whether it is a GSM, Blackberry or iPhone, the font size and the images are adapted to the screen size.”
In June 2008, MobileWeb.be has also created De Standaard Mobile, another mobile service from the Corelio group. This allowed to integrate news content and traffic info from De Standaard Mobile into the new Jobat Mobile service.

Available for free on m.jobat.be and on PlazZza
The mobile internet site can be visited for free by entering the address http://m.jobat.be in the mobile browser. This is possible for every mobile device that has Internet access. MobileWeb.be also registered Jobat Mobile in the listings of PlazZza, the Belgian portal for mobile sites. If you send the keyword JOBAT by sms to the free number 8080, you’ll receive a sms message with a direct link to Jobat Mobile. The mobile site is a free service, available in both French and Dutch.

Advertising for Jobat Mobile - click to enlarge

NY Times mobile visits surge

The New York Times announced its mobile news site drew 19 million page views in May, up from 10 million hits in December 2007 and 500,000 views in January 2007.

Most of the mobile web views derive from high-end devices like the iPhone and BlackBerry.  Generally speaking, mobile consumption habits mirror online user behaviors, with articles focusing on business and politics as well as blogs and most-emailed stories generating the most reader interest.

More info here.

iPhone complaints: bad reception, not waterproof

After the rise comes the fall ? 

Now that many have bought an iPhone 3G, following the massive hype surrounding the new mobile device, the first complaints are coming in.
The Financial Times reports that more and more users are complaining about bad reception and even temporary absence of the signal. 

Meanwhile, Belgian consumers organisation Test-Aankoop has done tests on the Apple iPhone and has found that the device is not waterproof.  Even when exposed to rain, the display can fail, the battery can unload or the device can get overheated.  Main cause is the use of a plastic back cover instead of metal.  The iPhone scored better in the crash tests.
Test-Aankoop also said that the iPhone 3G is a lighter energy consumer than its predecessor.  However, calling with the device is more expensive since a 3G/UMTS subscription is required.
More test results here.


iPhone after the rain

iPhone 3G available in 20 more countries

As the Mobistar stores in Belgium and many other iPhone distributors in the world are waiting for new supplies of the new Apple iPhone 3G, it was announced that the iPhone 3G will be available in 20 other countries as of August 22nd.

These countries include India, Czech Republic, Estonia, Philippines, Romania, Argentina, Chili, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Peru, Uruguay, Poland and Hungary.

Security SMS for the Olympics

A few days before the kick-off of the Olympic Games in Beijing, Chinese authorities are increasing security measures to avoid any danger during the event. 

All airports have introduced additional security procedures.  A special “anti-terrorism manual” has been released explaining to locals 39 dangerous situations, including “an explosion, shooting, hijacking and chemical or nuclear attack”.  The manual encourages people to send a warning by SMS to the police when they see something suspicious, or even better, to take a picture and send it by MMS to the police.   

iPhone Nano in december?

According to the UK paper The Daily Mail, Apple will release a Nano version of the iPhone.  The sized-down mobile device would be available by Christmas for all British O2 customers and would cost about 250 Euro.

Apple has not confirmed the story and analysts have already said that if it were true, the iPhone Nano would destroy the sales of the iPhone 3G.  To be continued…?