Archive for February, 2010

Fourth Belgian mobile operator now legally possible

The Parliament has approved a law proposal that makes room for a fourth mobile operator in the Belgian mobile landscape.  Although other candidates are ‘possible’ according to minister Van Quickenborne, it’s a public secret that Telenet is very interested in this licence. 

A fourth licence for the 3G network is now also possible and will be contributed after an auction, probably in the second trimestre of 2010.

A legal frame has also been made for upcoming 4G networks.  By 2015 there should be two 4G licences available.

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Apple and Android are big winners of 2009

The sales of mobile phones stagnated last year, as a result of the recession.  But smartphones were the exception.  According to figures by Gartner, 24% more smartphones were sold in 2009 compared to the year before.  Nokia, Blackberry and Apple together sold about 172 million smartphones.

Also important changes as to the operating system of mobile devices.  Even though half of the smartphones still use Nokia’s Symbian, it is clearly losing ground.  Microsoft Windows Mobile is also on the losing side, being pushed out of the top 3 by iPhone OS.  In 2009, iPhone doubled its amount of units sold from 11,8 to 24 million. 
Big runner-up is Android.  The 6,8 million units sold in 2009 were 10 times as much as the year before. According to Google’s Eric Schmidt, there are about 60.000 Google Android phones sold every day now.  At that rate there’ll be more Android phones than iPhones by 2011.

(source: Emerce)

Apple App Store becomes even more strict on ‘sexual content’

So far, Apple has always banned adult content from their app store.  But at least some soft erotic material was still accepted, such as profiles of models (without nude pictures).  But it seems they are getting more puritanical than ever. 

Recently Apple decided to ban “all sexual content”.  Apparently, that means everything that could lead to even the slightest arousal or tintalation: no swimsuits, no sexual connotation or innuendo, no skin (!),…
As a result, several apps have been removed that had no intention of “sexual arousal” in the first place, like the app of a popular fitness model in her workout clothes.

Strangely, the iPhone now features parental controls, offering the possibility to block the applications from view of anyone who isn’t old enough to see them.   Yet, Apple continues its censorship. 

Read more on this Techcrunch blog post.

Mobile Publishing & Advertising. Are you ready for the breakthrough in 2010?

On Monday March 1st, Mobile Monday Brussels and IAB Belgium are organising their next event, to which you are kindly invited.  MobileWeb will do the introduction for this event.

Main topic: Mobile Publishing & Advertising. Are you ready for the breakthrough in 2010?

Key themes that will be discussed this evening are:
– current status today of Mobile Internet usage (Belgium, abroad);
– status of the Mobile advertising market (B2B);
– Mobile advertising opportunities;
– Success/failure cases;
– International experience;
– Do’s / Don’ts

Target audience is Advertisers, Agencies, Media companies & Marketeers

Timing:

18h00. Welcome

18h30-20h00. Speaking program

  • Mobile advertising: breakthrough 2010?
    Danny Lein (MobileWeb – IAB Belgium/MobileMondays)
  • Current status & strategy of a newspaper company
    Mark Daemen (Corelio Connect)
  • Insights on mobile usage and advertising perception
    Bruce Hoang (Orange Advertising Network – HQ France)
  • Case studies on successful usage of mobile media
    Nicolas Vanderseypen (AegisMedia)
  • International mobile advertising shower
    Robbie Douek (ADmob)

20h00-21h00. Networking

The event is kindly hosted by Corelio:
A.Gossetlaan 30
1702 Groot-Bijgaarden
Brussel

Sign up for this event.

4,6 billion mobile subscriptions worldwide

With a massive 4,6 billion subscriptions throughout the world, the popularity of mobile telephony keeps on rising.  The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) of the United Nations expects to exceed the milestone of 5 billion by the end of this year.

The amount of mobile broadband connections has already reached 600 million and should surpass one billion by end 2010.  

ITU says the economical crisis has had little effect on the growth of mobile telephony.

Steve Jobs is Mobile Industry Personality of the Year

At the Mobile World Congress, Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs was named the Mobile Industry Personality of the Year.
The award was voted for by the media.

Awards were given in 19 categories including Mobile Marketing and Advertising, Best Mobile Contribution to Social and Economic Development, the Green Mobile Awards, and Mobile Industry Personality of the Year, among others.

Neither Jobs neither Apple attended the mobile conference.

In December, Jobs was also named CEO of the Decade by magazine Fortune.

Easy translation with Google Goggles

At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Googhle CEO Eric Schmidt presented  the new Google Goggles, a program available for Android smartphones.  It allows to take a picture of an object, building, monument,… and it will search for more information on this object (which sounds like a static version of Augmented Reality to me).  Goggles now comes with an additional feature: it translates the text it finds on the photographed object. 

Sounds really interesting, but I fear that the translation will be of the same poor quality as the average web translations, like Babelfish, which literally translates word per word, but doesn’t give a correct translation for a full sentence.  Still, it could be handy if you’re travelling and you need to have just a few words translated to understand the context of something (for example, the menu of a restaurant).