Archive for February, 2010

Apple bans ‘Android’ brand and location-based apps for mobile advertising

Apple continues its censorship on the access for mobile apps to their app store.

Educational software developer Flash of Genius reports Apple has requested the firm remove mention of Google’s Android mobile operating system from the iTunes description of the startup’s iPhone and iPod touch application Flash of Genius: SAT Vocab 2.2. In November 2009, Google announced that the Android version of Flash of Genius: SAT Vocab was a Top 10 finalist in its category in the Android Developer’s Challenge, and the firm hoped to include that information to boost sales of its iPhone app. As a result, Apple determined that the Flash of Genius: SAT Vocab 2.2 application submission contained “inappropriate or irrelevant platform information,” according to an email sent by the iPhone Developer Program. Read more

Meanwhile, Apple is warning iPhone developers that applications built with features based on user location must provide “beneficial information,” adding it will reject apps that incorporate location to deliver targeted advertising.  “If your app uses location-based information primarily to enable mobile advertisers to deliver targeted ads based on a user’s location, your app will be returned to you by the App Store Review Team for modification before it can be posted to the App Store,” a post on the iPhone Dev Center website promises. Read more

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Ticketeazy wants to boost mobile ticketing

There’ve been talk about mobile ticketing for a long time already, but still we don’t see much appearing on the market.

One of the latest initiatives is Ticketeazy, a project developed by Nick Van de Velde and Thomas Verhaeghe during their final year in college. They want to ease waiting lines at events through mobile ticketing, using twodimensional barcodes (QR codes) on the mobile phone.

When buying a ticket online, the user receives the bar code on his phone.  He simply has to scan that code at the entrance of the event to get access.  A copy of the bar code is sent to the mailbox, so it can be printed and scanned on paper as well, for those who are less confident the mobile technology will work properly.

At the moment, Ticketeazy targets small to medium large events.  They don’t have any test cases yet, but they are in talks with parties such as Tele Ticket Service, who has shown an intrest in the mobile service. 

Mobile World Congress Barcelona: a first view

All eyes of the mobile industry are directed to Barcelona this week, where the annual Mobile World Congress (formerly 3GSM) is taking place. 
Here are already some interesting news bits:

– Microsoft Corp. unveiled the latest version of its Windows Phone 7 mobile operating system, adding video-games and music features in a bid to stop market share losses to Apple Inc. and Google Inc. Read more

Check here for an overview of some of the newest and most popular handsets on the market from a dozen leading vendors.  Many large players, including Sony Ericsson, Samsung and HTC, have presented at the start of the Congress yesterday new devices.  Surprisingly, Nokia didn’t bring any new toys…

– With Apple and Google stealing most of the limelight the past few months, other mobile manufacturers are gearing up to face the competition. Many are announcing new models of smartphones and marketplaces to compete with the iPhone and the App Store and their likes.
Ericsson announced its eStore mobile application store. 
Meanwhile, an alliance of 24 operators (including China Mobile, Britain’s Vodafone, the U.S.’s AT&T and Verizon Wireless, Spain’s Telefónica, France’s Orange), dubbed the Wholesale Applications Community, are collaborating on an “open platform” that delivers applications to all mobile phone users. 

Keep updated on the Mobile World Congress via their official website, and ofcourse via the MobileWeb blog.

Already 10.000 SMS tickets sold at De Lijn

A week after the launch of the new SMS ticketing service, Flemish transport company De Lijn has already sold 10.000 tickets by SMS.  That’s an average of 1.300 SMS tickets per day.

Buying a SMS ticket can be done by sending the code DL (ticket for 60 minutes) or the code DL120 (ticket for 120 minutes) to the shortcode number 4884.  The confirmation message that is received, can be used as a valid ticket on the bus.  The ticket costs 1,30 euro for 1 hour or 2,10 euro for 2 hours, which is about 28% cheaper than the tickets bought from the bus driver.

Smartphones will drive growth of the mobile market

2010 will be the first year where as many smartphones will be sold as traditional mobile phones.

According to a study of Royal Bank of Scotland, the smartphone market will grow steadily with 19% per year until 2012. At that moment 2 out 3 telephones sold will be smartphones.

Traditional mobile phones will see their sales volumes drop at a yearly rate of 10% until 2012. The developing countries will most likely be the key drivers of sales volumes for these devices.

In last quarter of 2009, 324 million mobile phones have been sold, an increase of 10% on a year-by-year basis. The sales of smartphone has grown in the same period with 30% with 53 million devices sold (16% of sales). Nokia is still market leader in this segment with a market share of 39%, followed by RIM /BlackBerry (19,8%) and Apple (14,4%).

Source: Le Journal du Net

The limitations of the Apple iPad

In the week since Steve Jobs’ announcement of the Apple iPad, much has been written about this new multimedia device.  But contrary to the iPhone, which was the hype of 2007, the comments are not very positive this time.

6Minutes has made a good summary of the limitations of the iPad, most importantly:
– It has no camera
– No USB entrance, nor a slot for memory card
– No Flash
– 3G not by default
– No multitasking

On top of that, the iPad uses micro SIM-cards, that are not used by any of the Belgian mobile operators (or any of the European operators, for that matter).  So as long as the operators don’t adapt, 3G on the iPad in Belgium won’t be possible.  Probably Mobistar, as Apple’s preferred partner, will be the first to make the change.

SMS action for Haiti extended: Already more than 420.000 Euro raised

The action “SMS 4666”, organised by MobileWeb and the mobile operators KPN Group Belgium/BASE, Mobistar and Proximus, has currently raised more than 420.000 Euro. Between the 17th  and the 29th of January, the clients of the mobile operators sent more than 420.000 SMS messages to the number 4666 to participate to the fund raising for the benefit of the victims of the destructive earthquake in Haiti. Because of this prove of national generosity, the  mobile operators and their technical partner MobileWeb have decided to extend the SMS action until the 15th of February at midnight.

Until february 15th, clients can still send an SMS with the code YES to the number 4666 to contribute to the aid to the victims in Haïti.  To support the Belgian consortium, an SMS with “1212” to 4666 will do.  A donation to the Red Cross is possible with the message “SOS” to 4666. Doctors Without Frontiers raise funds with the keyword “AZG” to 4666.   The mobile operators and their technical partner MobileWeb will donate all SMS donations in their entirety to the participating humanitarian organisations. On the website www.sms4666.be, MobileWeb gives more information about these organisations.