Archive of the Mobile Apps Category

Are MIDs over before they started?

Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs), that category of not-quite-smartphones and not-quite-netbooks, has been the subject of skepticism since Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) first introduced (i.e. made up) the category last year. Today it appears that even MID supporters are losing faith. The DigiTimes reported today that several members of Intel’s Mobile Internet Devices Innovation Alliance (MIDIA) have quit development of MIDs due to very weak shipments. more

Prepaid mobile broadband gaining traction

AT&T (NYSE:T) this week became the latest operator to explore prepaid mobile broadband, further validating the trend toward pay-as-you-go wireless services. Previously prepaid operators like Leap Wireless (NASDAQ:LEAP) and Virgin Mobile were the only ones interested in being prepaid data operators, while the big operators stuck with their big monthly contracts. The landscape, though, is shifting as both AT&T and Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ, NYSE:VOD) have taken up prepaid data plans.

Likely neither operator expects that prepaid will supplant postpaid, but given the high cost of monthly data plan, the length of the contracts required, and the onerous data caps applied for going over one’s data budget, they’re likely getting wise to the fact that a contract plan isn’t for everyone. The prices they’re charging–$50 for 500 MB of usage–also ensures that a postpaid plan will always be more attractive if you can afford the cost and contract commitment. But with daily and weekly options, prepaid would be far more attractive to intermittent users.

The question is whether the big operators’ more restrictive plans can hold up to far more competitive pricing in the market. Virgin, now owned by Sprint (NYSE:S), is charging $60 for 1 GB of capacity. Leap Wireless charges $40 for unlimited access to its EV-DO network, while Clearwire (NYSE:CLWR) is charging $45 a month for unlimited access to its WiMax networks and $30 a month for 2 GB. The advantage AT&T and Verizon have over Clearwire and Leap, though, is nationwide network availability, which is nothing to scoff at.

Android disrupts smartphone market in one more area — price

Thought getting an Android phone for $199 was a good, on-par deal with Apple’s iPhone?

How about getting one for just $30 — or less?

While Apple has held the iPhone price steady at $199/$299 price points (while reportedly mulling an entry-level iPhone priced at $99), (along with partner LetsTalk) is currently selling the HTC Droid Eris for just $30more

Apple takes its turn in AT&T-Verizon Ad War (Video)

So you didn’t think Apple — whose I’m a Mac ad campaign represents the gold standard of classy yet pointed tech advertising mudslinging — would stay quiet forever in the mobile wars, did you?

For weeks, we’ve seen Verizon and AT&T battle over coverage maps, lost toys and more. Now, Apple has lodged its response, defending AT&T’s network and in particular the ability of the iPhone to keep a call live while a user simultaneously surfs the mobile Web — something Verizon’s network can’t support.

Can you network do that, Apple asks? See the video after the jump.


AT&T ad hits back at Verizon (sort of) - Video

Verizon Wireless has been somewhat unmerciful in criticizing AT&T’s network and the iPhone in TV commercials rolling out the new Droid phone.

Now, AT&T is hitting back. Check out its new “Postcards” ad (video) after the jump.


Open mobile in search of a definition — here’s a few options

This post is the final in a series leading up to an upcoming Connected Planet feature story on open mobile. Read the cover story HERE. Road to Open: Read part 1 HERE, part 2 HERE, part 3 HERE, part 4 HERE, part 5 HERE and part 6 HERE.

How open is defined depends largely on who is giving the definition and their interest in the answer. To some it’s a buzzword, but to others it has been a game changer. Connected Planet asked several developers and industry analysts to take a shot at defining open. Here’s what they said: more

Thirty dollar Android dock trumped by free software

We’ve been cataloging the ways that open mobile is changing the wireless game (see the latest installment in Sarah Reedy’s blog run-up to our upcoming cover story). Add one more: a new free application in the Android store lets Motorola Droid users run the multimedia dock application without having to buy the $30 dock that up to now was required to enable the application.

So much for that accessories market, Motorola : > more

Tarsin, Hallmark tackle write once, run everywhere challenge

This post is part of a series leading up to an upcoming Connected Planet feature story on open mobile. Road to Open: Read part 1 HERE, part 2 HERE, part 3 HERE, part 4 HERE and part 5 HERE.hallmark.jpg

When popular card maker Hallmark decided to break into mobile, program manager Mike Adams knew it couldn’t do it alone. Having run into roadblocks when working with carriers in the past, the company decided to team up with Tarsin, a platform-agnostic development house. Adams said he wanted to create a greeting card delivery app that worked across carriers, something they were unaccustomed to doing at a time when most apps followed the ringtone or wallpaper carrier-specific model. more

T-Mobile moves out of the middle with prepaid BlackBerry

T-Mobile (NYSE:DT) has come a long way in competing on prepaid since releasing a half-hearted unlimited, contractless service available to some customers on a trial basis. Last month it launched two new Even More unlimited service plans, and today it announced that it would offer a BlackBerry Curve 8520 as part of a prepaid plan that applies to anyone who’d like to sign up. more

Gphone would paint Google a hypocrite

According to the blogosphere, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) has flipped-flopped on its plans for building its own mobile phone. But if it’s true, the software king will have changed its tune on much more than just its device plans. A Google phone would imply that while the company is busy touting its open-source operating system and encouraging free-for-all access, it is also creating a specific device optimized for its own applications. If Google launches apps that only work on its own branded Gphone, or even just work better on it, it’s contradicting its very strategy with Android. more


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