Archive of the Mobile Apps Category

When doors close, independent app stores remain open

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 and part 4 HERE.handango.png

Independent application store Handango has always operated in what CEO Alex Bloom considers an open world. By working independently, as well as selling to operating systems, it has the ability to deliver via the Web, a sync cradle or over-the-air, avoiding the carrier gate completely. Any developer of any size has always been able to write an app and get it distributed through Handango, Bloom said.

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Rogue T-Mobile employees sell millions of customers’ data

Rogue employees at a major mobile operator in the UK have illegally sold millions of customer records to competitors, the Associated Press is reporting.

Authorities won’t name the carrier because an investigation is underway. (UPDATE 11/18: T-Mobile has identified itself as the carrier.)

The British government says fines for these crimes are no longer a deterrent because they’re dwarfed by the amount of money one can collect from selling customer data these days. In this case, “substantial amounts of money changed hands,” authorities say, in exchange for data including contract expiration dates, which allowed competitors to target subscribers whose contracts were about to end.

Operators missing out on personalization opportunity

Consumers want a personal mobile content discovery process that goes beyond simple search, according to a Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) survey of US and UK consumers released today. If content was, foremost, easier to find, 63% indicated they would spend more time accessing or purchasing it. If it were also more personal, respondents indicated they would increase their time spent accessing content to more than an hour, as well as their monthly spending by $8.
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All that’s missing for NFC are the phones

Ahead of an impending near-field communications (NFC) phone onslaught, companies are adding weight to the movement with NFC-enabled applications. This week alone, contactless payment-enabler Inside Contactless and mobile technology company Mobile Distillery teamed up to create a NFC mobile application development platform, and Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) venture touchatag announced a collaboration with payment provider Clear2Pay to create a mobile payment framework for mobile operators. more

Will open mobile break online purchase/activation?

So what happens when a consumer purchases and then tries to get started with a new, more open smartphone device on a new, more open mobile network?

If operators aren’t careful, the answer is: chaos.

And that chaos has the potential to not only result in a painful customer (or worst case scenario ex-customer) experience but substantial call center/support costs as well.More...
We recently talked about this topic with Omar Tellez, executive VP and CMO of Synchronoss, which provides back-office platforms to enable service providers and OEMs to help automate subscriber activation, order management and service provisioning for connected devices.

Synchronoss got a big boost when it won the deal to activate Apple’s iPhone online (and then took a hit when Apple and AT&T pulled activations back into their retail locations).

That was more than a year ago. Since then, Synchronoss not only is still doing some iPhone activations (the vendor does 100% of Apple and AT&T Web site-purchased iPhone applications today) but it’s won more deals, including with Nokia USA and a deal earlier this month with Time Warner Cable.

In the end, everything the company learned in its iPhone dealings “is very relevant to the issues we’re seeing in the market today. Many people divide the wireless space into ‘BI’ and ‘AI’ — before the iPhone and after the iPhone,” said Tellez. “What’s happened in terms of OEMs [like Apple] becoming stronger and many more open initiatives on the operating side of the equation is that the whole ecoystem has changed.”

Before, said Tellez, operators controlled the sales channel and customer experience. Today, device manufacturers and even retailers like Best Buy “are taking a much more aggressive role.”

The newest version of Synchronoss’s ConvergenceNow platform is targeted at just these type of connected device retail — and e-tail — environments and has features not just for service providers but OEMs and retailers as well.

As the open mobile value chain continues to evolve, exactly who controls the purchase, pre-qualification, credit check and other processes will continue to evolve and change as well. Overall, though, “you’ll have more parties involved and more marrying or caching of customer information up front.

All of that leads up to a new kind of service activation, where a combination of operator services and apps and content from a variety of other parties are added to the purchase, activated on the phone and delivered via an entirely new type of customer purchase experience, Tellez said.

“At the end of the day, the learning of the past six months is that when this environment enables more players, and not just the operator, to provide for a customer’s needs,” he said. “It’s a very interesting time in the mobile value chain.”

Droid really does; becomes fastest selling Android device

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With only one week of Droid sales under its belt, Flurry Analytics’ latest statistics on Verizon Wireless’ (NYSE:VZ, NYSE:VOD) exclusive Motorola (NYSE:MOT) Droid suggest VZW’s $100 million integrated marketing campaign paid off. Flurry said 250,000 Droids were sold in week one, compared to 1.6 million iPhone 3G S last June and 60,000 HTC MyTouch 3Gs on T-Mobile (NYSE:DT) in August. more

Digital Chocolate: The rise and fall – and rise – of mobile gaming

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 and part 3 HERE.

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Application stores have created interesting dynamics for the mobile gaming market, according to Trip Hawkins, CEO of social gaming pioneer Digital Chocolate. When Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) introduced the first iPhone, there was no app store. It killed the game business for AT&T (NYSE:T), he said, because the customers who had been buying games through MEdia Mall had nowhere to go. When the iPhone App Store launched, gaming came back with a vengeance, but for Apple, not AT&T. more

Dell smartphone official in China; is AT&T next?

dell-mini-3.jpgAfter months — even years — of speculation, Dell officially entered the smartphone market today, releasing its Dell 3 Mini smartphone on Open Mobile System, China Mobile’s (NYSE:CHL) version of the Android operating system. After it launches in China later this month, the Dell 3 Mini will make its way to Brazil’s Claro, and — while no U.S. plans have been announced — it should be headed to AT&T (NYSE:T) in the U.S. next, according to ABI Research. more

Former AOL VP launches Open Mobile Solutions

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 and part 2 HERE.

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Developers don’t actually care about mobile operating systems; they just want to reach people, said Jai Jaisimha, CEO of Open Mobile Solutions. Likewise, consumers buy devices based on their functionality, not the OS. With these two truths in mind, Jaisimha left his post as a vice president for AOL Mobile in the summer to start OMS, an open-source initiative aimed at making it easier for developers to build apps that can run on as many devices as possible. more

What Google gets with Gizmo5

As rumored, Google Thursday confirmed its purchase of VoIP firm Gizmo5, instantly adding Skype-like functionality — and an open source bent — to its Google Voice service. Credit TechCrunch for sniffing out the deal earlier this week.

The acquisition as it plays out will likely be used by Google to add more integrated outbound and, in particular, computer-based softphone calling to the Google Voice service, more than ever setting up Google Voice as a PSTN or mobile service replacement rather than just a complement as it is today. more

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