Archive of the Mobile Apps Category

Apple, RIM put the full-court press on developers

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) lifted the veils of secrecy around application development today, and Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) announced innovations on its BlackBerry App World. Specifically, Apple updated its Developer Center Web site with the ability for developers to track their software as it progresses through the App Store’s oft-criticized approval process, and RIM gave its BlackBerry user interfaces a face lift, as well as promised carrier billing in App World by 2010. more

Developers flock to Android, but is openness to thank?

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.

Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android platform has been trumpeted as the beacon of openness and — for the most part — it has lived up to the hype. Although criticized for limiting access to its software development kit, Android is proving to be relatively easy and inexpensive to develop fpr. As a newer platform, it may take awhile for developers to flock to it as they did to Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone, but there is no doubt they are coming, said Peter Farago, vice president of marketing for Flurry Analytics. more

Apple beats Nokia for world’s most profitable handset-maker

Nokia (NYSE:NOK) may still claim the largest global market share, but Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has overtaken it as the world’s most profitable handset vendor in the third quarter of 2009, according to Strategy Analytics. The one-handset wonder pushed Nokia into the no. 2 slot, as Nokia’s margins were hit hard by both the economic downturn and a stagnant presence in the U.S.

The firm estimates that Apple’s iPhone operating profit came in at $1.6 billion in Q3, while Nokia recorded only $1.1 billion in operating profit. “With strong volumes, high wholesale prices and tight cost controls, the PC vendor has successfully broken into the mobile phone market in just two years,” said analyst Alex Spektor in the research note.

It is not all bad news for Nokia. Even with falling profits, it managed to capture 37.9% market share and ship 16.4 million handsets in the third quarter. Strategy Analytics said that focusing on the U.S., Apple’s high-profit home turf, will be the key to recovering in 2010, but that won’t be an easy fight. Nokia’s profit margin for its handset division has been shrinking during the entire 2009 global economic downturn, and the handset-maker is also facing increased pressure from Google Android devices and other new high-end smartphones planned for the rest of the year and into 2010.

Why VoIP 2.0 companies are suddenly in play

We’re still in the realm of the rumor mill, but speculation that Google has a deal in hand to acquire Gizmo5 and another rumor today that VoIP widget and backbone player Jajah is mulling through $400 million (!) offers from O2, Cisco and Microsoft seem to point to a coming run on VoIP start-ups.

It remains to be seen if these rumors, let alone this purported trend, come through. But as we’ve reflected in the past (back in September when eBay sold off Skype to investors for $2 billion), the success of mobile apps as a distribution mechanism for mobile VoIP client software, among other developments, seems to have given the VoIP market the push into the mainstream it’s long been hoping for. more

Open Mobile Summit growing despite the economy

The Open Mobile Summit may be a tiny show compared to its larger wireless counterparts CTIA Wireless and Mobile World Congress, but unlike those shows the summit is actually growing. In its second year, the event in San Francisco drew almost 400 attendees and speakers, nearly double last year’s attendance, despite the economic downturn. Robin Batt, the summit founder and director of Open Mobile Media, said show registration reached 70% of capacity six weeks before it was scheduled, prompting her to scale back on marketing and search for a larger venue.

“Last year, the writing was on the wall for openness, though not everybody was reading it,” Batt said. “Now everyone realizes open mobility is the future.” One major difference between this year’s events and last year’s was interest from the operators. Batt said she always intended the invent to be a neutral ground for carriers and developers to meet, unlike more operator-centric shows CTIA Wireless and MWC, but last year the event wound up being a forum for developers, wireless vendors and Internet companies. This year, carriers were represented in force.  John Donovan, chief technology officer for AT&T, and Cole Brodman, CTO for T-Mobile USA, delivered keynotes and carriers were well represented across the panels.

“Last year people thought it was going to be an anti-establishment show,” Batt said. “It would have been another thing if we had something called the Open Mobile Summit and stood around bitching about the carriers. Last year most carriers didn’t participate because that’s what they felt we were going to do. Carriers realized that that wasn’t the case.”

Not that there wasn’t any anti-operator sentiment at the show. Walt Mossberg, columnist for The Wall Street Journal, compared wireless operators to “Soviet ministries” during his introduction on the second day of the show, and he and the audience didn’t give Donovan much slack during a Q&A session after his keynote. But Donovan also drew applause when he suggested to the audience that openness shouldn’t be the sole responsibility of the operators, but also of the device, software and applications community.

Carriers must be open to compete, analyst says

Road to Open: For Connected Planet’s December cover story, wireless editor Kevin Fitchard and I took an in-depth look at what open means — in theory and practice — in the wireless world. In our reporting, we spoke with a number of developers and industry experts with first-hand perspective on working in an open world. In the weeks leading up to the issue, we’ll share their thoughts and insights. As always, we welcome your comments below. more

Separating the wireless haves from the have-nots

With all the major U.S. carriers having reported their third-quarter earnings, the scales are clearly tipping in favor of the big two, Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ, NYSE:VOD) and AT&T (NYSE:T). They are pulling away from the pack in an ever widening split between the wireless haves and the wireless have-nots, according to Bernstein Research analyst Craig Moffett. more

100,000 crappy apps — or a few good ones?

apps.jpg At least in part to counteract some of the Droid excitement of this week, Apple made a point of publicizing that its iPhone app store passed the 100,000 app mark. Might this be the least interesting news in the history of technology? It could be.

How many apps do you use on your desktop? How many Web apps do you regularly use in your browser? How many Web sites do you visit on a regular basis?

In any of these areas, would your life be vastly improved if instead of the handful of useful things you use every day, you suddenly stopped to consider 100,000 additional options?


Verizon doubles its ETF, contracts rise again?

If it can’t win customers’ loyalty through great devices and service, Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VOD, NYSE:VZ) may do so through exorbitant early termination fees. The carrier reportedly is doubling its ETFs — penalties consumers must pay if they back out of their contracts early — from $175 to $350. more

Can RCS help operators battle mobile app explosion?

rcs.jpg The success of SMS — and the explanation for why Web-based IM or other would-be rivals have failed to replace it — is that it * just works.*

It took years and many false-starts for that to be the case, but when mobile operators and their vendors worked out how to interconnect and interoperate formally siloed SMS islands, the telephone industry’s most successful modern app was born.

Mobile operators can either figure out how to replicate this success — or they can kiss their ability to delivery mobile services, and the affiliated revenue, goodbye. And that’s where RCS comes in.



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