Ronnie05's Blog

Pay per Download: Will Google milk Money out of YouTube?

Posted in Revenues and Monetization, Value added services and applications by Manas Ganguly on February 17, 2009

I graduated into the internet in the year 2000! My first email account was the huge popular usa.net then. However, in mid of 2001, usa.net migrated to being a paid service under the American Express group. Almost none its consumer base migrated to the paid service. Internet has been a “liberating and democratic medium”. Information and communication was available free, it was the economics of “Free”. I call it Freetardonomics! A lot of the Freetardonomics was through using Google as the Gateway. On 13th February 2009, Google decided to monetize its hugely popular You Tube. You Tube has been the problem child for Google from sometime because inspite of its huge following, it was not adding revenues and profits to its financials! The paid download is a new way for Google to add monetization options for its services and looking beyond the advertisement streams! Most of the downloads will be charged $1 and Google is trying to replicate Apples iTunes business model. (If users can pay for music, why not videos?). Not all videos will be monetized! One can guess that Google will look to monetize content such as music videos, commercials, soaps and other entertainment content. It would also probably look at educational content to be monetized. The typical model would be a trailor of 30 seconds of the video content and then the channel asking for purchase of the content. However, the one immediate challenge that Google faces is how would it control the hacks and the download tools available to users? How would it control mechanisms like Firefox plug ins and webs sites like YouTubeKeep.com, which allow users to rip content from YouTube at will?

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Finally Here: Solar powered Mobile handsets

Posted in Mobile Devices and Company Updates by Manas Ganguly on February 17, 2009

I bought my first eco wrist watch 2 years back. It came steep and it boasted of a perpetual battery life. It never needed a charge because it would charge itself under the sun. Something like the Superman! The raucous cries for environmental friendly devices is gaining decibels every moment and i used to think to myself, as to why a Nokia or any other company would not make a solar powered phone. It would be environment friendly, and would liberate the user from having to charge it every now and then! So then, Finally here it is. Samsung announced the Blue Earth at the MWC. Made from recycled plastic, this solar charged phone uses an inbuilt pedometer to measure the carbon footprint of the user. A full solar charge of around 10 to 14 hours will provide enough power for around four hours of talk time (this is bit low, but subsequent devices will better this statistic). The handset can still be charged normally using a conventional plug, with the solar panels used to top up the battery during use. Blue Earth hits the stores later this year at a high end tag. LG has already announced its own energy and environment friendly solar phone and this looks like the first of a mega trend toward zero energy devices. While Samsung has broken this new ground, it remains to be seen, which company is able to graduate all its portfolio to the solar powered phones the first. Long lasting environment benefits will accrus once this technology massifies to the the farmers and tribals of the loneliest parts of the planet!

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Challenges and Opportunities: Ovi Application Store

Posted in Mobile Devices and Company Updates, Value added services and applications by Manas Ganguly on February 17, 2009

Ovi is Nokia’s door (Literally in Finnish) to the high end internet and convergence enabled consumers. Over a year and a half, Nokia has been building its Ovi brand. On 16th February, 2009, Nokia announced Ovi Application store, a virtual store front where developers can develop applications and consumers can easily download them. N 97 will be the first device to sport the Ovi Aps store when it goes to sale in June 2009! The Store will be available on its S40 and S 60 platform devices. Nokia intends to pep up the offering by tracking downloads and suggesting applications to users, which may be of their interest.

A few days back, i had covered the Online application stores story in one of my posts: http://technologyandtelecom.blogspot.com/2009/02/online-application-stores-fad-or.html
Apple and Google are “there”, Nokia, RIM, Palm will get there soon. Microsoft is also designing something on these lines.

Challenges and Opportunities
While Ovi Apps Store (OAS) has the advantage of a captive base of Nokia’s consumers, which it can choose to exploit well, there are some formidable challenges that OAS faces.

The first challenge obviously is a “me too” positioning important from a perspective of “being available” to its consumers. Having the store was not really a innovation novelty as much as having a store to offer 3rd party applications. iPhone and Google have established themselves fairly well in the application space and the next three entries will be (RIM, Nokia, Pearl) will only fragment the market to feed their consumers!

The happening place in terms of application and their developments is really the North American market and Nokia doesnot have a good representation out there. This is slightly stiffling as Android and iPhone are getting ahead in the same context.
Nokia can tap into the base of developers in Europe and South East Asia. However, the market for applications and downloading is not so great in South Asia. Thus, cutting edge applications can have longer acceptance periods.

One significant advantage that Nokia brings to the table is the robustness and stability of its Symbian platform.

There is a lot of work that is happening on Android and Microsoft platforms. While Microsoft is distinctly seen as “pro enterprise”, Android is seen as “pro consumer”. Apple is .. “apple”. Symbian has not generated as much interest in terms of work lately as a Android or a iPhone has.

Nokia already has a the largest community of developers (3.5 million). So there will not be any dearth of Ideas!

However, with low acceptance of applications in Nokia dominated markets, the same application developers may get higher returns in the Android, Microsoft or iPhone stores.
End Note
The first 6 months after launch is going to be important for Ovi. This is because, there will be a lot of applications, which will be source copied from the Apple store and Android store. The developers will expect a quick buck. Making a fast buck will depend on the ability of Ovi and the consumer acceptance of the Symbian store. That may shape the developer perception of the Ovi store!

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On Google and its Android plans

Posted in The cloud and the open source by Manas Ganguly on February 17, 2009

Last year MWC saw Google unvieling its Android plans. It also had a few applications for mobiles, which generally where cut down version of its computer operations. Within an year, Google Android has come a long long way. Android is a platform where many smartphones are being developed today. In terms of future in smartphones, it probably has the largest number of alliances and products under development (even larger than Symbian and Microsoft). Android also boasts of a up and unning applications store, the Android market. While the number of applications on Android (800) may seem significantly smaller than iPhone(15000), the number of Carriers rooting for Android’s open source technology can herald a significant upheavel in the mobile OS market shares (Dominated so far by Symbian).

According to Wireless intelligence, the number of mobiles globally is a figure close to 3 Billion where as there are only 1.5 billion Internet users (Internet World stats). The medium to internet for the next 1.5 billion users is going to be the mobile. Also mobile will exceed the desktop or Laptop as a medium to internet for the existing 1.5 billion. That is where Android is so important for Google!

Google is also working on Voice search, an extension of its search feature on voice recognition software which will take away the typing, writing, keyboard punching on mobile devices.

Microsoft failed to turn it’s dominance of PC operating systems and office software into a significant presence online, and Google took full advantage. For handset makers and mobile operators, the same forces are at work as Google takes on the 37% market share and incumbent leader Nokia on the mobile space!

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Telcos delaying 4G: a case of generating returns over the 3G technology cycle

Posted in Industry updates by Manas Ganguly on February 17, 2009

In an earlier blog , http://technologyandtelecom.blogspot.com/2008/11/what-is-biggest-challenge-telcos.html, i had mentioned that RoIs and profitability of innovation is severely challenged, when innovation out strips technology cycles i.e New technologies are introduced at a faster pace and it doesnot allow the incumbent technology to be generate viable returns before it becomes obsolete.

4G poses such a disruptive threat to 3G and 3.5G in Europe! Follow the link to read about LTE/4G versus HSPA/3G/3.5G.
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/524d7ea6-fb88-11dd-bcad-000077b07658.html?goback=%2Ehom
Vodafone, France Telecom and Deutsche Telekom have expressed no hurry to launch LTE in their respective countries because
1. They dont want a CAPEX splurge at a time of recession! Sound thought!
2. Avoiding a CAPEX splurge, is also going to re-assure the share holders and stake holders!
3. These players feel that there is enough head room in 3G and 3.5G for enhanced consumer services and thus there is no need to jump into 4G

It would be 2011-2012 before the implementation of 4G networks hits the ground! This thus means that these companies give themselves 2 to 3 years to generate maximum of their returns on the 3G investments!

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