Ronnie05's Blog

Mobile Banking: The Future

Posted in Industry updates, Value added services and applications by Manas Ganguly on March 13, 2009

http://www.slideshare.net/clisco/banking-on-the-future-of-mobile

 

Check out this SlideShare Presentation, which lucidly explains the concept of mobile banking, expains the dimensions and provide a good refernce point.

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Guardian’s Open Platform: The Launch

Storm-controlled Formula One car a hit with Lewis Hamilton

Posted in Mobile Devices and Company Updates by Manas Ganguly on March 12, 2009

Storm-controlled Formula One car a hit with Lewis Hamilton

Compelling video featuring the Blackberry and Accelerometer being used to run a Formula one Car (the real mcCoy with Lewis Hamilton steering the accelerometer and the McLaren Car). I am reminded of james Bond (Pierce Brosnan) using such a gardet in the Tomorrow never dies to the disapproval of Q, the gadget maker.

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Smartphone market share update

Posted in Industry updates, Mobile Devices and Company Updates by Manas Ganguly on March 12, 2009

The fourth quarter of 2008 saw Smartphone sales growth rate dip to 3.7% (versus 4Q,2007). The report compiled by Gartner, says that the worldwide sales of Gartner reached 38.1 million units, and slowed down considerably due to the fewer compelling devices and a worsened economic climate. Sales in 4Q were marginally better than the Q3, 2008 number of 36.51 million. As a proportion of all mobile device sales, Smartphones bettered the 4Q, 2007 number of 11% by 1 percentage point i.e 12%.

Global sales of smartphones reached 139.3 million units for the year 2008, which betters 2007’s smartphone sales (122.3 million units) by 13.9%!

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The iconic Apple iPhone doubled its market share from 5.2% to 10.7%. It sold 4.1 Million iPhone against a 1.9 million number in 4Q, 2007. http://www.electronista.com/articles/09/03/11/gartner.on.q4.2008.sphones/. The buzz around this device is almost unreal, with Operators rooting for it. AT&T (Read Article) has declared iPhone 3G a success after the inroduction of the Iphone served as a catalyst for a shift towards data on its networks. It has reported a 51.2% jump YOY renue from data usage on its networks. For the full year of 2008, iPhone has reported a 245% jump in units shipped (3.3 Million in 2007 and 11.4 Million units in 2008).

 

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Canadian based Telco Rogers, has also reported 36% boost to its data revenues because of iPhone in its portfolio. iPhone now contributes 33% to Roger’s Smartphone sales. (Read Article)

Boosted by the Blackberry Bold and the Storm, RIM’s market shares went from 10.9% in 4Q 2007 to 19.5% in 4Q,2008. It registered a 85% growth in number of units from 4 million in 4Q,2007 to 7.4 million in 4Q,2008. Over the full year, RIM bettered its 11.6 Million sales number in 2007 to 23.1 Million in 2008 (a jump of 97%).

The T-mobile G1, the first Android operating system powered mobile, and the Touch Diamond helped HTC better its sales from 1.3 million (4Q,2007) to 1.6 million(4Q,2008), a jump of 20%.

tmobile-g1-uk2Samsung’s Omnia and its other touchscreen devices have finally led its break through into the top 5, displacing Sharp. Samsung registered a 138% growth in 4Q,2008 over 4Q,2007 taking its Smartphone number from .67 million to 1.6 million!

The looser for a while and this time as well, is Nokia, who has lost 10% market share in smartphones (from50.9% to 40.8%). While it is still the market leader by a mile, Nokia was the only compnay in the top 5 to have registered negative growth of 17% (from 18.7 million in 4Q,2007 to 15.56 million in 4Q,2008). On a year basis, Nokia stagnated and registered .8%growth in a market which grew 13%. Its full year market share reduced from 49.4% (in 2007) to 43.7% (in 2008). The numbers shipped were 60 million in both years.

Harnessing Open Source to power the next level of Business: The Guardian’s Open Platform initiative

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In the age of open source and democratization of content it is just time before newspapers and news agencies join the open platform and social networking as a means to stay relevant. The challenge is to customize the business model around these to make money even while they reinvent the rules of the game. Guradin, The UK based newpaper has taken its first step in this direction by launching what they call the “Open Platform”. While all newspapers have a blogs, content and online presence, Guardian’s venture is different.

What guardian plans is to open up millions of of pieces of content: Stories, Photos, Slideshows and data sets to all who want to process all this data through web applications and mashups etc. In its present avataar, all this is Guradian’s core product, which Guardian shall open up to the internet for free! Why would someone do that?

Three reasons:

1. Guardian plans to use this channel to push advertising. In effect, by being a host to users, developers and applications, it is creating a captive base and it will push advertising feeds into this outlet as well. This thus becomes an extremely scalable way to increase ad inventories and at some stage Guardin will venture out into targetted advertising through API (application programming interface). That like creating a new G Mail and adsense.

2. Opening up all its content inventory would attract a whole bunch of programmers and developers to this platform which would nurture innovations around the core product. In an age where news feeds are so commoditized, innovations from an open source can pep up the channel offering. All this development at zero cost. Developers have already started throwing up interesting results. API maps matches news content with locations aroudn the world to create a crowd sourced geo tagged database of news. Content Tagger allows users to create web tag on Guardian database.

3. If nothing else works out, the effort is going to create branded content and applications, at no incremental cost. With no incremental costs again, Guardian will probably create plenty of new consumers and a new level of brand awareness.

All in all, an interesting piece of work, which would give us reasons and ideas on what works and what doesnot in terms of Monetizing efforts around the social networking platform in this age of Web 2.0 and Freetardonomics.

Hottest Gadgets: The T3 hot gadgets countdown

Posted in Industry updates by Manas Ganguly on March 10, 2009

Voila! Palm was dead long time back… and now its back and How! It tops the 100 hottest gadgets on this planet list and the Palm Pre assumes the “iPhone Killer” title beating Nokia N 97 which comes third in the list (the next best Nokia is at 24 and is the Nokia 5800). Surprisingly Apple DOESNOT feature in the top ten (Can you believe it?). The first Apple is the iPod Touch at 12 and iPhone trails at 14. Sony is the comeback kid this time, with its age old Walkman X Series taking the cake at No 2, PRS 700BC Sony Reader at 6 and theP Series VIAO at 10! Bravia and others also make the ranks. Smartphones as a category take 3 (of the top ten  hottest gadgets) with Palm Pre, Nokia N 97 and Toshiba TG01
Read the full list here: http://hot100.t3.com/category/top-10/

Google and the art of maintaining Relevance

Posted in Value added services and applications by Manas Ganguly on March 10, 2009

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Google is stuff of folklore now. It is more than a brand and a company, it is more of a movement, it is synonym of “search”, to me it is Internet! Over the last some years i have observed, often awestruck of how this internet giant is moving from one success to another. From “just” a Search domain to an Operating system and Browser to maps to applications and more Google is ubiquitous! (While i try to stay away from singing eulogies, it is difficult to stay away from the influence of Google, if you are on the internet)

There is limited or no advertisement that Google engages in and it probably doesnot need to. Viral and word of mouth communication has taken the brand places already. How does it do it? For starter, i think Google makes headlines more than anyone else in the internet space. Whether be charges of monopolizing the web by US government, or Carbon footprint of its search engines, or the launch of Blackle, or Google Earth or Android or Chrome or Latitude or U Tube or Blogs or the outages on its email server, GMail or the bug on its search engine, there is no shadown of doubt on the fact that Google creates a headline every day almost.
Sample the latest from Google in terms of discovery of Atlantis.

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atlantis_1318187cKeen Observers had spotted what appeared to be the remains of a vast city under the sea, the size of wales on the floor of Atlantic Ocean. Thus the Atlantic Ocean was spotted on Google Earth! It was only explained later that the lines were the artifact of Google’s map making process! These were the paths made by the boats using SONAR to record the sea floor terrain data. Atlantis or no Atlantis, Google was the news maker! Another very impressive application of Google Earth was the toad crossings mapped by Google Earth to avoid the number of toads killed by Motorists in accidents! Thats something that PETA would be in for… Amongst others Google Earth in reality has helped locate pristine forests in Mozambique, a house of a previously unknown species and ancient roman villas.

All said and all done, such discoveries, outages apart from its technology and innovation keep up the prominence of Google amongst people and populations… It keeps the buzz going outside of the internet space as well.

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Indian Telecom Story: Reduction in Mobile Termination Charges

Posted in Industry updates by Manas Ganguly on March 9, 2009

I had discussed the Mobile Termination charges in an earlier blog http://technologyandtelecom.blogspot.com/2009/02/indian-telecom-story-part-iii-entry.html and this was a month back (9th February 2009). TRAI has finally taken the mid road to the question of Mobile termination charges. Mobile termination charges are basically the per minute charge paid by an operator to another, if a call of the first operator is terminated on the second’s network. To that effect, any operator with a national coverage has lesser probability of paying this termination charge because chances are that the call will be terminated on its network owing to its ubiquitous presence. Thus the incumbents could use this as a pricing barrier against newer entrants. The chief beneficiaries of the MTC regime are the 100% footprint operator such as Airtel, Reliance, Vodafone etc. Lobbying for the case of MTC as a means to generate returns to serve their rural expansion, it can be debated that the Lobby had tried to impress TRAi and DoT hard on this subject. On the other hand the new players to the party have clamored that a MTC regime would make it difficult for them to establish a reasonable presence because of the price disparities.

As of today TRAI has slashed the MTC charges from 30 paise per minute to 20 paise per minute there by taking the mid road between these two views. The effects of this:
1. Likely reduction in Revenues for the incumbents
2. A more uniform battle ground for new entrants
3. Lowering of the telephone tarriffs for consumers on roaming
4. ARPUs further reducing on account of roaming charges.

Thus to an open market, reduced prices, commoditized products and more competition, here it is: Jaye Ho!

Apple: Software Services as Differentiator

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Customer loyalty is a thing of the past, or so it is believed. Not with Apple though! RIM, Nokia, Microsoft and Pre are busy in their preparations to launch their own options of App. Stores, and it might seem that this will take the wind out of Apple’s Apps Store sails. Au contraire, quite the reverse seems to be the case as Apple seems to be accelerating both in terms of number of applications on their stores and the downloads. On March 5th, 2009 Apple registered its 25000th application in its iPhone store. Before this, sometime in mid January, Apple had passed the 500 million mark in downloaded applications! For full report click here!

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apps-storeThe 25000 apps and 500 million downloads on 23 million devices act as a part of a software strategy, which creates a distinct stickiness for the iPhone and enhances customer loyalty over the long term. It is believed that the Apps personalize the iPhone to levels that competitors cannot match and consumers cannot do without. This creates a huge stickiness between the consumer and the product. A device tailored by him according to his requirements in the one thing that he needs the most and at present Apple does seem to have both the device and software wherewithall to give suffice his need.

While Apps range from free to $999, it is but obvious that the ones in the lower price brackets < $2.99 consitute 80% of the apps and probably will also feature as much in the downloads!

Profiling Facebook: The Google of Social Networking (Part II)

Posted in Revenues and Monetization, Social context, media and advertising by Manas Ganguly on March 6, 2009

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In the earlier part of this post (part I), i had written about the Facebook phenomenon and its about its popularity and its business model. It is doing to social networking what Google did to the evolution of internet and search as a whole. Little wonder that it is the largest social networking site and in top 10 websites of the world. http://technologyandtelecom.blogspot.com/2009/02/profiling-facebook-google-of-social.html

socialnetworks-june-2007

While this schematic is a little old (June 2007) it gives a pretty clear picture of the dominance of social networking websites in the world. The Dark Blue (Facebook) features prominently in Canada, Australia, South Africa, Egypt, UK, Scandinavia, South Korea, Italy and parts of Eurasia. Since then the spread of the Blue would have increased by a factor of 3.5 and would porominently feature the whole North American continent. Facebook’s march to 200 million users earnestly began in January 2008, when it made translation tools available to the international user. Today more than 70% Facebook users are outside USA and most of them read it in their native language.
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In 2005, Mark Zuckerberg had outlined his vision for Facebook to be an online “social utility” tool which would mean a global digital phone book which users would use to locate people on the web. In strictest terms the vision has not changed very hugely except that instead of Phone book (assisting medium), facebook intends to usurp the position of the phone itself. He dreams of Facbook to be the central portal for communication, work and pleasure. It also becomes the central place where users organize parties, store pictures, find jobs, watch videos and play games. eventually , Facebook will become an online passkey to gain access to websites and online forums that require personal identification. In other words, Facebook will be the place where people will live their digital lives in the internet of the future.

Zuckergerg vision has found the traction and has a 175 million “friends” following. However the question of monetization of traffic is something that most of the Web 2.0 evangelists are wrangling with. We will analyse the business macros of Facebook in the next part of the series in some time.
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