Ronnie05's Blog

Apple’s social layer: Come alive in iOS5?

Ping was Apple’s first effort at get a Facebook like network of users going for itself and it depended on its Music streaming services from the cloud, which was led by its acquisition of Lala. However Ping hasn’t really taken off inspite of the success of the iPad, iPhone and now the Apple TV. So, this time around Apple reloads its effort at Social Networking and in full measure. By full measure, I only mean that Apple is not just depending on Music streaming services from the cloud, it is putting a social layer in iOS 5.0. Expect a few vestiges of this service to surface in iOS 4.3 which should be round the corner. Essentially the dots that Apple would be joining to showcase this layer is as follows:

1. “Find my Friends” service which should be an integration of the phonebook and maps. Apple also has a patent on something called the iGroups, which should in a lot of measures be close to Facebook
2. The iOS 4.3 Beta release showcases the Media Stream service which in its present version is limited to Photo Streams only! Knowing Apple iOS 5.0 would integrate Video Streaming/ Sharing and Music Sharing/Streaming. Out here, Apple has Lala’s expertise for the Music bit.
3. Thirdly, it is expected that all or a significant bit of Apple’s social services will be cloud based. Thus the experience is customized for the user. Apple calls this the MobileMe- a users personalized experiences hosted and streamed from the crowd across all Apple devices.

Putting all these services in a single Interface is where Apple’s legendary prowess with interfaces could really make the experience out of this world. Apple has a reference from the Kin Studio which does all the above listed and More. Microsoft may have dropped Kin, but Apple could take a leaf from Kin’s book to deliver outstanding social networking experience across devices and services. Lets hope to see the Apple magic soon.

Indian Telecom Story (Part XXXVII): Overcoming MNP blues!

Posted in Industry updates by Manas Ganguly on January 23, 2011

In a post some days back, i had discussed the impact of Mobile Number Portability on the Indian Telecom Operators. MNP has occupied a lot of mind space of Telecom reports, discussions and blogs over the last few days.

Impact of MNP on postpaid subscribers could be an industry-wide game changer.Marketing costs of retention of subscribers could rise gradually. Higher spends on service retention, deep discounts, near-term increase in S&M (sales and marketing) costs, network expenses and other investments could risk Telco profitabilities by 5-8%!

How does an operator optimize his investments into building a better customer service and brand-engagement? Here are a few direction pointers:

1. Process optimization based on lessons from FMCG, retail and banking industries would lead to reducing turnaround times and provisioning errors.
2. Complaint handling and document management procedures can also be enhanced.
3. Operators would need to devise holistic strategies to build ‘best-in-class’ customer services. This can be enhanced by a greater insight into subscribers and their points of engagement with the company. Outsourced operations that have customer-centric activity will be re-looked at with a renewed vigor.
4. Marketing analytics of cluster and segment subscribers based on the usage and demographic patterns can lead to a critical insight into behavioral patterns.
5. Predictive analytics can ensure a better engagement with promotions and schemes.If subscribers are broadly divided on the basis of profile or occupation, each of them is likely to have different levels of affinity to exercise portability.
6. The perception of true value, beyond the traditional freebies and promotional services, would make the subscriber more willing to remain loyal to their service providers.
7. Subscriber points of engagement would be better analyzed, quality service level differentiation better implemented and marketed.

Facebook subscribers clocking 104% CAGR

Posted in Uncategorized by Manas Ganguly on January 23, 2011

I had a blog very recently post a blog about Facebook’s amazing run in the recent times. $50 billion (or $70 billion) valuation and more, Facebook is blazing. Interestingly, FB has not been very vocal about its subscribers over the lst quarter or so. The rumor is that FB has hot 600 million subscribers. From August 2008 to December 2010, the journey from 100 million to 600 million has happened at a magnificient 104% CAGR! Imagine an investment that grows double every year!

Heres a graphic on the rise of FB subscriber numbers!

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Blackberry: Past Perfect, Present Tense, Future Unsure (Part III)

Posted in Mobile Devices and Company Updates by Manas Ganguly on January 23, 2011

Continued from Earlier post.

Contemporary OS and interface apart, BB has another couple of things to be worried about majorly in 2011. The lack of a 4G Handset to complement 4G launches happening across operators in US and the handicaps in Playbook, its tablet.

The problem for BB doesnot just stop at the BlackBerry smartphone platform, their OS quagmire and how it competes with Droids and iPhones. While iPhone 4 and Droids/EVOs exhibit capability of 4G which would hence complement the LTE rolls outs that operators are investing in, LTE Blackberry phone is still in a very early development process. Lack of an imminent BB LTE offering in 4G space, which is expected to drive enterprise business and adoption could provide the opening for the Androids and iPhones to penetrate such markets and get a head start over BB.

BB’s most interesting product today is the Playbook Tablet. It generated a huge amount of interest in the CES and as a first attempt Playbook is super impressive and QNX makes the cut. However, the Playbook also has a few challenges that could play spoiler
• The current SDK doesnot do a lot of developer stuff. Hence developers would have to wait for a date closer to launch for platform readiness. That delays the developer bit.
• Secondly, the Playbook would launch after the launch of Android 3.0 and iPad 2, both second generation tablets which means more refined behavior and lesser glitches.
• Thirdly, it doesn’t help that the PlayBook absolutely requires a BlackBerry to be wirelessly tethered to it in order to do native enterprise email. A BlackBerry smartphone tethered to the PlayBook for required email support is practically a boat anchor.

RIM’s challenge now is to keep delivering on the needs of the enterprise while at the same time packing the BlackBerry with the sexiest features that will truly drive end-user interest. If it doesn’t do this well, RIM is likely to lose share and ultimately become no more than a footnote in the mobile market that it helped create and define a decade ago.

The leader in the US smartphone space is now trailing the challengers by a heavy distance and worse, it doesnot seem to have its act under control from a future perspective. From the early signs, RIM and the BlackBerry due for some bumpy weather in 2011

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