Is Windows Mobile 6.5 a worthy competitor for Apple’s iPhone and Google Android?

Posted on February 24, 2009. Filed under: Apple, iPhone, Mobile World, Tech News | Tags: , , , , , , , |

by Tanner Godarzi

Microsoft’s plans to launch an update to Windows Mobile may be too little too late in the face of intense competition from Google and Apple. Is version 6.5 as innovative as it seems?

windows mobile

Mimicking its desktop counterpart, Windows Mobile has aspired to be the de facto choice for Smartphones everywhere but stagnation during software development and intense competition from Apple, RIM, Symbian, Google and more recently Palm, has put Windows Mobile in the backseat. Microsoft might be making a play for hearts and minds with Windows Mobile 6.5, which was announced during last week’s Mobile World Congress, but this newest update feels like a patch. You might not get excited until Windows Mobile 7 arrives sometime next year.

Windows Myphone beta

Mobile Me and the iPhone go hand in hand allowing you to sync data from to your Mac and PC. Microsoft is taking a similar (Mac-less) approach but broadening the spectrum of what data can be synced. Music, videos, photos, contacts and calendars can be transferred in to the cloud back to your computer; efficient isn’t it?

Considering the massive push behind Windows Live, MyPhone feels like another service that could have appeared much sooner, but in the face of competition from data syncing services Microsoft has chosen to finally pick up the pace and push out its own alternative. Just like Windows Mobile version 6.5 and 7, it’s coming too little too late.

But if MyPhone can actually be pushed out soon, video and photo syncing would set it apart from the likes of Mobile Me. The unfortunate thing: time isn’t on Microsoft’s side and the lack of Mac support cuts out a few potential customers.

App marketplace

Windows Marketplace is Microsoft’s answer to the iPhone’s App Store. This of course is a great first step but its inclusion within Windows Mobile 6.5 is a hinderance as well. Even more unsettling is the dearth of compelling features.

Windows Marketplace packs all the typical features of a mobile app repository. Developers can submit their applications for review. Anyone can download an app through his or her Windows computer or the phone itself.

This time around, Microsoft (and Nokia) are playing catch up in making a central app repository available on its handsets. You’d thik this would have come sooner, considering that Windows Mobile has been one of the oldest platforms for smart phones to support third party applications.

The hassle of upgrading

The biggest deterrent to switching to Windows Mobile 6.5 besides the far off shipping date is the lack of easy upgradability. Apple still provides software upgrades for its first generation iPhone and Google pushes updates to Android running phones. To get all of the new features in version 6.5, you will likely have to buy a totally new smartphone running Microsoft’s latest mobile operating system.

This is because a new hardware specification is being tacked on to Windows Mobile 6.5 that is requiring a physical start button be present on any device it runs on. This is comparable to the iPhone’s home button, which takes you to your home screen filled with apps. In Windows Mobile, you will be taken to the new honeycomb interface.

The incentive for handset manufacturers like Sony, Samsung and HTC to provide an upgrade path for you to jump to version 6.1 to 6.5 just diminished a great deal. Then again, when has an easy software upgrade been something worth providing when merely charging for a new phone running the latest Windows Mobile OS is more profitable?

Source: obsessable

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

How Much Will ‘Good Enough’ iPhone Rivals Hurt Apple? (AAPL)

Posted on February 21, 2009. Filed under: Apple, iPhone | Tags: , , , |

By Dan Frommer

No one in the mobile industry has been able to capture the design and elegance of Apple’s iPhone yet. But how much will “good enough” rivals stunt Apple’s growth?htc-touch-pro

This week’s Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona birthed a slew of new smartphones, from HTC’s new Google-powered ‘Magic’ to new Nokia (NOK) and Samsung devices. Common thread: Many look (or try to look) like Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone, which is still the gadget to beat in the mobile industry.

None of them, from what we’ve seen, is as good as the iPhone. But they’re getting closer. And for many consumers, they could easily be good enough. Especially for people who want to use mobile carriers that Apple doesn’t work with, or for people want phones with slide-out keypads.

At the very least, this means a more competitive market when Apple announces whatever new iPhones it’s going to release this year, RBC analyst Mike Abramsky says in a note today. At worst, it could mean “downshifts” to Apple’s growth or margins, he says.

The very idea of “good enough” will send many Apple loyalists reeling. And it’s worth noting that “good enough” rivals have tried — and failed — to put a dent in Apple’s iPod business. But the cellphone business is different. Subscribers are often loyal to (or under contract to) wireless carriers, not phone manufacturers. And let’s not forget about the computer industry, where Windows is “good enough” for 90% of PC buyers.

So what can Apple do to trump these new smartphone competitors? Well, another truly revolutional iPhone would be impressive. But that’s not as likely as simpler upgrades like more storage, a better camera, video recording, and cheaper pricing.

One change that could help: We think Apple would be smart to start breaking up its exclusive carrier distribution deals sooner than later, such as with AT&T (T) in the U.S.

AT&T has been a valuable launch and marketing partner over the last two years, but there are good reasons why two-thirds of U.S. wireless subscribers choose carriers other than AT&T. If the iPhone were on sale at Verizon (VZ), for example, there’s no way it would have sold 1 million RIM (RIMM) BlackBerry Storms over the holidays.

Source: businessinsider

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Apple snapping up flash memory for new iPhone?

Posted on February 20, 2009. Filed under: Apple, iPhone, Mobile World | Tags: , , , |

by Tom Krazit

It’s been clear for a while that Apple seems to have settled into midyear iPhone refresh cycles as it closes in on the two-year anniversary of its debut, but more signs are pointing to a summer launch.apple phone

Think Equity Partners put out a report this week, spotted by AppleInsider, that says Apple has essentially cleaned out Samsung’s supply of flash memory in recent weeks. Apple has also asked Toshiba and Hynix to step up with more flash memory, according to Think Equity, as it prepares for an iPhone launch.

Apple has a contract in place with the three companies, as well as Intel and Micron, to supply flash memory for Apple’s products through 2010. But Apple tends to launch new iPods in the second half of the year around a September music event, making it much more likely that this buildup has a new iPhone in mind.

In January, Apple senior vice president of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller hinted that Apple has settled on a midyear refresh cycle for iPhones, after launching the original iPhone in late June and the iPhone 3G in July. The spring parade of iPhone rumors has not fully blossomed as of yet, but one persistent rumor is that Apple has some sort of low-cost iPhone in the pipeline, based on CEO Steve Jobs’ comments about price umbrellas during an earnings conference call and a recent report suggesting a $99 iPhone is on tap.

Apple COO Tim Cook, however, has dismissed talk of Apple playing in the entry-level phone business, so as usual, it’s hard to tell exactly what Apple has in mind. But even if all Apple did was double the storage capacity of the iPhone to 16GB and 32GB, it would need a lot more flash memory chips.

Source: cnet

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Apple Rejects South Park iPhone App

Posted on February 19, 2009. Filed under: Apple | Tags: , , , |

By Ian Paul – PC World

South ParkThe creators of South Park are the latest developers to have an iPhone application rejected for Apple’s app store. The app would have allowed iPhone users to access episode clips, read South Park news, grab wallpaper and other South Park-related features. In a blog post yesterday on SouthParkStudios.com, the creators explained that Apple had rejected the post because it might be “potentially offensive.” According to the post, Apple said this could change in the future and pointed out that the iTunes Store did not sell songs with explicit lyrics when it first — a situation that has since been remedied.

That’s a very nice and tidy explanation, but there’s only one problem: the iTunes store currently sells seasons 1-12 of South Park’s television show in the iTunes Store as well as the South Park movie and an uncensored version of South Park’s Emmy-award-winning three-part series “Imaginationland.” How can the South Park iPhone app be excluded, but the South Park movie — which features such wholesome content like, “Shut your f$%#ing face Uncle F#$%er” and other fabulous show
stoppers — is perfectly
acceptable?

It seems to me that this has less to do with “potentially offensive” material, and more to do with a product potentially harmful to Apple’s bottom line.

Source: pcworld

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )

Apple IPhone Card Counter Prompts Warning to Casinos

Posted on February 19, 2009. Filed under: Apple, Mobile World | Tags: , , , |

By Connie Guglielmo – Bloomberg

Travis Yates, an Australian developer of applications for Apple Inc.’s iPhone, is finding there’s no such thing as bad publicity.

After Nevada’s Gaming Control Board sent a memo this month to casinos warning them of Yates’s Blackjack card-counting software for the iPhone, sales of the $4.99 program jumped to about 500 a day, from about 10 a day in November. Yesterday, purchases soared to 1,400 in the U.S. alone.

Yates, whose Webtopia has created six iPhone programs sold through Apple’s iTunes store, said demand for his Blackjack Card Counter picked up after he added new features such as “Stealth Mode,” where the screen shuts off while the program runs in the background. The big jump in popularity came from the Nevada Gaming Control Board’s memo.

It’s not that card-counting programs are inherently illegal, the Nevada Gaming Control Board said. It’s unlawful to use such programs when you’re at the tables, said Randall Sayre, a member of the state’s Gaming Control Board and author of the Feb. 5 memo. This is the first time the board has cautioned casinos about programs on a specific device, Sayre said.

“For every legitimate application out there, someone is thinking of how to use that application illegally,” said Sayre, who has worked for the board for 30 years, including a stint as chief of investigations. “There’s seldom a day that goes by that some type of arrest isn’t made in this state of people trying to compromise a game.”

Apple, which sells more than 15,000 iPhone applications through its iTunes store, declined to comment, said spokeswoman Natalie Kerris. The Cupertino, California-based company keeps 30 percent of the sales price of each application sold, and distributes free programs at no cost to developers.

Beating the Dealer

Nevada heard about the iPhone program from the California Bureau of Gambling Control, which received information from a tribal casino that Sayre decline to name.

A few casinos have contacted the board requesting additional information about the program, which uses several blackjack card-counting methods to track the ratio of high cards to low cards. In blackjack, players bet against the dealer to build a hand of cards worth 21 points without going over the count.

Before the Nevada Gaming Control Board helped publicize the counting program, Webtopia’s most popular iPhone applications were Army Night Vision, a 99-cent program that uses live video captured through the iPhone camera to simulate night vision goggles; and Low GI Diet, a $3.99 program that identifies foods that release glucose slowly.

To help boost sales, Yates lowered the price of the Blackjack Card Counter to $2.99 today.

Source: Bloomberg

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )

Cellphone Chatter At MobileWorld

Posted on February 18, 2009. Filed under: Mobile World | Tags: , , , |

At the MobileWorld confab in Barcelona this week, more than 55,000 visitors have gathered for three days to check out the newest in mobile gadgets and see what–if anything–might detract from consumer obsession with Apple Inc.’s iPhone.

True to form, among the bigger newsmakers were those that incorporated the theme of green. Samsung caught a lot of buzz with its new solar-powered mobile, dubbed “Blue Earth,” which is made from recycled water bottles and is charged via mini solar panels on the back of the handset. The company didn’t actually let anyone touch or sample the phone, as it was evidently housed behind glass, but the blogosphere is surmising that it will have a touch screen and that it will be available to consumers in mid-2009.Mobile World

Not to be outdone, LG also debuted a solar-powered mobile handset that will boast green packaging. Samsung also introduced the Memoir, a touch-screen mobile phone with an eight-megapixel camera that was demonstrated by model turned photographer Helena Christensen.

Nokia seemed to be taking a page from Apple’s playbook by unveiling its own app store, the Ovi Store, which will share 70 percent of its revenue with developers and will go live this spring. The company says, “The first device to include the mobile storefront on board will be the Nokia N97, set to launch in June. Meanwhile tens of millions of existing S60 and Series 40 devices will be able to take advantage of the store from May.” One extra feature that interested conference-goers is the idea of location-targeted features and a “social discovery” feature that allows users to download content from peers in their social networks.

And of course, there was Microsoft exec Steve Ballmer’s discussion of the company’s new mobile strategy, confirmingprevious hints that it would also be launching a mobile app store of its own and announcing the rollout of its updated mobile operating system, Windows Mobile 6.5. PCMag’s Sascha Setter says it’s too little, too late, and that its operating system updates should be far more frequent and incremental (Microsoft won’t be implementing the new system until the second half of 2009).

But Ballmer said the company’s partnerships with HTC, LG, and Orange would keep the operating system fresh. “The most important thing we’ll do is we’re going to work with the guys who build phones that are exciting…that are hot and tell the story of their Windows phone….The thing that people buzz about is the actual thing they go and buy, which is the phone, which comes from one of our partners.”

Source: blogs.wsj.com

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Adobe Sends Mixed Signals About Flash Lite For iPhone

Posted on February 18, 2009. Filed under: Adobe, Apple | Tags: , , , , |

There’s been mixed signals lately about whether Adobe Systems Inc.’s (ADBE) popular Internet-based media player will soon be compatible with Apple Inc.’s (AAPL) iPhone.

It seemed the longtime partners just two weeks ago were set to end their 20- month stalemate. At the time, Adobe’s Chief Executive Shantanu Narayen said in a television interview both sides were “collaborating” to merge the world’s most popular smartphone with Adobe’s so-called Flash Lite.

But Monday, Adobe released a new Flash Lite version that can play high definition videos, and by all appearances the player is still incompatible with the iPhone. It’s clearly good enough for other phones, however. Strategy Analytics, a market research firm, on Monday projected some version of Flash Lite will have been shipped on 1 billion cell phones by the end of March.

On Tuesday, an Adobe spokeswoman refused to comment when asked to confirm if Apple and Adobe were working together. “It’s important to note,” she added, that Adobe needs more from Apple to succeed than Apple ordinarily makes available to iPhone software developers.

Adobe’s fortunes are more tied to Apple, so it has more to lose should it continue to be shut out of the iPhone. Apple, though, continues to face questions about its relationship with Adobe in light of the Adobe/iPhone standoff.

“We think Flash availability on the iPhone benefits the millions of joint Apple and Adobe customers, and we want to work with Apple to bring these capabilities to the device,” an Adobe spokeswoman said. “Adobe is still committed to bringing Flash Player to the iPhone.”

An Apple spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment.

Apple shares closed Tuesday’s trading down 4.7% at $94.53, while Adobe fell 3.3% to $20.40.

Source: CNNMoney.com

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Apple Nixes South Park iPhone App

Posted on February 18, 2009. Filed under: Apple | Tags: , , , |

Apple has rejected as “potentially offensive” an iPhone application that would have shown clips from South Park, the irreverent TV cartoon known for its scathing social commentary.

South Park Digital Studios announced in October that it had submitted the application to Apple. The show’s creators had hoped the application, which provides easy access to content from the show, would be offered through Apple’s popular App Store.

South ParkThe studio said the application was rejected after a couple of attempts at getting approval. “According to Apple, the content was ‘potentially offensive,'” the studio said Tuesday in its blog.

Apple, however, did seem to leave open the possibility that the application could get approval in the future. The consumer electronics maker told the studio “standards would evolve.” When Apple launched iTunes, for example, it didn’t sell music with explicit lyrics.

But for now, no South Park app. “At this point, we are sad to say, the app is dead in the water,” the studio said. “Sorry, South Park fans.”

Apple in January reported that iPhone and iPod Touch users had downloaded more than 500 million applications from the App Store in about six months. The feat was impressive, given that it took the iTunes Music Store more than two years to hit that mark.

Apple offers more than 15,000 applications on the store. The success of the business is attributed to the popularity of Apple’s touch-screen devices, as well as the company’s ability to leverage its iTunes juggernaut.

Source: Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Game maker Gameloft: Apple its biggest client

Posted on February 17, 2009. Filed under: Apple | Tags: , , , |

In an announcement timed for Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain, iPhone game publisher Gameloft revealed that Apple is now its biggest customer, thanks to the success of their iPhone and iPod touch games.

Gameloft’s entire product catalog includes close to 300 entries, and it offers games in more than 80 countries, distributing games through telecom operators, phone and console manufacturers and media partners. Gameloft announced that they have sold more than 200 million games since launching their first title in 2003.

Apple became Gameloft’s biggest client with the launch of the App Store last summer, however. The App Store currently lists close to 30 Gameloft-published titles, with “a significant number” of new games planned for release in 2009.

Source: macworld.com

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Apple Takes Biggest Bite of U.S. Wi-Fi Usage

Posted on February 17, 2009. Filed under: Apple | Tags: , , , , |

Apple’s iPhone and iPod lead the pack mobile handset Wi-Fi in the U.S. use while Nokia’s handsets are dominant worldwide and the Symbian platform is tops in global Wi-Fi activity, according to a just-published report.

Apple’s (NASDAQ: AAPL) devices accounted for 29.1 percent of U.S. Wi-Fi Internet access requests in the U.S. for January, with the iPhone claiming 16.8 percent share and the iPod taking 12.3 percent, according to AdMob’s January Mobile Metrics Report.

That’s a three-fold spike since November 2008, when iPhone users representedjust eight percent of total U.S. requests on Wi-Fi networks and up from three percent in August, according to AdMob reports.

Worldwide requests on Apple devices grew 28 percent between December 2008 and January 2009 to 1.2 billion, with iPod growth outpacing iPhone growth. The iPod now represents 40 percent of Apple device requests, up from 20 percent in September 2008.

The news comes as increased competition among handset players is driving greater connectivity options. Users are eager for faster, dependable Internet access anytime and anywhere. In turn, more reliable Internet access via Wi-Fi and 3G networks is driving user Web activity.

Growing user demand isn’t going unnoticed by handset makers. It promptedResearch in Motion (NASDAQ: RIMM) to launch its second Wi-Fi device, the Curve 8320, last December.

Other new handset developments, such as Google’s G1 Android phone, are also playing a part in pushing Wi-Fi forward. The G1, made by HTC, broke into AdMob’s top 20 in U.S. Wi-Fi access with the January report.

The G1 is 18th on the list with 0.9 percent share in December. The open source Android platform also now has three percent of Wi-Fi access share in the U.S.

In response, such Wi-Fi growth is driving chipset sales. Recent statistics by the industry group Wi-Fi Alliance reported sales grew 26 percent in 2008. While that’s only half of sales tallied in 2007, before the slowdown in the economy, it shows that Wi-Fi networking remains robust.

Devices in play in the U.S.

When it comes to mobile devices accessing Wi-Fi in the U.S., Motorola models came in second behind Apple, accounting for total of 19.3 percent. The handset maker’s RAZR V3 had 5.9 percent, its Z6M device holds 3.5 percent, the KRZR K1 owns three percent and the W385 handset accounts for 2.6 percent.

Samsung follows in third place with 15 percent total. Its total is includes the R450 device with two percent, the M800 with 1.8 percent and the R210 with 1.6 percent.

While Research in Motion’s BlackBerry devices accounted for 6.3 percent Wi-Fi requests in the U.S., right behind LG’s 6.4 percent, the BlackBerry 8300 and 8100 beat out Samung’s handsets with 2.8 percent and 2.3 percent share, respectively.

Worldwide Wi-Fi stats

In terms of worldwide smartphone Wi-Fi device access, Nokia (NYSE: NOK) leads with 43 percent, Apple is in second place with 32 percent and RIM attained 9 percent. HTC owns five percent, Palm has four percent, Danger’s handsets grabbed two percent and Samsung has one percent.

Symbian, which Nokia bought last year, leads when it comes to worldwide smartphone platforms and Wi-Fi requests with 44 percent. In second is Apple with 32 percent, RIM is in third with 9 percent, Windows Mobile owns eight percent, Palm has four percent and Hiptop has one percent.

Google’s Android platform, which arrived last fall, has attained one percent worldwide share.

But the numbers and players change a bit when it comes to U.S. smartphone device and operating system Wi-Fi requests.

RIM is in second place, behind Apple, with 19 percent, HTC is in third with 10 percent, Palm holds nine percent, Danger handsets own three percent, Samsung has two percent and other platforms account for six percent.

The iPhone is the top U.S. smartphone platform accessing Wi-Fi, with 51 percent. RIM is in second with 19 percent, Windows Mobile holds 14 percent, Palm has eight percent and Hiptop has three percent.

Tied with Hiptop is the Android platform, which also holds three percent share and beat out Symbian which is in last place in the U.S. with one percent.

Source: internetnews.com

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

How-To: Use Your iPhone as a Wireless Laptop Modem

Posted on February 17, 2009. Filed under: Apple | Tags: , , , , |

iphone as a wireless modemI travel a lot. And if you’re a geek like me, you can’t go a full day sans internet access without experiencing some severe withdrawal symptoms. Luckily, my iPhone, with all its WiFi and 3G goodness, has been instrumental in feeding my addiction while on the road. But though Apple’s smartphone provides the best mobile browsing experience out there, the small screen and touch controls still don’t compare to the pixel real estate and tactile qwerty speed of a laptop. Not to mention such luxuries as Flash compatibility, page caching, and tabbed browsing.

So the next time you’re stranded without an open WiFi network (but your 3G signal is going strong), you’ll be glad you installed Addition’s iPhoneModem 2 (free to try, full license is $9.99). Unfortunately, Apple has apparently deemed the app to be in conflict with its App Store Terms and Conditions, so it is only available for jailbroken phones via Cydia. Here’s a quick guide:

1) Jailbreak your iPhone.

Download and install QuickPwn, an easy-to-use jailbreaking application for Windows and Mac (the latest version works with iPhone OS 2.2.1). Run the software and follow the onscreen instruction very carefully!

2) Install iPhoneModem by Addition.

QuickPwn installs an app on your phone called Cydia, which is essentially the App Store for apps that were rejected from the official App Store (or, for whatever reason, the developer chose not to release through Apple). Run Cydia, search for iPhoneModem by Addition and install it. Keep in mind you can only delete Cydia installed apps via Cydia’s Manage-Sources function. Now download and install the helper app on your laptop and you’re almost ready to go.

3)Set up the network.

Run the helper app and hit Connect. The helper app sets up an ad hoc wireless network that can be accessed via iPhone. The default network it creates is called “iPhoneModem” and does not have a password (you can change this in the Preferences of the helper app). Now open up your iPhone’s Settings and tap WiFi. Make sure WiFi is turned on and select the network “iPhoneModem” (or whatever you called it). Type the password if you assigned one. Open up the Modem iPhone app and everything else will configure automatically. After a few moments the helper app and the iPhone app will confirm that a connection has been established and you can browse away with all the comforts of your laptop!

Shortcomings:
While 3G seems plenty fast on a phone, it feels a little slow on a laptop. Also, most major web browsers work but not all are supported. In addition, a lot of other internet applications aren’t supported, but for all intents and purposes, you should be able to browse just fine.

Source: pcworld

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

New products show rivals playing catch-up with Apple

Posted on February 17, 2009. Filed under: Apple | Tags: , , |

new-products-show-rivals-playing-catch-up-with-appleIf imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, there can be no higher tribute to the influence of US technology group Apple than a walk around the Mobile World Congress this year.

The Californian group, like previous years, has stayed away from the world’s biggest mobile industry trade show, but evidence of its design and approach to user experience can be glimpsed in the work of all its competitors.

At first glance, many of the sleek high-end phones on display here could be the Apple iPhone. But take a closer look at the black tablet-shaped phones with touchscreen technology and they are branded by rivals LG, HTC or Acer.

“Everyone wants to be Apple, don’t they?” says Nick Lane, chief researcher at British consultancy Direct2 Mobile.

“Apple do things effectively. They have found the heart strings of the consumer and not really any other company in mobile has been able to achieve that.”

Apple’s trick is to offer sleek design that takes the fear out of technology, making downloading, transferring data and using applications as easy and as logical as possible, say industry watchers.

This approach can be seen in the iPod, which revolutionised legal music downloads, and is now evident with the iPhone, which has opened up the market for powerful high-end phones, known as “smart phones” in the industry.

The second area where Apple, previously an outsider in the industry, has pushed the mobile sector forward is with its AppStore, which it launched last July.

The AppStore enables users to download new applications for their iPhones from games to social networking programmes, news services or travel widgets.

Software developers are encouraged to design applications that can be sold via the online store, offering users a choice of 15,000 downloads that add functionality and personalisation.

The 500,000th download was celebrated at the end of January.

On Monday, software giant Microsoft and Finnish handset maker Nokia responded, announcing their versions of the concept with the “Windows Marketplace for Mobile” and the “Ovi Store.”

“People have seen the success of Apple,” commented Carolina Milanesi, an analyst at reseach group Gartner.

“They also see that it’s a way to keep your customer loyal because if you have a lot of applications, people will be more inclined to buy your phone than another phone. It’s a way to make a device more interesting,” she added.

Furthermore, it generates revenues. She says Apple takes 20 percent of the income from an application download with the remainder going to the developer.

The maker of the Blackberry handset, Canada’s Research in Motion, has its own version of the “Appstore” and British technology group Surfkitchen has developed a platform for offering the store concept to network operators.

French network operator Orange has already set up its version in Britain and France, while China Mobile has announced a move into the area.

“Everyone will jump on the ‘me-too’ bandwagon and offer an AppStore,” said Lane. “It makes sense that people are moving into the space.”

Imitation of Apple carries dangers for some of the company’s high-end competitors, however. Already seen as behind the zeitgeist, an obvious rip-off of the iPhone or the AppStore to catch up would hit their credibility.

Nokia, the world’s biggest handset maker, continues to manufacture distinctive phones and Tony Cripps, an analyst at research group Ovum, says the new Nokia store concept is slightly different.

“Nokia?s Ovi Store is not simply a ‘me-too’ take on the barnstorming iPhone AppStore, although its concept undoubtedly owes a great deal to Apple?s success,” he said.

Nokia will offer the service to buyers of its mid-range phones when the boutique goes live in May. It plans to personalise the space with content tailored to the user based on his or her location and declared preferences.

“?Context? is something of a Nokia obsession of late, so this could prove interesting, but is as yet an unknown,” added Cripps.

Source: AFP Via Google News

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 2 so far )

Liked it here?
Why not try sites on the blogroll...