Monthly Archive for May, 2007Page 2 of 28

Nokia – Qualcomm fight slows down 3G progress

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Nokia

While Nokia is fighting tooth and nail for GSM rights, they’re admitting more legally unfettered technologies might have time to make progress while Nokia and Qualcomm’s 3G efforts are stunted. In response to a recent competition among manufacturers to produce 3G handhelds in the $100 price range, which was won by LG, Nokia’s Chief Technology Officer Tero Ojanpera said:

“3G is not about cheap price but about new capabilities, … It’s not the first priority to have a cheap phone.”

That’s an especially interesting statement considering their movement in India. If Nokia is setting budget products and 3G as mutually exclusive, then it looks like India’s going to be stuck with second-rate (but accessible) service for some time, that is, unless, someone can step in to fill that higher-end niche.

New AT&T CEO: “You want the iPhone? You want the iPhone? You can’t handle the iPhone!”

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iPhoneThat may be an exaggeration. Randall Stephenson, current COO and heir-apparent to the throne of AT&T, actually said:

“I don’t know what your expectations are for the iPhone, but they’re probably too low,” he said during the Lehman Brothers analyst conference Wednesday.

I’ll admit it, my expectations of the iPhone are pretty low, but when he goes on to say that it will be a “game changer” for their wireless arm, it can’t really be denied that sales are going to be good for this thing. Forecasts have been good, and c’mon – it’s Apple. They’re an established brand that’s built a lot of hype around its product, and AT&T is totally going to be cashing in on its three months of exclusivity.

ThoughtPeice: Email: Still the Killer App!

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Rembrandt and Manning

More than a few times someone has remarked to me something along the lines of: “what’s the big deal about the BlackBerry…all it does well is email.” To which I reply: “well, yeah…and all Peyton Manning does well is throw the football.” (For those of you more culturally inclined, I’ll say “well, yeah…and all Rembrandt did well was paint.”)

Email is easily the most widely used application of the Internet, even more so than the World Wide Web with all of the cool sites like this one. In fact, email is probably the most important advance in person to person communication since the advent of the telephone. So a device that does portable email well is a pretty significant achievement, much like a portable phone. In retrospect, it seems like genius for RIM to have realized the market opportunity that existed and to have so successfully exploited it.

With all of the recent attention showered on the more exciting multimedia features it’s easy to take the email application for granted. Yet email remains a killer app in the mobile world, and one that establishes the BlackBerry as an entrenched competitor for years to come, no matter what the efforts of Microsoft and Apple.

Smartphone accessories make more money than smartphones

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Banana PhoneHere’s a bit of a surprise, coming to us by way of our friends at Cellular-News. It seems as though smartphone accessory sales far exceed those of smartphones themselves, generating over US$32 billion in revenues in 2007, compared to approx. US$28 billion expected to come from smartphone sales this year. ABI Research, the firm that produced the report, expects the market for mobile phone accessories to grow steadily in the next five years and generate over $80 billion in revenues in 2012.

Handset vendors like Nokia and Motorola are taking advantage of this consumer trend by offering products specifically tailored to ‘mobile enhancement’ or ‘personalization’. A personal favorite around BBCool HQ is the ever-versatile Banana Phone attachment.

Continue reading ‘Smartphone accessories make more money than smartphones’

Nokia launching low-cost GSM network in India

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IndiaNokia’s hitting up India again, having won a contract to build a greenfield GSM network out of Kolkata under their Aircel brand. Greenfield networks float around the 1800MHz band, and sport some pretty interesting possibilities with such low overhead.

A complete green-field GSM deployment can be profitable with as little as US$5 average monthly revenue per user (ARPU). And costs are falling, of course. In 2004, new mobile phones were available for as little as $50 on the black market, i.e. that’s the selling price w/o taxes, and used phones for $20. Now a … GSM Association initiative promises to drive new handset costs below $30.

Pair this off with Nokia’s extensive low-lend line of devices, and it’s looking like RIM’s meager push into India won’t get too far.

Jibi scopes out BlackBerry Web Desktop Manager

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BlackBerry Windows Desktop ManagerRegular BBCool contributer, Jibi, lays into BlackBerry’s new Web Desktop Manager, which, as the name implies, gives a lot of the functionality of the desktop app as a browser-based client.

“The BlackBerry Web Desktop includes almost all basic functionality, including the ability to change your signature, configure filter settings, device switch management, and complete backup and restore functionality.”

Sounds good! On the whole, Jibi’s really happy with the new manager, harping especially on the cost-free factor of it all. (Also, Mac users are no longer screwed, ed.)