Thursday, August 31, 2006

August 31 Roundup

Analysts in the news on August 31:

  • Forrester Research about Enterprises Plan Increased Mobility Spending In 2006
  • Roger Kay at Endpoint Technologies Associates, Rob Enderle at The Enderle Group and Mike McGuire at Gartner via the RED HERRING about Sony Ericsson (SNE) to Push Ringtones
  • Linda Barrabee at Yankee Group via MediaPost Publications about ESPN Mobile Kicks Off Live Football
  • Sharon Armbrust at JupiterResearch about AWS Auction Winding down with Bargain Basement Bids
  • Thomas Husson at JupiterResearch about Mobile Life 2006

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

August 30 Roundup

Analysts in the news for August 30:

  • Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster via iLounge about analysis of July Apple (AAPL) iPod sales data points to ‘slight downside’
  • Miro Kazakoff at Compete via Guardian Unlimited about Don't Keep Secrets on Your Cell Phone
  • Thomas Husson at JupiterResearch about Todo X Artista
  • Mike McGuire at Gartner, Jaap Favier at Forrester Research and Yankee Group analyst John Jackson via the RED HERRING about Apple (AAPL) Versus Big Music

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

August 29 Roundup

Analysts in the news for August 29:

  • Clem Driscoll at C.J. Driscoll & Associates via BusinessWeek about TomTom on the Go-Go
  • Mike McGuire at Gartner and Mike Goodman at Yankee Group via TechNewsWorld about Microsoft (MSFT) Selects Toshiba to Provide Zune Hardware
  • Craig Mathias at Farpoint Group via Network World about Fixed/mobile convergence: What’s in it for users
  • Gerhard Fasol at Eurotechnology Japan about Redherring interview on SoftBank's adjustment
  • Matt Hatton and Linda Barrabee at Yankee Group via CNET about the mobile Internet: Are we there yet?

Monday, August 28, 2006

August 28 Roundup

Analysts in the news for August 28:

  • Keith Nissen and Bill Hughes at In-Stat about Growing the Enterprise Market through IMS and Converged Devices: Is a Laptop Really the Best Choice for Mobile Computing?
  • Roger Entner at Ovum, Edward Snyder at Charter Equity Research, and Jason Bazinet at Citigroup via the New York Times about Wireless Providers Poised to Win Spectrum Licenses
  • Thomas Husson at JupiterResearch about Johnny on your mobile
  • Michael Inouye at In-Stat about Mobile Video Industry Will Begin to Shape up in 2008

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Weekend Roundup

Analysts in the news for the weekend of August 26-27:

  • Gerhard Fasol at Eurotechnology Japan about SoftBank opens flagship store
  • Yankee Group analyst Adam Zawel via PC-Welt about EA games coming to Verizon, Sprint
  • Andy Seybold at Outlook 4Mobility about Which Is Smarter, MobilePro or MetroFi?

Friday, August 25, 2006

August 25 Roundup

Analysts in the news for August 25:

  • Roger Kay at Endpoint Technologies Associates via the Wall Street Journal about DELL Abandons Branded MP3 Players
  • Mike McGuire at Gartner, Claudio Checchia at IDC and Jonathan Ng at CIMB via the International Herald Tribune about Apple (AAPL) to license Creative patent
  • Mike Goodman at Yankee Group and Mike McGuire at Gartner via E-Commerce Times about DELL's DJ Ditty Player Bites the Dust

Thursday, August 24, 2006

August 24 Roundup

Analysts in the news for August 24:

  • Charlie Wolf at Needham & Co via the The Wall Street Journal about Apple (AAPL) Agrees to Pay $100 Million To Creative (CRTV.PK) to Settle iPod Dispute
  • Kanishka Agarwal at Telephia about Research Shows Nearly 13.5 Million Wireless Subscribers Downloaded a Mobile Game, with Average Monthly Revenues Reaching $46.9 Million in Q2 2006
  • Thomas Husson at JupiterResearch about 3G reality - part 3
  • Michael Gartenberg at JupiterResearch about Creative and Apple settle - First Take
  • Carolina Milanesi, Hugues De La Vergne, Ann Liang and Nahoko Mitsuyama at Gartner about Worldwide Mobile Phone Sales Grew 18 percent in the Second Quarter of 2006

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

August 23 Roundup

Analysts in the news for August 23:

  • Tim Bajarin at Creative Strategies via Technology Pundits about Why Microsoft's (MSFT) "Zune" is Not a Slam Dunk
  • Sharon Armbrust at JupiterResearch about Cingular Gaining Momentum vs Competitors
  • IDC analyst Susan Kevorkian and Gartner analyst Michael McGuire via CNET about Has Apple's (AAPL) iPod hit parade stalled?
  • Michael Gartenberg at JupiterResearch about The Three Laws of Consumer Electronics

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

August 22 Roundup

Analysts in the news for August 22:

  • Ted Schadler at Forrester Research about SanDisk (SNDK) -- A Smart Memory Giant In The Making
  • IdaRose Sylvester at IDC about SanDisk (SNDK) unveils 8GB music player
  • David Chamberlain at In-Stat about Streaming Music Again Tops Video and MP3 Files as Cell Phone Multimedia Favorite
  • Tole Hart at Gartner via the St. Paul Pioneer Press about hard sell on your cell?

Monday, August 21, 2006

August 21 Roundup

Analysts in the news on August 21:

  • Sharon Armbrust at JupiterResearch about NEW YORK LICENSES UP TO $3.5 BIL. ON DAY 8 OF AWS AUCTION
  • Linda Barrabee at Yankee Group via the The Wall Street Journal about - Mobile: E-Lit
  • David Chamberlain at In-Stat, Ken Dulaney at Gartner and Jeff Kagan via the The Palm Beach Post about Don't call it a cellphone - New devices redefining how we use digital music
  • Kathryn "Kitty" Weldon at Current Analysis via the Mobility Water Cooler about Is Open-Standards-Based Mobile e-mail the Key to the SMB?
  • Sasa Zorovic at Oppenheimer and Linda Barrabee at the Yankee Group via the San Jose Mercury News
  • about InfoSpace Mobilizing for wireless success

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Weekend Roundup

Analysts in the news for the weekend of August 19-20:

  • Mark Mulligan at JupiterResearch about - More shots at Apple (AAPL)
  • Pauline Courtiau at In-Stat about Cellular Modems: Access to the Internet from Almost Anywhere
  • Dean Bubley at Disruptive Analysis about Wireless: Another IMS handset software firm gets acquired.....

Friday, August 18, 2006

August 18 Roundup

Analysts in the news for August 18:

  • Roger Entner at Ovum, Stephen Froehlich at IMS Research, Jane Zweig at Shosteck Group and Linda Barrabee at Yankee Group via about will consumers tune in to a tiny TV in their hand?
  • Dean Bubley at Disruptive Analysis about Once and for all..... fixed broadband will always be faster / better / cheaper than wireless
  • Steve Palley at Foci Mobile about MNVOs Feel the Heat, Stay in the Kitchen
  • Tamara Gaffney at Telephia about Business Users Have 23 Percent Higher Mobile Phone Bills and Much Higher Incidence of Overage and 411 Charges

Thursday, August 17, 2006

August 17 Roundup

Analysts in the news for August 17:

  • Michael Gartenberg at JupiterResearch about Thinking about Zune strategy
  • Ken Dulaney at Gartner via about Network Rail maintenance staff issued with handhelds
  • Sharon Armbrust at JupiterResearch about whither IP wireless?--Good Technologies get reinvented...
  • Kelvin Ho at Nomura Securities via the Wall Street Journal about China Mobile's Profit Rises
  • Dean Bubley at Disruptive Analysis about Mobile Java being open-sourced - just in the nick of time
  • Dean BubleyDisruptive Analysis about T-Com's dual-mode offer.... actually, I think it's on the right track

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

August 16 Roundup

Analysts in the news for August 16:

  • Joseph Laszlo at JupiterResearch about T-Mobile goes UMA
  • Julie Ask at JupiterResearch via Advertising Age about Consumers Value Prices and Service, but Amp'd and Helio Market Multimedia
  • Sharon Armbrust at JupiterResearch about DIRECTV/ECHO: LEAVING AWS AUCTION & MAKING OTHER PLANS?
  • Dean Bubley at Disruptive Analysis about Multiplicity rules in mobile

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

August 15 Roundup

Analysts in the news on August 15:

  • Nick Lane at Informa Telecoms Media via about Disney cancels UK mobile kid-tracking
  • Ira Brodsky at DataComm and John Jackson at Yankee Group via LinuxInsider about PalmSource Pushes Open Source for Mobile Phones
  • Bernard Brenner at Telephia (pdf) about mobile internet population jumps to 34.6 million, with email, weather and sports websites securing the highest reach
  • Dean Bubley at Disruptive Analysis about fuel cells in mobiles - Forget it, it ain't gonna happen.....

Monday, August 14, 2006

Morning Roundup

Analysts in the news for August 14:

  • Bill Rojas at IDC about 3G Licensing is Instrumental in Driving the Mobile Network Equipment Market in China, India and Korea
  • David Kennedy at Ovum about Telstra full-year results: heading into uncharted waters
  • David Chamberlain at In-Stat about Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs): Moneypit Or Bonanza?
  • Mark Natkin at Marbridge Consulting and Ken Dulaney at Gartner via InformationWeek about BlackBerry Fever Brings Headaches To China

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Weekly Roundup

A roundup of mobile analysts in the news for the week ending August 13:

  • Mark Mulligan at JupiterResearch about the portable media player debate
  • Gartner's Ken Dulaney via about Bugs in Your BlackBerry
  • Chris Jones at Canalys about Mobile GPS navigation market doubles year-on-year in EMEA

Friday, August 11, 2006

JupiterResearch: ESPN MVNO Fails to Meet Disney Expectations

Julie Ask at JupiterResearch posts that at Disney (DIS) recent earnings it said little about its MVNO businesses, but did say "ESPN Mobile had not met the expectations put forth at the time of launch." She writes about their upcoming family-oriented MVNO that:

The Disney MVNO will be interesting to watch. Parents are still buying on value best provided by the carriers, but are motivated by knowing that their children are safe. I think it will be a question of: are voice and SMS enough for me to communicated with my children and know where they are? Is knowing where they are enough to give me peace of mind? Is it the children or the parents that have the real need here?

Creative Technology Q4 2006 Earnings Conference Call Transcript (CREAF)

SeekingAlpha provides the full transript for the Creative Technology Q4 2006 Earnings Conference Call (CREAF)

Motorola Gains on Nokia

Electronic News writes that according to iSuppli, "Motorola (MOT) continued its Q2 momentum for mobile phones yet again, with its shipments increasing by 5.8 million units during the period." The report "ranked Motorola the second largest, with 51.9 million units shipped in Q2, up 12.6 percent from the 46.1 million shipped in Q1. Motorola also won market share, with that number rising to 23 percent in Q2 from 21 percent in Q1."

Tina Teng at iSuppli said, “U.S.-based Motorola continues to benefit from strong demand for its line of thin form-factor phones, most notably its wildly successful RAZR. About 40 percent of Motorola’s second-quarter unit shipments were of its trademark thin form-factor phones, and 32.8 percent were RAZRs. Motorola’s market-share gains were most notable in China, North America and India.”

iSuppli found that "Nokia’s (NOK) shipments increased 4.4 percent sequentially for Q2 to a slightly better performance than that of the overall market, giving the Finnish company an additional point of market share to 35 percent. Nokia’s shipments totaled 78.4 million units in Q2 compared to 75.1 million in Q1." The firm "attributed Nokia’s Q2 success to improvements in its mobile-phone product portfolio and to rising sales in Europe, China and the Asia/Pacific countries."

Samsung "suffered a significant setback in Q2 due to disappointing overseas sales," with the "company’s biggest shipment decline came from Europe. Overall shipments fell to 26.3 million units in Q2, down 9.3 percent from 29 million in Q1. The company’s market share also fell by a point to 12 percent."

According to iSuppli, "Sony Ericsson posted the largest percentage increase in mobile-phone shipments among the top five players. The company’s unit shipments rose to 15.8 million in Q2, up 18.8 percent from 13.3 million in Q1. iSuppli said the company has been making gains with its Walkman line of mobile phones, which accounted for 25 percent of its unit shipments in Q2."

Sony Ericsson surpased LG Electronics to take fourth place in the market. "LG Electronics slid to fifth place on a 1.9 percent decline in unit shipments due to competition in the U.S. market with rival Motorola. However, the company’s most-talked-about mobile phone, Chocolate, is gaining popularity. The model is expected to be available in the U.S. market in the fourth quarter and should help boost the company’s results in the near future."

FCC Sells Air

ABC News writes about the FCC spectrum auction and what it might mean for the future of wireless. The article notes "more available spectrum, also called bandwidth, means that companies that provide wireless services, such as cell phones, can offer more features than simple telephone service." Marina Amoroso at the Yankee Group said, "If you've got a wider street, traffic can go more quickly."

Rob Enderle added, "It may not change the cell phone in your pocket. But it could make a difference in regards to what you carry in your pocket at some future date."

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Ovum: Nokia acquires Loudeye: what tune is it playing?

Michele Mackenzie at Ovum adds her thoughts on Nokia's (NOK) acquisition of "white-label digital music service provider Loudeye for $60 million. The deal is not expected to complete until Q4 2006." She writes:

With the acquisition of Loudeye, Nokia has acquired a strong, well-established company in the broadband digital music space. Loudeye is already a dominant player in this industry and has been successful to date in building a business based on scale and volume, which is critical in a low margin, nascent digital music industry.
Mackenzie also notes that Loudeye also provides Nokia with:
  • long-established music rights deals with major record labels and independent labels, in some cases for both online and mobile channels - Loudeye has a strong reputation already with the labels
  • a proven white-label service and platform, and technological know-how in online digital music - the company fulfils many roles in the value chain, providing hosting, aggregation, DRM, payment facilities and dual delivery, as well as customer service and marketing if required
  • an existing customer base in the online market, consisting of telecommunications providers and consumer brands.
On whether Nokia can match Apple's (AAPL) vertically integrated, direct-to-consumer business model without alienating Nokia's biggest customer segment , she states:
In the past, Nokia has been criticised by wireless operators for providing content direct to the consumer through its own portal. With such a strong consumer brand, wireless operators viewed Nokia as a threat to their own portal businesses, in which they were investing heavily. And as the (initial) buyers of most of Nokia's phones, they naturally resented what they saw as Nokia competing with its own customers. However, a couple of years ago Nokia reviewed its strategy and took a much less conflicting approach to content. It phased out its own content portal and launched Preminet, a WASP-type service portfolio, which repositioned it as a B2B provider in the value chain.
She believcs "the Loudeye acquisition could stir up trouble again, this time in a content area in which operators are especially sensitive: music. It was notable that there was no mention in the announcement of the wireless operator or a B2B offering. Wireless operators that are currently investing heavily in launching wireless music download and streaming services will be understandably concerned if this is not clarified." Mackenzie concludes with:
In order to launch a D2C music service over the air, Nokia would have to strike deals with the operators for wholesale data traffic. At the moment, many third-party service providers of rich media are prevented from entering the market for lack of such deals, because consumers will not pay heavy data traffic charges on top of the content fee to download over the air. Nokia could provide a sideloading service, but this really would be counter-cultural for a company whose business hinges on wireless-connected devices.

We believe that this would be a dangerous strategy for Nokia to take and would only serve to alienate its main customer base.

JupiterResearch: A few more thoughts on Nokia and OD2

Mark Mulligan at JupiterResearch continues the discussion about Nokia (NOK) and the Loudeye/OD2 acquisition at the Jupiter Analyst Weblogs. Regarding tackling Apple (AAPL) head-on in the mobile music game, Mulligan points out:

  1. In short, Nokia want to [further] pursue a music eco-system for their music enabled phones (such as the N-91)
  2. This means taking Apple head on in competing for consumer’s MP3 listening.
  3. Continuing OD2’s Internet music white label business opens up another front against Apple for Nokia.
Mulligan thinks the "main battleground is for music enabled devices, but if winning that battle requires simultaneously fighting on previously unfamiliar territory then so be it." He's not sure it will work and outlines some other unanswered questions:
  1. Will dedicated or multifunction devices win out?
  2. Will the operators enable Nokia to aggressively pursue their mobile digital music strategy (whether it’s over the air downloads or as Card hopes side-loading, both threaten operators’ music strategies). Remember operators have the ‘broken arrow’ option of handset subsidies to play should they need to.
  3. Can the Apple iTunes / iPod model work on mobile phones? Operators play a very different role than ISPs do for the PC
  4. Will Nokia be able to turn around OD2 sufficiently to turn it back into a serious contender on the European stage?
Mulligan concludes that:
But even with those questions looming, there’s no getting away from the fact that it’s been a tough old couple of months for Apple. First they get hammered by the French legislative machinery (which we now have to wait for the first implementation by the regulators following Mr Chirac’s signature to the amended bill). Then the Nordics get narky (to which Apple have responded in pretty vociferous manner, suggesting they’ve been advised by their legal team that they have a pretty strong case). Next Microsoft say that they deploying their own ‘broken arrow’ option and planning to take on Apple head on, essentially bypassing (underperforming) existing partners. And finally along come Nokia with their two pronged attack. In my book that is a quadruple whammy.

Forrester Research: Why Sony's Mylo Adoption Could Be So Low

Charlie Golvin at Forrester Research ponders at the Devices, Media, And The Future Of Everything blog how many Mylo devices Sony (SNE) will sell. He believes the the target audience is 18 to 24 year olds who “live online.” Golvin writes:

If this is supposed to become your primary communications tool then it needs to be connected all the time. How many of these people are actually within WiFi coverage all the time? Today I’d say it’s essentially zero . . . even students on a fully unwired college campus go off the grid . . . Perhaps agoraphobics or other shut-ins with a wireless home network.

The pricing is ridiculously high given what the device offers, let alone the fact that the target audience is almost certainly already equipped with a mobile phone, MP3 player, digital camera, portable game player, etc. With flat rate mobile data pricing coming down along with huge buckets of text messages, and services like eqo that provide Skype calling from your mobile, the value proposition at this price point looks pretty meager to me. And don’t forget that if you want to store music and other content beyond a smattering you’ve gotta pony up for additional storage — at Sony’s premium for Memory Stick.
Golvin concludes with:
Finally, it’s a completely closed environment — if your buddies are on MSN/Live or AIM, this device isn’t for you unless you can convince them all to move to Yahoo! or Google, nor will clients that access these networks emerge unless they strike a deal with Sony to allow that. This is completely different than the Nokia 770 model, which relies on a true open source environment and has seen a robust growth in applications from garage and other developers. And it’s quite different from the UMPC model — you’ll find that using the web browser on this device you’ll encounter a whole lotta sites (e.g., YouTube) whose content won’t render. Nope, I think mylo will struggle to find an audience of meaningful size and will likely experience some very, very rapid price declines along the way.
Not very encouraging is it?

Dean Bubley:Is MMS Successful?

Dean Bubley comments at Disruptive Wireless about a recent "piece of analysis/spin/marketing" that found "MMS can be seen as a very popular and successful service." He writes:

Just a shame that operators have subsidised something like a billion cameraphones to the tune of around $10-20 a piece (apparently about $9 for the camera module and then a bunch of bits of software & integration work), plus had to invest $XXbn in MMSCs and other bits of infrastructure, and $YYbn in developing & marketing their photo messaging services.

It's pretty difficult to get any reliable stats on MMS traffic, but the anecdotal evidence I've seen points to a maximum of around 150-200m being sent globally per month (excluding the exceptional-as-usual Japanese). Verizon's one of the leaders, at 62m per quarter (ie 21m per month), while another big advocate Telecom Italia Mobile made a grand total of €49m from MMS in 2005. Scaling that up means MMS is (optimistically) a $2bn business in 2006.

Yeah, great success, given a cumulative investment of the order of $20bn+

JupiterResearch:The iPod's Not a Music Player

David Card at JupiterResearch continues the discussion on whether Microsoft's (MSFT) Plays for Sure is dead that was started by his colleague Michael Gartenberg. He thinks "going head to head with Apple (AAPL), for what isn't really a music player, but a consumer-fashion fetish object, does not play to Redmond's strengths."
Card writes that:

today music players are not about closed loops. They're about accomodating existing MP3 collections (which Apple did best, if not first). Who cares about paid digital downloads? They make up less than 15% of what's on a user's iPod. If the business were really about what I believe is a totally new way of discovering and using music, that is, supporting subscription services like Rhapsody, Napster, Yahoo, and AOL -- then perhaps multiple closed loops make sense. But that business is still emerging -- it's certainly not driving device sales -- and I suspect it would be better supported by compatible devices. So far, none of 'em work very well.
Card concludes with:
The only way I see a sustainable dedicated music player business is if it totally re-invents music usage again, post iPod, which already did so. The jukebox in the sky could be a gamechanger, though not in 2007 or 2008. Or if it totally commoditizes the technology and acts as a Walkman replacement. Walkman replacements shouldn't cost $200.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Nokia Goes Ear-to-Ear with Apple

BusinessWeek writes about Nokia's (NOK) acquisition of Loudeye/OD2 for $60 million and the company's attempt to take on Apple (AAPL) in the digital music market. Lewis Ward at IDC said, "it's Nokia's response to itunes."

Albert Lin at American Technology Research said, "Nokia already sells as many music phones as Apple sells iPods. And the market for music phones will be larger than the market for stand-alone music players. The bulk of music-playing devices sold is likely to be the cell phones."

According to the article, "Loudeye has a catalogue of 1.6 million tracks and has more content rights to local music globally than any other music distributor in the world—including iTunes. Murray Arenson at Ferris, Baker, Watts said, "No one is close to that."

Jari Honko at eQBank added, "In digital music, it's all about intellectual property rights. Nokia has greater power than smaller companies to protect [them]."

P.J. McNealy at American Technology Research pointed out that "the Loudeye brand is virtually unknown when compared with that of Apple's hugely popular iTunes service. This gives carriers the chance to market their own brand instead."

On the subject of Nokia possibly offering its own music service, Andrew Cole at TNMG-Adventis said, "the carriers could react extraordinarily negativel. They could lose revenues because of this."

Signals good for Motorola

The Chicago Tribune reports that Sprint Nextel's (S) plans to spend up to $3 billion on a WiMAX netwrok is good news for Motorola (MOT), since the company "will be a key equipment supplier for the network."

According to the article, Motorola has been making strides to bolster it's 3G and WiMAX knowhow, and "recently invested $300 million in a WiMax start-up called Clearwire, which also got $600 million from Intel (INTC). Motorola will be Clearwire's exclusive equipment supplier."

As to whether WiMax will succeed, Mike Walkley at Piper Jaffray said, "the jury is still out." However, he added that Sprint's WiMax network presents "a nice piece of business." Walkley also noted that "it helps allay worries that in the longer term, Motorola's business with Sprint Nextel would wane."

The article pointed out that "the WiMax deal also comes a week after Sprint announced it would begin selling two high-end Motorola phones--the Q and the Slvr--later this year." Lawrence Harris at Oppenheimer & Co said, "Motorola's relationship with Sprint has been solidified." Harris added that if Motorola performs well on the Sprint deal, "it will be in a lead position to win additional (WiMax) contracts."

Ed Snyder at Charter Equity Research stated he "wasn't too optimistic about Sprint's WiMax network." He wrote in a recent research note that "It's "more marketing hype than market reality."

Snyder believed "the market for wireless data services--which advanced networks like WiMax serve--has been disappointing so far in the United States." He commented that "Motorola will get some modest benefits from the Sprint deal. But there's no indication WiMax will fare better than fast cellular systems that are currently in use."

Sprint Announces WiMAX is "4G"

A couple of analysts blog their thoughts on Sprint's WiMAX announcement:

Sony Goes WiFi With Mylo Device

TechNewsWorld writes that Sony (SNE) "is looking to take advantage of the popularity of instant messaging (IM) with its new handheld device unveiled this week. The Sony Mylo is capable of IM and Internet access through any available, open wireless network. Offering a 2.4-inch color LCD screen and pullout QWERTY keyboard, Mylo works with popular IM services, including Google (GOOG) Talk and Yahoo (YHOO) Messenger, and allows music, photo viewing, browsing and e-mail via 802.11, or WiFi Latest News about WiFi, networks."

According to the article, "the device, which will be available next month for around US$350, offers about seven hours of messaging and Web surfing time with its lithium-ion battery."

Gartner analyst Ken Dulaney said, "I think a WiFi-dependent device is going to have lots of problems. It's encumbered by the fact that while we have a standard technology, we don't have a standard network. It just delivers [the experience] with the wrong kind of connectivity. If this had cellular capability, then it would be interesting."

Ovum's Roger Entner thought that "while the number of WiFi hubs, or "hotspots," are increasing, users are still a long way from having complete WiFi coverage." He said, "[The Mylo] takes ubiquity of coverage for granted, which just doesn't exist in many places."

He thought "the device may have more appeal in an advanced wireless environment, such as a college or university." entner added, "I can see how it works for the college crowd."

IDC: Early Lessons of Mobile Advertising Trials Require Advertisers and Wireless Service Providers to Rethink Business Models

IDC has published a new report that finds "the promise of wireless to be an effective and powerful tool for reaching targeted market segments makes it the hottest new medium for advertising and marketing. During the past year, both the U.S. wireless and the consumer brand communities have begun exploring mobile advertising through in-depth focus groups, market trials, and experimentation with different formats."

IDC believed "the unique nature of wireless devices and wireless usage characteristics creates a number of advertising format opportunities that will prove beneficial to both advertisers and wireless service providers. Wireless service providers have access to vast amounts of customer data that could be leveraged to create more effective advertising messages that reach customers on an individual basis. In addition, mobile advertising presents a significant new revenue opportunity for wireless service providers who are facing continued erosion of voice service pricing."

Scott Ellison at IDC said, "Early market trials are showing just how different the mobile advertising environment will likely prove to be. The real impact of mobile advertising will be forcing both advertisers and wireless service providers to substantially alter their highly successful business models to adapt to this very new but very different medium. Without fundamental model adaptation, both communities risk alienating the very customers they serve and strive to reach."

According to Ellison, "the new business models will need to adapt to a range of issues, including different wireless user tolerances and receptivity to mobile ads, different mobile advertising formats, sharply compressed ad rotation cycles, and advertising that relates to individual user characteristics. Successfully addressing these issues in addition to creating ads that are effective and engaging, yet unobtrusive, will prove to be the ultimate challenge for the two industries. In addition, wireless service providers will be forced to view themselves as media companies instead of as telephone companies."

Dean Bubley: Whatever happened to WiMAX for cellular backhaul?

Dean Bubley posts at the Disruptive Wireless blog about the possibility of using WiMAX technology "as a cheap & effective way of improving mobile backhaul." He states that "As far as I can see, the need for faster, cheaper, better (ideally non-line of sight) backhaul has grown tremendously. The demand certainly seems to be there." Bubley writes:

But speaking to one of the largest WiMAX equipment vendors last week, I got the distinct impression that this is one of the "use cases" that hasn't made it as far as the initial marketing pitch for the technology. I suspect this is partly down to the limitations of existing interfaces (and physical space) at cell sites. But it also seems to be a distinct aversion in many traditional mobile carriers to the idea of deploying another wireless network, especially just for "spot" solutions.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

JupiterResearch: Is Plays for Sure Dead?

Michael Gartenberg wonders at the Jupiter Analyst Weblogs whether Microsoft's (MSFT) Plays for Sure has have much of a future following Nokia's (NOK) acquistion of Loudeye/OD2. Gartenberg writes that:

The way to go after Apple (AAPL) and iPod would be with a platform that both hardware and music store and service providers could build on. The combined economy would offer such a diversity of choice for consumers that a single company could never hope to compete with. Some parts of the eco-system would do better than others but the company providing the core technology would be king. After all, it worked that way in the PC business. Turns out, consumers weren't interested in choice all that much (or more correctly, the choice they were interested in was should they buy a Nano or an iPod with video).
Regarding Microsoft and their Zune strategy, Gartenberg comments that:
It's not a platform for third parties. It's an end to end solution from one company. Sort of like iTunes and iPod. While Microsoft still pays lip service to the notion of the Plays for Sure Platform (and keen observers note that the Windows Media team now works in Robbie Bach's org) it's clear that the larger platform vs. the end to end solution is Microsoft's strategy. Which seems to be echoing in other places as well. We've seen the first evidence of that this morning when Nokia bought Loudeye. Nokia, after all, makes music players (that also make phone calls). They had previously licensed Plays for Sure technology from Microsoft but now it looks like they're going to go end to end on their own. Expect to see this as a trend as more folks seek to distance themselves somewhat from Redmond and try to come to market with end to end vertical systems of devices and services.
Gartenberg beleives it won't work. because "the market simply won't bear a multitude of different devices tied to proprietary services and stores offering about the same level of functionality." He concludes with:
Remember what happened in the PC industry with all the so-called IBM compatibles, battling for market share with similar but not identical offerings. (that is until a little place called Compaq came out with a direct clone of the IBM PC not just a compatible). Look for some interesting players to get into the space later this year and then look for a bigger shakeout in 2007. There's some clear strategies that vendors in this space can use to make sure they're not part of the flameout that will likely occur, but it's not clear that most of the players will recognize what it is they have to do. Stay tuned, the digital music war is just getting started.

Alltel to offer podcasts on cellphones reports that Alltel (AT.N) "will provide a service to download audio clips from the Internet to cellphones in a bid to expand its business beyond voice services. Alltel, the leading U.S. rural wireless provider, said it will charge $3.99 a month to let subscribers download or stream Web-based clips, also known as podcasts, to their cellphones."

According to the article, Melodeo "is providing Alltel with the technology to offer the clips, which could include everything from sports, entertainment or news clips from media companies to clips from independent podcast creators."

JupiterResearch analyst Julie Ask remarked that "listening to podcasts via desktop computers or iPods has become popular, particularly among young people, but it is not clear how quickly the trend will spread to cellphones." She said,
"There's no doubt that there's interest in podcasts. The only open question is to what extent I'm going to do this on the fly or plan and take it with me."

According to Ask, "about 20 percent of 18 to 24 year-olds have listened to or downloaded a podcast."

Eurotechnology Japan: iPhone? iTunes/iPod phones?

Gerhard Fasol at Eurotechnology Japan blogs about the possibility of an Apple (APPL) iPod phone and it's potential impact in the Japanese market. He points out that back in May, Nihon Keizai Shinbun ( the world's largest business daily ) wrote "that Apple and SoftBank are developing such a joint mobile phone with iPod and iTunes functions." Fasol then writes:

On March 17 SoftBank announced the full acquisition of Vodafone's Japan subsidiary - the former J-Phone - jointly with YAHOO-Japan as a co-investor - so with about 15 million mobile subscribers in the world's most advanced mobile market (Japan), SoftBank/Apple will have the firepower to make such a phone a success, provided it's tuned to Japanese consumers' needs and dreams - my guess is that it probably will be.
Fasol believes that an "Apple/SoftBank iPod mobile phones coupled to iTunes could have quite a lot of impact on Japan's music industry: about 20% of Japan's music sales are to mobile phones. Of all music downloads in Japan about 6% are fixed line internet downloads, and 94% are music downloads to mobile phones: internet music downloads are almost neglibile in comparison to mobile phone music downloads." he concludes with:
Therefore even if iTunes has a huge market share in the fixed line internet world, iTunes cannot have much impact in Japan overall if limited to fixed line internet downloads. iTunes downloads to mobile phones will change the business models of Japan's music industry - at the moment music downloads to mobile phones cost a lot more than iTunes downloads. An iPod/iTunes music store could reshape the mobile music market in Japan.

JupiterResearch: Nokia to Buy Loudeye/OD2

A couple of JupiterResearch analysts comment on Nokia's (NOK) acquisition of Loudeye/OD2. David Card posts that "of the European digital music stores, Loudeye OD2 didn't score so well when Jupiter was testing reputations among the European digital music value chain, but it does have the market share."

Card writes that Loudeye has "not much presence in the US (after merging with OD2, it sold off the old US encoding business). Over here, so far, the big guys have built their own or gone with MusicNet." Card concludes that:

I hope Nokia doesn't obsess over over-the-air downloads, and instead builds a slick system for incorporating existing MP3 collections . That's the secret of Apple's success, and will be key to any music phone story as well.
Fellow colleague Mark Mulligan notes "OD2 were the pioneers of the European digital music arena but struggled to keep pace with the arrival of Apple on the scene. It’s not been a great year or so for OD2, they had HMV and Virgin poached off them by MusicNet, MyCokeMusic closed down to be replaced with a strategic alliance with iTunes and they were one of the most poorly ranked companies by the industry in Jupiter’s Digital Music Vendor-Perceived Proficiency Rankings. All this amidst mutterings in the industry about their technology."

Mulligan then asks why have Nokia bought them? He opines;
Nokia are interested in the platform not the partners. This is all about boosting Nokia’s digital music footprint, primarily, though not exclusively, across mobile. Which adds further confusion to the already complex mobile music value chain: just about every stakeholder is aggressively competing to seize new territory: Nokia as a digital music provider puts them up against the mobile operators who have high hopes for music services driving increased mobile data revenues. But of course Nokia depend upon the operators to help subsidize their music enabled phones. Not to mention all of the mobile content aggregators such as Jamba getting increasingly aggressive in stealing market share. Something has to give somewhere: there is only so much pie to slice.
Mulligan concludes that "it will be interesting to see what happens with OD2’s very strong relationships with Microsoft (MSFT) and MSN following Nokia’s acquisition. Nokia’s majority holding in Symbian doesn’t exactly made them natural bedfellows with Microsoft."

Data on the double

The Australian writes about the need for more mobile data speed and new technology beyond 3G such as "High-Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA), which can be incorporated relatively cheaply into existing 3G networks and increases speeds by a multiple of between four and 30, depending on network configuration, type of device, processor speed, and other random variables such as wind direction and degree of marketing desperation."

Gartner analyst Nick Ingelbrecht said, "We've seen a lot of interest among enterprise users for web browsing, corporate intranets and email. It's not huge, it's a premium market for high-volume users who are prepared to pay for mobility."

Ingelbrecht noted that for consumers, the prospects are still pretty limited. He said, "Busi-ness users are quite opportunistic. They'll use it if it's easy to configure and won't blow a huge hole in the budget."

The article notes that in Australia, "Optus and Vodafone, which share one national 3G network, will begin HSDPA trials this month, and will spend more than $100 million on the upgrade. Hutchison aims to have its HSDPA roll-out complete in the first third of 2007, although upgrades to enhance the speed will continue through 2009, while Telstra wants its new 3G service up and running before the end of this year."

Forrester Research analyst Jenny Lau said, "For launches, 2006 will be the year of HSDPA, but don't expect mass adoption."

According to article, "the first targets for HSDPA upgrades will be existing 3G data card users, but many market watchers speculate that plug-in data cards will be replaced in the long run by direct connections through an existing mobile phone."

Ingelbrecht said, "We've got two schools of thought on this. Major vendors like Nokia see the future of access being via mobile phones connected by Bluetooth or USB. The data card manufacturers see the need for stronger PC integration."

Forrester analyst Niek van Veen thouhgt that "a common risk for all providers is that customers who are the first to adopt new mobile services, such as HSDPA, are also the first to abandon them."

Ingelbrecht said, "I don't see that there's going to be a revolution in communications as a result of HSDPA. It's a steady evolution of functionality. It's not just about new services, it's about trying to improve the overall user experience.

He added, "All-you-can-eat data plans are inevitable, it's just a matter of time. It will depend entirely on competitive pressures. Once the first one does it, they'll all have to."

Steve Palley: Mobile Gaming Winning Qualities

Steve Palley at Foci Mobile takes a breather from his usual posts about the problems facing the mobile gaming biz to highlight some of the brighter spots. He writes:

A great example of a real industry triumph has been the publishing sector’s embrace of the quality ideal in product design. Many who observe mobile gaming in a professional capacity agree that overall quality has improved greatly over the past year. At first glance, this development would seem to be perfectly natural, given the level of improvement in the industry’s technological and business positions. Thank you, Mr. McObvious! But the story goes deeper than that.

In fact, the change I’m talking about is purely volitional, and it comes as a result of several years of experimentation on the costs and benefits of mobile game production. Until recently, the jury was out on whether making the highest quality mobile games would also make a company the most successful mobile games publisher.
Palley then discusses the problems that plagued in the past stating "I remember many cases where the capability to make a great game had clearly been present, as had the desire and the plan...but the execution wasn’t quite right. Something was missing, and that something was expertise." He then cits some examples like:
For instance, take the inclusion of a sound on/off switch at the beginning of a mobile game. It makes sense that someone playing a mobile game in public might want to silence the game before it can produce any embarrassing noises, right? Not to designers who had worked on console games for their entire careers. In fact, I didn’t see a game with this simple feature until late 2004, and it took a full year after that to become commonplace.

How about guided, step-by-step tutorials designed with non-gamers in mind, or one-handed controls, or simplified, high-contrast graphics, or gameplay symbols that are readily identifiable on tiny phone screens? There are a million of these seemingly trivial design tweaks (here’s an excellent preliminary list, compiled by UK reviews site Pocket Gamer), and more are being discovered and tested out every day. In aggregate, they are hugely significant.
Palley believes "It’s now clear that the industry has evolved at least a basic set of conventions and ‘best practices’ for making mobile games. Publishers finally have a good idea of which features work well and which ones don’t, so they don’t have to spend lots of resources reinventing the wheel; they can simply make a decent mobile game right out of the gate by copying their neighbors." He concludes with:
Now that the industry has become obsessed with raising the quality of its games, the next step will be for it to apply that same fire to thinking up entirely new game ideas. All the polish in the world can’t make an old design into a novel product.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Telephia: Realtones Account for More Than 76 Percent of Mobile Consumer Spending on Music Personalization

According to Telephia, "realtones account for more than three-fourths of consumer spending on music ringtones to personalize their phones." The firm's latest Mobile Ringtone Report showed that "mono and polyphonic ringtones now account for only 12 percent of consumer spending on music personalization products, down from nearly 30 percent in Q3 2005. Ringback tones, which were launched in late 2004, now account for 11.5 percent of consumer spending in this category, an increase of almost 50 percent since last year. The number of mobile consumers purchasing a ringtone increased to more than 24.6 million in Q2 2006. While the overall market is growing, mono and polyphonic ringtones are losing market share to realtones and ringback tones."

Kanishka Agarwal at Telephia said, "It's no surprise that mono and polyphonic ringtones have fallen out of favor with mobile consumers as realtones are a far superior format, much like how CDs replaced cassette tapes. This is all part of the broader shift toward consumers expecting their mobile devices to deliver a high-quality portable music experience."

Table 1: Revenue Share by Ringtone Type (U.S.)
Quarterly Revenue Share
Ring Type Q3 05 Q4 05 Q1 06 Q2 06 Percent Growth (Q3 05-Q2 06)
Realtone 62.4% 68.3% 76.2% 76.4% 22.4%
Ringtone 29.6% 22.8% 13.8% 12.0% -59.4%
Ringback 7.7% 8.9% 10.0% 11.5% 49.5%

Source: Telephia Mobile Ringtone Report, Q3 05 - Q2 06
-- Note: The Mobile Ringtone Report represents on-portal ringtone activity data from the top four carriers, including Sprint Nextel,
T-Mobile, Verizon and Cingular. Data excludes pre-paid and corporate liable activity.
Telephia found that "ringback tones offer mobile consumers a way to personalize what their callers hear and the service has grown in popularity over the past year."
Table 2: Top Ringback Titles by Revenue Share (U.S.)
Title Artist Genre (%)
1. Ridin' Chamillionaire Rap/Hip-Hop 3.1%
2. What You Know T.I. Rap/Hip-Hop 1.8%
3. Hips Don't Lie Shakira & Wyclef Jean Pop 1.5%
4. Be Without You Mary J. Blige Soul/R&B 1.4%
5. Me & U Cassie Soul/R&B 1.3%

Source: Telephia Mobile Ringtone Report, Q2 06

JupiterResearch: Motionlingo: Is a GPS System Required for Outdoor Sports?

Andrea Wood at JupiterResearch takes a look at the Adeo motionlingo – "a GPS device that plugs into a portable media player to provide audio queues and updates while exercising." Wood is pretty positive with her experience and provides her pluses and minuses on the device. She concludes with:

The motionlingo sells for $149 US, and is a pretty cool device for those active folks who don’t want to check a wrist-worn device to analyze performance. So while I may not need GPS when I’m outdoors, it’s a novelty that can enhance the sporting experience.
I had a chance to review the Adeo motionlingo and I wasn't too impressed. The unit I recieved didn't work properly and the software (both on the PC and online) was rudimentary and seemed like an early beta. When I expressed my concerns to the company that I would have to ding the product in several areas if I were to review it, they said an exec would contact me. However they never did and I decided to shelve the review instead of panning the product.

The device seems promising, but for $149 there are a lot better uses for the money. You can get a Garmin Forerunner for a little bit more or use Bones in Motion's BiM Active service, which turns certain GPS-enabled Sprint Nextel handsets into a personal activity monitoring device for $9.99 a month. The other option for Apple (AAPL) iPod nano owners is to purchase the $29 Nike+iPod device. It's not GPS but you can't beat the price (if you have a nano already)....

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Weekly Roundup

A roundup of mobile analysts in the news for the week ending August 6:

  • Telephia analyst Tamara Gaffney via about The End Of The Triple-Tap?
  • Richard Windsor at Nomura Securities via EE Times about Platform group's goal: Unify Linux for handsets
  • Ovum analyst Graham Titterington and Ellen Daley at Forrester Research via about mobile threats hit out of the blue
  • Neil Strother at NPD group and Charles Golvin at Forrester Research via about 'Sweet' phone plays tunes, too
  • Johan Fagerberg at Berg Insight via the Sunday Herald about Trisent is new tracker star
  • Ken Hyers at ABI Research via the Dallas Morning News about reach out and track someone with GPS phone

Friday, August 04, 2006

JupiterResearch: iPod as a platform - Part XXIV

Michael Gartenberg offers his take on Apple's (AAPL) deal with Ford, GM and Mazda to provide iPod integration in new cars at the Jupiter Analyst Weblogs. Gartenberg writes:

Let's see, before today, it was 6 out of 10 new cars in the US would be offering some sort of iPod integration. This is good news for Apple, not so good for the other folks out there. Let's face it, you buy a new Mercedes with an iPod connector and you can control it via the steering wheel, how likely are you to buy something else... like a Zune?

One reporter asked me why it took so long to get Ford and GM on board. The real question is how did Apple manage to get this done so quickly. Auto vendors are notorious for long lead times and being slow to integrate stuff like this. Ask Microsoft's auto folks how long they've been trying for something simple like getting USB into cars, much less a proprietary connector. This story just gets more and more interesting.

Eurotechnology Japan: M-Commerce towards US$ 100 billion

Gerhard Fasol at Eurotechnology Japan posts that "mobile commerce (the mobile phone equivalent of mailorder) exceeded mobile content (music, weather, news, etc) first in 2004 in Japan and is on the way to reach US$ 100 billion in the not too distant future.

Fasol estimates that:

m-commerce (the mobile equivalent of mail order, or instant purchase of goods and services) has reached approximately US$ 10 billion per year in Japan, and most likely exceeds this mark already. Mobile phones are used in Japan to purchase many different types of products from music, to train tickets, air tickets, event tickets, books, and even cars. In our work for our customers we analyzed in detail a "killer application" for mobile commerce, where in Japan a single mobile website achieves about US$ 0.5 billion in annual sales.

JupiterResearch: MobileCoupons for Lunch

Julie Ask at JupiterResearch posts about MobileLime announcing "a deal with Subway to send coupons to customers who opt in." She writes:

There wasn't a lot of detail in the release. There wasn't a lot of detail in the release about the value of the coupons, frequency, or what events would trigger coupons or who would do so. Definitely an interesting idea. Customers are trackable because they register with MobileLime and pay with MobileLime. Coupons on phones make sense because your phone is always with you. Will be interesting to read more about the uptake from consumers.

Forrester Research: Apple’s Deal With Detroit Locks Up Yet More Earshare

Ted Schadler at Forrester Research posts at the Devices, Media, And The Future Of Everything blog about Apple (AAPL) extending it's lead in the portable media player market. He states that "to sell 60 million iPods in three years, create a legitimate market for digital media, displace the king of portable audio, and reinvent the business model for consumer electronics takes more than a pretty product. It takes brilliant market execution. And that, folks, is what Apple continues to do."

He notes Apple's recent deal with "Ford, GM, and Mazda to put iPod docking stations in 70 percent of 2007-model US automobiles makes iPod the slam dunk winner in the car market. And with 56% of consumers saying that they listen to music most frequently in their cars, it also gives Apple even more consumer earshare."

Schadler lists out what he thinks this means:

  • To accessory makers, it means that they had better be working on car components to supply Detroit with iPod docking stations. Belkin,, who are making hay with iPod FM transmitter accessories, can’t be happy . . . unless they’ve got a deal with Mazda in the works.
  • To Microsoft Zune, it means that they’ve lost the car channel before they even launch. The longer Microsoft stays out of the market, the more entrenched Apple will become. Unless Zune is 10 times better than iPod (or competes in a completely different market), consumers will stick with the player that they’ve fully accessorized and loaded with at least some Apple-protected content.
  • To Ford, GM, Mazda, BMW, and other car manufacturers, it means they should be thinking about video integration next. Streaming video from an iPod to the backseat is a cheap and easy way to amuse the kids on the drive to grandma’s.
  • To Apple, it means that they now need to focus on the next big lockup opportunity -- making iPod a platform for independent applications. Though it is not in Apple’s DNA to open up the software to independent developers, it should be doing exactly that. As iPod adoption begins to flatten out (as Forrester expect it will in 2007), Apple will need to entice consumers to need more iPods to run specialty applications. They should pause and create a stable and open set of APIs for developers to match the standard 30-pin docking connector that they haven’t changed since 2003.
  • To XM and SIRIUS, it means that they’ve got a new competitor to worry about in their best market. A consumer could get a Sirius experience -- and more given the rise of celebrity podcasts -- with their iPod and a broadband connection. It’s competition like this that will help limit satellite radio adoption to 30 million US households by 2010.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Ovum: 3G in Australia: subscribers are growing, but what about the services?

Neale Anderson at Ovum writes that 3G growth in Australia is now picking up. He attributes this to several factors:

natural migration to 3G is accelerating due to the closure of networks, 3G handsets are vastly improved and 3G-based packages are forming a greater percentage of the overall mix. Consequently, we expect 2.3 million 3G subscribers in Australia by the end of 2006 - around 10% of the overall base.
Citing that "quickening migration to 3G services is a global trend," Anderson continues that:
In Australia, 3G subscribers formed 8% of the market (1.6 million customers) at the end of June 2006, up from 3.2% at end of June 2005. Part of this has been operator-driven: 3 Australia rapidly migrated the bulk of its CDMA customers to its WCDMA platform early this year. From 2007 onwards, Telstra begins the much larger project of migrating its CDMA base onto the new UMTS 850 network. Now 3G offers are increasingly visible in the marketing mix from all carriers, not just 3 Australia. From its soft launch in the final quarter of last year, about half of Telstra's top six mobile offers feature 3G phones. Vodafone is the same - 3G phones make up 50% of its featured offers. Optus is also using core services to promote its 3G offerings.
Anderson then discusses the possible implications of this trend stating "a bigger 3G user-base makes the marketing proposition for mobile services a different story. Rather than spend large sums marketing 'pilot' services to a tiny user base, the operator has a higher potential return, both as a result of the network effect and the profile of these customers. Those customers who have upgraded to 3G at this stage are likely to be of high potential value - they will likely have done so as a result of either being attracted to a particular'iconic' handset or having their interest piqued by a particular service."

Anderson concludes with:
Unlocking this potential value is the tricky part. All operators are now extensively marketing a range of services, and several are seeing traction. Full-track music downloads, streaming video (particularly sports) and adult content offer the most near-term potential. Yet for the majority of mobile phone owners, (non-messaging) mobile data usage is not habitual, and it can still be (very) expensive. This makes it questionable whether the network effect of a wider 3G base will deliver much financial gain. In Japan, the combination of flat-rate data, a high installed base and a wealth of off-portal content has led to increased spend on mobile content. In Australia, 3G growth is picking up, but the main financial benefits will be on the supply side (capacity and efficiency) in the medium-term, rather than from the widespread adoption of multimedia services.

Mobile enterprise security starts with policy has a nice, lengthy article on the importance of policy for mobile enterprise security from an end-user, device and infrastructure perspective. Jack Gold at J. Gold Associates and Daniel Taylor at the Mobile Enterprise Alliance provide some insightul commentary in the article.

Instead of trying to summarize the entire article, here are 10 steps to mobile security -- broken down into specific areas -- as outlined by Jack Gold of J.Gold Associates:

End users:

  • Set policies, document and get user buy-in
  • Enforce policies on mobile devices for all users
  • Review and update policies regularly, as things often change


  • Make sure password protection is set to "ON"
  • Include updated personal anti-virus and firewall on devices
  • Encrypt sensitive files on devices
  • Enable device lockdown and kill


  • Determine what file types can be downloaded/synced by which users
  • Log device usage for compliance where appropriate
  • Enforce connection security/VPN standards

Juniper Research: Mobile Music Market to Shift Significantly from Ringtones to Full Track Downloads as Total Revenues Reach $14bn by 2011

According to Juniper Research , "annual mobile music revenues will top $14bn worldwide by 2011 with Asia Pacific expected to contribute 40% by this time, Europe 27%, North America 18% and Rest of the World 15%."

Juniper predicted that "with the advent of new technologies and increasing competition fuelling the drive for product innovation, there will be a significant shift in market emphasis from ringtones to over the air (OTA) full track music in the next five years."

Juniper forecasted that "during the period 2006-2011 total revenues from mobile music services (including ringtones, ringback tones and OTA full track music) will see the proportional market share for ringtones fall from 81% to 51%, with OTA full track music rising from 9% to 32%."

Bruce Gibson at Juniper Research said, Until now ringtones have dominated mobile music, but the balance is shifting. Full track music has been the central offering of many 3G service launches around the world and as 3G usage gathers pace, the mobile music market is preparing to enter a new growth phase”.

Juniper stated that "prominent market drivers for the acquisition of full track music are likely to be the dual download facility, increased bandwidth offered by 3G networks and the evolution of the mobile handset into a multi-purpose communications and entertainment device."

Bruce added, “Ringtones won’t die away – far from it! We believe that continued product innovation within the personalization product sector will ensure ringtones remain popular through the foreseeable future."

Not Much Call for Cell Phone Gadgets

The Chicago Tribune writes that although "mobile phones have all sorts of bells and whistles, including models that play videos and download music...customers appear happier using their phones to do old-fashioned things, like making a call."

The article cites Verizon dropping its $15 monthly fee to access music and Forrester Research's recent survey that "shows only 6 percent of mobile phone subscribers download or stream music files once a week while only 3 percent of customers do the same with video services. That compares to 38 percent of customers who say they send a text or picture message."

Charles Golvin at Forrester said Verizon is "acknowledging that the monthly fee is a barrier to experimentation. Phones continue to be communication devices."

According to Verizon, more mobile "downloads have come over the air to a consumer's phone, even though it costs $1 more" than via the PC. Julie Ask at Jupiter Research said, "The price disparity reflects that people are experimenting. The reality is that most of the music I want to put on my phone is what I already own,. A small portion of that music is bought from a carrier."

Regarding the potential for mobile video, Ask noted that "people don't have large video collections they tote around," and "most people so far don't see the value in watching video clips on a 2-inch screen." Ask pointed out that "only 1 percent of mobile customers watch video on their phones, and that figure is expected to rise to only 5 percent by 2010."

Ask said, "Prices have to start to come down to attract more users. They are not interested right now."

Verizon believes it's new pricing approach and the launch of the LG 'Chocolate' handset will help. Forrester's Golvin thought "Verizon might be on the right track." He said, "All the carriers need to provide some sort of freebie period to get people hooked."

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Garmin Q2 2006 Earnings Conference Call Transcript (GRMN)

SeekingAlpha offers up the full transcript from Garmin's (GRMN) Q2 2006 Earnings Conference Call

Forrester Research: Assessing The State Of Consumer Technology Adoption

Forrester Research has issued a new report that finds "Eighteen-to 26-year-old Gen Yers are integrating technology into their daily lives at a faster rate than any other generation." The results were based on a survey of 66,707 US and Canadian households.

Forrester Research Analyst Charles S. Golvin said, "Young consumers are also advanced users of mobile data services. That means marketers can reach this mobile audience by adopting new channels like blogs, podcasts, and the mobile Web. Among the best news for brand owners and marketers is the fact that young consumers are much more receptive to advertising than the older generations."

Key mobile-related highlights include

  • Seventy-five percent of North American households have mobile phones, and almost half of them make the bulk of their long-distance phone calls on these mobile phones.
  • Forty-five percent of Gen Yers, 27 percent of Gen Xers, and 17 percent of 41- to 50-year-old Younger Boomers who have a mobile phone use it for data services, led by text messaging, ring tones, and games.

The Diffusion Group: India's Mobile Market Subscribers to Top 350 Million by 2010

The Diffusion Group (TDG) predicts "the number of mobile subscribers in India is expected to grow from just over 100 million today to more than 350 million by 2010 - an addition of 250 million subscribers in just four years."

TDG states that "while China's market is widely heralded as the most immediate and largest opportunity for mobile vendors, India's growth rate will be equally explosive. When combined, China and India (what TDG calls 'New Asia') have a population of approximately 2.5 billion people and comprise the single largest opportunity for mobile vendors in the history of mobile telecom. The evolution of these two markets will reshape the global telecommunications and technology landscape, as well as realign market share among today's mobile market leaders."

Michael Greeson at TDG said, "While India's mobile market growth will in many ways follow China, the reasons for its growth are very different. India continues to experience a level of poverty far deeper than China and has little in the way of fixed-line infrastructure to support telecommunications. More than half of India's 700 million rural inhabitants have no access to residential electricity and must rely on community pay phones. It is because of this unique confluence of factors that mobile technologies make so much sense to both India's government and to operators."

Greeson noted "modern mobile telecommunications technology offers developing nations a way to cover expansive 'greenfield' territories (in this case, areas bereft of home or personal telecommunications) in a faster and less expensive way than traditional fixed telecom infrastructure. Combined with the world's lowest per-minute charges, inexpensive handsets, and the social status of mobile phone ownership, India's mobile operators are preparing to exploit this opportunity."

Key findings include:

  • Despite 12 years of deregulation, the number of fixed-line telecom subscribers has increased less than 15% in the last three years (from 41.5 million to 47.5 million, most of which has been confined to urban areas);
  • In India, the cost of installing new fixed lines is roughly three times the price of installing a mobile line;
  • As of early 2006, about 50% of all the towns and villages in India could receive a mobile signal. The Ministry of Communication and Information Technology has set a goal to reach 90% coverage by the end of 2006 - a very ambitious goal, but one that could be within reach given the steps that the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) and the Indian government have taken to enable competition and increase foreign investment;
  • Despite the fact that government taxes on mobile phone revenues are amongst the highest in the world, TDG expects that taxes, levies, and spectrum fees will be reduced to cover only the Universal Service Obligation (USO) fund and administrative costs;
  • Given the rapid pace of growth, upgrading current infrastructure has taken a backseat to network expansion and quality of service in most areas is extremely poor; and
  • Total mobile service revenue will increase over 170% from 2006 through 2010 - which translates to a compound annual growth rate of 22.1%.

Dean Bubley: Mobile phones features: operators, users & subsidies

Dean Bubley comments at the Disruptive Wireless blog about a post by Keith over at TeleBusillis about "reclaiming analogue FM radio spectrum for digital uses," and whether "operator-subsidised mobile handsets should include features like FM radio." Bubley writes:

This is a central issue in the handset business at the moment. In many (but not all) countries, mobile phones are heavily linked to the operators' business models. Often they will be subsidised, customised & distributed by the carriers, especially in markets like the US and Japan (China and much of the rest of Asia is the opposite, however). Some will even be designed by the operator from the ground up, and manufactured by the ODMs.
He then points out that "the advent of the RAZR killed the idea that operators had "won" over manufacturers. In one swoop, Motorola proved that the "shiny thing" philosophy won over a large proportion of consumers. "Give me one of those.... or else I'll churn to an operator that will". Hardware is more valued than software, which in turn is more valued than services. Ouch." Bubley states:
The subsidy issue is a thorny one. Up to a point, I have some sympathy for the operators. Subsidising something like Bluetooth or WiFi that generates no revenue (or even helps cannibalise existing revenues) has got to hurt. Ditto subsidising something that generates costs like support calls, or higher returns (step forward smartphone OS's...). My view is that subsidising something gives the operator some moral authority to say how you use it. But not as much as some of the US operators, that cripple Bluetooth & otherwise act dictatorially over "their" phones.

The question is one of balance. How can an operator minimise subsidies, whilst not increasing churn (or, worse, persuading people to buy "vanilla" handsets not optimised/customised for any operator's value-add services). It's a problem that will only get worse, as Moore's Law & other technology scale economics mean that the average handset will bundle in more capabilities (memory, power, processor, display, software, connectivity....) faster than the operator can exploit.
Bubley concludes with:
operators may be handset vendors' main direct customers, but the end user often ain't stoopid. There's going to be an ever-greater bunch of stuff that phones can do, which doesn't generate revenue for the carriers. Sorry, but that's the real world. Black chrome on a razor's handle doesn't directly help Wilkinson Sword sell more blades, but it's still subsidised as part of the whole package, helping them compete against Gillette & minimise "churn" amongst the shaving population.

UMA : Next Year's Model?

Unstrung writes that unlicensed mobile access (UMA) "has been embraced by carriers and vendors alike and is currently being tested by Nokia (NOK)." While folks are quite keen on "UMA's progress but aren't expecting speedy deployments."

Rob Enderle at the Enderle Group wondered "if UMA technology, which essentially gives carriers control of calls across cellular and WiFi networks, could be a bit of a white elephant in the enterprise."

Enderle said, "The problem isn’t technology. The problem is that PBX profit comes from handsets; they basically give the PBX away to get handset and service revenue. That means to implement this at an enterprise level it’s a rip-and-replace."

Enderle added that "even if UMA becomes part of a wireless voice-over-IP build-out, the value resides in the handset -- making it unlikely that vendors will enthusiastically support a UMA device that runs over the enterprise network."

Enderle expected "UMA to make more of a dent in the small-business market." He said, "If UMA does appear, it is likely to happen at the other end of the market, small business doesn’t use PBXs and many now live off of cell phones. I would expect the wave here rather than [large] enterprises first. I think we are within two years of such offerings."

visiongain intelligence: Hybrid solutions will narrow the mobile device power gap in the short term

According to visiongain intelligence, "with energy requirements for portable and handheld devices increasing on a daily basis, traditional batteries will be unable to meet the demands of advanced power-hungry multimedia applications. Micro fuel cells are emerging as a viable technology alternative to bridge the current power gap, although a number of issues need to be resolved before they reach maturity and commercialisation."

visiongain predicts that "hybrid power systems, comprising of a fuel cell and Li-ion/Li-Po combination, will become a mainstream solution by the end of the decade, and fuel cell-only mobile devices will eventually displace hybrid solutions."

Visiongain estimates that "shipments of fuel cells in mobile devices will grow from 7 million in 2009 to 92.6 million in 2011, accounting for around 10% of all handset shipments that year, with exponential growth seen thereafter."

visiongain found that "OEMs and operators are waking up to the potential presented by fuel cells for the next generation of mobile phones and laptops. Fuel cell manufacturers, on the other hand, are aggressively working beyond R&D to commercialise their products, with 2007 being the year that many vendors bring their products into the market."

visiongain analyst Dr Kauhik Das said, “We believe that commercialisation, including safety and in-flight concerns, technology and environmental issues are aligning with Active DFMC, which also meets the energy requirements for handhelds and laptops. Having said that, initial success is coming for borohydrides, which is non-flammable, non-toxic and works at a range of temperatures, including room temperature."

Dr Dasadded, “Volume production capabilities that need substantial investments could help to bring down costs. However, the demand for fuel cells has not yet reached the volume to stimulate such investments. One way to trigger production could be public awareness.”

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Smart Phones Face Challenges

RED HERRING reports that "in spite of the growing popularity of smart phones, consumers aren’t yet ready to trade in their laptops and PDAs for a single, do-it-all device." Citing a recent In-Stat survey, "Nearly half of those surveyed said they were unsatisfied with smart phones’ small keyboards. Forty-three percent cited small screens as a problem. Other issues included a lack of applications, navigation difficulties, and short battery life."

Bill Hughes at In-Stat said, “It’s a little premature to declare the end of the laptop or the PDA. The truly accepted converged device would do that, but we’re not there yet."

In the survey, "77 percent of smart phone users said they either carry a PDA, or a PDA and a laptop. Charles Golvin at Forrester Research noted "the overlap can be attributed to the fact that smart phones just don’t work as well as individually designed devices."

Golvin said, “What you tend to get with these converged devices is jack of all trades, master of none. Certain devices do a really good job of doing certain things. When you start to layer them up with other applications, they tend to get bulky, and maybe not do as good of a job.”

In-Stat’s Hughes also stated that "fear drives people to carry more than one device." He said, “There’s the feeling that, if I lose it, or if the batteries run out, I’ll be totally unproductive."

Hughes also pointed out that "some PDA and laptop users haven’t taken the time to figure out how to run similar applications on their smart phone, even though they could." He said, “They haven’t converted over their applications, so it’s just as easy to carry both devices because they’re not that heavy."

Golvin commented that "hooking up individual employees’ devices to corporate systems could result in the loss of control over data security—a problem in the current regulatory environment." He said, “The enterprise is going to lock it down and say you can only use the device the way we configured it. It makes it a lot less compelling for the person to carry it as a personal device.”

Golvin added, "The idea that there is one thing that is going to do this for everybody is wrong. It doesn’t reflect the reality of the consumer market and the individuals that populate it.”