Friday, October 31, 2008

Friday Movie - Voting Tip From President Bush

Friday.  Nice.  And it's Halloween.

So, this is Friday's movie (clip).

Enjoy.  Have a scary (in a good way) Halloween and great weekend!

Mobile Update for October 31, 2008 (Halloween!)

Note:  For this week's daily updates, please visit Mobile Digerati.

There is just one thing to think about as we head into November.  The Holidays shopping season.  Is it "Holidays" or just "Holiday"?  I can't seem to get it quite right. 

Yes, November.  As far as mobile devices goes, it maybe belong to RIM with Bold and Storm finally being let loose.  Today, Blackberry Cool posted information on Blackberry Storm's Vodafone pricing.  Depending on what plan you choose, you might be able to get it free.  Provided you're willing to go with a higher monthly rate (or as they call it over there, "tariff"). 

Now, Engadget is speculating Verizon might try to fire back at ATT with a $99 entry point.  Onxo can see it happening.  However, lots have to happen including making Bold and other Blackberries for free.  Something along that line has to happen.  Sprint also just priced their new Curve at $250.  Bold isn't out yet and ATT has already pre-announced the price to be at $299 (Scientific America).

During the latest financial call, RIM has indicated that they will be taking hits in the coming quarters because of the cost of introducing new products.  You can get it involves Storm.  Just how much will be up to RIM and it's partners and if VW will be willing to take the ATT route, short-term hurts for potential longer term gains.

If Apple chooses to match this, a recent spat of blog posts that came from one analyst source indicates Apple has the ability to take the iPhone down to $99 if it chooses too and still make a hefty margin.  We can't say one way or another what will happen.  Too many moving parts here. 

One thing is certain:  VW and RIM has to matching iPhone's $199. 

Impact: You and I will.  Mobile warriors win.  In this sense, competition is good.  We'll know in the next month just how good we'll get it.

There are no other mobile updates to highlight.  For today's other stories, please visit Mobile Digerati.

Mobility On Halloween Night

To the mobile goblins and ghouls out there tonight, have a fun and safe time trick-o-treating.  Yes, creatures of the Underworld also use iPhones and the likes.  Saw it on Buffy.

Anyway, parents, you'll probably take your trusty mobile devices out with you tonight.  Don't forget about the kids.  They'll probably want to come along too since they got all dressed up the for occasion.  Yes.  Some mobile warriors baby their iPhones or Blackberries more than their flesh and bloods.  It's understandable since these devices give and give while the little devils (literally) take and take.

So, what can you do tonight to make the occasion more memorable and safe?
  • Charge it.  Go do it now.  
  • Fill your device with music for the occasion.  Ghoulish sounds and people being hacked to pieces.  That's do just fine.  There are also apps for that. 
  • Look for apps that will turn your phone into a flashlight.  It'll come in handy when you get hungry and you want to raid your child's loot right on the spot.  There are a couple for the iPhone.  An adequate one for the G1.  I'm sure there are a few for the Blackberry and Window Mobile.
  • Twitter - that's all I can say.  If you're on the iPhone, you're got Twitteriffic and Twinkle.  Both works very well.  On the G1, you've got nothing so far.  Blackberry twitter apps are fine from what I'm told.  
  • Don't forget there's probably a camera on your mobile device or phone.  Use it.
  • Make sure your child knows how to use it.  My nephew is quite apt at using my iPhone as a lightsaber.  Knows how to dial 911 too.  
  • If you have GPS or some kind of location-awareness tech, it can come in handy.  
  • Make sure you have your hands-free headset or Bluetooth.  There are a lot of kids high - on sugar tonight.  
If there is anything else you think you can add this this list, Onxo wants to hear from you.

Have a great Halloween!

T-Mobile Looking At Offering $35 Unlimited Wireless Internet Access

There.  The title pretty much says it. 

They're just looking into it.  That is according to Wireless Week who got their information from media sources.  However, this is not as far fetched as it might soon since T-Mobile already offers Mobile web surfing and unlimited texting at $35 for the G1, which is the same price being considered as the new Internet plan to be offered across their portfolio.

This is a good move as T-Mobile and the other wireless providers are embroiled in a class-action lawsuit over texting prices. 

Source:  Wireless Week

Note:  While all wireless providers are inherently evil, T-Mobile did bad when they tried capping the G1's 3G acess at 1GB.  Now, the cap is closer to 10GB.  I like to think Google's influence has sort of rubbed off.  iPhone and ATT, Verizon, and Sprint:  your move.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Trend Shows Bright Future for Mobile Devices

The original title for this post was "iPhone: The Poor In the US Are Rich" because it was going to be only about a post about lower-income mobile warriors adopting iPhone at a much faster clip than the average folks.  But I realized it's more than that.

According to the Wall Street Journal, folks who earn less than the medium income are leading the way in adopting the iPhone.
Frankly, I'm not surprise.  Not just the iPhone, but I would like to know the  income data for smartphones and other mobile devices.  In these tough economic times, we seek to maximize the value of our income.  Recently, a survey of Canadian and American consumers ranked wireless services as one of the last things they are willing to let go.

With wireless services now nearly as important as utilities, it's no wonder people are looking for a device and service that let them do it all, even if is a small premium.

Here are some data to chew on:

  • Mobile warriors earning $25K-$50K who adopted the iPhone grew 16% versus the average of the group at 12%.
  • The same group also increased mobile Internet usage by 5% versus 2.7% for the masses.
  • Survey was for the summer months and involved close to 34,000 phone users.  This is a much better sampling than Presidential polls are taken.
So, why would I want to see data for other phones?  Well, we are on the cusp of a fundamental change: people ditch their standard phones for devices that can do it all.  Basically, we are transformed from a society used phones to stay in touch to one that wants to be mobile and requires our mobile devices to function beyond making calls.

It is for this reason that I am confident that if we get a chance to examine purchasing data for devices similar to the iPhone, we will find a similar trend.  
  • People want a mobile computing devices that makes calls.  Not phones that tries to do other mobile functions.
  • Simplicity.  No hacking required or any other form of tinkering.  It just works out of the box.
  • High speed.  I don't think the iPhone, despite being only $199, will be as success if not for the fast wireless connection.
  • If it works as advertised, a small premium is tolerated.
What we're seeing in mobile convergence of functionalities, simplicity, and design.  Onxo has talked about this in the past and we're happy to see it happening.  The iPhone and some of the other devices like the G1 and Storm are a good first step.  

Now, we want more.


Motorola Gambles on Android

This is not really a surprise.  Motorola's move to Android does make Android more like to succeed as a mobile platform but it does not necessarily work the other way around. It mean not mean success for Motorola.  At least not overnight.

In addition to announcing plans to use Android to turn its fortunes around, Motorola just reported a quarterly loss of nearly $400 million and is laying off 3,000 workers.  I can understand the need to shore up its finances as it has not been successful in replace the still high popular but low-margin RAZRs.  Nor has it been able to answer the charges of Blackberries and the iPhone.

By going with Android, Motorola hopes to catch up to the front runners or, at the very least, stop the bleeding.  There still is not a lot of information on what a Motorola mobile device powered by Android is capable of.  One area that I hope to see such a device excel is the design.  As evident with the RAZR, Motorola clearly has the design talents to make a cool looking device.

I just hope their design team isn't a part of the 3,000 soon-to-be ex-Motorola workers.

Here's the bottom line: there is a lot of risk here.  In addition to Android now, Motorola has also dabbled with Windows Mobile.  Without something that will make it stand out from the rest of the field, Motorola will not benefit having an Android phone in its portfolio. 

Being a "me, too" will not work.

Note:  When Palm adopted Windows Mobile insteading of innovating, it essentially became just another WM licensee.  There are rumors flying about that Palm is looking at Android.  I've used many Palm PDAs (there's an abbreviation you haven't seen in a while) and I like them very much.  I hope they will stick to the innovation road than one that may only mean a slow death.

Mobile Gaming Reach $1 Billion

RCR Wireless is reporting some encouraging news for mobile entertainment. Particularly mobile gaming.

This was talked about on our earlier post.  Here are some additional information:
  • Fragmentation of platforms is making it difficult for developers to choose which platform to support.
  • Gaming will reach $6.8 billion by 2013.
  • One third of those survey play games on their mobile phone.  It's all my mom does on her iPhone.  I remembered she was surprised when she found out it could make phone calls.  A gaming machine that makes phone calls.  What will they think of next?
  • One fifth of those survey have downloaded games other than from their carriers.
Note the last point.  This why why wireless providers like to keep their subscribers locked.  This is another area where iPhone has made great impact on mobile landscape.   You can do with with Palm and Windows Mobile even before the iPhone came along. 

But it was Apple that has shift the balance of power away from the carriers.  It's also why Nokia has thanked Apple a couple of times already.

Link:  RCR Wireless

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Mobile Update for October 29, 2008

Today, many G1 owners got a rude awakening when T-Mobile suddenly ended our 3G/EDGE services causing widespread panic.

Apparently, we have been part a week long promotion but I think they call it that but since Google's involved, we were a part of their beta program yet again.  Anyway, this "beta program" ended badly.  Instead of switching everyone over to the data plan we selected when we pre-ordered, it just dropped us without so much as a notice.

Again, to get your service back, you'll need to call T-Mobile.  I just logged into my account and reselected the data plan I want.  Thirty minutes later (though it may take up to 48 hours for some folks), I was back up and running again.

The curious thing was that my Gtalk and Gmail was still working during that time.

Now, the other mobile news we're tracking.  We have been updating you on the white spaces saga.  It continues with new information.  The FCC has decided to go ahead with their plans for a November 4th vote.

Dolly Parton or not, looks like geeks (Gates and Google's Schmidt) won this round at least.

More links and the rest of today's mobile news at our new Mobile Digerati.

Android G1 Alert: 3G Down But Not What You Think

Okay.  Anyone with a G1 from T-Mobile who suddenly find yourself without 3G or EDGE service. This is what you need to do.

Call T-Mobile or log online to select the plan that you want again.  T-Mobile dropped the ball and is not make the switch automatic.

Supposedly, after you select a plan, it may take 24-48 hours to activate.

Hope this helps.  Let me know if you've still got issues.  My services returned to normal after 30 minutes.  But it may take up to 48 hours.

MacWind Update

My Powerbook still gets it's use as an iTunes base for me.  And I've got a webcam set up as a security cam.  So, it's still got it's place on my mobile life.

However, since last Saturday when I picked up my Wind from Dave the Mobile Warrior, it's all I have been using.  My impressions?

It's plenty fast for day-to-day work.  I've written some short stories on it for my friend's site.  I've worked on a children's book for my nephew's birthday using Inkscape and Gimp.  Obviously, outside of iWork, Crossover (free yesterday), and Rapidweaver, I've decided to go as open-source as I can on it.

I enjoy having a notebook with a long battery life.  My Al Powerbook 1Ghz lasts about 3 hours on two battle-tested batteries with a pretty worn LCD screen.  So far, it's lasted me from about 4 to 4.5 hours (wireless on, screen 3/4 bright), it's a far cry from the 6 hours advertised.  I should have known that was too good to be true.

Best of all, the LED screen is very bright.  That's a big plus.

I'm going to run some basic benchmarks this weekend to compare it with the Powerbook and a Mac Mini to see how it fares.  The Wind has an overclocking function so I'm curious if the 25% increase in clock speed translate into real world benefits.

White Spaces Battle Update

We last updated you on Monday when the broadcasters, NBA, MLB, and the NFL lobbied the FCC to delay the November 4th vote.  And other the other side, we got Dell, Google, Microsoft, and Motorola.  Sprinkled on top are national legislators.

Guess who else got involved?  Dolly Parton.  I'll cut to the chase.  I'm guessing someone wrote the letter to the FCC and Dolly just signed it.  Seriously, she's cool.  I mean it.  She knows music, the business, and she looks great.

But white spaces she knows not.  She's joined by a lot of other singers who fear interference from white spaces devices on their performances.  I'm not dismissing their concerns.  However, according to Cnet, "The report noted that geo-location technology, which uses a database to help devices identify and avoid spectrum bands known to already be in use, worked very well in avoiding interference".

Anyway, my feeling is that this will go ahead on November 4th.  There'll be a lot of election results to watch on Election Day.


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Anther Example of Apple Rumor Gone Wild

A bit ago, well yesterday, I wrote about Apple rumor but I applied it to rumors in general.

It's fun and keeps the day moving along.  Lots for fans to chat about.  And the more you chat, the more real it gets, and maybe that is how rumors become "news worthy".

Here is another one.  The Inquirer did some digging and got to the route of "source" of the news of how the iPhone is set to replace Blackberries among the people's representatives and their Congressional staff.

It's a must read to see how things get out of control on the Internet.

Anyway, iPhone has made it into the pockets of Presidential hopeful Senator Barack Obama and Karl Rove as far as I know.  But it doesn't mean that Congress don't want iPhones.


Mobile Update For October 28, 2008

Here's a big change I've made to my blogs and updates.  I've learned a lot since I started sharing my thoughts and pointing out the evils of wireless providers.

But I'm only getting started.  I enjoy serving the three readers (two of you are imaginary folks) that I've moved a lot of daily updates over to Mobile Digerati.  There's where you'll find updates for mobile gadgets, mobile issues, and Mac updates.

I'll continue to serve Onxo with posts on a daily basis.

By the way, if you sign up with, you get a free year of hosting and domain name.  It's why I even tried doing this with Mobile Digerati.  And I've learned a lot along with you.  I highly recommend it.

This will have to be the major news today since nothing happen of importance that affects mobility.

Until tomorrow.

Netbooks Their Smallish Screens

I remembered a time when I had the Sony Viao subnotebook.  2000-2002.  I think it was 505VN or VX.  It was a really well designed laptop.

By today's standard, it may be considered a netbook given the supposed size of the screen, 10".  Well, the $2500 price tag would not cut it today as a netbook.  But it was a fast Pentium II 333Mhz.  It ran everything I threw at it.  It even has a Firewire port, a port that is sorely missed in today's netbooks.

However, the resolution on the Viao was 1024x768.  Today, you get a weird 1024x600.  You essential lose 22% of the former real estate on the screen.

I took my MacWind out for a test-run at Starbucks last night.  It worked great.  Fast even only 1GB running OS X.  But back to the screen.

I had some issues with it earlier.  But after really sitting there on the couch and really got to know it better, I got used to it.  Now, I imagine a lot of folks who come from a world of 15" LCDs or, if you're like Dave the Mobile Warrior, who is trying to adjust from a 17" Macbook Pro, it can get a lot of getting used to.

I did some web dev last night so it was nothing something where screen size was an issue.  Rather it was Microsoft (that's a story for another day).  I'm going to go back and try it this time and do some artwork using Inkscape and see what that's like.

For anyone looking to pick up a netbook, go with at least a 10".  The Wind is excellent because of the long battery life with the six-cell battery.  I also like the new Dell's new 10" Mini.

Note:  Go to Best Buy and play around with it a bit.  I highly recommend doing that if you're considering using a netbook to do a major bulk of your mobile computing.  Get used to the screen size.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Mobile Update for October 27, 2008

Two big wireless news today.  Last week, we saw ATT and Apple rocked with new customer acquisitions and iPhone sales.  This week, Verizon stepped up to the place and knocked on out of the part.  Imagine what would happen now if Apple and Verizon were partners.

I'm doing that just now...anyway, VW saw an increase in data and wireless but monthly rates rose a mere 1%.  Still, all in all, a great quarter for the "can you hear me now" guy and company.

The second news we will start following is Cox's plan to rollout wireless services next year.  Right, the Cable company.  This would open up a new front in the war with the telecoms.  It's actually quite brilliant if it works in bringing a new game into a familiar playground.

So, what will we see?

  • Mobile devices to watch TV shows and video from digital recorders.
  • "Triple play" to be "quadruple play" or something with voice and wireless data.
  • Working on 4G.  Mentioned work with Sprint in the past so it might be WiMax.  Because it also owns a chunk of the wireless spectrum, it is free to choose its own platform including LTE.  
For other mobile updates, please go to Onxo Daily.

Impact of a $99 iPhone

Over at On Apple , I posted a short blurt on Apple lowering the price from $199 to $99.  I think we'll see $149 before that happens.

But $99 is exactly the price that an analyst, Charlie Wolf of Needham Research, believes Apple can lower the price of the iPhone to and still walk away with a health margin.

Let's say that happens.  Apple is really serious about giving competitors no room to move.  Would Apple do such a thing as to lower the iPhone to $99 next year?  We only have to look at the impacts of such an entry price on the marketplace.

  • They're playing catch up.  I'm talking about Apple's competitors.  Most still don't know what hit them even if the iPhone's impact has not hit their balance sheet.  However, RIM, as far as we know, is the only one feeling it so far.
  • Apple looks far far ahead.  Multi-year.  They maybe ready to rumble not just on price but features as well.  Most others are still trying to get touch, UI, and weight down right.  Take my G1.  
  • May lower the monthly rates if ATT does not have to pay out as hefty a subsidy to Apple.  We have to assume that Apple and ATT are pass along the cost to consumers.  We may see rates lowered by $10 a month.  Maybe even $15.
  • HTC's new high-end phones are priced higher than the iPhone.  RIM's Bold will come out with ATT for $299.  Who  knows how much Storm will cost.  Bottomline:  It'll hurt handset makers and carriers who are competing with Apple and ATT.
  • We may finally see multiple models of the iPhone.  The current 3G model will go down to $99 at 8GB (not one else with a touch interface even comes close with this kind of memory capacity).  And we'll see high-end models with added features and storage capacity.  16GB and up.
  • The iPhone speaks volumes on its jazziness and cool factor at any price.  Kids and students will eat this up.
  • The iPhone will continue to stay with ATT.  Both will improve stability with network, the iPhone sytem, and 3G connectivity.  No news is good news for Apple and ATT.
In all this, don't be surprise to see Apple pull a fast one and lower the iPhone prices to $149 in November just to welcome Verizon's Storm debut if the Storm is priced anywhere near the iPhone.  

Regardless of when it happen, the effect is already being felt.  Instinct at $129 and Bold at $299.  The iPhone already $199 and possibly lower.  The Storm taking a long to be priced and I think it has to do with the iPhone.  A decent Blackberry is $249 and up.  But don't take my word for it.  Go to Verizon and Sprint's PDA/Smartphone sections and compare their smartphones with comparable features to the iPhone.  

Dave the Mobile Warrior wins.  You win.  And I will in this kind of free competition.  Whether you end up getting an iPhone or not, like Nokia's chief said, be thank Apple for bringing real change.

White Spaces Battle - Latest From the Front

Here is a recap on the latest white spaces battle on whether the FCC will vote on November 4th to go ahead with a proposal to allow white spaces use and supported devices (think Android).

White spaces are unused channels in the spectrum that some tech companies hope to develop a national wireless broadband network.  Such a system would not have the same overlords we are traditionally familiar with:  cable and satellite companies and wireless providers.  In theory, it's a good thing.

On one side, Dell, Microsoft, Google, and a few other tech giants are trying to convince the FCC to move ahead.  The tech groups are not alone as they are joined by consumer groups in this effort.

On the other side, the NBA, NFL, MLB, and NASCAR joined forces with the major broadcasters in opposing a vote on November 4th.  They claim even the FCC's won tests showed the devices failed 50% of the time and require the use of geolocation in white spaces devices.  They requested more time.

The coalition against innovation, consumer choices, and competition (yeah, I am being blatantly biased here) are joined by Harrah's Entertainment, and 49 other broadcast associations.

On behalf of these cronies, they are joined by eight United States Representatives being lead by NY's Carolyn Maloney who I'm sure in an expert in all this.  She wants more hearings.  We've had four years of public hearings and testing.

Just as much as an expert like Maloney, is John Kerry playing for the tech side.

Sorry, folks.  I am being biased as I've mentioned at the top.  I sympathized with those guys who are against white spaces out of interference concerns.  I really do.  But to use that to keep consumers from better technology, choice, and, generally, trying to obtain a better standard of living so that they protect their bottom line is just un-American.

Broadcasters are the evil villains of the week.

Link:  NY Times

Anatomy of a Mac Rumor (Or Any Other Ones)

The Mac and iPhone realm is beseiged by rumors all the time.  On a daily basis in fact.

I like rumors.  The more the better.  And especially if they come true.  Like the iPhone.

Then there are rumors that doesn't make sense but people report them like "the one" (not Obama), Jobs said it himself.  Take the recent $800 Macbook rumor that was flying around just days before Apple unveiled the new Macbook line-up on October 14.

We did not get the $800 Macbook.  Nor did we get the $900 Macbook.  We got the $999 Macbook and a $100 increase on the high end Macbook for our troubles.  So, I got to thinking and here are some rules to follow when you read up on Mac, iPhone, or any mobile gadgets.
  • If it makes you feel good about it, it's not true.
  • If it involves technology that is leaps and bounds beyond what we see today, it's not true.
  • If it includes all the features you want, it's not true.
  • If there is a huge price drop, it's not true.
  • If the source "swears by his first born" that the tip he got is a lock, it's not a lock.
  • If it's from an overpaid analyst from Wall Street or any road, it's DEFINITELY not true.
Here are some Apple-specific rules to follow when we read up on rumors in additional to those above:
  • Refreshed products are considered new products.
  • "New products" does not mean flip-iPhone, MacTablets, or lighter than Air notebook.  It means iPods with bigger storage in September, iPhone updates in June, Macbook updates in Spring and Fall.
  • Tablets are on their way.  We'll get them when we get them.  When Apple says so.
  • iPhones are not netbooks.  Netbooks are coming.  We just don't know what yet.
  • When Jobs says they're not working on something, it means they're working on it.  For example, he said video on an iPod was a dumb idea.  Hence, we got video iPods.  He said Americans don't read.  True. But we might still see an ebook-friend iPod or iPhone.  Even the tablet.  
So, if you're new to the rumor scene, welcome.  They're entertaining.  Fun.  Gets you through the day.  But if you use rumors to base your purchases or financial investments, let me say it now, don't.  
If you need something now, get it.  Get whatever mobile device you need now or when you need it.  

Economic Relief Tip (sort of): Codeweavers Free Software Tomorrow Only

Okay...this tip is kind of specific for certain mobile warriors.  Specifically, Mac and Linux users.

Tomorrow only, Codeweaver will allow free downloads, one license per user to download one of their products.

  • Crossover Mac - Allows Macs to run Windows applications without Windows
  • Crossover Games - Allows Mac/Linux to run windows games without Windows
  • Crossover Linux - Allows Linux machines to run Windows applications without Windows
You get one download.  Mac or Linux.  I know what I'll be downloading and what I'll be using it for.  Here's a description of Codeweaver products. And here is the press release for tomorrow's deal.  
You'll save about $40!  I will save $80 since I don't have to buy Parallels for my MacWind. Woohoo!
Link:  more info at TUAW

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Onxo Update For the Week

I was all over the place this week.  Just like me.  I like that.  The week started with G1's arrival at my backdoor and, seemingly, about to end with my time playing on my MacWind.

Also this week, we touched on wireless providers, Android, iPhone (of course), and a couple of tips to help mobile warriors stretch their hard-earned dollar.

Mobile Issues:
Mobile Devices on Onxo:

Mobile Week Review (October 20-24, 2008)

The week was a big weird.  We not no major changes in the wireless landscape but we also had some important insights into things to come.

First, Android.  thousands of T-Mobile users were given their first introduction to the G1.  I received mine on Monday and I have periodically provided my own user update for it.  Over at On Android, I made cursory comparisons to the iPhone but recently, I have been told I should make the comparison more with Windows Mobile.  I might consider doing that but for now, I want to talk about the G1 there.  I've posted pictures as well.

IMPACT:  Unknown at this time,  It's unclear how Android will do beyond T-Mobile and what Google has pressed upon us.  More and more, I think the G1 is a beta.  If you know Google's history with beta products, you know what I'm talking about it.  Unfortunately, for fortunately, Google did not fess up to the G1 being a work-in-progress.

The second big deal of the week is Apple's iPhone numbers.  Nearly seven million?  Is that a lot?  When looking at the subcategory of smartphones which the iPhone is wrongly lumped into, it is a big deal.  It's a bigger deal since the number of mobile providers and handset makers are forced into frantic modes to try release products without the "me, too" feel to it.

The iPhone will do well in its own sphere, an expanding one no less.  However, if we want to see how numbers are going to be like when we compare each devices, we will need more products on the market (Storm has been announced but not released) and see how they do over a few quarters.  I found myself agreeing with Microsoft's Bach on this matter.

Unfortunately for Microsoft, whether it's the Zune phone or Windows Mobile 6 or 7 with Zune functions, their words are empty until they've got something to release.  By 2010, as is rumored when Windows Mobile 7 will be released, the Android should be out of beta, the iPhone could well be on version 3 or 4,  Nokia with a multiple number of N-series touchscreen phones, and there may be many types of Storms on the market.

Lastly, white spaces.  The FCC is due to vote on this but with politics brought in (NYT- MUST READ as it provides a good background on white spaces and who the cast members are and their roles), we may see a delay on this matter.  We'll follow this closely and let you know what is going on once the pressures of an election year is over.

Here is Google's most recent statement on this matter.  Time to choose sides, my fellow mobile warriors.

MacWind: Macbook Mini

I took the day off to catch up on some work, tutoring, and eventually visited Dave the Mobile Warrior to get what I've been waiting a whole week for:  my MSI Wind.

More specifically, I have been waiting for my MacWind, the first Macbook mini (its unofficial status be damned) and it has been worth every moment so far.

I had previous said that I was going to get a new Mac.  And true enough, I have.  I love the long battery life, the bright screen (my poor poor old Powerbook G4), and with only 1GB, it purrrrrrs...

 That piece of paper is actually a a couple of Apple logo stickers that came with the copy of Leopard that I bought.  Guess what I'm going to do with it?

There you go.  I will post more updates on my experience with the MB nano, or MacWind, both names are interchangeable.  It's pretty awesome.  And I was able to get this on the cheap.  If you remember last week, I was recommended by Dave to share with everyone the deal.

I have to say I am very satisfied, again so far.  And we tried it with the iChat and it works great.  The only issue is the mic doesn't work.  As far as I know, that is the only issue I'm sure some enterprising mobile warrior will resolve.

In any case, I'm once again very mobile with each 6-hour battery life.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Friday Movie

Hello  It's that time of the week again.  Friday Movie (clip)!

This is brought to us by SNL.  Again, thank goodness for politics and mainstream media allow us to poke fun at it (this time, CNN).

Have a great weekend! Be sure to come back this weekend for this week's mobile warrior profile! 
Past profiles:

Mobile Quick Notes

Looks like Intel is about to get a lot of grief in the coming quarters (year) with Nvidia's 9400M.  Already, Nvidia is looking to take 30% of the IGP market and will likely go higher once the 9300M and 9400M hit the market.  We're not kidding.  The new little guy in the Macbook rocks.  You can see the benchmarks and my analysis.  (Daily Tech)

Also of interest to mobile warriors who happen to be mobile developers.  Apple has finally done away with the iPhone NDA that forced Apple to deal with an unprecedented uprising of three to four app developers who managed to a disproportionate amount of blog attentions.  Anyway, talk away, people.  (Gizmodo)

And lastly, Microsoft's Bach dishing out smack on the iPhone sales number.  That's pretty much what a lot of Apple-friendly sites are saying.  Like I said yesterday, let's see where the numbers are a couple of quarters down the line.

Frankly, I think we're going to great numbers from Apple and RIM.  Not so much from Redmond.

Must Read: Nvidia 9400M Rocks!

Here's a tip.  Rather, it's a recommendation.  Don't get anything with Intel chipsets if you're in the market for a laptop with a sufficient gaming potential.

Last week, Macworld brought us some benchmarks including one set for Quake.

Today, they brought us additional numbers for Doom 3, UT, Call of Duty, and, of course, Quake.  It's for the Macbooks but more specifically, it speaks about the engineering prowess of Nvidia and how it succumb to Steve Jobs' reality distortion force.

Anyway, if you just want the gist of it.  Here it it.  9400M rocks.  If you're looking for a notebook with aintegrated graphic processor, this is the one to get right now.  As far as I know, it's available for only the Macbook right now but it'll trickle out for others eventually.

Look for the intepretations at On Apple for more.

Note:  I have to say that the Mac system requirements does not translate directly over the PC.  For example, Spore plays on the G945 but not on the Mac.  And to be fair, XP systems (not sure about Vista) are better suited for gaming, generally coming in with better numbers.

Another Note: Barefeats as additional benchmarks waiting you.  Go now!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Mobile Update for October 23, 2008

Nothing major took place in the mobile world as we know it.  No new product announcement.  We're still digesting G1's impact and reviewing it.  I'm providing daily use experience and impressions at On Android.  Today, I'm focusing on battery life and Amazon's MP3 store app.

Now, here's a topic to think about.  RCR Wireless has a post on what "open access" means.  It's very well written and must read to catch up something that impacts all mobile warriors.  Essentially, everyone - wireless providers, handset makers, developers, and you (me too) have our own definition of what it means.

It's what the government will eventually rule on.  I don't know about you but if the definition of "open" as the wireless providers has redefined it is applied to "open access", we're in a lot of trouble.

Mobile Device Upate:
  • New DSi images and videos from Destructoid.
  • Onxo's Take on Apple's Netbooks; UMPC offers their take on Apple's netbooks.
  • Appleinsider has dirt on next generation of chips.  Focus is on Macbooks but last I hear, Intel still sells to other folks too.
  • CNet reports Intel introduces new cooling tech for laptops.  Lots of tech talk but hey, if it works, bring it!
  • MSI Wind will reach 700,000 this year.  I think I'm the 500,000th customer.
  • Crunchgear says Android and iPhone stores the terms of the types of apps people download.  Then there is not a lot of stuff to download to begin with.  I'm still waiting.
  • As reported by ATT, Bold will be available for $300 on November 4th.
  • Gizmodo talks about a special Firefox that uses multi-touch gestures on the Macbooks.  More here.  Must read.
  • Mobile Royale on Opera running on PSP.
  • Liliputing lists 31 netbooks for $399 or less.  If you use search, you can get a lot them for less via 30% off on eBay.  Just thought you might want to know.
  • Onxo looks into October mobile surprises.
Mobile Issues:
  • Yahoo News reports eight Congressmen wants to lose reelection by asking FCC to delay white spaces vote.  Lobbyists cheer business as usual still working in Washington.
  • Wi-Fi Planet updates on Philly's Wi-Fi plans.
  • Onxo on what consumers are cutting first before they get to their mobile bills
  • CNet blog wants Sony to wake up.  I agree with most of it.
  • Mobile Ent reports India now has 500 million mobile users.  That's more the population of North America combined (450 million)
  • Wireless Week on e-mail addictions.
  • Onxo on MS Exec on iPhone figures.
  • World of Apple on ATT's 2.4M new iPhone users.
  • Onxo thinks Sprint needs Android.
  • Onxo goes through mobile categories and see if we might have a happy Christmas.

MS Exec on iPhone Sale Numbers

According to Robbie Bach, Microsoft's exec responsible Windows Mobile among other things, asks folks not to look too much into those iPhone numbers.  And we all know Jobs like numbers.  The signifiance of those numbers is that Apple has only been on the market for 18 months or so and has done pretty well for a new guy.

But I agree with Bach a point he made.  Each company will have their big launch.  And when it's done, things settle down, that is when numbers can be compared fairly.

With that said, Apple will need to sustain this and growth it even more.  Everyone agrees Apple hit a home run with the iPhone 3G and now, folks will be expect more of the same next time Apple steps up to the plate.

This is not to say that there is no pressure being put on RIM, Google, or Microsoft.  G1's success has not been met with the kind of enthusiasm the iPhone has generated.  In fact, Macworld saw no evidence the average Joe is even aware of it.  People who went and bought the G1 normally had a tech background.

Bach said RIM will have it's big moment soon with Bold and, more specifically, Storm.

Eventually Microsoft will have its turn with WM 7 in 2010.  And as Bach said, normalization is key.  How each competitor in the mobile market is able to sustain sales figures and how quickly they can innovate and get out new technologies.

So, we'll give RIM and Microsoft a fair shake when they're due up.  And we'll see where everyone's numbers are a few quarters from now.  This is what we mobile warriors live for.  People fight to get to us.

Source:  Electronista

Note:  If we are going to compare the iPhone to the G1, we have to do the whole song and dance, including launch promo and eventually sales figures.  I'm an owner of both mobile devices so I'm trying to be fair about it all.  This goes the same for Storm, Bold, and whatever Zune-Phone Microsoft is working on.

Winners During Economic Woes: Netflix and Telecoms

Canadian paper, The Globe and Mail, published a report detailing what consumers would be cutting during our currently global economic troubles.

The survey was conducted by the Solutions Research Group in Canada that consisted of both American and Canadian consumers.   The result of the survey should not be a surprise to anyone.  Wireless services stand as one of the last things to go.

For the average mobile user now, their mobile devices is their link to the world.  It's how people stay in touch these days, conduct business, and generally move a large portion of their lives online.  Banking, trading stocks, entertainment, socializing, and keeping up with what's gong on around them.  It is basically their own world in the palm of their hand.

So, what are consumers willing to give up?
  1. Big-ticket events (eg. concerts, sports)
  2. Movie-going
  3. DVD buying
  4. Magazine subscription renewals/newsstand
  5. Cable/satellite TV extras
  6. Video game buying
  7. Home phone
  8. Mobile/wireless phone
  9. DVD Rentals
  10. Home Internet
So, who wins?  Well like the title says, Netflix and telecom/wireless providers.  DVD rental at number 2 while telecoms occupying home phone, wireless, and DSL as those least likely to be sacrficed.  What have I given up from the list?  Let's go with what I've kept:  DSL, wireless srvice, home service, Sat TV, occasional DVD rental from Redbox (just this week).

I'll be giving up Sat TV when my contract is up in January.  I get my TV fixes from Hulu and if I can't find it, iTunes.  I gave up Netflix a month ago (nothing good to watch).

I'll go to movies with friends if there's anything worth watching.  You know what's out there so you also know there are not a lot of movies good out there.  So of the 10, I've kept or will be keeping three of services on the list.

So, what have you given up?  How about if you had to choose between DSL and your mobile services?  Hmm...

Link of Interest:  MacDailyNewsThe Globe And Mail

Note:  I do go to sporting events.  Lakers.  Kings.  Sometimes Ducks.  But I only go when I get invited by a friend at the LA Times or tix from work.

RIM (probably Apple): No Open-Sourcing For Us

CNet blogged that while RIM is looking into open-sourcing, it is not about to happen.  If at all.

The main issue is the business model.  Apple has invigorated the mobile market with its innovative iPhone and other companies may find it difficult to keep up in the long run.  Apple has indicated it plan on using it's $25 billion war-chest to put more distance between it and its competitors.  I suppose they've got a point there.  But even with open-souce, software aside, there is the hardware development that can't exactly be open sourced, right?  Outsourcing may be a different matter but there is no short-cut around hardware development that each handset maker must do on their own.

What a successful open source community does bring is numbers.  However, the danger is fragmentation that can occur.  One of the initial concern for Android was just this.  However, with a close eye on the project and a lot of support from Google, it will have a big chance of not only succeeding but avoid having different versions of Android running on twenty different phones.  This is the same for Symbian.

So far, I don't see this happening to Android.  It's likely Google will keep it on a very short leash.  What will be interesting is to see how different various forms and inputs that will crop up as more handset makers develop for the Android.  In time, Android will support multi-touch.  If a developer creates an app that is optimized for multi-touch, how will phones that do no support such gestures be handicapped?

Regardless of concerns, the Google is likely very content with the reception Android has received.  All it needs now are good phones to work with.  We will have to see if Symbian is afforded the same kind of reception.

As for Apple, don't bet on it.  In fact, Safari, based on Webkit, is an open-source project and that's as far as Cupertino will likely go for now.

Link of interest:  CNet

Apple Netbook Won't Be A Netbook

There was food Steve Jobs left on the table for everyone at the financial call on Tuesday.  When asked about the netbook situation, Jobs gave a noncommittal answer.  Basically, it's we're working on it and you'll see it when we're ready.

Then he went on to say that the iPhone is the perfect netbook.  Wow, did he just gave it away?!

Onxo has always believed that if Apple is looking at the segment of the market, it's not what we think it'll be.  It won't be a miniturized Macbook.  It won't look like the netbooks out there.
  • No standard clam-shell form.  Not like netbooks.
  • Will not have a keyboard like standard netbooks.
  • Will not sport a removable battery...duh.
  • Will not cost $300-500.
  • Will cost $700-$800.  Here's the $800 Macbook for you.
  • Will employ multi-touch as seen on the iPhone.  More specifically, it'll use the gestures we now have on the Macbooks.
  • Will use iPod's connector.  In fact, it'll have a lot of mobile features on the iPhone and iPod Touch.
  • Will likely use iPhone's OS rather than the traditional OS.
  • 7"-8" Screen.  Possibly bigger but I doubt it.  Maybe LED, I hope.
  • Wireless connectivity.  I doubt we'll see WiMax.  Just 3G if at all.  Your standard Wi-Fi connectivity.
Now, before we whine about the OS, think about it.  This is a small device that is meant to supplement the Mac, not replace it, though I can see folks looking to do just that.  So, there is no need for a full blown OS.  Now, the software may be more sophisticated.  We might see an iWork version for this "netbook" for folks who will be using it to do work when they're away from their Mac.
So, there's your Apple netbook.  A netbook that's not a netbook.  These are all educated conjectures on my part but it's from watching Apple work all these years.  Nothing more.  It's part informative and partly for fun on a Thursday.  
  • Apple has indicated in the past that the iPhone platform will extend beyond the iPhone and iPhone Touch.
  • Natural evolution.  A mid-sized tablet makes sense.
  • In this form factor, it allows Apple to keep a premium on the device.  This thing will fly off the shelves.  We might even see the price go up as high as $900.  Yeah, you can bet on that.
  • It will leverage the iTunes and App Store even more.  
  • It will create a whole new segment of the market for growth.  
  • Perfect for those looking to get a Mac.  Or for those who think the iPod Touch screen is not big enough.
Anyway, a guess is still a guess.  What do you think?
Note:  Earlier, there was some rumors plying about that a small form Mac was caught in the log of a search engine (Google probably) that came from Apple but had a different display resolution.  Nothing they've seen before.  Dave the Mobile Warrior said not to put too much stock in it.  It would be an netbook installed with OS X.  Ruined my morning with that.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Mobile Update For October 22, 2008

I discussed a bit in an early post on the shift the iPhone caused in the mobile industry that is having an impact on mobile warriors.  Specifically, profit margins for mobile carriers have shrank as they subsidize smartphones to compete with ATT.

The likely impact of this is lower entry prices for mobile users looking to upgrade to a high end mobile device.  And specifically, Steve Jobs is looking to squeeze handset makers even more, probably with additional storage capability and price adjustments.

Apple wants to leave no "umbrella" room for its competitors.  With $25 billion in the bank, looks like they mean to do that.  Who wins?  You.  Me.  Dave the Mobile Warrior.

Obviously, the biggest news today is G1 officially goes on sale.  As you probably know by now, I've go mine a couple of days ago and I love Android.  G1, not so much.  Battery life sucks but hey, it's 3G.  Not complaining.  Just making a statement.  For more, head on over to On Android for my daily updates on my owner-experience.

Mobile Device Upate:
  • As reported by ATT, Bold will be available for $300 on November 4th.
  • Gizmodo talks about a special Firefox that uses multi-touch gestures on the Macbooks.  More here.  Must read.
  • Mobile Royale on Opera running on PSP.
  • Crunchgear on a hybrid handheld that runs XP and Windows Mobile.  $500?  My puny G1...oh, wait, it runs Android.  Feel better now.
  • Phandroid offers biased comparisons between iPhone, Storm, and G1.
  • Phone Report wants us to reacquaint ourselves with Xperia.  Wish the G1 looks like that.
  • Gizmodo reports Blackberry app store...coming soon...oh jeez...March of 2009?!  Look at the terms.  See RIM's strategy?  No good for mobile warriors who arm themselves with Blackberries.  Yahoo News has more info along with Blackberry firmware update.
  • Liliputing lists 31 netbooks for $399 or less.  If you use search, you can get a lot them for less via 30% off on eBay.  Just thought you might want to know.
  • Onxo looks into October mobile surprises.
Mobile Issues:
  • World of Apple on ATT's 2.4M new iPhone users.
  • Yahoo News on Nokia's to open Symbian.  Hoping that it'll work.
  • Onxo thinks Sprint needs Android.
  • Onxo wants wireless providers to have their own Christmas Carol moment.
  • Onxo goes through mobile categories and see if we might have a happy Christmas.
  • The Apple Blog thinks Apple is about the provide subsidized Macbooks.
  • Onxo on AWS-3 saga continues.

iPhone's Effect on Mobility - Revenue

There are now mounting evidence of iPhone's influence and effects on the mobile landscape.  There is no denying how Apple's 2nd generation iPhone has really made

First, let's look at the carriers.  Today, ATT announced an earnings of $3.23 billion last quarter.  Depends on how you look at it, they had a great quarter with 2.4 million new iPhone subsidized, but it also meant they would take a short-term hit on earnings.

And this goes to a much larger issue of how wireless carriers do business going forward.  In order for other carriers to compete with ATT, they would also have to provide larger subsidies than they traditionally would offer.  According to JP Morgan analyst, Michael McCormack, he was distressed by the drop in margin for ATT and has thus lowered the forecasted margins for Verizon and Sprint as well.  He points to the price of Sprint's Instinct as an example of how carriers are forced to defend their business and top handsets to lure customers.

Right now, no one knows how much Blackberry's Storm is going to cost Verizon to put on the market.  ATT's Blackberry Bold will be available on November 4th for $300.  It's like Verizon will need to match that price at the very least but lower it even further to $200 to compete with the iPhone.

To make matters worse for ATT's competitors, Apple seemed very confident about the iPhone's competitive situation.  If customers are not buying handsets that are not competing on price with the iPhone alone, ATT's competitors could be missing out on another source of revenue, 3G wireless plans that smartphones require to take advantage of all the features they offer.

We'll know the extent of Apple's impact in the mobile market on earnings when Verizon and Sprint report their earnings and, later, how Storm will be priced next month.  And just so we're clear, the Blackberry Storm may not cheap to subsidize.


Note:  We'll get into iPhone's impact on gaming and advertising next.

Wired's Positive Take On Telecommuting

Wired (via LifeHacker) has some talking points that you can spew at your company to encourage telecommuting.  Not only are there inherent savings from having to maintain an office building.

The culprit is traditional thinking by the company's old guards.  The management is worried about productivity and, as Wired said, "the top fear among resisters is that they'll lose control of their employees, whom they doubtlessly envision frittering away the hours between 9 and 5 playing Minesweeper and munching Cheetos."

Well, here's some news flash, man (I'm talking to "the man" here).  You already have lost some of that control.  People don't work 14 hours straight.  They play a little, work a little, go to lunch, come back and play a little, and then back to work.  The thing is, so long as work feel like work, there is always an inherent barrier to fully realizing a worker's potential.

Of course, the thing here is happy worker bees.  With the purchasing power of the dollar (in the US I suppose), energy cost, and these are only factors impacting workers.  I'm sure companies are also faced with many expenses that has gone up over the years.  So, here are some points in support of telecommuting.

  • Study from Penn State concluded that workers who work from home has "favorable effects on perceived autonomy, work-family conflict, job satisfaction, performance, turnover intent, and stress." (Study )
  • ICE survey of Asian managers reports 81% believes telecommuting improves productivity. (Survey )
  • An UC Irvine professor believes interruptions at offices prevent workers from completing much.
  • Telecomuting can help increase likelihood of recruiting and retaining a shrinking pool of skilled workers.
  • Because of where an employee is located, the cost of living can be factored in.
  • Costs of VOIP (like Skype which is free), video conferencing, broadband connectivity, and computing technologies has gone down so much that for a company to help pay for these services allow them to save the thousands if not millions from having to own or lease office spaces.
And, I have a couple of suggestions for coffee houses and commercial property owners:

  • Create an office, a generic one, for companies to rent out for a few hours a day or even a day where employees can gather together to work.  I know it's mentioned somewhat in the article but it does not go in depth much.  
  • Create coffee house setting where mobile warriors can go work locally.  Walk.  Bike.  City communter bus.  Starbucks or Peets can rent additional spaces for people to work in, as long as need for the day.  Faxes, lighting, Wi-Fi connectivity, and all you can drink coffee.
So, let me know what you think.  We know it works.  We like to know how well telecommuting has worked for you or your company.  

Onxo would like to assemble some tips to help with telecommuters.  Any suggestions would be appreciated in light of these economic uncertainties.

Source:  Lifehacker , Wired (great articles and comments, must read)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Mobile Update for October 21, 2008

I don't want to dwell on earnings in Onxo but I have to say something about Apple's numbers today especial pertaining to its mobile numbers.

  • 6.9 million iPhones served.  Compared to RIM who sold 5.4 million.  Very good numbers for both.  Just a better one from Cupertino.
  • $4.6 Billion from Apple.  $2.1 Billion from Rim.  That comes out to about $667 per iPhone and $389 per Blackberry.  I know the numbers aren't that simple but just for comparison sake, they are what they are.
  • Two hundred million apps to be served by iTunes app store tomorrow.  5,5K apps available, 11x times that of launch in June.
  • No one asked about MobileMe today during financial call but just so we get that straight, it still sucks.  
As far as I'm concerned, Blackberries are still kind for anyone who is keeping scores.  These numbers are a snap shot of history through today.  There's a bit more to be made in the mobile war.  Google, Apple, RIM, and all the others can rest.  
More at On Apple.
Also, I've updated On Android  with shots and observations of my G1.  Please visit.  I'm provide an user-based review.  That means I'm receiving features as I use them.  No quickies.
The other news, which I don't like to bring to my fellow mobile warriors is Yahoo laying off 10% of its workforce.  I love this company.  I swear by it every day.  But man...weakening ads, increased competition, low morales...
Mobile Device Upate:
  • Phone Report wants us to reacquaint ourselves with Xperia.  Wish the G1 looks like that.
  • Gizmodo reports Blackberry app store...coming soon...oh jeez...March of 2009?!  Look at the terms.  See RIM's strategy?  No good for mobile warriors who arm themselves with Blackberries.  Yahoo News has more info along with Blackberry firmware update.
  • Onxo - another telecom (this time in India) offers netbooks with wireless access.  I'm guessing US execs already did the numbers and find that it doesn't make financial sense.  Thanks for thinking country first.  Hope AWS-3 and white spaces kick their asses.
  • Wired explained Google will have all the apps back tomorrow in time for the official launch.
  • Liliputing lists 31 netbooks for $399 or less.  If you use search, you can get a lot them for less via 30% off on eBay.  Just thought you might want to know.
  • Onxo looks into October mobile surprises.
  • RCR Wireless reports Firefox Mobile released.  Mobility Today reports new Opera Mobile beta released.
  • Business Week has a report on Moto's Android plan.  See below on Mobility Today's post on MW woes.
  • Engadget on MSI Wind - to get 3.5G integration in November.
  • Another Macbook (aluminum) review.
Mobile Issues:
  • Yahoo News  welcomes Sprint for coming, though late to the party.  Read why.  It has to do with termination fees.
  • Onxo thinks Sprint needs Android.
  • Onxo wants wireless providers to have their own Christmas Carol moment.
  • Onxo goes through mobile categories and see if we might have a happy Christmas.
  • TreoCentral reports on NY Times article questioning WM viability in an unforgiving mobile landscape where missteps give your competitors the opportunity to lead over you.
  • The Apple Blog thinks Apple is about the provide subsidized Macbooks.
  • Onxo on AWS-3 saga continues.
  • Yahoo News on Symbian's open source future and hope.
  • RCR Wireless reports teen market growth slows.  Either allowances are being with held or folks aren't having as many kids.
  • Mobility Today thinks Windows Mobile is in trouble.

Apple Should Prepare to Leave China (There Is Still Time To Execute Such A Plan)

At first glance, you might think that the title of this article is a clickbait considering that China is the second biggest economy in the w...