Friday, November 13, 2009

Mobile Summary - What's Been Happening In the Mobile Market

Things are moving very fast in the mobile world right now.  So, here is a brief summary of things that I've kept up with.

  • Android seems to be making a huge run for a chunck of the mobile users.  I haven't seen this kind of excitement in a platform with the number of different gears out there since the early days of Windows CE.  Even Dell, a traditional Redmond ally, is entering the mobile market with Android.  
  • Droid is kicking up a lot of dust.  At who, well, that's hard to say now.  Though I don't like the keyboard or the boxy design, I like everything else about it.  Bigger screen than the iPhone with a whole lot more resolution.  And it's thinness is something worth noting.  All that without sacrificing battery life. Also, it runs Android 2.0.
  • I recently rooted my G1 for tethering and installing Google Navigation.  I think this is why Android has such a large following.  Smart smart folks involved and it is more open than the iPhone will ever be.  Of course, that's both good and bad.
Windows Mobile
  • I'll be honest here and say I don't know what's going on.  I know the HTC's HD2 is out.  But no WM 7 or Zune integration.  On the other hand, Zune gaming is looking good this week with additional 3D games.  As an Apple fan, I am contemplating getting a Zune HD just to see what the big deal is.  Yeah, I'm a gear lover.  I'll still be getting iPhones, Macbooks, etc. 
Palm Pre
  • After the iPhone, I'd get the Pre.  Right now, the Android devices are underpowered and new gears won't be out until 2010 with better insides.  Today, Palm's stock price jumped on rumors that Nokia is looking to take it off the market.  I don't know if Nokia wants WebOS but with a bunch of former Apple guys with access to NOkia's deep pocket and treasure, wow, this would be better than if Dell picked up Palm.
iPhone Platform
  • Not a good few weeks.  Okay, iPhone demand continues to be strong.  Shortages and stuff like that.  Except in China where today, it has sold 30K in about two weeks.  Orange managed that in one day.  But then, I wouldn't get a crippled iPhone either (no Wi-Fi in China).  
  • Oh, and even as it provides a tool for developers to see how their app is doing through the approval process, Apple is facing a new revolt of sort
  • There are now 100,000 apps with over two billion downloads.  
  • Still waiting on the iTablet. Lots of blog chatters about Apple trying to save the print realm.  
ATT Versus Verizon
  • This is interesting.  You know those 3G commercials?  Verizon is doing the same thing that Apple has being doing to Microsoft with the "I'm a Mac, I'm a PC" campaign.  Alright, maybe VW took some liberty at how it wants to influence potential customers or VW customers looking to jump ship to join ATT.  ATT has decided it would have none of it no more and has sued VW to make them take off the commercials and for damanges.  ATT has a lot to lose as it is rumored that they will lose their iPhone exclusivity in 2010.
  • ATT issued a memo disputing VW's claims.  More at electronista.
  • Again, the commercial is pretty good for its entertainment value.

  • It's never enough.  Nintendo is a cash machine but apparently, it's never enough in a capitalist society.  So, what happened?  Well, I'm thinking the economy has more to do with it but news and blogs are saying it has more to do with the iPhone.  Okay, maybe some but not all of it.  Still, it's been a while since I've bought a Nintedo handheld and I won't be getting it until it's like the DS 2 or something.  The next version of DSi will have bigger screens.  Let's hope that Nintendo decides to bring more than just that.  The iPod Touch is not completing with the DSi or PSP directly because it can do so much more.  But because it can do so much more and by the sheer installed base, it is getting a lot of attention from traditional gaming outfits.  It'll be interesting to see how Nintendo responds.  We already Know Zune is going into Windows Mobile and Xbox mobile gaming is likely just around the corner.  Maybe Nintendo should buy out Palm and add DS gaming to it?  What do you think?
  • Crunchgear doesn't think Nintendo needs to worry about Apple right now.  Not yet.  I agree, for now.  Nintendo, with the recent price cut to the Wii is going into the important Holiday Season with more sales than Xbox, PSP, or PS 3.  
  • See the above Android section.
  • Google just bought Gizmo5.  VOIP with Google Voice.  Match made in mobile heaven.  This is interesting because there were talks that Skype was interested in Gizmo5 until eBay, Skype, and the former owners of Skype settled their disagreement.  Imagine how this works out.  Android devices requiring only data access and calls via VOIP.  
  • More on the Gizmo5 buyout:  Daily Wireless, CNet
  • With the purchase of Gizmo5, look out for blogs and news reports about exploding VOIP markets.  Folks will be jumping on the bandwagon about it.  Take it easy.  Skype isn't going to sit this out.  But love to see Google Voice go at it with Skype.  An Edison-Tesla type of brawl in our time.
  • Chrome OS is coming a lot nicely.  We should see it in the next few weeks.  
  • While we're on Google, CNet has an interview with Google's CEO and made a claim that Docs will be just as good as Office.  About the Docs statement, I don't use OpenOffice for the same reason I don't use Docs as much.  You want to rival Office?  Check out Numbers from Apple.  Go ahead and copy it, Google.  Microsoft said it copied OS X.  So that's okay.
  • This week, it was reported that phone sale growth resumed in the third quarter of 2009.
  • 45 Million smartphones shipped worldwide,  representing a 5% growth. More if you're willing to pay $7000 for the rest of the report at Strategy Analytics.  Yeah, this is all I need to know.
  • Here is a table lifted from IntoMobile.  Nokia is number one, followed by RIM and Apple.  Apple with just two models (and two various of the 3GS) may put a hurt on others next year.  Nokia is in the pole position with 39.3%.  RIM has 20.8% (great growth) with Apple trailing at 17.1%.  No one has has double digit marketshare or growth except folks in the "others" category.  
  • Nokia, mentioned above, in looking to snatch Palm off the market, according to Barron's.  

Here's my thought in all of this.  The ideal situation is each of the mobile giants have an equal share of the market.  That way, it keeps them all honest and their innovation engines running high.

So, this has been what's going on the last couple of weeks in mobility.

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