About this weblog

What you need to know: This weblog captures key data points about the global telecoms industry. I use it as an electronic notebook to support my work for Pringle Media.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

RIM Predicts Several Challenging Quarters

Research In Motion Limited  said its revenue in the three months ended June 2, 2012 was 43% lower than in the same quarter of 2011 at 2.8 billion US dollars. It shipped 7.8 million BlackBerry smartphones and 260,000 BlackBerry PlayBook tablets in the quarter, compared with 13.2 million BlackBerry handheld devices and 500,000 tablets a year earlier.

Thorsten Heins, President and CEO,said “Our top priority going forward is the successful launch of our first BlackBerry 10 device, which we now anticipate will occur in the first quarter of calendar 2013. In parallel with the roll out of BlackBerry 10, we are aggressively working with our advisors on our strategic review and are actively evaluating ways to better leverage our assets and build on our strengths, including our growing BlackBerry subscriber base of approximately 78 million, our large enterprise installed base, our unique network architecture and our industry leading security capabilities.”

RIM said "it expects the next several quarters to continue to be very challenging for its business based on the increasing competitive environment, lower handset volumes, potential financial and other impacts from the delay of BlackBerry 10, pressure to reduce RIM’s monthly infrastructure access fees, and the Company’s plans to continue to aggressively drive sales of BlackBerry 7 handheld devices." source: RIM statement

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Nokia Upgrades Nokia Life

Nokia said that more than 76 million people have "experienced" its Nokia Life service - a suite of "life improvement information services that work across a range of basic and feature phones without the need for a data connection." Nokia also unveiled the "Nokia Life+ web application" - a web-based service that can be accessed through the Nokia Xpress Browser, which is claimed to compress Internet data up to 90%.

Nokia Life+ is also compatible with two new Nokia "smartphones" (the Nokia Asha 308 and Nokia Asha 309), which run the Nokia OS and have touchscreens. Although these handsets are only 2G, they cost just 99 US dollars and the Nokia Asha 309 supports WiFi. source: Nokia statement

Monday, September 24, 2012

Apple Sells Five Million iPhone 5s

Apple said today it has sold over five million of its new iPhone 5 in the three days since it became available on September 21. It added that its customers have updated more than 100 million iOS devices to run the new iOS6 operating system, which includes the much-maligned Apple Maps app.

Apple said the iPhone 5 is available in the US, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and the UK, and will be available in 22 more countries on September 28 and more than 100 countries by the end of the year. "Demand for iPhone 5 exceeded the initial supply and while the majority of pre-orders have been shipped to customers, many are scheduled to be shipped in October," Apple added. source: Apple statement

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The rise and fall of HTML5 at Facebook

This post is sponsored by the Enterprise Mobile Hub and BlackBerry.

Hitting the wall: What can enterprises learn from the failure of HTML5 at Facebook? 

For any company trying to develop software that will work across multiple mobile platforms, Mark Zuckerberg's recent remarks about HTML5 were telling. The Facebook founder and CEO told Techcrunch: “The biggest mistake that we have made as a company was betting too much on HTML5, as opposed to native, because it just wasn’t there…. we were just never able to get the quality that we wanted…we burnt two years, it was really painful.”

For Facebook, the decision to code in HTML5 was a strategic one - ideally, it doesn't want to be producing dedicated apps for Android, thereby strengthening Google, its major competitor in the social networking market. For that reason, Facebook will have tried really hard to make HTML5 apps work. But Zuckerberg was very clear with Techcrunch that those days are over: “Two years ago we bet completely on HTML5…[but] native is the approach we are going to go with for iOS and Android going forward.”

Does Facebook’s U-turn suggest HTML5 has been over-hyped and is actually far from being able to deliver decent mobile apps? Not necessarily. Facebook's mobile apps need to delight both consumers and advertisers - a difficult task given the relatively small screen space on a mobile handset.  In Facebook's apps, the advertising (or sponsored stories, as Facebook prefers to call them) need to feel like a natural part of the content, rather than an unwelcome intrusion or an adjunct to the real conversations. To pull off this difficult trick, Facebook may need to harness the full capabilities of the operating system and the device itself. With attention spans so short, particularly in a mobile environment, the giant social network can’t afford to have any latency within its apps.

A little latency may not be a big deal
Many companies developing cross-platform apps aimed at their own employees (or even their customers) aren't facing quite the same challenges. While every developer wants to deliver a good user experience, a mobile app without advertising can use much more of the touch-screen as an user interface for the content and the functionality. Moreover, a little latency isn't quite such a big deal. For enterprise apps designed to do a specific job, such as enable employees to query corporate databases, access customer records, make expenses claims or book meeting rooms, HTML5 may still be the right answer.

Anyone who has used the Financial Times' HTML5 app will know that this collection of web standards can now deliver a respectable consumer experience. While the navigation isn't as slick as you might get from a native app, it is good enough. Enterprises that have adopted a bring your own device philosophy and are having to support multiple platforms should take heed.  Unless you are a perfectionist, it is worth keeping the HTML5 faith, despite Zuckerberg's misgivings. Even the man himself said to Techcrunch: “It is not that HTML5 is bad…long term, I am really excited about it.”

This post is sponsored the Enterprise Mobile Hub and BlackBerry.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Twitter Ahead of Facebook on Mobile Ads

EMarketer, a market research group, put Twitter’s 2012 mobile revenue at 129.7 million US dollars, versus 72.7 million dollars for Facebook, but projected the two would reverse positions next year, with Facebook recording 387 million dollars in mobile sales and Twitter 272.6 million dollars. source: The Financial Times

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Almost 500 Million Androids Sold

Google said it is now activating 1.3 million Android devices a day, of which 70,000 are tablets. The figure marks a 30% increase on the 1 million-a-day milestone reached in June this year and brings the total installed Android base to 480 million worldwide. source: Mobile Business Briefing

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Nokia Unveils Windows 8 handsets

Nokia unveiled its first smartphones running Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 operating system: The Nokia Lumia 920 and Nokia Lumia 820. Nokia said the Lumia 920 has a 8.7 megapixels camera sensor and "PureMotion HD+ display technology, powering its generous 4.5-inch screen with the fastest, brightest, most-sensitive and highest resolution display ever seen in this market." Even with this display, Nokia said it can play videos for up to six hours thanks to its 2000mAh battery - the largest yet in a Nokia handset.

Nokia said both handsets support wireless charging and "will be available in select markets in pentaband LTE and HSPA+ variants later this year. Prices and release dates will be revealed in separate, later announcements." source: Nokia statement