How Facebook Will Kill The Phone As We Know It (GigaOM)
Facebook jumped into an already crowded VoIP market with the update of its Messenger app. Robert Gaal, of Karma, believes the company’s scale ultimately will allow it to kill off the phone. Facebook could offer streamlined interoperability with existing phone networks in a way that a company like Skype, Viber, Whatsapp can’t so easily manage. Further, all the pages you “like” on Facebook have numbers connected to them, so calling a business is just as simple and at-hand as calling a friend. In the near future then, you will call a business via Facebook on the basis of a friend’s request or a like. No more unwanted calls. No more Yellow Pages. No more looking up a phone number you can’t remember. Just a connection. It’s definitely a way to make every phone a Facebook phone.
Nokia Enters The Mobile Music Subscription Game (Ars Technica)
Nokia announced its Nokia Music+ service, a freemium-style upgrade to its current mobile music offerings with features such as higher quality music files and desktop compatibility. Nokia was quick to note Music+ is an additional experience not a replacement. Those that enjoy Nokia’s current free service can continue doing so. Nokia Music+ will debut in the next few weeks and the price is expected to be around $3.99 per month. With a crowded mobile music market, including Spotify, Rdio, Rhapsody, MOG, there’s no telling what the demand will be for a pay upgrade to an already niche service. Wonder what Microsoft thinks. Seems like Nokia Music+ will go up against Xbox Music.
Smartphones Shake Up The Travel Market (BI Intelligence)
Smartphones and fast mobile Internet access have transformed nearly all facets of life, but travel has seen some of the most dramatic changes. In this report, we’ll explore the market for mobile travel services, dive into travel-related mobile usage, and look at some of the barriers to growth in the mobile travel space, particularly the high cost of international data roaming.
- Mobile travel services will account for some $10 billion in transaction value this year. This figure includes worldwide paid app downloads, mobile-mediated bookings, and advertising revenue.
- Mobile travellers are a particularly attractive audience for brands and advertisers.
- Online travel booking sites already see one-fifth of their business in some categories coming from mobile. Mobile is particularly strong for last-minute hotel bookings.
- Carriers in many countries set prohibitive prices on international data roaming. A truly seamless international smartphone economy is still a ways off.
Because of its convenience the mobile medium is a perfect complement for rushed and last-minute travel planning. Mobile travellers are an attractive target audience.
Huawei Becomes Third-Largest Smartphone Manufacturer (IDC via Slash Gear)
I couldn’t tell you what their phones look like either. This week many are doing a bit of a double-take on the IDC’s release outlining the fourth quarter mobile device market share breakdown for the end of 2012, with none other than Huawei taking third place.
The company has never before cracked the top five smartphone vendors in the world.
Has Apple Lost Its Cool To Samsung? (WSJ)
Samsung is succeeding where other technology companies have tried and failed: closing the coolness gap with Apple. The company has used a combination of engineering prowess, manufacturing heft and marketing savvy to create smartphones that can rival the iPhone in both sales and appeal. Samsung’s fourth-quarter profit surged 76 per cent to a record high on the strength of smartphone sales. Apple, meanwhile, reignited concerns about demand for its iPhone 5 after reporting flat earnings for the holiday quarter. Samsung’s surge in smartphones has caused more than just consumers to switch away from Apple. Some app developers have said they are now focusing more attention on Samsung devices. Samsung’s latest efforts seem to be paying off, at least with consumers who aren’t so loyal to Apple.
Marissa Mayer Sees Future In personalised, Mobile Web (Bloomberg)
Yahoo! Chief Executive Officer Marissa Mayer said the company is working on technology that will personalise content from the Web and deliver it to people on their mobile devices. Users’ data will make it possible to create a so-called interest graph to show what people have in common, helping create a personalised Internet. Mayer has invested in wireless technology as she attempts to win users and advertising revenue from Facebook and her former employer, Google. Since becoming CEO in July, she has updated Yahoo’s Flickr application for photos, acquired mobile app startup Stamped and announced plans to hire engineers with expertise in smartphones and tablets.
What Not Being Able To Unlock Your Phone Means To You (TechCrunch)
As of last week, you can’t unlock a carrier-subsidized smartphone on your own before the contract associated with it runs out without being in violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. And the penalties aren’t inconsequential. While the number of people who faithfully stick to their multi-year wireless contracts far exceeds the number of people who would unlock their phones and bail, this is a lousy turn of events for all you proponents of phone freedom. Unlocking your phone without your carrier’s explicit approval is now technically verboten. What does it mean for the common smartphone user? Not much.
Fujitsu Eyes Enterprise Security With HTML5 App Platform (PC World)
Engineers at Fujitsu Laboratories are developing an HTML5-based platform for smartphones designed to keep corporate data secure when accessed from employee-owned handsets. The system, which Fujitsu plans to launch later this year, is one of a number that addresses this increasingly common problem: how to allow workers access to corporate IT systems while avoiding deliberate or inadvertent leaks of data from devices that are not totally under the company’s control. Fujitsu’s system matches an app on the phone with a cloud-based server that delivers corporate apps such as email, sales databases and customer contacts, as HTML5 applications.
The Power Of Mobile (Yesmail via MarketingProfs)
A recent study by Yesmail found that even though mobile device owners shop more often, they still prefer the PC for making purchases: 42 per cent of mobile device owners use their PC for completing purchases all the time, as opposed to their mobile phones (10 per cent) or their tablets (6 per cent). Check out the full infographic: