Qualcomm (QCOM) shuffles the deck at its FLO TV mobile TV subsidiary: Former Handango CEO Bill Stone will become FLO TV’s President, replacing Gina Lombardi, who led the group for the last three years.
Stone’s challenge: Getting more than a tiny sliver of the U.S. mobile market to watch TV on their phones. Just 2.1% of U.S. mobile subscribers watch programmed TV on their mobile phones, according to comScore M:Metrics. (Qualcomm has never announced how many subscribers FLO TV has.)
FLO TV is available on Verizon (VZ) Wireless and AT&T (T), the two biggest U.S. wireless carriers.
But it has limitations: It’s only available on a small number of the carriers’ phones — not including hot new smartphones like Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone or RIM’s (RIMM) BlackBerry Storm. And it costs about $15 extra per month, no matter how much (or little) you watch.
For a small niche of TV watchers, that could be attractive. But as more video gets on to smartphones for free — like Google’s (GOOG) YouTube, iPhone apps like i.TV, etc., a paid service like FLO TV seems less practical.
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