Sunday, October 31, 2010
Saturday, October 30, 2010
LG, Samsung and Sony Ericsson have a decidedly female bias, though it isn't entirely clear why. Devices made by LG, Samsung and Sony Ericsson are available in a wide range of prices, which could affect purchasing statistics, as 52 percent of all people in the United States are female.
Apple, Nokia, Palm and RIM products are equally attractive to both genders, the Yankee Group says. Despite Apple’s and RIM’s skew toward young buyers, their products appeal almost equally to both genders.
It has become routine over the last two years to hear executives at cable and telecom companies point to the sluggish economy and low housing starts as the reason for similarly stubborn consumer resistance to spending more money on some services.
It looks like nothing has changed since the start of 2009. That's significant because it suggests consumers are making deliberate choices in spending on tablets that basically come down to funding tablet purchases by not spending elsewhere in the household budgets.
It might only be slight issue at the moment, or a near term issue, but one wonders whether a shift to Wi-Fi-using mobile devices is beginning to lessen demand for smartphones, higher-end smartphones and data plans. And, if so, the related question is whether the substitution is just a temporary issue.
Most reports seem to suggest that most iPads, for example, are Wi-Fi units, not 3G-connected. If tablet popularity grows, and at this point it seems to be growing, then more discretionary end user income could be shifted to device purchases and reliance on Wi-Fi, and away from smartphone data plans or PC dongles.
It won't take a user long to figure out that he or she can buy an iPad for about 10 months worth of a 3G mobile data plan costing $60 a month, or an Android tablet for the equivalent of 10 months of smartphone service at $30 a month.
For many users, that will be a trade off that seems logical, since at least half of all iPad use seems to occur at home, where most people have Wi-Fi, while perhaps 10 percent to 25 percent takes place at work, where there often is Wi-Fi. It does not appear that many people actually use their iPads "in transit."
Long term, one suspects tablet ownership will increase appetite for, and use of, mobile broadband services. Ironically, such demand might also lessen appetite for sizable smartphone data plans. Some users might conclude that a Mi-Fi type service, which can supply Wi-Fi for a tablet, smartphone and notebook, all at once, works well enough.
Friday, October 29, 2010
To make it easier, YouTube has developed a new widget that any video-maker can embed on a website or blog. It lets people subscribe to a YouTube channel with a single click, without having to leave the website site to log into YouTube or confirm a subscription. The entire process happens in the widget.
You can embed the code below into the source code of your website or blog, in the same way you embed a YouTube video.
"I use the Google services on my Evo almost exclusively now to find local information and directions," says Sterling. "And yesterday Google updated Maps for Android to make Place Pages on the device look and operate more like Places on the PC."
Thursday, October 28, 2010
That's despite the fact that these members only make up 14 percent of the House, the analysis said. National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) records show that committee members' districts took in all or part of nearly $1.9 billion in grants, the report said.
The committee members whose districts were awarded the the most funding were Reps. Mike Doyle (D-Pa.) with $128 million, Joe Pitts (R-Pa.) with $128 million, George Radanovich (R-Calif.) with $128 million, Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) with $123 million and John Sarbanes (D-Md.) with $115 million, according to the report, which drew from grant descriptions posted on the NTIA website.
The study finds that overall satisfaction with residential high-speed Internet service averages 634 on a 1,000-point scale, a decrease of five index points from 2009.
The study also finds that customer satisfaction with cost of service averages 584 in 2010, a 12-point decrease from 596 in 2009. Contributing to this decline are decreases in satisfaction with fairness of prices paid and ease of understanding pricing options.
“Although product performance is most important in retaining customers, the top reason they switch providers is cost-related,” said Frank Perazzini, director of telecommunications at J.D. Power and Associates.
Unless I completely miss my guess, I'd say the "Droid" and "Evo" probably appeal mostly to men, for example.
My unscientific sample suggests the typical first impression some women have is that the Droid and Evo are "heavy," the implication being that neither is a device would prefer to carry and use.
The point, whether the characterization is mostly right, or not, is that user segments likely exist that service and app providers, as well as device manufacturers, have only begun to assess and design around. To be sure, a smartphone is a multi-purpose device. But most people have lead apps that are more important than most others, and could create opportunities to differentiate the end user experience.
Cablevision is doing the same at the moment. It's ironic, though.
Mobile users polled by Keynote Systems for Adobe reported a preference for mobile browsers to access virtually all mobile content. Games, music and social media were the only categories in which users would rather use a downloaded app than browse the mobile web.
Think about Twitter's "Promoted Tweets" and you will get the idea.
The Promoted Videos program launched two years ago, and, according to the YouTube blog, has seen a six-fold increase in viewers clicking on these creator-sponsored vids in the past year (advertisers basically pay to have these videos appear in search results, on the YouTube homepage and on video pages).
Google acquired Android in 2005 for an undisclosed price which has been estimated at $50 million.
Now iPhone, Android and iPad developers using the paid version of the company’s Titanium framework get the ability to conduct mobile commerce.
We do different things with vehicles, and for most of us, money is not unlimited. Were it not so, perhaps most people would drive a Lexus. If one assumes there is very little a single cannot do with 15 Mbps, then a family can well benefit from 50 Mbps, if it believes it will have three or four users online, all at the same time, all watching video at the same time.
Lots of households will find that overkill, at least for the moment. In some cases, users can buy 50 Mbps service from Comcast, for about $100 a month. That's a better deal than $145 a month. But the issue for many users will be how much those users really want to spend for service, when they are paying their own money.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Many service providers I talk to would often prefer their sales teams to sell hosted PBXs over premises based alternatives. But the reality is that market adoption for hosted business services can be hindered by sales strategies, pricing models and marketing pitches that don't stack up when compared next to premises-based solutions.
If this is your dilemma you may find that:
* your existing sales teams are too familiar with premises PBXs' familiar features, benefits, and pricing
* there is a much stronger organisational structure built to sell and support in-house PBXs than for hosted services
* individual salespeople have deep, field-level relationships with PBX vendors, many of which provide sales incentives
* general suspicion towards hosted PBX as an inferior product.
New managed offerings include Ethernet Private Line Service, Ethernet Virtual Private Line Service and Virtual Private LAN Service. Customers who employ Private IP Layer 2 will also be able to choose a managed service.
'For the first time, our customers can combine the power of MPLS and Ethernet in a fully managed end-end-to-end global networking solution,' said Anthony Recine, vice president of networking and communications solutions for Verizon Business. 'Together our Private IP and Ethernet services deliver an ideal business communications platform to handle big-bandwidth applications in a similar fashion, no matter where they are located around the world.'
These managed services support a variety of applications including VoIP, storage and business continuity, large file transfers, distance learning, content delivery and unified communications.
That's one reason about half of users say they never use mobile apps, either. Most phones being used today do not support app downloads.
In North America, nearly 60 percent of the top 100 sites for the last year were video and gaming sites. Video streaming and downloads (including gaming), social networking, and software updates dominate the top 10 sites in North America. Approximately 29 percent of the traffic from the top 100 sites in this region comes from the top 10 sites.
see the full results here
In-Stat predicts the number of mobile video calling users will grow at a 115 percent compound annual growth rate through 2015, with Asia/Pacific consumers representing 53 percent of the mobile video calling minutes used by 2015.
Apple, Fring, OoVoo, Qik and Skype are among firms In-Stat believes will be driving the usage. By 2015, mobile video calling will result in over 9 petabytes in data traffic in North America.
Consumers have come to expect 20 percent to 25 percent price declines every year, so small movements of five percent or less are unlikely to inspire them to rush into the stores and buy.
The other issue is that consumers are in the midst of technology "refresh" cycles. Just half of all flat-panel TV purchases are now made by first-time buyers. And more than 80 percent of the notebook installed base was less than three years old at the time of NPD’s Household Penetration survey earlier in 2010.
With the possible exception of Apple's iPad and other new tablets, there does not seem to be some compelling new application or device to prompt a big upsurge in buying, Baker suggests.
Also, the 2010 Christmas selling season will face tough comparisons with the 2009 holiday season. In 2009, categories such as flat-panel TVs saw 25 percent sales increases, and notebooks were up twice that amount. It always is tougher to show current period growth when the comparison is to an earlier period with robust sales growth.
The exception will be the iPad and tablets, in all likelihood.
NPD’s research also indicates worsening consumer sentiment. "Consumers who were considering just cutting back on purchases are now not planning to buy anything at all," says Baker.
read more here
“We are Intel geeks at heart, taking an editorial approach to producing stories with journalistic style and integrity, and doing it as objectively as possible while being transparent about who we work for,” according to a mission statement on the site.
Using estimates from typical usage in its sample of 10 countries, Opera estimates that the global cost of browsing is 47 cents per MByte. Based on that figure and the amount of data transferred by Opera Mini users each month, we calculate that Opera Mini users around the world save over $2.2 billion per month, or over $27.4 billion per year.
One can quarrel with the savings estimates, though. Opera assumes a cost of $2 per megabyte for users in the United States. That works out to a cost of $2048 a month for use of 1 gigabyte worth of data. Most users quickly can figure out that they can benefit from an unlimited data plan costing $30 to $60 a month.
At $30 a month, a gigabyte nominally costs just three cents. Perhaps a better way to view the data is that if users purchased their mobile broadband bandwidth using the most-expensive a la carte plans, they might save the money Opera claims. In practice, most users can figure out they need to buy "wholesale rather than retail."
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
These days, what company is not betting on mobile?
The overall market reflects a spending shift to Ethernet at the expense of both the ATM and frame relay markets, as you might guess. The frame relay market will shrink 57 percent, while Ethernet spending will exceed $18 billion by 2014.
Small business spending will grow at a greater rate over the next five years than any other size of business segment, In-Stat says.
see more here
The ONT would be customer powered from the premises, consuming about 10 watts total, or less when divided by as many as eight locations sharing a single ONT.
The investment, spread over three years starting 2011, will be made mostly in research and development, Chief Executive Officer Jung Man Won says.
Social networks provide rich mines of data that can be used to anticipate the future. We will all have less privacy than we now think we have.
Monday, October 25, 2010
Analytics can uncover more than you think.
About 150,000 pieces of content are available as part of the service.
Enterprise gadgets aim to build off existing apps and products in enterprise environment
Two-thirds (65.6%) of undergraduate students in four-year programs graduating in the 2007-2008 school year had some debt, according to FinAid.org. The average student loan debt among graduating seniors was $23,186. One quarter borrowed $30,526 or more and one-tenth borrowed $44,668 or more. Graduates of graduate and professional schools often face six figures in debt.
The key is what content owners are willing to accept.
BMW will begin to rent cars in Germany. The luxury manufacturer knows that not everyone can afford an expensive car and that other people do not need to own a car because they drive too infrequently.
Detroit will be tempted to follow BMW’s lead. Car sales in the US have barely recovered from last year, which means that they are at terribly depressed levels compared to 2005 and 2006. American manufactures have slashed their employees and factory operations, but the US market is crowded and new competitors such as Hyundai occasionally are successful at their expense.
Most other researchers take a more "linear" view.
Most new markets grow in a linear fashion until an inflection point, and then growth goes parabolic.
The issue is how soon an inflection point is reached. Borrell Associates obviously believes we are closer to an inflection point than nearly all other observers.
see more here
To deliver what is required, specifically new levels of coherence across apps, services and devices, lots of innovation will happen to occur in the user experience, the interaction model, authentication model, user data and privacy model, policy and management model, programming and application model.
"How would customers accomplish the kinds of things they do today? In what ways would it be better? In what ways would it be worse, or just different?," Ozzie says everyone must ask.
Tomorrow’s devices will be relatively simple and fundamentally appliance-like by design. They will be instantly usable, interchangeable, and trivially replaceable without loss. A world of content – both personal and published – is streamed, cached or synchronized with a world of cloud-based continuous services.
No matter what the screen size, you don't get many tweets, or emails, or just words on there, he says.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
We can debate the issue of whether people are spending less time "face to face," and what that might mean. It is harder to argue about the subjectively perceived value. People do think they are more connected.
I think there's something to this. You might argue that people already use related sharing, rating or comment apps. But this approach potentially creates lots more analytical value, essentially surfacing content communities and making them more visible.
It's sort of a content version of "people who bought this also bought" or "people who liked this might also like" but bridging both consumer and producer parts of a content community.
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Gillett also said that iDevices from Apple are used more in its stores than any others. How important is that? Well, Gillett wanted to use Flash on the social network, but there wasn’t any way he could because of Apple's refusal to support Flash. So Starbucks built its system using HTML 5.
In other words, the new Starbucks Digital Network is going to be optimized for mobile devices rather than PCs, and for HTML5-authored content.
One of the debates which slowly is growing, though, is over "openness" and "curated" approaches to end user experience. It would be too easy to say Apple is the foremost proponent of curation ("closed") while Android, Chrome and Firefox are examples of openness.
It might be more accurate to say the trend to curation is growing, across all platforms. You might think of curation as a culling, optimizing or editing process, where apps and software are optimized and filtered. Apple always has done this to optimize end user experience. But app stores, both mobile and soon Web app stores, also are curated environments, to a greater or lesser extent.
In Mozilla's view, for example, the open Web is the way to create rich applications, while Apple takes the opposite approach. In Apple's case, the company plans to create a new Mac Apps Store containing software expressly optimized for Apple devices and the Mac OS X operating system.
Apple plans to curate significantly, rejecting buggy apps, betas, apps built with Java, apps with Easter eggs, apps that aggregate content, apps that duplicate Apple's own apps, apps that contain pornography, violence, promote drinking and drugs, for example.
Mozilla Foundation is taking an entirely different approach for its new "OPen Web Apps" store. Designed around a "use any browser" approach, the idea is create a store that allows creation of Web apps that work in any modern desktop or mobile browser (Firefox 3.6 and later, Firefox for mobile, Internet Explorer 8, Chrome 6, Safari 5, Opera 10 and WebKit mobile).
Consider the Mozilla initiative an example of the "write once, run many" approach to software. In Mozilla's vision, apps are designed to run independently of operating system or hardware. See http://blog.mozilla.com/blog/2010/10/19/prototype-of-an-open-web-app-ecosystem/ for more detail.
Open Web Apps will use existing identity systems like OpenID and support portable purchases, meaning that an app purchased for one browser works in other browsers, and across multiple desktop and mobile platforms without repurchase. Think iTunes and you have an example of the difference between the Mozilla and Apple approaches.
Open Web Apps will support access to one or more advanced or privacy-sensitive capabilities such as geolocation on a user opt-in basis.
In Mozilla's view, apps must be distributed by developers directly to users without any gatekeeper, and available through multiple stores, allowing stores to compete on customer service, price, policies, app discoverability, ratings, reviews and other attributes.
Open Web Apps will be able to receive notifications from the cloud, and support deep search across apps. In other words, apps can implement an interface that enables the app container (generally the Web browser) to provide the user with a cross-app search experience that links deeply into any app that can satisfy the search.
In essence, the debate over curated and open approaches is a preference for, or against, gatekeepers. But the emergence of new app stores, already announced by Google, Apple and Mozilla, should change the software development business in some key ways. Web apps should grow in popularity, and make more rapid development of lower-cost apps and lower-volume apps available in substantial quantity, as app store publishing will cost a lot less than traditional shrink-wrapped apps store in physical and online retail stores. See http://www.readwriteweb.com/cloud/2010/10/web-app-stores-how-they-compar.php for more detail.
About the only safe statement is that all the traditional arguments about openness and curated approaches, including the issue of gatekeepers, are going to heat up again as the web app store trend gets established.
Watch a Mozilla video about the new Web Apps Store here: http://videos-cdn.mozilla.net/labs/openwebapps/openwebapps.webm
Friday, October 22, 2010
Angel investor Mike Maples talks in this video about "pivots," those gut-wrenching, desperate changes in business model that entrepreneurs sometimes make when things really aren't going well. Sometimes a beloved idea has to be abandoned or modified in serious ways to get to a larger business.
If I had to guess, right now, I'd say the adoption forecast is too steep.
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