Archive for Tigerspike Innovation Lab
I was reading this article, and gained new respect for Sheryl who I rate pretty highly and the new guy at Yahoo. Spending almost $1bn on patents though, is just idiotic, but probably necessary given the way these things work.
I find these patent wars just ridiculous, and I find most of the patents just ridiculous too. Patenting a tap or a swipe? that is not innovation and doesn’t deserve a patent. One of Motorola’s was recently upheld and their innovation was to break up a message that was longer than 160 characters, sending it as two text messages and then re-assembling it at the other end. Sorry but that is not innovative. In my opinion you can’t patent things that are so obvious that any 10 year old can come up with them, but sadly that is what is happening.
Then the lawyers get involved and its easier and cheaper to settle the case rather than fight it. So even if you don’t infringe a patent you settle because its cheaper than proving that it isn’t infringed. This is what the so called “patent trolls” rely on. This is just wrong, and the problem is that in the USA you just can’t get anything done because trying to change something that everyone knows is wrong is like wading through mud.
We have recently filed a patent around a new way of doing encryption. Our thinking is genuinely unique and original, and it addresses a real need now that many encryption algorithms are being successfully hacked. And we will now share what we are doing so that other people can use it, and we may charge some licensing. That is what patents are for; to promote innovation by allowing genuine original ideas to be shared and those who come up with them to derive some benefit in exchange for sharing them.
What is happening now is Facebook etc. are buying patents so that they can bargain with Yahoo who sues them in order to put pressure on to do a deal. Hat off to Sheryl and Ross for sorting it out, but what they should have done is just do a business deal without the lawyer show or the $1bn price tag for the patents.
The worst is companies who buy patents and all they do is call lawyers and sue other companies who settle even if they are not infringing because it costs more to defend. This is so wrong and anyone who works for one of these patent troll companies should be ashamed of themselves.
I hear that congress is trying to change things and there are a few judges who rightly throw these things out, which is a start, but until then its still just the wrong thing to be doing. Why can’t companies just do the right thing?
I have been saying it for a while, and so it is good to see that someone else is coming to the same conclusion that I have. There is a good post here about “why QR Codes are failing”.
The short answer is that a) no one knows what it is, and b) even if they do, they don’t know what to do with it anymore.
The article misses an opportunity to say that QR codes have ‘failed’, and sounds like there is a chance that they won’t fail, but fail they will. Mobile technology has gone beyond QR codes now, there are much easier ways to engage.
I will go out on a limb and say this “anyone who spends money on QR codes is wasting their money”. Unfortunately many agencies will continue to do it.
At CES tablets were clearly the big thing. which is great for us, our phoenix platform publishes well to the devices, and they are really good for the publishing industry.
I hear great things about the playbook and others, but to be honest the iPad will remain on top for the next 18 months. Other tablets always bang on about how their device is an iPad killer, which really just establishes the iPad as the leading device.
The key issue with many of the devices is the size. I am not sure why they didn’t go with the same or similar dimensions as the iPad. Maybe they are trying to be different. The problem is that many of those devices are too small for a good experience but still too big to be truly portable.
The biggest a device can be, for a man at least is the size the iPhone is. Anything in between iPhone size and iPad size is no mans land in my opinion…
I was reading this post about Steve Jobs commenting on Apple’s quarterly earnings. From our experience building apps for Blackberry, Android, and Apple, his comments were really spot on. He is basically telling it exactly like it is.
The comment that he made on smaller tablets being lost in an in-between world was very true. What technology people fail to realise is that once something is too big for a pocket, it can be as big as a notebook. It doesn’t need to be small anymore, so the mid size just won’t work.
I won’t reiterate any more of the points, but to summarise for the non tech person: compare the Apple store with any other store that sells mobile phones, and you can see the vast difference – how Apple is doing things so much better than the others. That same gulf between Apple and other stores exists under the hood too. Apple tech is such a clear winner.
Back in the old days (2004) we used to make games in J2ME. We found that we had to make about 15 different versions of the game because each different handset had their own way of dealing with Java. Nokia was the king back then (and still is in many markets), but even for Nokia we had 2 or 3 builds to get the game working across series 30, 60, etc… Multiply that by Motorola, Sony Ericsson, LG, and Samsung (these were the days before HTC and the other new guys) and you have an issue.
So Android was supposed to bring a solution to this with a common platform across many devices. Sadly this didn’t happen in practice as well as it did in theory. Firstly, because updating the operating system happens slower for Android – there are big blocks of people (over 25%) with Android 1.5, 1.6, and 2.1. Secondly, there are subtle differences that exist from handset to handset. In the end, while we are in a better position than we were in 2004, there is still a long way to go.
In this respect Apple is better because. a) they standardise better (to be fair its easier, because they have one device), and b) people update to the later versions much faster than Android, so making things backwards compatible is something that isn’t as relevant.
So if you are building an app, expect Android to cost more than Apple. Finding good Android developers is also harder than good iPhone ones.
What about cross platform solutions?
There are companies that claim that they have a ‘build once, port to many platforms model’. We do this to an extent, but there is still alot of tinkering. I have looked under the hood of many of those other companies (all the ones that pitch us), and their ‘clever tech that the VCs like’ never does what they preach. The closest ones I have seen dumb down the experience which means that the app suffers.
So if you are building a solution for multi-platforms, you can ‘build once’ in terms of usability (to an extent), design, and the guts behind the app (like APIs that you create), but getting the best out of each platform requires per platform builds for the front ends. There is no easy way (yet) from my experience.
Here’s a brief summary of the key things announced by Apple just now from David So, the head of our apps team who is at the conference.
Also included are the implications
- Release dates:
- US, UK, Japan, Germany, France = June 24th (15th preorder)
- Australia + 17 others = July 2010
- 24 more = August
- 88 more countries = September
- “FaceTime” video calling (how cool! I predicted this in an earlier article! – looks like it will be sooner than 2012 after all – over 3G at least)
- Over Wifi only in 2010
- Only on iPhone 4 to another iPhone 4
- New open standard based on H.264 and SIP amongst other things
- The whole implementation spec will be “open” so can be used on other devices once implemented.
- Video calls will finally become mainstream
- Prediction: Will more than likely need 1yr to uptake
- New “retina” display
- Essentially a 3.5″ sized LCD screen with really high pixel pitch (326 pixels per inch – older models are 163ppi)
- 960 x 640 pixel screen
- Apple claims our human eyes can only perceive pixels lower than 300dpi
- This means a more realistic “paper” feel as curves are more curved and less pixelated
- Standard text and icons in apps will automatically look better
- Design assets (and some custom fonts) in apps will need to be replaced with higher res ones in order to look better on iPhone 4 (change request for all existing projects)
- Bigger battery
- Physically smaller CPU – Using “A4 chip” (same as the iPad)
- Better motion control (6 axis)
- Phone can now detect pitch, roll and yaw
- 720p HD video recording
- Tap to focus in video recording
- 5MP camera with LED flash
- New stainless steel design
- steel bezel is both structural and acts as antenna
- both sides are really strong glass
- Developer keeps 60% of ad revenue
- Apple has sold $60M worth of commitments from several big name brands (US market)
- = 48% of 2010 2H’s US Mobile Display
- Better mobile ad engagement
- Easier way for clients without existing ad sales departments to generate revenue in addition to charging for downloads
- The whole ad market will benefit from this, with many more brands ‘dipping their toe’ in mobile using this standard framework.
- iPhone OS is now renamed iOS
- Runs on iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad
- iOS 4 has new features as previously announced
- iAds, folders, multitasking etc
- Added ability to search Bing in Safari
- More app features now possible as previously discussed
- iMovie for iPhone announced
- improved iBookstore -PDF support and wireless syncing (like Amazon’s Kindle whispernet)
- Hold out for iPad2 whenever that’s announced (2011?). The next will definitely have a better screen worth waiting for.
Full details and photos here:
Imagine a community with 50 bicycles and 1,000 cars in it (i.e. 5% bicycles). It is logical to put up a billboard next to the community highway rather than next to the community cycle path right?
What if each cyclist uses the cycle path 20 times per day, and each car only uses the road once a week. Over the year the cycle path billboard gets 365,000 views, and the road billboard only gets 52,000 views.
Now imagine that the billboard on the road is so high that only cars that are convertible can read it, and only 50% of cars are convertible. Now you only have 26,000 views.
The mistake that so many people make – usually agencies I have to say – is that they say “well only 7% of people have iPhones: we don’t want to only reach 7% we want to reach the other 93% as well”.
The problem is you can’t reach those people. The other 97% are only using their phones for calls and SMS; not for browsing the web. So there is no point trying to reach them. You can’t. They are like people who have cars but never drive them, so they will never see your billboard.
50% of all traffic is from smart phones, and more than half of that is from iPhone and iPod*, so if you have scarce marketing dollars and no mobile strategy yet, just do the following (in this order):
- Build an iPhone app
- Promote the iPhone app (via other iPhone apps)
- Build a mobile site optimised for high end devices. Forget about the low end ones
- Promote the mobile site (via mobile media)
- Build an Android app (save money by using the same functional specifications and designs as you did for the iPhone app)
- Promote the Android app
- Tie it all together with messaging.
And if you were really thinking ahead you would gather all the interactions and learn about the behavior of the people interacting, and then work out how to do things better and better.
[*Bear in mind that this is the case for the USA and UK, India and Indonesia (which are the number 2 and 4 in terms of total mobile browsing) are dominated by Nokia (and when I say dominated, I mean the top 10 handsets in each of those markets are Nokia]
Everyone has been talking about “convergence” for such a long time that it isn’t sexy anymore.
Our original company tag line: ‘creative solutions for converging technologies‘ was changed 4 years ago to ‘Creative. Cutting edge’, but we could have probably kept the old tagline because it is only now that we are truly seeing convergence. And the single biggest catalyst for convergence will be the iPad, and it will happen in the year of the Tiger (i.e. 2010 plus a little bit extra!).
If successful, the iPad will be the catalyst for a tipping point in convergence. And the iPad will be successful. The key reasons for this are outlined in this article.
The Size-Convenience Paradox
The Size-Convenience Paradox is that “The biggest mobile device screens are too small. The smallest notebook screens are too big” (and too heavy to carry around in handbags).
The one thing I am told about my 13″ Vaio is ‘oh the keyboard is small’ but actually it isn’t. Each key only needs to be the size of a finger tip, and the only reason that keyboards are the size they are on laptops is because the screen was modelled on the size of a TV screen and the keyboard just filled up the space below it. But even small keyboards are one of the key reasons that notebooks have to be so big. They need screens and keyboards.
But think for a moment. What do you need keyboards for? We don’t spend large amounts of time typing anymore. Generation Y and below communicate differently, and the times when we sit down and type are the times when we are in front of our PCs at home or at work. It takes a knowledge of new and changing behaviour to get things right.
The Size-Convenience Paradox is a paradox because people want bigger screens because content is easier to consume (as there is more space for it), and it is also what we are used to as the web has traditionally been viewed though a PC sized screen. The problem is that carrying a PC sized screen in your handbag is annoying.
The iPad, and maybe Sony’s new line of really small laptops have got it right, but of these the iPad will succeed because it is designed from the mobile device up not the laptop down, and the simplicity that results will win it for Apple.
Technology is not exciting
The most common mistake that everyone makes is thinking about technology. WAP is not exciting. Applications ‘running apps in the background’ are not exciting. Flash 10 is not exciting… Actually scratch that (before our CTO rings me up and starts getting angry!). These things are exciting, but not to the vast majority of people, the unheard majority of people who buy devices and consume media.
What will be successful is what this unheard majority want. Not what the techies want. And that has nothing to do with technology and everything to do with design and usability.
You will see the techy commentators bashing the iPad, but they have missed the point. They are comparing it to the iPhone or laptop. But the iPad is neither. It is a new device. The converged device.
But speed is
One piece of technology that is important is speed (for the vast majority the key here is taking away the annoyance of waiting). The iPad is fast in terms of processing, but more importantly the trend is for wireless networks to get much faster. I know it doesn’t seem like that on the west and east coasts of the USA, but elsewhere in the world, and increasingly in the USA, the carriers are investing in technologies like LTE / WIMAX / 4G (whatever the technology is, the main point is that it will deliver faster than 3G speeds).
What this means is that the iPad and similar devices will be used for face to face communications. Video calls will finally happen, (driven by companies like Skype). I don’t think that 2010 is the year that video calls become available to the masses, but as I said earlier, it is the year of the tipping point, and by the time the mass market has the device, the carriers will have fast enough networks to handle video. This will all happen in 2 years, so look forward to 2012 for mass market video calls.
Value & Design
Cost is a pretty big factor, but the key factor is value. I value my iPhone. I didn’t really value my Nokia N95. The main reason for this is not that the iPhone was expensive but because of the device design. Handset manufacturers are catching on and the design guys are (finally) winning out over the engineers, but its only recently that manufacturers like HTC are starting to follow suit and creating devices that look (and more importantly feel) valuable – Google’s Nexus 1 is a good example.
The most successful phone ever was the Motorola V3 because it was thin metallic and felt good in your hand and pocket. And it came in pink. The funny thing is that only now are companies realising that making pink (and other coloured) laptops will do more for sales than any amount of on board RAM. I still scratch my head about why it has taken so long to realise this –I think that it is because the people creating these things are engineers rather than designers.
I do really value my Vaio, but it cost just over US$2,000. The iPad is about half the cost or less, and although the cost of notebooks is coming down, I don’t see it ever really competing on price, mainly because they don’t have a nice ready-made ongoing revenue stream model like Apple do, so the laptops will never be able to beat the iPad on cost.
Ease of Payment
One of the key things that Apple has that is very important is an easy way to make money both for themselves and for developers. This is not the case for other app stores (with the possible exception of Android), and will ensure that all the content comes to their platform first. Adding books and video in a way that people want to consume them (the iPod screen is still just too small for long video, but the iPad isn’t) will mean more revenue for everyone (publishers and Apple). The behaviour here will be a book / magazine like veneer which is read in the same way as the traditional media, with cool social media type stuff built into the background.
Apples 30% cut is still way too much. Reducing it to between 5% and 10% is an opportunity for Apple to become the de-facto payment for retailers and content providers who won’t accept 30% and will bypass Apple’s payment solution. We have seen many of our clients do this, so maybe there is a 2 tiered structure there somewhere. Apple’s big head start here was because of iTunes and the millions of people who already use it to pay for music, so the billing relationship is there.
The guys to blame here are the mobile carriers, why they didn’t learn from DoCoMo (who take a much smaller percentage of the cost of content) is beyond me and indicative of old company thinking. Sadly Apple, although improved on the 40% to 60% that the carriers take, are still taking too much. Amazon (with Kindle) are even bigger culprits, and although they are pioneers, they will be one of the losers in the convergence playground.
The iPad is the convergent device. Not a laptop, and not an iPhone or iPod. It is a new device that everyone will have that will eventually replace both. It is also the catalyst that will be the tipping point for other convergent devices. It is the perfect solution to the Size-Convenience paradox. Designed and priced well will mean that it will sell well, and it may take more than the year of the Tiger to get it into everyone’s hands, but it will happen.
Other companies will follow Apple’s lead, as we have seen with the iPhone and until we integrate our brains with organic computing, the converged device will be the standard communication device for the short to medium term future. This will really happen in 2011 and 2012, but companies will need to give it some serious thought now if they plan to take full advantage.
- Publishers, who have an opportunity to replicate their traditional revenue models
- Skype / other video calling companies for whom the iPad is a perfect interface
- Airlines / trains, who will see the number of people using these devices in-flight increase significantly, and should be able to provide services bundled in with connectivity
- Any wireless providers – who will see a lot more demand especially before the next generation of wireless networks are fully up and running
- Location based services companies / social networks as more people access while on the move, and with the larger screen will be able to do more
- Mums and dads who want to keep their kids happy in the back of the car, and therefore educational companies who provide content that mums and dads will let their kids interact with.
- Kindle / Nook / any other reader will suffer in the same way that other MP3 players did when the iPod came out
- Laptop manufacturers, especially those playing in the small laptop space. They will struggle to compete on both price and quality / design of device
- Wireless carriers whose networks will start to really strain under the weight of the increased traffic
- I don’t see a threat to Apple themselves as I don’t think that the iPad will cannibalise iPod touch or iPhone sales
- Flash or anyone else who Apple doesn’t integrate with the device
- Pulp and paper companies as having a nice reader will finally start to replace the printed version
I decided to write this document because I did some reading and watched the iPhone 3.0 video (which you can too here, but who has time to sit through over an hour of video these days, so below are the highlights and some analysis of what this means to you, with some time segments of the video referenced so you can go straight there without having to see the whole thing. Summary is here [01:22:10].
There are some also insights into iPhone too and why you should care about it more than you think you should.
The short answer is that the new improvements in 3.0 make an already great product even better. There really is no excuse for brands not to have a presence in the app store.
- 30 million iPhones and iPod touches and growing
- In 80 countries. They excluded China, our man on the ground there tells me there are so many (All cracked of course)
- 45,000 apps and over 1 Billion downloads from the app store so far
- iPhone 3.0 SDK was released for the developers on St Patricks day 2009, and will be pushed out to everyone’s phones this summer
- iPhone apps are now being approved within 2 weeks
- I could go on, but the short answer is that the iPhone really needs to be the centrepiece of your digital strategy. It is the quickest way to start doing something that works
For me this graph is the most important
The blue bars are how many handsets are out there, and the red is how much traffic they generate as a % of all traffic. See if you can guess which one the iPhone is! What this means is that despite having a small number of total devices, iPhones do the most searching of the mobile web. Almost HALF of all traffic is generated by 8% of devices.
This is because:
- Design of the iPhone is way nicer than all others at the moment, so you want to interact with it
- The usability of the iPhone is way better than all other phones. They just spent more time getting it right
I know people who switched from a high end Nokia perfectly capable of web browsing, but only started when they got their iPhone. This may not be the case for ever, but it is the case now.
Apps are a similar story. The Blackberry app store is a very poor cousin to the iPhone store. No comparison really, and Nokia Ovi will take a while to gain traction, although both have potential.
Summary of 3.0 new features
This section will loosely follow the video, and if you want to see more you can go straight to the time listed.
In app purchase [00:11:00]
This means you can buy extra stuff without leaving the app. You set the price, get 70% of it back and Apple pay you monthly . Apart from extra game levels, the big winners here are magazines, and in particular magazine groups.
For two reasons:
- You only create one app, and then sell each edition of the magazine. You can get revenue straight away and so don’t need to rely on mobile advertising, which won’t bear fruit until 2010/2011 in my opinion. If you want that route, go for Sponsorship for 6 to 12 months with one of your best advertisers
- This spring, The Audit Bureau of Circulations (in the USA) has recently allowed non replica versions of magazines to count towards paid digital circulation. This means your iPhone magazines can boost your circulation numbers (and therefore your ad rates).
For city guides, or groups with many titles, check out [00:12:00]. Having one main app means revenue potential is way higher than for individual apps per issue. AND you get to cross promote.
Any magazine or magazine group that isn’t taking advantage of the 30m people and the easy payment mechanism that this new channel gives needs their head examining.
Push notification [00:22:00]
This is one of the best features of the 3.0 software. It allows the application to send you an alert which you can then click on to go into the application (either on a pop up screen, or in the SMS inbox). If you look at usage patterns of applications, people stop using them fairly quickly. These reminders are good ways to reduce this.
Check out how ESPN are sending over 50m push notifications a month for sports [00:39:15]. Very cool. If you do alerts, have a look at how ESPN are doing it and copy them!
Another cool thing is that you get to assign your own sound to the push notification.
This lets developers design for accessories. This new API lets you control the accessory from the iPhone. For example a graphic equaliser to control a spreaker that you plug your iPhone into it.
The main winners here are the medical devices companies. There is a good example of what Johnson and Johnson are doing at [00:43:30]
But so what you can do the same for other devices? The thing is that iPhone is way easier to use, and looks good. For older people this is what they need. Until the iPhone, high end devices perplexed the older generation (and when I say older generation, I of course mean anyone over 30!
WE can now use Google maps within iPhone applications, including location based information (with GPS, Wifi and cell tower triangulation for non 3G devices). The maps are free: You don’t need to buy or license your own maps, you use Google’s. Which are the standard these days.
Knowing where you are opens up one of THE key values of mobile, so the Big winners here are any applicaitons that direct you somewhere. Restaurants, Hotels, Shops, events, parties etc… Finding out wher eyou are now, and whee you need to get to is way easier now.
Palm Pre has full turn by turn directions with their GPS, which 3.0 does allow IF you bring yourown maps. Great news for people like Tom Tom and NavMan as they have 30m potential new customers. And in app purchasing means that they can make their money on the additional maps needed.
Peer to Peer [00:14:50]
This is great for games where you want to play against other gamers near you. But it is also great for business.
The great thing here is that it connects over bluetooth with automatic discovery and no pairing. So it is easy. I don’t care what anyone says, Bluetooth up until now has just not worked. We have been working with it for 6 years.
So the big winner here in my opinion is brand sponsored games or business applications where the main areas of business are in big cities like London, or New York (or anywhere where there will be more than one iPhone out there). I ride the subway from Brooklyn to Manhatten every morning, and see at least 3 other iPhones, but you do need this.
Other cool customer features [01:03:00]
- In app email – will mean that viral spreading of apps or content from apps becomes way easier
- Streaming audio and video – iPhones now become radios. All radio stations must build fron ends
- iPod access – so you can access the songs from within your app. Great for personalised applications [00:34:00]. In SIMS3, you can buy a stereo in game and play your own songs through it!
- Landscape keyboard – a big criticism of the iPhone compared to Blackberry was the keyboard. JD power recently rated the iPhone number one in customer satisfaction among business users so don’t be surprised to see Blackberry overtaken soon for this demographic [01:11:50]
- MMS – this is now supported allowing sending of video and multiple images. Great for news for companies who want to do UGC campaigns [01:12:20]
- Universal search –lets you type in a search word, find it within emails, notes, songs, apps… everything [01:17:32]. Probably a reaction to Palm Pre’s similar functiaonloity but pretty good nontheless.
- Copy and Paste – you can now do this from anywhere to anywhere [01:09:22]
What not to do
Don’t go cheap. To quote my Singaporean camera sales guy “you want cheap?, is no good… you want good? Is no cheap”. We have seen a few times where clients have gone for the cheap option. One had to completely rebuild their app, and the other is still waiting forit to deliver 3 months later. Don’t pinch pennies on this, you wouldn’t with your corporate website, and you shouldn’t with your iPhone app.
Use professionals. If you can find an independent iPhone developer who is good and professional, then great. If he or she is a good designer even better. But from our experience the best iPhone freelance guys are working for themselves, becoming rich enough by building their own games, and if they mess it up, you are left with no redress.
Put together a Financial model for when the project will break even. If you use US$50k+ as a ballpark for a reasonably good app, and you sell it at $1.99, you know that you need to sell 34,000 apps to break even. Throw in sponsorship, and you can be making a profit before you even start the build. This is absolutely possible, we have seen it work a number of times.
Consider other applications. If you are building an iPhone, keep the wireframes, walkthorughs, designs etc.. for Android / Blackberry / J2ME apps. Don’t pay for separate builds where you don’t have to. Technically since iPhone is written in C and the rest based on Java you will need separate builds, but many elements will be the same.
This blog entry is mainly about Nokia’s Ovi store. Loosely this is an App store like Apple’s, but it promises to be availble to 300m devices by 2012.
This is big. I am a big fan of apple, but iPhone sales are dwarfed by sales of Nokias. In my opinion Apple is still way ahead in terms of the phone design and useability, but Nokia (and everyone else with varying degrees of success) are all trying to copy; and as Motorola found out, you can’t just make one awesome phone (the V3) and then sit back and bask.
What does Ovi have?
- A general app store that gives developers 70% of sales revenue (like Apple) accross 15 set price points, and charges though the carriers (after the carriers take their share (which is SHIT – carriers take 40% to 50% – there won’t be anything left!), or through credit card. Apple is way ahead in this respect, and Nokia will have to come up with some more solutions – things like Paypal will help, but one thing Nokia hasn’t got that Apple has is the billing relationship. And that matters. Alot.
- Nokia music store does pretty much the same thing as iTunes, and also streams from your PC. It also has a recommendation engine which is good, but it isn’t as cool as Apple’s iTunes Genius (neither of which are as good as last.fm)
- Nokia Friend view, which actually pits Nokia against Google (their new Lattitude service). I think that Google has a better chance, as their solution goes accross all platforms wheras Nokia’s is only availlable on S60 handsets at the moment. They both look cool though – check out the videos here.
- MOSH which is Nokia’s UGC thing which I won’t go into here.
- A games capability which Nokia will be ahead of Apple for; due to their experience with the N Gage. That said, Apple is more Wii (because of the accelarometer) and NGage is more Playstation, and I prefer Wii over Playstation. Steve Jobs doesn’t really like gaming either, so he may be missing a trick here. Games outsold DVDs this year.
- iTunes has between 100m and 250m users depending on who you ask, iPhone has tens of millions
- Nokia say that Ovi will be on 300m devices by 2012. This is bullish, but Nokia do have 40% of the global market, and there are more than 4bn connections out there (or thereabouts), and 40% of that is 1.6Bn!
- Something else to remember is that iPhone users use their devices way more than Nokia users do – even the new Nokia devices… we will wait and see what Nokia produces to answer the iPhone. I haven’t seen anything close yet (from anyone – confirmed by our guys Nic and Simon who are at 3GSM in Barcalona at the moment)
Can Nokia get it on the handsets?
All the new ones yes – the first one is the N97 in May, but they say that they will be able to get it on the Series 40 and 60. Through an ‘on handset’ application. Getting people to download that is by no means easy.
Also remember that Nokia will start to piss the carriers off as they will theorise that they will lose revenue (the credit card part). Who knows they may gain more (i.e. their share of the carrier charged downloads), but they will fight over it – which should be fun to watch! The carriers need to invest in this stuff too otherwise they will become dumb pipes, which they need to either accept, or do something about. And it has to be something more impressive than Nokia and Apple, and Google can do. And that is a very tall order…
So will Nokia win?
Even considering that Nokia has just laid off a load of their R&D guys due to the recession (Not a good time to need to innovate and develop cool stuff) in summary: If Nokia can connect effectively with their handsets: i.e. all the lower end handsets download the application OR all new Nokias pre load Ovi AND they sort their billing out, AND the carriers don’t kill them, THEN they will have the biggest network in the world. Even if they do this – Apple will still be there, they won’t go away because they are too cool and they do things right and their design is beautiful.
But while Apple is “cooler” than Nokia. it isn’t by that much…. Finnish people never hurt anyone, so Maito on calista, Sokeri on Halpa to you!