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Watching the evolution of MMS camera phones and the Symbian OS for the purpose of Moblogging.



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wFriday, August 01, 2003

Smartphone market - Microsoft and Palm nowhere to be seen!

Tom Hume also spotted an interesting report on 'MS Mobiles' about the acceleration of the Smartphone market, and amazingly, the absense of both Microsoft and Palm from the list of top 5 vendors.

"In the second quarter of 2003, the worldwide converged handheld device market grew 330.7% year-over-year and 12.0% sequentially to 1.97 million units. The converged device market now makes up 1.7% of the total mobile phone market, compared with only 0.5% in the same quarter one year ago."

So you'd have to agree with their sentiment that, as of now, 'Microsoft fails miserably in the cell phone market!'

posted by James at 11:02 AM


Cameraphone scanned barcodes revisited

I blogged previously about a potential of using camera phones for scanning barcodes but Tom Hume has found an alternative system that actually works, a "nice looking service, using barcodes to let you purchase easily anywhere using your phone."

posted by James at 10:48 AM

wThursday, July 31, 2003

Bluetooth Qwerty Keyboard on the way

Michael Buffington.com likes the bluetooh connectivity of the Nokia 3650 but wants better integration with other gadgets in future wants -

"I want to see Bluetooth wrist watches that are in constant sync with my Bluetooth phone. When my phone rings in my pocket, I want my watch to display the caller ID text. I want a Bluetooth hard drive, so I can just offload photos from my phone to the hard drive. I want stereo Bluetooth headphones. My Nokia 3650 can play MP3's, but they sound like crap over the regular phone speaker. I want Bluetooth light switches, so that when I walk into a room with my Bluetooth wrist watch on, the lights turn on. And turn off when I leave. I want my car to adjust it's climate control, seats and mirrors to suit me, via a profile on my Bluetooth phone/watch/keychain. I want a Bluetooth toothbrush that sends a reminder to my computer which then synchronizes with my phone to tell me when I should buy a new one. I want my toaster to trigger a pleasant little chime in my ear when the sourdough has crisped. Essentially, I want Bluetooth enabled everything."

Well, you may have to wait a little longer for a 'bluetooth enabled everything' Michael but thanks for pointing out that there is a bluetooth enabled QWERTY keyboard on the way. Neat.

posted by James at 9:40 PM


ETI camcorder, correction

Thanks to the All About Symbian Nokia 3650 forum I was able to get feedback on the new version of ETI camera, directly from the developer. And it turns out that Handango were at fault for attaching the wrong version of the app to the 'Trial' button. So I've downloaded the real trial version and now I can record with it. What do I think? It bloody brilliant! This app is going to be huge. And as soon as it supports 3GPP (which they promise it will), I'm going to buy it :)

posted by James at 4:05 PM


Vodafone says more get the picture [from the Daily Telegraph]

VODAFONE has signed up 25,000 subscribers for its Vodafone Live service - a sign that users are finally warming to new mobile data applications. Vodafone chief Grahame Maher said the use of the service was largely being driven by picture messaging - known as MMS.

"Over the last three months we have seen a dramatic growth in picture-messaging usage, with a month-on-month increase of 130 per cent." Mr Maher said Vodafone customers had sent up to 35,000 pictures in a day, despite a 75c slug for each picture message, three times the price of a standard SMS.

posted by James at 2:02 PM


textually.org: Refrigerated MMS: Use MMS to view the contents of your fridge? Why not just take a look before you leave the house.... ;-)

posted by James at 1:57 PM

wWednesday, July 30, 2003

No trial? No cigar!

This post by Ewan in Mobitopia.com hits the nail on the head regarding the way that some game publishers (and by extension other software producers) are biting the hand that feeds them by not offering trial versions of their software for download on Symbian phones.

"How am I meant to judge if a game is good enough to spend my money on? There's no independent reviews of the majority of applications out there, and a little bit of HTML and one screen shot from the Author is not going to convince me that something is worth spending money on blind.... Less than half the apps appearing nowadays have trial/demo version. Why are companies doing this? It is loosing them money. I'll repeat that. No demo version is losing you money!

I got excited yesterday to see that version 1.0 of ETI Camcorder for Nokia Series 60 mobiles has finally been released so I quickly followed the links to download the 'trial' app from Handango. To my great disappointment they had taken a great deal of artistic license with the word 'trial'.

What I got was something that allows me to view all the menus, settings, etc, but not record a single frame of video. How short-sighted! They crippled the one feature of the software that I'm really going to judge it on, the very thing it was written to do - record video. Sure, I can see that it has a nicely designed menu system and cool looking secondary features. But I'm not going to buy it for those. I need to know if it can record high quality video and synchronised audio.

Now this is really a shame. By all accounts the software is excellent and if I could just see it with my own eyes I'd most likely buy it in a flash. But without trying it first? No thanks. I think I'll just stick with the Nokia camcorder it shipped with now. :(

posted by James at 10:13 PM


Wireless Alliance Countering Wintel Threat [from InternetNews.com]

"A group of tech companies Tuesday forged an alliance to make sure Microsoft and Intel can't corner the mobile and phone market the same way they have with PCs.

Finland-based cell phone maker Nokia and chip designer ARM said they are joining Texas Instruments and STMicroelectronics to officially form the Mobile Industry Processor Interface (MIPI) Alliance. The non-profit group says it wants others in the mobile industry to join and support open standards to accelerate adoption of application-rich mobile products. The standards are designed to improve how multimedia looks and runs on 2.5G and 3G mobile phones, PDAs and other mobile devices."

posted by James at 9:57 PM


3D standard for mobile devices ratified [from RCR Wireless News]

"Wireless took another major step toward third-dimensional technology with the ratification of the OpenGL ES application development standard for wireless devices. The 3D graphics forum Khronos Group said it ratified the standard, and wireless heavyweights from Motorola Inc. to Nokia Corp. to Sun Microsystems Inc. voiced support for the move."

posted by James at 7:34 PM


Skipping Text; Going Straight to MMS

Picturephoning.com tells us that, "Steve Outing in E-Media Tidbits reports on an article in The Financial Times, about how the U.S. is so far behind Europe on adopting cell-phone text messaging that it may never catch on in a big way, as it's done in the last couple years in other parts of the world. While acknowledging that Americans are belatedly making "texting" use popular at last, the writers predict that the U.S. market will likely move quickly to multimedia messaging. Picture messaging is likely to be the next big thing before texting has a chance to take off."

It only makes sense really. Anything else would be like a third-world country adopting the DOS operating system instead of Microsoft Windows, just because that's what everyone else started with. Just because they missed out on a technology cycle doesn't mean they should go back to the start.

posted by James at 6:29 PM


Big Brother offering MMS alerts [from cellular-news]

"The UK based mobile content company, Amplefuture says that it delivered the first commercial, cross network, Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) on the fourth series of the reality television program, Big Brother. Up until now, no one could send an MMS alert across all 4 of the major networks in the UK. Another industry first, Amplefuture’s MMSC ensured all pictures sent with the news alerts were automatically resized to fit specific handsets, eliminating the need for the TV studio staff to have advanced graphics skills."

Well that great but it's a sad commentary of the readiness of MMS, when it was introduced, that this kind of developement is making news. Now it just works. That's all. This is what it should have been doing all along isn't it? :(

posted by James at 8:47 AM

wTuesday, July 29, 2003

Tech Turns Users Into Mobile News Makers

ABCNEWS.com is a bit late recognising moblogging as 'the latest trend' but at least this article demonstrates that more of the 'mainstream media' are paying attention now :-)

posted by James at 10:07 PM


Price premiums under threat for handset vendors

This is a very good article from cellular-news questioning the sustainability of price premiums on the new advanced camera phones.

Recent uptake in advanced handsets, including those with color screens, cameras, Bluetooth, and high-speed application processors, are considered key to the future of the handset industry. While these features will drive revenue at the device- and chip-level, success still remains with mass-market adoption of these devices. The challenge lies in developing advanced devices that meet or exceed consumers' needs at sustainable price levels.

"The pitfall is if mass market adoption is achieved only through rapid price declines," warns ABI's Rerisi. He points to Verizon's new camera phone, the LG VX6000, which already carries a retail price of about US$150 after rebates, less than a month after its introduction; and Nokia's 3650, available for T-Mobile at zero cost through online retailers. "If these prices continue to erode in order to attract new consumers, it will undo all the benefits of upgrades," he concludes.

posted by James at 9:10 AM


The best mobile apps for the Symbian OS...

... according to Handango, are -

-- Best Productivity Application - BugMe! by Electric Pocket
-- Best Business Application - Remote Control by Bitween
-- Best Game - Interstellar Flames by Xen Games
-- Best Lifestyle Application - MP3Go by m-internet.com
-- Best Education & Reference Application - Dictionaries by Paragon
-- Best Travel Application - WorldMate by MobiMate

These were among the winners of the Handango Champion Awards announced at the Handango Partner Summit in Scottsdale, Arizona last week. Honoring the best in mobile software, the Handango Champion Awards were judged by members of the media and other industry experts. Each winner received a generous awards package including promotional opportunities and a $5,000 marketing stipend. A
complete list of winners is available at -

posted by James at 8:32 AM

wMonday, July 28, 2003

The serendipity side effect of blogging

One of the best things about blogging is serendipity. I made a comment on Mitch Kapor's blog. Aaron Johnson picked up on it. Someone clicked on the link and it showed in my referrers list. Which lead me to Aaron's neat little stopwatch app. Cool :-)

posted by James at 8:58 AM


Vodafone subscriber boost [from BBC News]

"The world's largest international mobile operator added 2.5 million subscribers in the three months to the end of June, giving it 122.7 million users worldwide.

Subscribers to Vodafone Live!, which provides picture messaging and e-mail services reached 1.75 million, including 420,000 in the UK."

posted by James at 8:09 AM

wSunday, July 27, 2003

SMS virus a threat to Series 60 handsets?

This article from the Inquirer suggests that the wireless messaging API may offer a loophole.

posted by James at 4:01 PM