This week’s. Non-MotoGoogle.
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- Apple execs talk about the iPhone Nano. They don’t deny it’s in the works, but stress that it will only be released if it has enough quality. This is the usual modus operandi for Apple. The idea conveyed by the article is that Apple doesn’t feel any pressure to release the Nano right now. Before this week I would have expected the Nano this year anyway, but the MotoGoogle deal may give Apple an extra year of breathing space: defeating the Android army has become easier. Still, the sooner, the better.
- Vodafone and Facebook team up to create a $100 Facebook phone. My experience with Vodafone-created phones is unfortunately rather large, and ... well, I pity the poor sods who have to actually use the phone. Unless Vodafone has learned something in the past two years, or leaves it to others to create the UI.
- Rare research about the Japanese mobile market. Phone replacement time is up to more than three years, but replacement intent also. This would probably mean that many Japanese didn’t buy a new phone in the last three years, but are about to do so now.
Still, the current estimates of the replacement cycle are 18-24 months. If the Japanese market shows where the rest of the world is heading, we have to adjust our preconceptions.
- Interesting piece on what stops semi-literate African women from using phones. Web developers should study this, too: not everything is within our control, but the sixth and seventh are.
- Dennis Bournique argues against removing navigation controls like arrow keys from touchscreen browser interfaces.
- Excellent overview by John Allsopp of CSS animations and transitions.
- Something I didn’t know: one-third of all Dutch mobile subscription holders are customers of virtual operators: companies that lease their network time with the Big Three (KPN, Vodafone, T-Mobile). Most of those companies are in fact wholly-owned subsidiaries of one of the Big Three, spun off to address a particular demographic group.
- No more syncing iCal with your Symbian phone: Apple discontinues iSync.
- The app market for feature phones is expected to double to $1bn in 2016. Now usually I discount such crystal-ball gazing because the mobile market is impossible to predict beyond a few months. Therefore I do not actually believe this report.
The point, however, is that the difference between feature phones and smartphones used to be that you could install apps on the latter, but not on the former. Now that feature phones also have an app market and projections and stuff, could we please agree that the current distinction between “smartphones” and “feature phones” is artificial, and that all market stats and research institutions arbitrarily ignore a number of platforms (S40, Brew, Chinese Android derivatives) that are not fundamentally different any more from iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and the rest?
In politics we’d say it’s discrimination, and pressure groups would be instituted. Come to think of it, maybe I’ll do exactly that one day.
- Report: Nokia orders 2 million Windows Phones for September. Curiously, Nokia doesn’t produce them itself, but turns to a Taiwanese factory, apparently because it has more experience in producing Windows Phones. What does that say for Nokia’s future as a hardware vendor?
- You probably already read this somewhere, but Apple patents a SIM-less phone. Sounds great in theory, but the operators won’t like it. It’s their worst fear, and I doubt any of them will offer subscriptions to the SIMless iPhone users.
- On the same subject, this article discusses the selection of an operator through the App Store a bit more. Sounds interesting to consumers, but suicide to operators, so I don’t think this is going to happen any time soon. Unless Apple buys its own operator.
- Most of Mozilla’s income comes from Google in one way or another. That leads to fears that Google will end the direct subsidies in order to give Chrome more room to expand. This article discusses that possibility, and concludes Google won’t do it because giving money to Firefox is one of the cheaper ways of guiding web traffic to Google’s services.
- Microsoft’s plans with Skype:
This is exactly what operators don’t want to hear, and they’ll continue to steer clients in their phone shops away from Windows Phones and towards other OSs. They will do the same with Nokia Windows Phones, when they appear.
Since Skype will soon [...] be a Microsoft product, the Windows Phone application that's built will be more deeply integrated with the OS than it is on Android or iOS.
- The Silicon Valley undertaker prepares for a major fallout of failed start-ups.
It will get worse before it gets better.
We’re starting to close down social networks, startups in video distribution, clean tech companies. We’re also closing down a retail site.
- Nokia’s Chinese resellers have a huge inventory of Symbian devices and refuse to place new orders. This likely contributed significantly to the Symbian free fall. An anonymous source said that Nokia never experienced this before.
- Google+ understands the mobile world, just like Facebook does. It will reach the masses by allowing people to use SMS to send messages. And it gets the user’s mobile number as well. Clever.
- Among US consumers interested in tablets, HP’s TouchPad is second choice after you-know-who. Better still, its recent price cut means it now sells for less than you-know-who, which is the first requirement for anyone wanting to enter the tablet market. From the limited experience I have the TouchPad is better than the current crop of Android tablets, too, so I hope it will succeed.
- Remember RIM and its once-iconic BlackBerry phone? It wants to migrate to the QNX OS, and the upcoming BB Colt (9900) is the first smartphone to run that OS. However, it doesn’t sync with BlackBerry Enterprise Server, and that’s a requirement for RIM’s business clients. So RIM is not yet out of the woods, although it has made a major step forward.
- Samsung wants more software expertise, and is looking for acquisitions. It’s too much of a hardware company right now, and needs to expand its software offerings in order to survive in today’s market.
- 11 limitations of HTML5.
- Seems Microsoft no longer considers Linux a threat. Guess what? It’s wrong. Windows is one of the only two non-Linux-based OSs right now, and its desktop share is stalling and its mobile share is nowhere to be found. (The other non-Linux-based OS is Symbian, and pretty much the same is happening.)
- A good look at Firefox on Android: it doesn’t amount to much because it’s unable to run on low-end devices that are the most popular ones in developing countries. This is true as far as it goes, but users in those countries will likely prefer a proxy browser in order to save money. Opera Mini, in other words.
- Investors are calling on Nintendo to move into mobile apps.
More in general, Nintendo is missing the move to mobile big-time. Sony has the PlayStation phone, Microsoft the Windows Phone, Apple is fast becoming an important gaming platform, but Nintendo does nothing. Will it team up with a device vendor? Or will it bring out its games as apps? If so, for which platform?
- Have a tip for the next Linkbait?