Happy new year to everyone returning to work after the holidays. Here is a recap of posts from last week, in case you missed any. Click below to read each post in full.
Cheaper iPhone on the Way?
Speculation has been rampant about the introduction of a sub-$100 iPhone. Many thought this would come with the device’s introduction to Wal-Mart stores. That proved untrue, however, with Wal-Mart offering a mere $2 savings from the price tag in Apple and AT&T stores. I still believe we’ll see an iPhone or iPhone-like copycat for less than $100 this year. Already, Apple is selling refurbished iPhones for $99. The shape and size of a cheaper iPhone joins the perennial Apple product guessing game that ebbs and flows around upcoming Macworld expos. (read more…)
App Development to Drive Mobile Growth
Two main factors have led to increased attention on the mobile industry: 1. Rising device standards and smartphone penetration 2. Open source operating systems that encourage third-party innovation. The New York Times takes a look at the second factor in a good introductory piece. It’s this application development that will drive the growth of the mobile sector, the article concludes, including smartphone sales. (read more…)
Internet Continues to Chip Away at Newspapers and Television
As the year-end wrap-ups, top 10 lists, and ’08 retrospectives flood in, I noticed this item released last week from Pew (I was out last week). The part that stuck out is that the Internet has overtaken newspapers for the first time this year as a source for Americans to get their news (see chart below). Also notable (but expected) is how the Internet has shown steep growth among younger viewers as a top source for news. It now rivals television among this segment (ages 18 to 29). This is supportive of analysis we’ve made about these competitive media, and should be taken to heart by anyone in the media and advertising worlds. (read more…)
2008: The Year That Was
We’re out with our predictions for 2009. But what’s the final word for 2008? Truly, it was a very stimulating and thoughtful year for our local media and commerce industry. But speaking for myself, it’s hard to say whether it was a good year, especially with fresh layoffs that we are hearing about every day. In fact, the year was kind of Dickensian (“best of times, worst of times”). On one hand, there has been an explosion in local content with YouTube, Twitter and StumbleUpon, and omnipresent local reviews with services such as Yelp and Angie’s List. Online video has become a real medium, aided by $100 video cameras and the emergence of HD standards, and mobile is starting to be a real channel, aided by GPS and iPhones. (read more…)
Will Develop Mobile Apps for College Credit
Mobile application development has reached the collegiate level, with MIT coursework now devoted to building applications on mobile platforms. The new class titled “Building Mobile Applications” has begun to do just this. I missed this item from being out for a little while, but it still has legs in my view — especially with respect to local search applications in the evolving mobile environment. Specifically, it’s emblematic of a few important trends. (read more…)
Save Two Bucks: Buy Your Next iPhone at Wal-Mart
As expected, iPhones can now be purchased at 2,500 Wal-Mart locations throughout the U.S. This won’t come with Wal-Mart’s signature markdown, as speculated. The 8 gigabyte model will sell for $197 — only $2 less than those sold at Apple and AT&T stores. But this will be more about accessibility and sales reach than price and should accelerate the iPhone’s march to mainstream penetration. Wal-Mart meanwhile hopes to benefit from drawing more (and different) customers into its stores. See a video report at ABCnews.com. (read more…)
Where.com: GPS Is Trigger for Local-Mobile Social Portal
Local mobile portals make a lot of sense since most phones (even the iPhone 3G) don’t really lend themselves to much surfing. Another social/viral dimension is added through social networking enhancements via profile pages, Twitter and especially GPS. Two services seem to be leading the way for locally based mobile social networking right now: Silicon Valley-based Loopt, which is backed by Sequoia Ventures, and Boston-based Where.com. (read more…)