Archive for March, 2008

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March 17th, 2008

Mobile Internet: Improving the Experience with FLASH

This morning, Adobe made the following announcement:

Adobe Systems

Incorporated (Nasdaq: ADBE) today announced that Microsoft has licensed Adobe Flash Lite software, Adobe’s award-winning Flash Player runtime specifically designed for mobile devices, to enable web browsing of Flash content within the Internet Explorer Mobile browser in future versions of Windows Mobile devices. Microsoft has also licensed Adobe Reader LE software for viewing Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) documents including email attachments and web content. Both Adobe products will be made available to Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) worldwide, who license Microsoft Windows Mobile software.

The deal with MS will help Adobe with distribution. They’ve just reached the half billion mark and sales have been accelerating over the past couple of years. Many – not all – MS devices have QWERTY keyboards and data plans (people get them for email + productivity applications) so together with adding Flash/Lite there is a confluence of factors that contribute towards consumers being more likely to use the browser and consume more content. Admob is already reporting that just under 20 percent of their ad requests come from smartphones – devices that do not represent 20 percent of the device market. These devices will be more attractive to both carriers and consumers – as well as developers.

Many good things will come from better Internet experiences on portable devices:

For media companies, there is a richer platform for content. Consumers with portable devices with rich browsers consume more content. More content consumption equals more page views and inventory to sell to advertisers. Cell phones already add time/space dimensions – device type, location, more time of day, behavior, etc. Rich media is another layer than will increase CPM’s.

For advertisers, rich media offers more opportunities for engaging with their customers.

For carriers, more content consumption = more access subscriptions and share of a large ad revenue “pie”.

And consumers have shown that they are more likely to browse on devices with full and rich browsing experience than on those with mini- or scaled-down-browsers.

Flash is one factor that contributes to a much richer browsing experience (and video) on mobile devices. Nearly one quarter of consumers surveyed by Jupiter Research say they’d be more likely to use web-based experiences on phones if the UI were better.

We know that portable media players (e.g., Apple iPhone) and cell phones with full, rich browser experiences see more traffic per device than cell phones with mini-browsers. Apple is saying they are seeing 71 percent of smartphone page views.

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CATEGORIES: Wireless
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March 13th, 2008

iPhone in the High Atlas Mountains

We had an 8 to 10 hour drive between Marrakesh to M’Hamid. Our guides – especially Habib and Abdul – were wonderful singers, but we couldn’t do Arabic music for that long. The only non-Arabic cassette that they had was U2 Boy – which is a great album, but it wasn’t going to last for that long.

Each of the three of us in our car had an iPod, and they had a hook up for the stereo so we were able to listen to some of our music. I showed Abdul and Rudouin the iPhone. The touch interface fascinated them – I think it was the first time they’d seen a device like this. Two things seemed to amaze them most – a) the amount of music on a single device and b) that it was actually a phone – they just couldn’t seem to get their heads around the idea that it was a phone.

Our guides had cell phones, but the more basic type with a black/white screen. They primarily used their phones for voice calls and not text messages.

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Rudouin and Abdul Checking Out the iPhone on the High Atlas

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CATEGORIES: Wireless
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March 13th, 2008

My Theory on Why Ringtones Were Created

I spent a lot of time in crowded souks on my trip. The Noka ring tone was more common than any other noise I heard. Each time I heard it, I reached for my backpack to check to see if it was my phone. It drove me crazy.

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CATEGORIES: Wireless
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March 13th, 2008

In a Land Where There is No Mobile Marketing

I just returned from 10 days in Morocco including a trip to the Sahara desert. I’ve got a series of posts that I’ll put up today.

My first Mobile Marketing encounter (or lack thereof) was in JFK when I landed from San Francisco enroute to catch my flight on Air Maroc. There was a billboard in JFK airport suggesting that you text a code word to a short code to find out where their services are/will be. It was a Fortune 500 or 1000 company.

The reply came back “<empty reply from service provider>” – and twice none the less. Seriously – thanks for letting me pay for no information twice. This is the first time this has happened to me. Totally lame – how do you not execute on the backend after paying for an expensive ad(s) on the walls of the gate lounges at JFK?

Then in Morocco – I saw no mobile marketing promotions and relatively little telecom advertising. There was the normal “Maroc Telecom welcomes you to Morocco. For more information ….” However, that was it – I didn’t see anything else. I’m not sure if it’s an issue with the Arabic language, literacy (my guide from the desert had only been in school two years). It was an interesting contrast to so many other places I’ve been recently.

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CATEGORIES: Wireless