Archive for July, 2010

25 Billion App Downloads by 2015

Juniper Research claims that mobile app store downloads will hit 25 billion by 2015, but new storefronts face an uphill task to compete with established leaders such as Apple’s App Store.

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HTC Posts Record Revenue

Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer HTC continues to impress with record second-quarter revenues and a 32.8 percent jump in profit. The world’s fourth-largest smartphone vendor yesterday reported a 58.5 percent year-on-year jump in revenue, to NT$60.53 billion (US$1.88 billion), whilst unaudited net profit came in at a 2.5-year high (NT$8.64 billion/US$268 million). This was the company’s highest quarterly unaudited net profit since it reported a NT$9.99 billion net profit for the fourth quarter of 2007, before Taiwanese companies started to treat employee bonuses as expenses. The results far exceeded internal expectations; in late April the company said it expected second-quarter revenue to grow to NT$50 billion and handset shipments to rise 50 percent from a year earlier to 4.5 million units. “Both June and 2Q revenues continuously hit record highs, [showing] good execution of brand strategy and grow scale strategy,” noted HTC in a statement.

HTC is a fast-rising player in the mobile handset space. Originally a contract maker of phones, it began making own-brand devices a few years ago and is now regarded as one of the most innovative smartphone manufacturers. As well as being the world’s largest maker of phones using Microsoft’s operating system (OS) in terms of shipments, it is also arguably the biggest proponent of Google’s Android OS, producing critically acclaimed high-end devices such as the Droid Incredible, Desire and Evo. Analysts expect the strong momentum to continue in the second half of the year. Yuanta Securities analyst Bonnie Chang told Dow Jones Newswires she expects HTC’s shipments to rise to 20 million units this year, up from 12 million in 2009.

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Nokia MeeGo OS Devices At Year End

Nokia today said it expects to launch the first high-end devices based on its new MeeGo operating system around year-end and ruled out any plans to support the rival Android platform. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, new mobile solutions chief Anssi Vanjoki said MeeGo will be the base for a wide array of new computer-like devices (eg tablets) as the market for handheld gadgets diversifies. MeeGo will support a rich environment for application development and strong support for functions such as GPS and Bluetooth, Mr Vanjoki added. Meanwhile, he confirmed that Nokia doesn’t plan to launch any phones based on the increasingly popular Android platform because it can create more value by building its own hardware and software.

Last week Nokia confirmed it is to ditch Symbian software for its future high-end smartphones, turning instead to the Linux-based MeeGo platform formed from its joint venture with Intel. The Finnish company’s next smartphone, the N8, will be the last N-series phone running Symbian software. The N8 will be launched in the third quarter and will run the upgraded Symbian 3 platform. Nokia will continue to use Symbian for its vast portfolio of cheaper smartphones. Announced at the GSMA Mobile World Congress earlier this year, MeeGo combines Intel’s Moblin and Nokia’s Maemo open source projects into one Linux-based software platform hosted by the Linux Foundation. The project has already received backing from France Telecom’s Orange and Telefonica, as well as numerous OEMs and application developers. The platform is the latest open-source mobile operating system to take on Google’s Android, which is also Linux-based. In related news, Nokia and Intel have released an early version of the Linux-based MeeGo mobile OS to developers, in preparation of the launch of a retail-ready version in October. The joint MeeGo Project has made programming APIs, parts of the handset reference UI and the MeeGo Core OS available, and has stuck by Linux tradition by also releasing the source code. According to MeeGo Project, the release also marks the completion of the combination of Nokia’s Maemo and Intel’s Moblin OSes. Screenshots and video of MeeGo have appeared on the MeeGo website.

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European Roaming Cap In Force

European travellers using mobile devices while away from home will have to explicitly agree to charges beyond EUR50 a month for downloading data, under European Union rules that come into force today.
The measure is designed to prevent ‘bill shock,’ when users unwittingly run up large roaming bills while overseas, and is the latest Brussels initiative to regulate the price of foreign mobile phone use.

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NSN & Nokia Seek Digital Dividend First

Nokia Siemens Networks and Nokia have jointly conducted what they claim is the world’s first end-to-end LTE data call in the 800 MHz frequency band. This spectrum is popularly known as the Digital Dividend, becoming available as terrestrial TV moves from analogue to digital broadcasting.

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