My assumption was that feature phone category had disappeared. However, I think I am connecting the dots between this news and the rumors that iPhone 5 will be "completely redesigned" ... Is Apple working on redefining the feature phone category as well ?
(Reproduced from GSMA mobile Business Briefing 01.20.11)
Facebook targets feature phone app market
Facebook has launched an app for non-smartphone devices, a move that will grow its mobile customer base way beyond its existing 200 million users. ‘Facebook for Feature Phones’ has been co-developed by Snaptu and allows feature phone users to more easily access some of Facebook’s more popular features, like the homescreen, contact synchronisation and fast scrolling of photos and friend updates.“We want people to have a great mobile experience no matter what type of phone they carry,” noted a company blog. “Smartphones have offered better features for sharing with friends but aren't used by most people around the world.” The new app works on more than 2,500 devices from Nokia, Sony Ericsson, LG and other manufacturers. The following operators are supporting it from launch (yesterday): Dialog (Sri Lanka), Life (Ukraine), Play (Poland), StarHub (Singapore), STC (Saudi Arabia), Three (Hong Kong), Tunisiana (Tunisia), Viva (Dominican Republic), Vodafone (Romania). These operators are offering free data access for the app for the first 90 days. Operators launching soon include Mobilicity (Canada), Reliance (India), Telcel (Mexico) and TIM (Brazil). Facebook already ranks as one of the most popular applications in ‘smartphone’ stores from the likes of Apple, RIM and Android. The company’s plan to extend its app offering to the feature phone market mirrors earlier efforts to ‘simplify’ its web-browser based service for phones with limited Internet connectivity. However, that offering, Facebook Lite, closed in April 2010 after only a few months of service.
The fun post of the day because we love to anticipate Apple new products ...
(reproduced from Computerworld HK)
Digg founder: iPad 2 launch on Feb 1
By Bob Brown | Jan 11, 2011
Digg founder Kevin Rose blogged recently that Apple will announce the iPad 2 in the next 3 or 4 weeks -- maybe even Feb. 1.
Social news aggregation pioneer Rose, who has his information "on good authority," says the second edition of Apple’s tablet will boast back and front cameras, plus an even better display (initially he wrote of a retina display, but amended his post to add that another source said the display will have a higher dpi but won’t technically be a retina display."
Rose warned: "If you're thinking of buying an iPad, hold off for now."
While many have expected the iPad 2 to feature two cameras in order to exploit Apple’s Facetime video chat technology, Apple watcher.
Joe White of the AppAdvice website says it will be challenging for Apple to boost the iPad’s already stellar resolution without increasing the 9.7-inch screen size.
Network World blogger Yoni Heisler has also been tracking iPad 2 feature rumors, noting the latest speculation about everything from a smaller bezel to wide-range speakers. Some said the iPad 2 will be powered by a dual-core processor.
Buzz around an impending iPad 2 launch was fueled recently at the CES 2011 conference in Las Vegas by the appearance of what was reported to be an iPad 2 shell and an iPad 2 case with a hole in the back, presumably for a camera to peek through.
Rose’s estimate for the iPad 2’s launch on Feb 1, if accurate, would come the week following the Macworld Expo in San Francisco, which Apple is not attending. The first version of the Apple tablet debuted in April, and the company sold more than a million of them in the first month.
Industry watchers see no end to Apple’s tablet domination anytime soon, even in the enterprise. Forrester analyst Ted Schadler says Apple has infiltrated the enterprise by way of enthusiastic consumers taking their devices to work and spreading the word. Some estimates have Apple selling as many as 28 million iPads by the end of this year.
The iPad rumors should really pick up, if as expected, Verizon next week reveals its iPhone plans, since so much Apple gossiping energy has been spent on that in recent months. Verizon this week issued an invitation to a mysterious event in New York City on Feb 3.
Of course, speculation about the next iPhone itself, maybe the iPhone 5, will also keep Apple in the headlines. Industry watchers have been figuring on a spring or summer unveiling for the latest and greatest smartphone.
Network World (US)
Interesting. So after snapping DRM company WideWine, now Google is after H.264. I am adding it to the long list of googles idiosyncrasies.
(reproduced from CNET.com)
January 11, 2011 1:03 PM PST
Google yanking H.264 video out of Chrome
by Stephen Shankland
Google just fired a broadside in the Web's codec wars.
With its alternative WebM video-encoding technology now entering the marketplace, Google announced plans today to remove built-in Chrome support for a widely used rival codec called H.264 favored by Apple and Microsoft. The move places Google instead firmly in the camp of browser makers Mozilla and Opera, who ardently desire basic Web technologies to be unencumbered by patent restrictions.
"Though H.264 plays an important role in video, as our goal is to enable open innovation, support for the codec will be removed and our resources directed towards completely open codec technologies," said Mike Jazayeri, a Google product manager, in a blog post.
Already one week. Anything new from last week ? Nope.
Here are my quick takeaways from CES 2011 (besides a really hectic week spent waiting for taxis and airplanes) ...
TV manufacturers are thinking that consumers want to connect their TVs to the internet. From a hardware perspective, this is a no-brainer - Add an apps processor, add WiFi and perhaps bluetooth, an android-like RTOS and you are in game. Not really. It's a software story people, hardware is the very easy part. So basically this year, Internet on TV, or PC on TV, marketed as "smart TV", was done not so subtly and poorly with a few widgets and an app store, search-based type of user interface. Best examples are the Boxee debacle, which was not really hot at CES, Logitech playing down its own version of Google TV, and of course, Google itself, who bailed out of CES about 2 weeks before the show.
Pushed by Asian manufacturers for most of the past decade, new generation hits the market during the summer, may turn out to be useful when used in conjunction with pads, NFC, RFID etc. I still use a pen and a paper for my shopping list. Way faster and no need to spend hours to setup through a user interface that reminds a TI 67.
... Are the new netbook. Remember in 2006 when Netbooks would revolutionize the way the world laptops ? Well well. Underdesigned, really bad software, Atom chip with no multimedia capability, slow with windows 7 … New pads are either Windows PCs with no keyboard (no PC with no keyboard, how low can they go ? another reason to turn around and run !!!) or just a big android smartphone with a touchscreen that does not fit in any shirt pocket unless you are a linebacker. Until someone finds a way to get really serious about competing with iTunes, iBooks and Apps Store - and NOT iPad, iPhone, iMac) the end user will be stuck with unexciting geeky hardware bricks with no joy, no fun and no real soul.
Phones (and I am not going to MWC this year): Oh, yeah, and the best marketing award of the year goes to … Atrix phone !!! It is not a computer, not a phone, it is both !!! Awesome ! You can connect it to your TV to watch movies and you can play games !!! Yeah ! I remember seeing this functionality required in Nokia's RFQs as early as 2006. At that time it made me laugh.
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