if connected

Strategy and analysis about mobile, smartphones, tablets and connected experiences

RIM makes the bold decision to delay BlackBerry 10

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During Blackberry producer RIM’s quarterly results the company announced it was delaying the launch of the next generation BlackBerry 10 smartphones from 2012 to the first quarter of 2013. RIM posted a net loss of $518m and revenue was down nearly 43 per cent year on year to $2.8bn. RIM shipped 7.8m Blackberry smartphones and 260,000 Playbook tablets in its financial quarter ending on the second of June. This represents a year on year decline of 41 per cent in Blackberry shipments. In an effort to reduce costs, RIM announced that it would be cutting 5,000 of its 16,500 strong workforce.

RIM is right to delay BlackBerry 10 if it’s not ready as a mature and bug free product. A premature launch that fails would seal the future of RIM as a company purely managing the decline of legacy products. With a later launch, RIM still has a chance to turn around the company although the odds against success increase. The later BlackBerry 10 finally arrives, the more hostile will be the competitive landscape that RIM faces. This autumn RIM’s rivals will launch: iOS6 and a new iPhone; Windows Phone 8; and a new generation of high-powered Android smartphones.

RIM’s results indicate their market share is being decimated by competition…

Read the rest of the analysis on the IHS Screen Digest web site

Written by Ian Fogg

June 29, 2012 at 3:24 pm

Where to follow online – Apple’s WWDC 2012 keynote and the Euro 2012 England vs France match

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The WWDC 2012 event keynote starts at 10am Pacific, 1pm Eastern, 6pm UK and 7pm CET.

For those following the Euro 2012,  UEFA football. The match between England and France clashes with the WWDC keynote. There’s links to live football video coverage here, precise details will vary from country to country based on who has the rights. The match starts one hour before the WWDC presentation. For non-video coverage that works anywhere, see: The Guardian’s football liveblog or the BBC’s live Euro 2012 page.

Anyway, back to WWDC 2012, here’s the list of sites with live coverage of the Apple news:

  • The Verge: Reporting from the event using a new robust liveblog system they first used in anger at E3 last week.
  • MacWorld: Liveblog.
  • Cnet: Liveblog.
  • Engadget: Liveblog.
  • Arstechnica: Liveblog
  • Ubergizmo: A “meta Liveblog” that combines information from other sites. Don’t think they are attending but might be a useful follow anyway.
  • Slashgear: Liveblog.
  • Mac Rumors: Liveblog and updates to twitter via SMS.
  • gdgt: Liveblog from the event (ex-Engadget folks but not as many as are now based on The Verge).
  • Information Week: will be live blogging but the direct link isn’t available yet.
  • TUAW: An in-person event for those in London, who are not following the football, and are after a beer.
  • MacLife: Liveblog from the event.
  • Wired: Claims to be a liveblog, but also points readers to go to the normal front page of Wired and hit refresh.
  • iMore: formerly TiPB (the unofficial iPhone blog).

After the event has finished, Apple will post a video of the presentation here: http://www.apple.com/apple-events/ and as a podcast on iTunes.

Written by Ian Fogg

June 11, 2012 at 12:35 am

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Nokia’s Windows phone strategy is on the brink of failure

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Nokia has announced preliminary Q1 2012 results:

  • Nokia shipped more than two million Lumia Windows Phone devices, out of total smartphone shipments of 12 million.
  • Total handset shipments were 83 million, down from 113.5m in Q4 2011 and 108.5m in Q1 2011.
  • Devices and Services sales were Euro 4.2 bn, of which 1.7bn was generated by smartphones.
  • In CEO’s Stephen Elop’s words these were ‘disappointing’ results.
  • Nokia intends to quickly take actions to increase investment into Lumia, take tactical pricing actions over non-smartphones, and also accelerate planned cost reductions and pursue additional structural actions ‘if and when necessary’.

Nokia stands on the brink of failing with its smartphone strategy, again.

Just over a year ago, in February 2011, Nokia chose to switch from Symbian to Windows Phone as its primary smartphone software. Symbian was to be wound down over the course of two years as it was failing to compete with Google’s Android and Apple’s iPhone. In late 2011, Nokia successfully shipped its first Windows Phone smartphones on time branded as Lumia. Now, Nokia’s Lumia range have been on sale for four months, but Nokia is struggling to achieve sales traction. For every Lumia smartphone shipped in Q1, Nokia shipped five smartphones running the legacy Symbian OS that Nokia is winding down…

Read the rest of the analysis on the IHS Screen Digest web site

Written by Ian Fogg

April 11, 2012 at 12:50 am

Google’s Motorola purchase approved; Google becomes Android’s greatest threat

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For Google, the acquisition of Motorola Mobility provides tremendous assets in both the smartphone and set-top businesses. Plus, it brings a patent portfolio that will help Google defend Android against the many intellectual property threat. The competition authorities are right to approve the transaction; Motorola is too small a player to change the dynamics in the mobile market.

Google’s Motorola acquisition nevertheless changes the mobile landscape markedly. It increases risk for device makers using Android to power their smartphones. Google already has a dominant role in the product roadmap, software development, media ecosystem and strategy for Android. Google could now choose to favour Motorola either overtly or more quietly. Although Google has stated that is not its current intent such decisions could be undone in an instant.

Google is now in the unusual position of being both Android’s greatest supporter and its biggest threat. Prior to this transaction…

Read the rest of the analysis on the IHS Screen Digest web site

Written by Ian Fogg

February 14, 2012 at 12:58 am

Google Q4 2011 results: the search for mobile revenue and profits

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In Google’s most recent results the company reported:

  • 250m Android devices activated to date. This represents first time activations of devices that include Google’s proprietary apps such as Gmail, Android Market etc.
  • 11 billion app downloads cumulatively from Android Market.
  • A continued rate of 700,000 Android device activations a day.

Company results are often as important for what they don’t include as for what they do. This time Google provided no information on the revenues that they are making from Android or their revenues from the mobile market as a whole. Showing great usage growth combined with no evidence of monetisation is akin to a technology start-up’s early growth phase. It’s unusual for a large company, such as Google, to be so bold with a diversification into a new market. Google is right to do it. The mobile opportunity is enormous. Google’s Android platform grab of adoption first, revenues later, is a differentiated software strategy that counters Apple’s strongly margin-focused mobile portfolio strategy where the bulk of profits come from hardware, rather than software or services.

Google’s mobile revenues comprise the following components:-  …

Read the rest of the analysis on the IHS Screen Digest web site

Written by Ian Fogg

January 23, 2012 at 1:03 am

BlackBerry Mobile Fusion Heralds the ‘ITization of the Person’

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People’s unofficial use at work of personally-bought smartphones will lead to personal devices and personal information being managed by corporate IT departments. RIM has just announced BlackBerry Mobile Fusion, a new product to help companies manage the proliferation of employee-bought smartphones and tablets connecting to company networks.

Fusion has support for employees to use a single device for both work and home, the ability to manage multiple devices per person — critical in an era where individuals routinely use smartphones, tablets and notebook PCs in tandem — and self-service for individual employees to lock their phone if it’s lost or stolen.

But consumer smartphone owners already routinely have many of these abilities, even if their smartphones are not used for work, or provided by their employer. While RIM has been slow to extend its core expertise into the consumer market, other than with BlackBerry Messenger (BBM),  numerous other companies have jumped into the fray and offered consumer versions BlackBerry’s enterprise features upon which RIM’s phone success was originally built.

The ‘ITization of the Person’ is already well underway. Here’s a selection of the many examples where consumers have corporate-style IT tools to manage their digital lives:-  Read the rest of this entry »

The Rise of Digital Civilizations Will Define Our Post-PC Future

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Everyone knows the biggest battles in technology are today being fought by a small number of large organizations. We intuitively know who these great powers are: Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, and maybe Microsoft. But we’re not so clear on what it is that makes those particular companies the key protagonists rather than other equally large digital companies — Samsung, Sony, Nokia and Yahoo! among them — who appear to be sidelined.

Calling this a battle, or “The Great Tech War of 2012″, misses the point. It’s far too negative a sentiment when these companies’ main focus is on long term strategy. They are aiming to construct a future in which their products and profits will prosper.

These great digital powers are now building Digital Civilizations, rather than a series of mere products, individual platforms or even ecosystems (around a platform). They are pursuing strategies that reach far beyond the confines of existing markets. They are causing widespread market collisions as they push industries to overlap, merge or cease to exist. They are outflanking and disrupting companies that follow less ambitious corporate strategies.

These new Digital Civilizations use identity to tie numerous disparate products, many devices, multiple platforms and product portfolios together into their long term strategy. Each Civilization has hundreds of millions of active users — often with credit cards attached — far more than even the largest telecom operators or media companies. They straddle industries rather than operating within legacy market sectors. They have an organizing ideology underlying their strategy that motivates and attracts talented employees, excites partners, and is the foundation for the marketing that entices users to become their customers.

What defines these Digital Civilizations? What makes them new and different? Many organizations, companies, industry consortiums, and companies have parts of this strategy in place within their current products. But the new Digital Civilizations have all of the following characteristics:  Read the rest of this entry »