When Amazon released the Kindle Fire, many a developer was left wondering why Amazon forked Android and rolled a browser of their own – even though “Silk” is not bad, better browsers exist.

The folks from VisionMobile recently published a very interesting analysis, the key passage of which is below:

Routing the Silk browser’s traffic through its own servers allows Amazon to collect click streams — and not just when the user is shopping on Amazon.

It would make sense to license out the Silk browser to OEM manufacturers of smartphones or other tablets. … the OEM gains an additional revenue stream as a broker of Amazon foot traffic.

Find out more via the URL below:


For someone who has been in the mobile industry since the times when apps cost 10$ a pop and were sold from ESDs, the Freemium model has always been a bit confusing. Long-term follower Nicola Peluchetti has now shared two very interesting articles which should help shine a bit of light on the topic.

Freemium has run its course
Post number one, coming via GigaOm, provides an overview of pros and cons of the Freemium model. It is ideal for all those who are interested in the history of Freemium apps, and also want to decide whether the model makes sense for their products.

Three Steps from Paid to Freemium
Story number two hits us via Betable.com. They have a talk with a Monetization expert from Rovio who explains the actual steps needed to create a successful freemium app – hit it when you have decided that Freemium fits your business concept.

Any interesting links to share?

So far, I have been a big fan of Steve Ballmer – he has, largely, shown a very good understanding of developers and licensees. However, this is written in past tense – marvel at the device below.
mssurface Microsoft Surface tablet   committing suicide, one by one

I do not see it as my job to comment the specifications. The device has a much more significant impact which will be felt all over the world: it is likely to alienate all, literally all, licensees which Microsoft still has.

You must keep in mind how past product launches were handled by Steve Ballmer – when Windows Mobile 6.5 was announced at the MWC, a TON of licensees were on stage at least shortly. Microsoft’s policy was easy: we build the OS, you do the rest.

Past anti-competitive practives of Microsoft have taught Microsoft’s partners a significant license: it is totally insane to run against a vendor where MSFT is successfully active.

The effect of this is clear: Android, and possibly even Symbian or webOS might soon get a lot of extra attention as vendors look for new platforms where they can rebase their devices.

After having largely damaged its market share in Windows Phone, they are likely to do the same in the tablet and maybe even notebook spaces – in short, the market has just heated up a lot.

What do you think?

The Galaxy Note is undoubtedly one of the best devices out there at present. Samsung had left no stone upturned to make sure that the device keeps on selling like hot cakes. To aid the same, it has come up with a promo wherein if you buy a Galaxy Note, you are eligible for free Sennheiser headsets worth INR 3490 reaching you within two weeks from the date of purchase, via courier.

But it seems that the Note has sold so well that, ahem, Samsung has ran out of stock of the headsets. Here is the proof that the headset is approved from Sammy:

order tracking

And here is an email I received from Samsung stating:

samsung email

Samsung had to be well prepared in order to cope up with the overwhelming demand of the Note it has created. The icing on the cake is that Phone number mentioned in the first screenshot never connects. This support function can be termed as nothing more than a pure gimmick.

I request Indian readers to share their experiences, if similar, with us…!! In the meanwhile, I can do nothing but wait for the headsets to arrive.

First of all: I am fully aware that Microsoft’s MVPs are not entitled to speak on behalf of the company. However, tradition tells us that MVPs tend to stay in line with corporate, as they do want to be re-nominated to keep getting the (significant material) benefits.

A German MVP in the XNA segment has now aired some interesting statements on his German blog (here). Given that we have an abundance of German speakers on team, here is the most interesting stuff he had to say.

He starts out by analyzing the financial situation of Nokia, which, well, is not too good – the firm has lost 1.34 billion Euros in 2011. This, however, already includes a payment from Nokia.

Here, the German text first:

Davon sind in 2011 bereits 0.180 Milliarden Euro geflossen (für 1 Million verkaufte Nokia Lumia 800).

In this number, a payoff from Microsoft is already included. MS paid Nokia 0.18 billion Euros for the one million Lumia devices sold.

He then goes on to explain why Android would be a less sensible choice:

Sollte Nokia es 2012 schaffen 10 Millionen Windows Phones umzusetzen, was durchaus schaffbar sein sollte, dann bekommen sie von Microsoft die Restzahlung von 1.8 Milliarden Euro und sparen auch noch mal 100 Millionen an Lizenzgebühren für einen entsprechenden Android-Absatz ein

Should Microsoft be able to sell 10 million WP7 devices in 2012, they would get an additional 1.8 billion Euros from Nokia. In addition to that, they would also save 100 million USD of license fees Android licensees must pay to Microsoft.

He has a nice extra bit of financials which we cannot quote here as we would be over the legal limit for quote lengths – find out more here:
===>Translated by Google Translate

Well well, we have quite a hiatus since sometime on the Galaxy SII successor. Apparently, rumors are flamed up every now and then on the specs and release.

The blogosphere is now pushing what a Reddit user claims to be a shot of the Galaxy SIII, given to him by his friend who supposedly works at Sammy. Here is the pic

s3 thumb Another pic of the Samsung Galaxy SIII leaks, we behave skeptic

For investigative purposes, we have magnified the image. You can clearly see that the touch buttons are photoshopped. Sammy has never ever let the let the bottom of the device go unused. Any sane designer would not commit this blunder. It is the area which houses the physical as well as the touch sensitive buttons. So –1 for the faker.

Hats off Reddit user, but you cant fool us…!! haha Winking smile

An article from Forbes – inaccurately titled How China Ate Android – is currently making circles all over Nokia employee’s Twitter streams.

It contains the following passage, which is highlighted by the Nokia folks:

How is it possible the mid-tier Android vendors cannot eke out revenue growth with that kind of global Android unit explosion still going on?

The most likely explanation is the rapid expansion of the low-cost Android phone vendors, particularly ZTE and Huawei. I

Sadly, they fail to read on – as it contains the following passage, also:

… they are also eyeing other device segments. ZTE’s Windows model Tania is debuting in the UK at the monthly contract rate of 10 pounds – half of what the Nokia 710 will cost.

If you ask me, Nokia would have fared best with a proper version of Symbian – with Android being the second best. The reason for this has been outlined here before: while Windows Phone 7 is a nice platform, it is, by design, unsuitable for creating high end phones.

However, all the eeking and squeaking mainly takes place in the mid-range area. High-end Android devices such as the Samsung Galaxy Note have little to fear from Chinese manufactutrers – they prefer the cushier mid- and low-range markets to the cold winds faced in the profitable, but challenging high-end market.

Let’s quote Winston Churchill: “I am not a person to be prodded. If anything, I am the prod”.

Sadly, Nokia has all but given up that position. So, better invest in impact dampers – and get aquainted to that prod…

Even though I know that it is a sign of bad taste to kick a looser, Nokia’s recent announcement re the Lumia 900 was too surreal – had I read it three years ago using a fortune teller, I would have wanted my money back.

But, well…after X lines of blah blah describing ‘yet another WP7′, we get this:

- A partnership with EA to bring over 20 of the world’s most popular games to the Windows Phone marketplace, coming first to Nokia Lumia devices.

The comedy of this becomes clearly visible if you think about past hit devices like the N95…tbat device managed to truly stand out from the crowd with advanced hardware and software.

Such devices could also be built with with Windows Mobile…but Windows Phone 7 is not intended as a platform for market defining products.

Right from the start, Microsoft promised its developers ‘a level platform’, one where all devices behave the same. This policy is enforced aggressively towards developers who, for example, are banned from selling typing trainers which would require a specific hardware QWERTY keyboard.

And, in a world of desktop Linux, Microsoft is well advised not to suck up too much to a manufacturer. Keep in mind that convergence is pushed forcibly in the TV space by Samsung, LG and – probably – soon Panasonic, who are now starting to produce smartphones again in order to complete the offering portfolio.

If Microsoft would coddle up to Nokia too much, I could very well envision aggressive reactions from LG or Samsung. So, no exclusivities for you…

P.S. This is NOT an Anti WP7 rant. WP7 is a great operating system…the concept of “unified platform” is great. But this is not what Nokia needs – a Boeing 747 is not a bad aeroplane because it cannot drop nuclear bombs, it just isnt a nuclear bomber…

ICS was promised by Google as the redeemer of the lost souls. And it was promised some good months back. Then why the ICS has been branded as an epic fail? Here is why….

According to FudZilla,

Google announced ICS Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich a couple of months back, and so far it has managed to ship a single device with this new OS, the Galaxy Nexus. The second device to get an ICS 4.0 update was the old Google Nexus S, but OTA updates for the Nexus have been suspended due to technical issues. There is still no third device with ICS on board and we won’t see any for at least a few weeks.

When compared with the iPhone,

If we were to single out just one single aspect of Apple’s mobile strategy, the focal point in which it will continue to dominate the mobile market in 2012, it would have to be the update scheme.

Google is spot on when compared with Nokia. The reason why Nokia has failed it’s customers is because of the habit of not keeping up to promised schedules. Delayed products and updates do more harm to consumers’ psyche rather than a flawed product.

Wake up Google, or we would be at the mercy of the scene to get what we deserve.

samsung construction The Usurper   or   Why Samsung buys Sonys LCD shareWhen it comes to Samsung, most other mobile companies do not get the motives of this firm. Still today, I can hardly restrain my laughter when thinking about how Nokia accused Eldar Murtazin about “being sponsored by Samsung” – bollocks, the company just happens to be everywhere.

The BBC now reports the following:

Samsung Electronics has agreed to buy out Sony’s entire stake in their liquid crystal display (LCD) joint venture.

The Korean electronics maker said it will pay Sony 1.08tn won ($939m; £600m) in cash for its stake.

The move comes as Sony has been restructuring its TV business, which has been making a loss for the past seven years.

This report nicely fits into the Samsung picture – it is a little-known fact that the company offers, among other things, building services. In fact, the picture to the left of this story shows the Petronas Towers…which were, incidentally, built by Samsung.

Samsung’s management takes an extreme long-term view on many industries. For them, an investment makes sense even if it takes 10 years to pay off – especially if it gives you control over the competition. Let’s take a look at that.

If we look at past reviews, Samsungs products consistently stand out due to the extraordinarily high display quality. Furthermore, the devices tend to be very affordable – the launch price of the first-generation Wave (bada phone) can almost be called dumping.

All of this is made possible by a very unorthodox trend: anti-outsourcing! If you make the stuff other manufacturers have to buy, it gives you more leeway – selling an LCD to yourself at production costs is an entirely sensible decision as long as the end product makes money.

Of all firms in Mobile, no one has perfected this approach to the extent Samsung has – what do you think?

Image: Wikimedia Commons / SomeFormOfHuman

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