Monday, July 21, 2008

Latest Carnival of the Mobilists

My post has been included in the latest Carnival by Andreas over at Vision Mobile. Go over and read a round up of some of the best writing on Mobile Blogs in the last seven days.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

iPhone 2.0 a stepping stone not Nirvana

So one week into iPhone 2.0 and what do I think so far?

The device is owned by four friends so far. Another few have said that they would upgrade to one after the summer holidays once others have smoothed out the bugs for them.

Would I get a iPhone or am I waiting for a Sony Ericsson Xperia X1 which should be available in September?

I think that I will pass on the iPhone at present. I was lucky enough to be given a 32GB iTouch which I have upgraded to 2.0 and so am able to share in some of the excitement of the App Store. I would have issues with the iPhone on battery life and my big fat falanges make text input a bind. I also am finding Mobile Me a little light of functions compared even to the SE Phone Suite when it copmes to moving data between laptop and device.

The App Store is interesting and I wonder how long before we might see similar on the Operator Portals for ALL handsets. Russell Beattie points out that it is not something thought up by Apple but rather borrowed from Qualcomm who developed it for the Brew Platform.

I am still to be convinced that Mr Jobs is committed to the Mobile Phone market. You only have to look at the present pain felt by others to ask if he has the endurance? The iPhone has not broken the market for Mobile, Apple have learnt just as Nokia did that the Networks are still key in any relationship with the user thanks to the billing relationship reather than coverage. Whilst we see statistics that show a significant number of users of mobile data services none yet say that for any particular service they are exclusive users of the service! Thus Apple are doing things better than others but it is still the same user activity if different experience.

I might become more conviced about the iPhone if I could discover more than one form factor. When it comes to iPods I am give a choice not just in terms of storeage but also in terms of form factor with the Shuffle, Nano, Classic and iTouch but when one looks at the iPhone you get two coloure and two sizes! Not exactaly a wide range, even compared to RIM for example.

I am sure that now we have a 3G iPhone we can expect to see more people using one. A number of committed MAC fans will now be ready to own one, dispite having to downgrade the quality of their camera. I am confident that in those markets where the Consumer has choice we will see even better penetration. I guess we will have to wait until we have iPhone 3.0 before we can say if this was a fad or a serious player in the game?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

New Report: Market is ready for Mobile Wallet

The latest report from John Devlin at IMS Research points out that the federated approach of the US, Japan and South Korea is gaining traction when it comes to Mobile Payments. "Strong Partnerships are being formed between Banks and Mobile Networks;" comments Devlin.

The reason - Improved coverage, greater uptake of feature phones and smartphones, higher mobile penetration and service availability have all contributed to this. As much as anything, greater demand from consumers, operators and financial stakeholders has seen the number of application developers and platform providers all multiply in numbers in recent years.

So can we expect these benefits to be seen in the UK?

I fear not. The way that UK Banks have adopted Faster Payments shows that the technology infrastructure is lagging behind in to many of the High Street Banks. With the rush to lend money the Banks have not invested in the systems needed to effect day to day current account transactions without those the ability to interface with a mobile phone to make payments will be very limited. The current difficulties within UK Banking means that they are looking for low cost solutions rather than high value. So we have to expect to be left on the hard shoulder let alone the slow lane when it comes to mobile banking.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Fierce 15 for 2008

Looking at the latest list of Start-Up in Wireless to follow from the Fierce point of view I was interested to see that mFoundry was one tipped for a bright future. Since first hearing of them they have managed to get funding from Bank of American and now serve 15 of the top 20 Banks in America when it comes to mobile banking. The PayPal P2P payment service on mobile is one that uses mFoundry.

"Effective mobile-banking marketing targets specific segments, such as business travelers, and highlights the ways mobile banking can serve the segments," said Tripp Rackley CEO of Firethorn at the Mobile Commerce Summit last month in Las Vegas. Marketing to specific groups also helps financial institutions gain more mobile users than just the early adopters, he added.

American Banker says that within 12-24 months ALL Financial institutions will use Mobile as a channel to customers. If this is right then mFoundry and Firethorn along with ClairMail and Yodlee will be at the centre of a very profitable industry. Javelin have been looking at the market for some time and Bruce Cundiff reports that almost a third of users are Paying Bills, almost the same are monitoring transactions and over a quater are transfering funds between accounts.

Whilst all these things excite me, I am frustrtaed by the fact that as a Customer of the Halifax I am at the back of the line when it comes to technology adoption. The way that the "Bank" has adopted faster payments shows that they are very much a follower when it comes to new technology.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Carnival of Mobilists

MJelly has the editors pencil this week when it comes to selecting the best in Mobile blogging and he has selected my post last week on Time for a Change.

Head over an take a look at some excellent analysis of the Symbian deal amd Purple labs buying back of its IP from Openwave.