Monthly Archives: May 2012

My week in mobile: Google Tablet, Facebook browser rumours and Apple’s Developer Conference predictions

Fragmented Android landscape by Open Signal Map

Another week in mobile and, as always, many new developments in the global platform war. It looks like Google will finally be launching its very own tablet this July. As Android is by far the most popular operating system and Andy Rubin, Senior VP of Mobile, told reporters at Mobile World Congress that ‘2012 is going to be the year that we double down and make sure we’re winning in that space’, we’re expecting a big push. Somo’s Innovation Director, Maani Safa, spoke to the International Business Times about the problems with the fragmentation of Google’s operating system after OpenSignalMaps identified 3397 unique Android devices. Could this hinder Google’s attempt to disrupt the tablet market?

Google tab and Kindle Fire head-to-head?
Rumour has it that the seven inch tab will sell for just $199 – could this be a loss-leading strategy to snatch marketing share from the Kindle Fire? Amazon is yet to launch the Kindle Fire in the UK, but Brand Republic reports that the company has negotiated a deal with UK bookseller Waterstones. Although a top online retailer joining forces with the struggling publishing sector might seem counter-intuitive, Barnes & Nobile in the US is showing how a multi-channel strategy like this can work – their stores provide Nook tablets for kids to play on, and special deals for their tablet owners, to entice them in store.

Facebook to buy browser?
Facebook is rumoured to be buying the Norwegian internet browser Opera, showing yet another serious move towards becoming a fully integrated ecosystem, after a rocky week post-IPO. Microsoft, moving ever-closer to being a post-PC digital company has launched (pronounced social), its assault on the social networking space. With the ‘screen agnostic’ Windows 8 OS on the way, they may also be poised to lead in the smart TV market; VP Frank Shaw detailed that CEO Steve Balmer keeps an 80-inch in his office…

Apple Developer Conference
This multiplatform glory could be short-lived; we are all on the edge of our seats for the Apple Developer Conference on 11th to 16th June, where we expect to see iOS 6, without Google Maps, perhaps an NFC-enabled iPhone 5 and possibly the Mac TV. How much do you think it would take to get the UK’s ITV channel to sell their trademark? We want iTV!

Written for Somo and first published here:

My week in mobile: Facebook App Center and no more Maps on iOS

Yesterday, another long-awaited opportunity was finally revealed as Facebook launched its own app marketplace, The App Center.

Facebook has a $3 billion advertising business that’s tipped to get a lot bigger. Despite recent speculation that it can’t win on mobile, the company is in a commanding position both in terms of user base and the value per user. This new social discoverability platform will soon reach one billion people, more than 50% of internet users and nearly 15% of the world’s population.

To date, only web or mobile apps built with Facebook were displayed on their platform. Developers can now promote any Android or iOS app that allows users to log in via Facebook. New ‘product pages’, similar to other app stores and brand Facebook pages, will hold app details.

The aim of this move is to drive mobile downloads, either directly or through links to the relevant app store. The center will contain paid apps, the first time they have been given visibility on Facebook.
Facebook has not yet revealed what will be taken into account when ranking new apps, however, we are expecting highly social elements – weighted towards social sharing, positive ratings and reviews.
We expect Facebook to become one of, if not the biggest, mobile publisher and this is an excellent opportunity for our clients to promote their apps in a highly populated and social setting.

End of Google Maps on Apple?

In other news in Platform Wars, Apple is likely to drop Google Maps from the next iteration of iOS. According to ‘trusted sources’ speaking to 9 to 5 Mac, this will give way to a new Map app with an Apple back-end. This is unsurprising in the race to become the ruler of mobile, but is potentially an unsettling change as many people are used to Google Map. How different can a map be you ask? Apple’s new offering should include 3D. Like you’re actually standing there…

Watch out for Apple getting rid of Google as its default search engine…

Written for Somo and first published here: