Archive for September 2009
All you LG Chocolate owners, quick, pick those phones and look at the serial number. If it matches one of the 5 listed by LG, you might be in for $10,000. But here is the catch, there are 21 million Chocolates out worldwide. That means, you have a lottery-like chance of winning. But, today might be your lucky day. So, what are you waiting for? Go dig up your old Chocolate and cross your fingers that you have the winning serial number. All the best!
Okay – either LG accidentally plopped military secrets onto a handful of devices, or they’re looking to start a Golden-Ticket-esque hunt for their handsets. The Korean manufacturer has just offered up $10,000 to anybody who can bring them a handset with any of the following serial numbers:
It’s a fairly genius plan; whether or not anyone actually sets out to find these phones, it has people talking. LG has sold 21 million Chocolate phones – most of which have lived their lives and have been retired to a sock drawer or a trash bin – and they’re looking for 5 of them. Throw in the fact that these are global serial numbers, and it’s like trying to find a needle in a haystack, except that there are 21 million other needles in there that you don’t want. If even one of the right handsets turns up, we’d be outright mindboggled – and LG will have gotten themselves one hell of an ad campaign for just $10,000.
Oh, and hey, Shady McCheaterson – put down the dremel. LG will be checking each unit thoroughly to ensure that no foul play has gone down, beginning with a photo check and ending with some time under the microscope at LG’s R&D center.
Crunch Network: CrunchBase the free database of technology companies, people, and investors
RIM stock is struggling amidst poor performance and lower forecast. According to Colin Gibbs at GigaOm, RIM needs its app store to succeed in the longer term in order to be viable. I have to disagree with him. RIM has not shown the foresight in planning and executing on its app store strategy. It still thinks in terms of hardware first, rest later as it continues to dominate the enterprise market. However, RIM has not shown a distinct strategy for the consumer market yet. It has been successful at getting some of its hardware in consumer hands, but it needs a game-changing consumer device before it can rely on app store as a longer term strategy for success. It also needs a refreshed device for the enterprise market that will kickstart its flat sales in that arena. Until that happens, RIM is on life-support.
Research In Motion shares took a beating on Friday and several analysts cut their ratings on the stock after the company posted disappointing sales for its fiscal second quarter and ratcheted down expectations for the current one. But while increasing competition and ever-dwindling price points may make for a rough few months in the smartphone market, RIM’s long-term prospects will hinge on the success of its new app store.
Smartphone manufacturing is becoming a cutthroat business as the space heats up. Verizon Wireless — which has provided a huge boost to BlackBerry sales with its buy-one, get-one offer — is slated to launch several competing devices in the coming months, and the iPhone appears to be making substantial headway into the enterprise. In the meantime, margins are thinning as carriers look to target data-hungry customers with high-tech handsets that sell for less than $100. Those factors don’t bode well for RIM, whose products aside from the Storm are “largely unchanged from a year ago,” Deutsche Bank analyst Brian Modoff wrote in a research note released today:
“We see several dozen new smartphones coming on stream in the next six months. This includes solid offerings from Motorola, Palm, HTC, Samsung and LG. Our checks with carriers indicate that they are looking to drive smartphone prices to subsidized levels below $100. RIM may be able to manage its bill of materials down in this environment, but we think price declines will have an impact on gross margins. And this transition will likely be a painful process.”
The BlackBerry has deftly morphed from a business-focused handset to a more consumer-friendly device, and sales have been impressive even as Apple’s iPhone has taken consumers (and the entire smartphone industry) by storm. The Curve actually outsold the iPhone in the first quarter of the year, and RIM claims that more than 80 percent of its new customers last quarter were non-business users who chose the BlackBerry over devices such as the iPhone, Palm Pre and Android devices. But with a slew of attractive new smartphones coming to market and pricing continue to fall, I think that kind of momentum will be impossible to maintain, and I expect RIM to lose ground over the next few months.
Which is why RIM’s app storefront will be key to the firm’s long-term success. Just as Apple’s App Store and iTunes drive sales of the company’s hardware, App World — which has received generally positive reviews — must be attractive enough to lure users away from all the other smartphones on the market. And while Apple has built its empire largely on the strength of free or cheap gimmicky apps, I think RIM has a real opportunity to market App World as a high-end retail for on-the-go users — allowing the company to polish its image as it creates a lucrative new revenue stream with premium mobile applications.
That won’t be easy in the fiercely competitive space, of course, especially when carriers like Verizon Wireless are trying to elbow it off the app distribution playground (GigaOM Pro, sub required). But if RIM can continue to attract developers and build out an attractive storefront — and if it can churn out sexy, user-friendly handsets — it will fare well in the superphone era.
Subscribe to GigaOM Pro and gain access to our Webinar, “Biggest Opportunities in the Smart Grid,” on Oct. 7, 2009.
Sanjay Jha, the CEO of Motorola and Cole Brodman, CTO of T-Mobile today introduced the new Motorola CLIQ, a touchscreen smartphone. This phone is Motorola’s first Android phone which also introduces the new MOTOBLUR technology. MOTOBLUR is Motorola’s answer to the UI interfaces that various vendors have developed on top of the various operating systems. The salient point of this interface is that it integrates very tightly with social networking sites and makes it easier for the user to constantly update their lifestream. The phone comes with 5Mpxl camera that takes video at 24 fps and supports WiFi and 3G, GPS with turn-by-turn directions.
So, this begs the question: Is Motorola back from the brink? Looks like it is but there is still a long road ahead. Like Palm, it seems to have pulled a new trick that might prolong its life but they need to execute and deliver on the “tens of phones” that Sanjay said will be released over the next 15-18 months. — On Thu, 9/10/09, Motorola Investor Relations <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
Time to finally give that Glyde a proper burial at sea (or recycling center, or baby cousin who needs a phone, or whatever). The oft-rumored Rogue is finally available, notably featuring a 3.1-inch AMOLED display (Verizon calls it “ultra brilliant”), a 3 megapixel cam with flash and on-board editing, microSD support up to 16GB, full HTML browsing, Microsoft Office document viewing, TouchWiz, and naturally, that full slide-out keyboard that makes it a Glyde killer. Grab it now for $99.99 on contract.
Rumor has it that Verizon will launch the Blackberry Storm 2 on October 14. You can see the comparison between Storm and Storm 2 below. Briefly, Storm 2 comes with Wi-Fi, more free RAM and Flash, decreased shutter lag time on the camera, and better touch screen entry.Also, Verizon is getting ready for some Android love with Motorola Schoeles launching in October too and soon followed by HTC Desire. Though dates for Desire are not yet announced or leaked. Finally, Microsoft announced that it will launch Windows Mobile 6.5 on October 6 on devices from variety of hardware makers and on various networks including Verizon.