Sky News launched an iPhone app this week, which provides the latest headlines, as well as encouraging users to send in their own reports and images.
The app, which is currently top of the free download charts in the App Store, also has a strong focus on video content. I've been seeing how it compares to rival ITN's version.
Research in Motion has had a major hurdle in the way of selling its smartphones over the past few years: it's called the iPhone. The Blackberry may have sold 6.7 million smartphones in the third quarter of last year, but that was a record quarter, and Apple shipped 6.9 million iPhones in the first quarter of its existence.
The other problem is that the iPhone has incredibly high user participation rates online. There are many more conversations about the iPhone happening on the web than the iPhone, which RIM is tring to fix.
As the Blackberry maker learned last year, 76% of consumers don’t think companies tell the truth in advertising, while 78% trust the recommendation of other consumers. According to Brian Wallace, Director of Global Digital Marketing for RIM, money spent on advertising and an appealing website was effectively wasted: “we were where our customers were not.”
Qype, which claims to be the UK's largest local search and recommendation website, has just released an updated version of its mobile app, Radar, for iPhone users.
Like rival Yelp, Qype Radar provides local listings and reviews for mobile users, very useful when you're out and looking for somewhere local to eat, or for other local services.
Companies like Nokia were in the mobile phone business long before Apple but with the iPhone and App Store, Apple has been able to eclipse larger rivals in the innovation department.
Today, Nokia fired back at the App Store with an app store of its own: Ovi Store.
Brands can get a generous lift when affiliated with high quality products such as the iPhone. But what about the applications in the App Store? Let's look at why Apple should build a sustainable eco-system for technology-based mobile applications, which is the key to product quality and research into the potential of mobile applications that brand marketers can harness.
Local online reviews site Yelp has come a long way in the United States, where it now competes head-on with IAC/InterActiveCorp's Citysearch. Yelp launched in the UK earlier this year and recently rolled out functionality that gives business owners the opportunity to respond to reviewers.
I spoke with Laura Nestler, Yelp's London Community Manager, to find out more about Yelp's efforts in the UK, how Yelp can be used by businesses and where Yelp is headed.
When asked about netbooks earlier this year, Apple COO Tim Cook didn't beat around the bush: "They have cramped keyboards, terrible software, junky hardware, very small
screens, and just not a consumer experience, and not something that we would put
the Mac brand on, quite frankly".
That's fine, but the reality is that netbooks have made a huge mark on the market and have been given credit for driving much of the growth in the PC market. It's not hard to see why: for $300 or less in some cases, consumers can have an internet-capable 'mini-laptop'. In this economy, it's safe to say that many netbooks have been sold to consumers who otherwise would not have made a laptop purchase due to price considerations.
After years of battling over royalty fees, internet radio station Pandora is finally moving its balance sheet into the black. Getting a boost of subscriptions from its iPhone app, Pandora is also learning that its users have a much higher tolerance for ads than it previously thought.
A beloved service with a host of financial problems stemming from record industry copyright fees, Pandora now intersperses ads into its free content and the company is finding that audiences don't seem to mind.
Pandora founder Tim Westergren spoke to Bloomberg News about the company's finances Tuesday:
"With budgets tightening in the recession, advertisers are becoming
more selective about where to spend money. That benefits Pandora
because it can deliver ads to targeted users, making sure commercials
aren’t “wasted” on the wrong demographic group, Westergren said."
In what seems like an effective use of mobile internet, Auto Windscreens recently released a new mobile site which is optimised for iPhones and Blackberries.
The mobile site allows drivers to find the nearest fitting centre to them and make a booking before that crack gets any bigger. I've been trying the site out to see how well it works.
The IAB released its first mobile ad spend study this week, which shows that the UK market grew by 99.2% year on year, and was worth a total of £28.6m in 2008.
I've been talking to the IAB's head of mobile Jon Mew about the mobile advertising survey...