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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.
Large advertising budgets can be a boon to companies looking to spread the word about their products, but they're not always neccessary. This spring, a Puerto Rican-based taco chain found that a combination radio and mobile campaign increased sales by 21%.
The campaign, which cost under $50,000, focused on spreading word of mouth about the brand and getting people into the stores by offering free burritos via SMS.
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.
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.
Now, I adore pigs, saw "Babe" 11 times, don’t eat ‘em, and pet them at the kiddie zoos. Yet I would never encourage lipstick for an oinker. So why do developers of digital products that won’t sell, chirp: “Let’s spin the click potential, sell advertising on it, and give it away?”
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...
TV listings magazine Radio Times has recently introduced an iPhone app, which gives users access to listings for all the major TV, satellite and cable channels.
Designed by tvCompass, the Radio Times app (currently £1.79 in the App Store) is a pretty neat piece of work, providing excellent user experience and some useful extra features. In fact, it's much easier to use than the main website.
I've reviewed the mobile sites of The Guardian and FT.com recently, and both are excellent examples of how newspapers can make their content accessible for mobile users, as well as creating more advertising opportunities.
With this in mind, I thought I'd see what all of the UK's national newspapers are doing with their mobile sites, how easy they are to find and access, and if they even have one...
The Guardian recently revamped and relaunched its mobile site, with the end result being a big improvement on the old version, making it now one of the better mobile news sites.
I've been asking The Guardian's mobile product manager Marcus Austin about the new mobile site, the thinking behind the design and features, and how it works across different mobile devices.
Even though 2009 may not be the most hotly anticipated year of mobile, the mobile channel has been rapidly developing as a serious communications channel for marketers. You only have to look around in the industry, sniff out a few recent and ongoing mobile compaigns, and you’ll see plenty of major brands out there experimenting and pushing the mobile envelope, and doing some pretty interesting stuff.
You’d need to include in any current market assessment of mobile the growing popularity of smart phones, the launch of many new models by the big handset manufacturers, the sudden proliferation of tweets using Twitter, the rise of a plethora of applications to support the iPhone and other such devices.
There is also the fact that the mighty Google machine launched its own open source Android platform to carve out its share of the market, taken on by next generation Symbian (Nokia runs on this and bought the company) whose software and functionality is also heading towards open source, and we can see mobile is finally becoming a serious medium.
With the rise of 'open platforms' on the web, particularly on popular consumer-oriented services like Facebook and Twitter, it's never been easier for individuals and small upstarts to get their applications in front of millions of consumers quickly and efficiently.
The appeal of open platforms is easy to understand: instead of having to deal with the dreaded chicken and egg challenge most new consumer internet upstarts have to contend with, you can leverage the existing userbases of popular services.