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Shazam! 50m users

No Apple crunch

MUSIC discovery service Shazam has added 15 million users since February, taking its total past the 50 million mark. It’s aiming at 100 million by the end of 2010. It will now streamline its strategy around two offers: a complimentary app for five tags a month, or a $5 payment for unlimited tags. Shazam has also taken a strategic investment from the VC company behind the prestigious $100 million iFund Andrew Fisher, CEO of Shazam, is thrilled: “We’re the first UK investment for the iFund, which we consider to be a massive vote of confidence in what we’re doing,” he said.

Fiscals reveal Apple as the true winner of the smartphone era

www.shazam.com

THE SUDDEN and disruptive rise of the touchscreen has played havoc with the ‘old order’ in mobile handsets, vaulting Apple to record profits and Nokia to historic losses. Fiscals posted last month also showed how LG has benefited from the shift, while Sony Ericsson has yet to turn its fortunes around. Apple sold 7.4 million iPhones and half a billion app downloads in Q3 alone to boost revenues to $9.87 billion and net profits to $1.67 billion for its fourth quarter – its most profitable ever. It achieved this despite component shortages for the iPhone 3GS. Apple’s COO Tim Cook said: "When you look at the ecosystem that we’ve got with iTunes and the App Store, plus the very strong product pipeline that we have, we feel very, very good about sitting up and competing against anyone." Not least Nokia, which made a net loss of €913 million for the period, compared with a profit of €1.1 billion for the same

Apple’s Tim Cook is feeling good, and so he should after those fiscals

quarter last year. Net sales of €9.8 billion were down 20 per cent year-on-year. Despite this, market share remained constant at 38 per cent. Service revenues were €148 million for the quarter. Sony Ericsson fared worse, recording its fifth straight quarterly loss with sales down 42 per cent to €1.62 billion. However, at least the decline

Remember kids, don’t drink and drive and download

Set the satnav for in-car apps

www.mobile-ent.biz

satnav button. Its showcase presented travel guides, games, web radio, podcasts, Facebook, Twitter and more. The Concept BMW Application Store can also transfer contact data such as addresses or telephone numbers to the phone. In terms of UI, there's a menu path that links to 'app store' from 'BMW Services'.

Starz and Streams Mobile Streams has announced a licensing deal with FoneStarz to distribute its content in Western Europe, Australasia and Africa. The deal covers FoneStarz' operator partners in the UK, Ireland, Austria, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and Egypt. Content includes video clips from the Mr Bean cartoon, comedy voicetones and wallpapers from men's mag Maxim.

About TIM for Qualcomm

is slowing. Units shipped in the quarter grew by two per cent. Conversely, LG prospered through the upheaval. Its handset revenues leapt 24.8 per cent while shipments increased to 31.6 million. The firm highlighted strong sales in Europe and emerging markets, particularly with its Cookie phone. www.apple.com

3UK goes a bundle on Spotify

BMW has accelerated ahead to launch the ‘Concept BMW Application Store’, and give drivers the chance to download apps for the car. The German firm presented the app store concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September, showing how to personalise a car to the interests of its occupants at the touch of a

[IN BRIEF]

Further options include 'social networks', 'on the road' and 'entertainment'. Clearly location is an important component for incar apps, and BMW has shown apps that draw on info from the navigation system and even plans to link to other data such as acceleration or braking data. www.bmwblog.com

3UK has once again embraced a ‘disruptive’ service. This time it’s Spotify. The operator is to sell a HTC Hero Android handset bundled with the streaming music service. Customers pay £99 up front, and then £35 a month for 24 months for a tariff including a Spotify Premium subscription covering both PC and mobile, 750 minutes voice calls, unlimited texts, data and Skype-to-Skype calls. www.three.co.uk

Qualcomm has announced a big win for its Plaza Retail white-label app store platform, signing up the Brazilian subsidiary of TIM. The App Store will launch in the first quarter next year. The big deal about Plaza Retail is that it’s capable of supporting Java, Brew, Flash and Android, with Windows Mobile, Symbian, Palm and LiMo due to be added in the future. Qualcomm says that TIM’s app store will be available to its 40 million subscribers in Brazil, who’ll be able to download the app store client from TIM’s portal.

Acer in spades New smartphone entrant Acer has targeted double digit market share in two to three years. The Taiwanese company has, unveiled a bunch of Windows and Android-based phones this year. Last month it added the world’s first Android 1.6 device – the Liquid – to the line-up. Gianfranco Lanci, CEO of Acer International, said: " Our share of the notebook market in 2002 was less than five per cent. Now it's 20 per cent. We believe we can achieve something similar in smartphones."

Boldly gone this month RIM's BlackBerry Bold 2 (aka 9700) will begin rolling out worldwide in the next few weeks. The device is an update of one of the firm’s biggest selling handsets to date. It offers HSDPA, 256MB Flash memory, built-in GPS, Wi-Fi and a 3.2 megapixel camera. RIM says it can also sync with iTunes and Windows Media Player music (DRM-free MP3s only) while supporting BlackBerry Desktop Manager and BlackBerry Media Sync.

MBO for Picsel Picsel’s management team, led by founder and former CEO Imran Khand, has purchased the Picsel Group of companies out of administration, and will continue to operate the business as a going concern. It stated its intention to keep the file viewer and browser firm in Scotland and to re-establish its product line and working relationships. Khand said: “We believe our overall financial package for the company was by far the best solution to take this business forward while also solving for interested parties, including employees.”

November 2009 5

Mobile Entertainment Issue 57, November 2009  

For everyone in mobile content

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