It was an exciting time at the 14th Global Mobile Awards where INQ, a fairly new entrant in the Mobile Device industry has triumphed over some of its much larger competitors such a  LG, Nokia, RIM.

Their first ever handset, INQ 1 has won this years award for the ‘Best Mobile Handset or Device’.  Their strategy was simple:  revolutionize the industry by putting all your web and mobile contacts in one place at a cheap price.  Ok so that is definitely an oversimplification but that is exactly what they did.

Impressive Features:

  • simple user interface
  • Self-explanatory icons and easy option menus
  • Integration with popular Web services such as Facebook.
  • Facebook intergratin allows for automatic integrattion of  contact details with phone contacts
  • Friends profile pictures show up when you call or they call you (fun feature)
  • Access to Windows Live messenger for IM use
  • Access to Skype to make VoIP calls
  • Shows who is online and then allows contact with them via the three Web-based services.
  • ability to add widgets to the start page allowing for customization

The most impressive of the features is obviously the integration with social media. There is a lot to be said about this award and its winner.  It shows the direction and trend of the mobile industry and the incorporation with social mediums such as Facebook.

I can go on about move of the facinating features but you can also see a video demo of the features and functionality of the INQ 1 below.

At the 14th  Global Mobile Awards in Barcelona, ‘Best Mobile and Device’ award winner:

With all the hype and popularity around mobile (native) apps across smartphones and their respective app stores it’s important to remember that the web browser capabilities on most of these smartphones is quite robust and a lot of the mobile native apps out there can be achieved as a mobile web app as well.

For example let’s take a look at the Webkit browser which is being used on the iPhone, Android, and S60-based phones. It allows for mobile web apps to take advantage of the following capabilities:

  • Advanced Javascript and AJAX
  • Complex animations and graphics support (CSS3 + Canvas)
  • Embed and use a local database
  • Multi-touch navigation
  • Linking to phone and mapping capabilities
  • and more

What does this mean? With these browser capabilities the user experience seen in most native apps can be equally brought forth as a web apps – of course 3D immersive games are not included. Also, as browsers evolve and adopt other W3C standards such as the GeoLocation API, the gap becomes narrower between their native relatives. Furthermore, as smartphones get shipped with these robust mobile web browsers, the web applications can support a wide variety of devices. This is currently not the case with native applications when dealing with cross-devices

Of course, there is an obvious benefit to mobile native apps over mobile web apps – App Stores. App stores can help companies and brands easily distribute (and monetize) their application(s). Looking to how the (desktop) web exploded and is currently being monetized – I am sure similar paths will be taken.

 

A great example is the latest version of GMail for mobile web browsers. Google introduced a new version of GMail for mobile web browsers at the GSMA Mobile World Congress. It exposes a lot of the rich capabilities on smartphone (iPhone and Android only for now) web browsers and allows for GMail to be used offline much like a native app. Below is a demo of it (priovided by iPhone Buzz).

iPhone Copycats

By on February 18, 2009

Is it just me, or are all new mobile phones being released these days all look + feel exactly like the Apple iPhone? By coincidence they all seem to have very similar feature-sets as well and they all claim that they have just come up with an innovative new product. Are they really to blame? Apple may have just created the perfect mobile phone. For example, take a look at the new Palm Pre and the LG Arena KM900 that are releasing soon.

As if making their phones look and feel like the iPhone wasn’t enough, they’re also knocking off Apple’s monetizing approach with their App Store. Here’s a a list of all the App Stores announced post-iPhone:

  1. Google Android’s Market store
  2. BlackBerry’s App Center
  3. Microsoft Windows Mobile’s SkyMarket store
  4. Nokia’s Ovi store
  5. Palm App Catalog

Apple’s competitors really need to work at innovating and not just ripping off their product and strategy. At least if you do so, please do not pretend that you’ve come up with something revolutionary.

This week in Barcelona the GSMA Mobile World Congress is taking place.  Other than seeing the beautiful city of Barcelona, the GSMA allows the leaders of Mobile companies around the world to come together at the worlds largest Mobile Exhibition.   Some of the various industries include mobile operators, equipment vendors, internet professions as well as the folks in entertainment.

This years, about 50,000 people are expected to attend this mobile events to discuss business, reveal this years trends and shape the industry overall.  This is a big year for this even as many experts are calling 2008 and 2009 the Mobile years.

Along with the exhibition itself, there are some important awards and Galas. At this years 14th Mobile Global Awards, the winners wer announced and can be found below and also at the GSMA Newsroom:

THE 2009 GLOBAL MOBILE AWARDS WINNERS

Best Mobile Game
Winner: Gameloft – Real Football 2009
– Highly Commended: Digital Chocolate – AvaPeeps: FlirtNation

Best Mobile Music or Video Service
Winner: BBC iPlayer on Mobile

Best Mobile Advertising Service
Winner: Turkcell – Tonla Kazan

Best Mobile TV Service
Winner: MobiTV – MobiTV

Best Mobile Enterprise Product or Service
Winner: Vodafone – Vodafone Global Enterprise Limited

Best Mobile Internet Service
Winner: Nokia – Nokia Sports Tracker

Best Mobile Money Service
Winner: Safaricom and Vodafone – M-PESA

Best Mobile Handset or Device
Winner: INQ – INQ1
– Highly Commended: Nokia – Nokia E71
- Highly Commended: T-Mobile – T-Mobile G1

Best Broadcast Commercial
Winner: KT Freetel – ‘Show is…’

Best Mobile Brand Campaign
Winner: R/GA London – Nokia Urbanista Diaries

Best Use of Mobile for Social and Economic Development
Winner: Nuance Communications – Airtel-T9 India Consumer Vernacular Messaging Campaigns

Best Network Technology Advance
Winner: Nokia Siemens Networks – Flexi Multimode BTS Software defined HSPA/LTE

Best Service Delivery Platform
Winner: NewBay Software – LifeCache Social Networking Solution 2.0

Best Billing & Customer Care Solution
Winner: Expert System – COGITO Answers

Best Mobile Technology Breakthrough
Winner: RIM – BlackBerry Storm 9500 SurePress Screen

The Green Mobile Award
Winner: Smart Communications – Alternative Power for Cell Sites program

GSMA’s CEO Award for Outstanding Environmental Contribution
Winner: Nokia

Government Leadership Award
Winner: The Government of France

GSMA Chairman’s Award
Winner: Research in Motion (RIM)

THE 2009 MOBILE INNOVATION GLOBAL AWARD CHAMPION

Winner: Cootek, China (Most Innovative Wireless Device-centric Technology)

THE 2009 MOBILE INNOVATION GLOBAL AWARD COMPETITION – EMEA TOURNAMENT

Global Finalist: Advanced Receiver Technologies, USA
Global Finalist: Intivation, Netherlands

And the five category winners are:

Most Innovative Wireless Device-centric Technology

  • Intivation, Netherlands

Most Innovative Carrier Infrastructure or Platform

  • Sunbay, Switzerland

Most Innovative Mobile Application in a Vertical Market

  • WorldMate, USA

Most Innovative Consumer Application or Service

  • Mobile Nordic AS, Norway

Most Innovative True Mobile Start-Up

  • Advanced Receiver Technologies, USA

If you are interested in finding out more about the Mobile World Congress and Mobile trends in general,  visit their site for a live feed during some portions of the events.

Supermarket of the Future

By on February 13, 2009

I started my blog looking into writing about the big CPGs such as P&G, Unilever and Nestle and their experimentation of the Mobile channel.  I saw a few very interesting campaigns such as iFood by Craft and some dabble into mobile advertising by Axe.

However, I was quickly distracted by an amazing find that come from no other forward thinking place in the world then Germany.  It’s a future supermarket that has incorporated top of the line technologies to assist in consumer shopping.  The most notable and obviously interesting for me was the use of cell phones to begin and complete grocery purchases.  The supermarket has developed free software to allow shoppers to use their mobile cellphones to scan their purchases.  It then allows them to save time when checking out by only scanning one final bar code that sums up your entire purchase.  It saves time, makes shopping a much more relaxing experience and that cellphone that drops calls half the time now serves yet another purpose.

Watch the video at the following link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/7476672.stm

With Valentine’s day just around the corner, many people are finding creative ways to say “I LOVE YOU”. E-cards have been around for many years but the new trend throughout the world is what I’m calling “m-cards”.  Mobile MMS messages that send a personal greeting to your loved one.  The old saying goes ” a picture is worth a thousand words”. With the growing popularity of MMS messaging, m-cards are the future of card giving..the green-way to express your emotions. UK based company Sharpcards is doing just that.

http://www.mobilemarketingmagazine.co.uk/2009/02/sharpcards-gears-up-for-valentines-day-surge.html