Sunday, May 20, 2007

3G + Skype = Killer App?


Hutchison 3, a European mobile telecommunications company has formed an agreement with Skype to allow Skype communications on Hutch-3's 3G network. Mobile carriers have so far been reluctant to allow VoIP over their networks -- in the past, some wifi-enabled phones have had their VoIP capabilities disabled by carriers.   From observing my European classmates, Skype is a very popular application within that group. Perhaps this agreement helps Hutchison 3 differentiate itself from other carriers (with the potential risk of losing  revenues from international call revenues). It'll be interesting to see whether other carriers follow suit with their own VoIP services, as is the case with T-mobile in the US.N95 VoIP Disabled

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Monday, May 7, 2007

Village phones?

Nokia announced two new phones recently, the 1200 and 1208, designed specifically for the shared phone market. It is primarily geared towards low-income areas where mobile phone ownership is a challenge. These devices have a call-time tracking application and multiple phonebooks to facilitate sharing.

"In order to help manage airtime costs, the call-time tracking feature allows consumers and village phone entrepreneurs to pre-set a time or cost limit on individual calls, automatically ending the call after the limit has been reached."

More at mad4mobilephones ...

Nokia 1200 and Nokia 1208 are phones for sharing

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Is mobile VoIP finally here? n95

Nokia's brought wi-fi capability with new phone releases. Nitzan mentioned that he expects a significant number of phones (upwards of 50m?) to have wi-fi by end of 2007. This seems like a game changing play but there might still be some obstacles.

Mobile Business Magazine reports that VoIP functionality has been disabled on network-sold n95's in the UK. The phones are probably subsidized by the networks, so don't expect them to subsidize their own cannabalization (and shift away from tariff-based revenues). If history is any indication (as we have seen with the digitization of music), companies that embrace new shifts in technology tend to fare better. And those that resist miss key opportunities. iTunes is an excellent example.

So what's going to happen in this scenario? Hard to say ... my guess is that if one network allows VoIP calls, the others will have to follow suit. In the US, we might see this happen with t-mobile with their "The only phone you need" campaign", where t-mobile is testing out VoIP services.

I wonder if it makes sense to buy an unlocked n95 (at $750), and go with a prepaid plan. I hardly use my minutes and spend 98% of my time near a wi-fi hotspot. How quickly could I recoup the phone costs? Stay tuned.

Mobile Business article:
Mobile Business Magazine - N95 VoIP Disabled

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Nitzan / IDG talks about the success of Skype, at MIT Sloan

Skype was launched at a time when there were many IM networks and VOIP offerings, so how did it become the leading VoIP network?

1) Keep it simple (stupid!)

While there were many possibilities for features and concepts, Skype focused a few key things, namely high quality voice calls and low price.

2) Target influencers

Skype sought out early adopters who were also able to influence others. Identifying key players in the blogosphere who were satisfied with Skype helped spread the word and created viral marketing.

3) Listen to customers

Skype also met with customers regularly to get their input on new features and capabilities. There's a belief that those internal at Skype are "the worst people to define Skype features".

4) Skype org culture:

-"It's not the big who beats the small -- it's the fast who beats the slow"

-Being humble

The future ... partnership with iSkoot helped Skype branch to the mobile arena while protecting the original Skype brand.

Skype finder -- Yellow pages over skype: using reviews from Skypers on your buddy list; an opportunity to also talk to them directly.

IDG plugs: -- offers a  service  that provides customized content to your phone

Jingle -- 1800-Free-411 ... ad sponsored 411

BzzAgent -- WOM marketing network/marketing services for large brands

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Sunday, April 1, 2007

Nokia's own Mobile Search

While exploring Nokia's N series phones, I stumbled upon Nokia's Mobile Search service. You have to first download some software, which is available for free. It features local search, web and image search, as well as content search for the phone. It also supports "media roaming" -- where the search application switches search providers to give you localized content.

Mobile Search & Maps - Nokia


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Thursday, March 1, 2007

Verizon launches *Live* Mobile TV

Verizon Wireless launched a broadcast TV service today for mobile phones in about 20 markets. The pricing is between $15 to $25 a month for up to 8 channels (Mobile TV is available standalone or as a bundle).

I found the selection of launch cities to be a bit strange. The VCast Mobile TV will not be available in many of the major cities such as New York, Boston, San Francisco, Houston. The initial launch cities are:

  • Chicago,
  • Dallas-Fort Worth,
  • Denver,
  • KansasCity,
  • Las Vegas,
  • Minneapolis-St. Paul,
  • New Orleans,
  • St. Louis,
  • SaltLake City,
  • Seattle,
  • Portland, Ore.,
  • Tuscon, Ariz.,
  • Omaha and Lincoln inNebraska,
  • the Albuquerque-Santa Fe region of New Mexico;
  • Palm Springs,Calif.,
  • Colorado Springs, Colo.,
  • Jacksonville, Fla.,
  • Wichita, Kan.,
  • theNorfolk-Richmond region of Virginia,
  • and Spokane, Wash.

The eight 24-hour channels are CBS Mobile, Comedy Central, ESPN, Fox Mobile, MTV, NBC 2Go, NBC News 2Go and Nickelodeon. But how similar is it to your regular TV programming? According to the Wired article, "the MTV broadcast will be identical around the clock; CBS Mobile willshow some daytime soap operas at different hours, but featuresimultaneous showings of the "CBS Evening News," "Survivor" and the"Late Show With David Letterman"; On Comedy Central, "The Daily Show"and the "The Colbert Report" will be shown at their normal hour, but"South Park," "Reno 911," and "Chappelle's Show" will be time-shifted."

Now on to the more tech-oriented stuff. The Wired article says that the Mobile TV service is delivered over a separate wireless network not operated by the telecoms. Apparently it is operatedby Qualcomm Inc., and requires a new handset with dual capabilities of receiving thebroadcast signal as well as the regular cellular signal for voice and data.

The official site: Verizon Mobile TV

Original story: Wired: AP Technology and Business News from the Outside World on

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Thursday, February 8, 2007

MS unveils Windows Mobile 6.0

Microsoft is about to release the next version of Windows Mobile (6.0) on Monday at the 3GSM conference in Barcelona. MS has certainly been busy with recent launches of Vista and Office 2007. According to the article on The Tech Chronicles, devices with the new OS will start to appear in three to four months. Apparently customers using T-mobile's Dash will also be able to upgrade from v5.0.

Windows Mobile 6.0

Some of the more notable improvements include:

-A Vista-like interface (?)

-An improved e-mail experience (view email with HTML, tables), set their "out of office reply" remotely using their phone.

-New Office Mobile Suite. All Windows Mobile 6.0 devices will come with Office Mobile, which will enable people view and edit documents.

-Windows Live will allow users to easily perform searches or instant messaging.

-ActiveSync will be replaced (when paired with Vista)

The improvements include a more flexible calendar program, better security options and Internet telephony built in.

See Full Story ...

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Wednesday, February 7, 2007

MoMIT event: PayPal Mobile comes to MIT

Matt Weathers, PayPal Mobile's Group Product Manager, visited MIT Sloan today to discuss mobile paypments using PayPal, and PayPal's mobile launch strategy. It was interesting to hear about the questions that they tackled, including customer base, client UI (IVR -- interactive voice response, WAP, client, SMS) and geographies.

PayPal mobile allows users to send money to each other, buy products on the go, and even donate money to charity.

One of the more interesting angles was the ability to donate by text to Amnesty International, U.S. Fund for UNICEF, and Starlight Starbright.

Check out the online demo!

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Monday, February 5, 2007

Mobile Mondays Boston -- “Common problems facing mobile companies”

Mobile Mondays Boston was hosted at Sloan today, with a panel on “Common problems facing mobile companies.”

Moderator was Mark Newhall of Idealwave. The panel consisted of:
John Simon is a co-founder and managing director of General Catalyst
Randy Bogue is the founder and managing director of Venator Partners
Rob Adler is currently the CEO of 80108
Ann Walsh, is the Director of Human Resources for JumpTap

This was a true mobile effort, with moderator Mark Newhall taking questions via text.

Some notable comments ...

... on finding talent in Boston:

Ann Walsh: "People in the mobile industry in Boston are finding it a tight market for finding quality talent."

John Simon: "Handset developers -- Boston is not so much of a hotbed for this area. Typically we are relocating talent from other geographies"

Randy Bogue: "Relocation gets killed in the bedroom" -- referring to the family aspect and that employers should consider that angle when discussing relocation.

... on common mistakes by candidates during the recruitment process:

John Simon: "Not trying the product, not researching the product, looking at the competitors, not having played with it."

Ann Walsh: "Candidates don't ask the right questions. They don't take time to investigate the company they are interviewing."

Rob Adler: "Someone who just wants a job at your company is not a good person to hire. "

... on qualities that make candidates stand out:

John Simon: "Being mission driven ... results orientation ... a passion to build something that makes a difference."

Randy Bogue: "It's the attitude that differentiates the people "

... on what CEOs look for in top talent

Ann Walsh: "People who are leaders and who can mentor the staff ... make sure the people can take the team to the next level ... Energy, passion, not afraid to take risks."

Rob Adler: "Reliability and consistency in someone who works with you everyday."

... on advice for managers during interviews

Randy Bogue: "Keep it in neutral." Frequently, within the first 5 seconds to 2 minutes, you will have formed an opinion on the person (whether good or bad). If it's good, you'll focus more on the positive elements. If it's bad, you'll reinforce this opinion with what you hear during the interview. 

... on differences between on-deck and off-deck models

John Simon: "The most powerful models in mobile are on 'on deck' ... there are a number of areas where off-deck is going to pick up ... three areas that will facilitate the transition:

1) increasing network speed makes it easy and convenient to go off-deck

2) consumers are being trained to go off-deck

3) there are a number of business models that are being available to go off-deck ... mainly through advertising opened up via search."

There was much more to it but my typing couldn't keep up :)

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Sunday, February 4, 2007

Could Telcos build a search engine to rival Google?

Europe's biggest telcos, including Vodafone, France Telecom, Telefonica, Deutsche Telekom, Hutchison Whampoa, Telecom Italia are apparently in talks to develop a search service for mobile phones. Cingular is the only American carrier that is involved.

It's no surprise that minutes are becoming cheaper, probably faster than the increase in minute consumption. Usage of mobile data services is on the rise, and this could be an opportunity for Telcos to create a new revenue stream, potentially in the $300M range (see back of the envelope calcs below)

Search-based advertising is a proven and profitable model that the Telcos could replicate.

Build vs. buy vs. license?

So why would the networks want to build their own? Why not just take a cut from the companies that provide new features? It seems that the Telcos have been operating under such a model where they capture a large chunk of the revenues from add-on services like mobile navigation services (TeleNav). Perhaps some criteria for selection would include:

  • Size of potential user base
  • Frequency of use
  • Value of use
  • Cost to produce

In terms of navigation services, the potential pool of users is small and infrequent. In this scenario, it's probably better to license the service and retain a healthy portion. Search, however, has broader appeal and given the dominance of the biggest players, Yahoo! and Google, it's harder to negotiate favorable margins.

Here's how Search stacks up relative to Nav:


Navigation service

Search service

Size of potential base



Frequency of use



Value of use



Cost to produce



Back of the envelop math:

Europe has about 600M subscribers, about 20% use mobile internet services, and each user could monetize for about $3 annually. Potential ad revenues come to about $360M, not necessarily a small chunk of change.

More from the Daily Telegraph:
Mobile giants plot secret rival to Google | Business | Money | Telegraph

Friday, February 2, 2007

Seagate launches storage device for phones

Seagate's unveiled a new drive specifically designed for mobile phones. The concept is that the drive would host all the storage hungry media and relay it to the phone on demand using Bluetooth. Also, since the phone can be physically separate from the drive, it could be stored away while allowing the phone to be portable and slim.

This reminds me of my IAP project a few weeks ago, experimenting with a similar concept:

DAVE (digital audio visual experience) will be available mid-2007, with a 10-gig capacity. 20-gig and 40-gig models are expected later this year, and in 2008 respectively.



More at CIO today ...
Mobile Devices - Seagate's New Pocket-Sized Drive for Mobile Phones

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Thursday, February 1, 2007

Motorola announces backup service for mobile phones

Motorola has launched a new backup and recovery service for content and information stored on mobile phones and SIM cards. This is different from existing offerings because it does not require a PC for backup and recovery operations.

This is yet another sign that we'll see more PC-like service offerings for the mobile phone. An article last week (The year for mobile finance) made me think about the need for anti-virus software and related add-ons for mobile phones, tools we've mainly see on the PC that are making their way to the mobile arena.

Motorol's new service will cost $3/month.

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Saturday, January 27, 2007

Mobile commerce for BlackBerry

Austin-TX based 30 Second Software announces the launch of "Digby", a mobile commerce service. It will allow BlackBerry users to make purchases on their phones

Dave Sikora, President and CEO of 30 Second Software, was quoted in the press release: “With Digby, we have created a shopping service that offers an effortless yet rich buying experience on BlackBerry handsets, enabling users to easily buy products for themselves and others while they are mobile.”

According to IGR Research, merchants have desired such commerce opportunities but have found it challenging to offer a purchasing experience comparable to that available through a PC.

image of a BlackBerry

More here:

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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The year for mobile finance?

Caught an article in the ComputerWeekly (a UK based publication) about the possibilities of banking and payment initiatives coming to fruition this year. Along with new initiatives come new avenues for improper uses, such as malware that could exploit the new capabilities.

Here's a quote from the article:

Bob Egan, an analyst atTowerGroup, said, "The success of mobile banking and payments, as wellas the concept of the mobile wallet, will be measured against theindustry's ability to effectively contain malware problems to a levelthat is at least on par with that of the existing internet channel. .... "IT managers must examine extending their existing malware and virus security initiatives to include mobile phones.

I'd love to not have to carry a wallet someday but will I need anti-spyware software and anti-virus software and all the other add-ons that I currently use to protect my PC? I hope not.

Full story:

Mobile banking to be targeted by fraudsters - 24/Jan/2007 -

Monday, January 22, 2007

China Mobile to take 89% stake in PakTel of Pakistan

China Mobile currently has 300 million subscribers and is making its first foray into an emerging market. The deal is worth $284M. Apparently the Pakistani mobile market is still small with 46M users. China has 444M users. China Mobile is adding 5M users a month in the China market and this move seems to be in line with its current strategy. China Mobile's chairman was quoted in Businsess Week:

"We are particularly interested in emerging markets," said China Mobile Chairman Wang Jianzhou in an exclusive interview with Business Week late last year. "We are not interested in mature markets like North America or Western Europe."

It would be reasonable to say that the primary entrants in the US market would be MVNOs.

Full story: China Mobile Makes First Overseas Buy

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iPhone profits II

Our friends at TeleClick have an article on the profitability of the iPhone ... more here:
Apple iPhone Could Enjoy Profit Margins Over 50% » Telecommunications Industry News

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Friday, January 19, 2007

IAP class: Breaking down phone components

MIT's Independent Activities Period is a great time to try out new things, or work on things you've always wanted to but never got around to it. One of the classes I took was around product design, where you could develop prototypes using basic materials and then have users test the products (with a little bit of imagination).

A dismembered phone

My concept was a phone that was broken down into individual components:

  • A screen that was used for all data input and output
  • A headset for all audio input and output
  • A communication box for all infrastructural activities (data/voice communication, data storage, etc.)

The idea is that the components would communicate via bluetooth. The potential benefits are:

  • No need to carry all components on you -- the communicator can be stowed away in a bag, etc.
  • The screen has an ideal form factor for presenting data since it would be highly portable (light, small) yet highly functional because it is not encumbered by other functions (communications, etc.)
  • When using voice functions, only the headset is required, so all the other components can be neatly tucked away.

User test

The users found the touchscreen interface intriguing and confusing at the same time. The interface was similar to that announced by the new iPhone -- I wonder how the iPhone 's interface is going to fare. I suppose I could upload the videos of the user test on YouTube ... time permitting.

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LG and Prada to release iPhone like phone

LG is going to release the KE850 phone in collaboration with Prada. Many are touting it as an iPhone copy but given that it was a partnership wtih Prada, my guess is that it was in development for a while. These so

TrustedReviews - LG & Prada Make iPhone Look-a-Like

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Thursday, January 18, 2007 reports on RIM vs. iPhone

Just came across an article about how the iPhone might impact RIM. Some say it may not recover, even with two upcoming products in the pipeline, Indigo and Crimson. It's the first I've heard of these new models and the article mentions that these two models are not considered to be as much of a breakthrough than the Pearl. Here's a quote:

"They are hitting the sweet spot of product cycle for Pearl, and we think they have a bigger-selling proposition with Indigo," says Rob Sanderson of American Technology Research (who does not own shares or have an investment banking relationship with RIM.)

RIM Mounts iPhone Defense

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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Sony Ericsson takes #3 spot in global mobile sales

Sony Ericsson overtook Samsung in mobile sales in Q4 '06, with sales of €3.8bn last quarter, up 64% year on year.

The top two players are Nokia and Motorola; Samsung's revenue had fallen 7 percent.

Contributing factors:
S/E sold 74.8M units in 2006, with 60M music enabled phones. 17 million of these were walkman phones.  Average pre-tax profits are about
21.5 per phone.
Strongest growth was in Latin America, Asia and Europe

According to the article on FinFacts,  "
Sony Ericsson increased market share during the quarter due to the continued success of products such as the K800/K790 Cyber-shot phone and Walkman phone line-up." The Average Selling Price was higher than expected because of strong demand for S/E's handsets.

It looks like S/E was able to increase market share with new products in a mid-tier, higher margin category, without reducing profitability.

Complete story at FinFacts:
Sony Ericsson overtook Samsung in mobile sales in Q4 2006

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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Bollywood on the third screen

Just read a Business Week article about the creation of three short movies from Bollywood, made specifically for mobile devices. With low levels of literacy in India, Bollywood movies probably constitute a significant portion of media consumption. It will be interesting to see the broader implications of this new move.

Full Story: Bollywood on Your Mobile Screen

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Monday, January 15, 2007

Effects of iPhone release: lost iPod sales? huge iPhone margins? Cingular?

So I've been thinking a lot more about the iPhone launch (as you can see from previous posts) as well as preparing for case interviews. I've been doing too many cases on growth strategies and can't stop thinking about how the iPhone will affect the carriers, Cingular, Apple, and iPod sales.

I've come to the conclusion that ...

  1. iPhone will have double margins to counter iPod cannabalization
  2. Apple's profits should see a 10% boost
  3. Cingular will improve its customer mix, with more tech-savvy, higher spend customers

Let's observe what's happened in the past couple days ...

1. The WSJ reports that RIM's stock price (the makers of BlackBerry) fell 7.9% following the iPhone announcement.

2. T-Mo and Sprint launched new phones (varieties of existing phones) and lowered their pricing on phones.

3. iPhones are only available on Cingular.

Impact on iPod sales:

The 4GB and 8GB sell for $199 and $249 respectively, a $50 difference for increased capacity. iPhones with similar storage will go for $499 and $599 -- a $100 difference for the same increased storage capacity.

So what's Apple trying to do here? My guess is that they don't want to cannabalize their iPod sales, so they've built in two margins in this product. One to compensate for cannabalization of traditional iPod sales (since you're not likely to buy an iPod now) and the second for the iPhone. I was in the market for an iPod for myself and my wife, but now I might hold out and go for the iPhone instead.

One indication of the higher margins on the iPhone is the higher pricing for additional capacity. They are charging $100 for 4GB extra on iPhone vs. an extra $50 for the same on an iPod. The extra $50 amounts to about an increase of margins of ~8% more.

Verdict: Apple's gonna recoup lost margins from iPod cannabalization

Impact on Apple's revenues:

I haven't checked the analyst ratings on AAPL recently but it's not surprising that the analysts are trying to figure this out. Toni Sacconaghi, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein, told the WSJ that "cellphones priced above $300 account for only about 5% of the global market."

Albert Lin, an analyst at American Technology Research, was quoted in the WSJ: "If Apple is aiming to sell 10 to 20 million units, that's a realistic and achievable goal." Steve Jobs, Apple's chief executive, said the company aims to sell 10 million iPhones through the end of 2008, which would account for about 1% of the annual global handset market.

But some analysts are skeptical, considering that the iPhone will be available only to Cingular Wireless customers and initially only in the U.S. It is scheduled to become available in Europe in the fourth quarter and in Asia in 2008. "Given the timing, geographies and the fact there is only one device, we think that two million devices could be sold in 2007 in the best instance," writes Nomura Securities analyst Richard Winsor in a report.

I suppose it's reasonable to expect Apple to gain 20% of the >$300 phone market in two years (10M units), but it's only available in the US through 2007 and only with Cingular. The 2M figure from Nomura seems like a reasonable estimation.

I'm going to guess that the margins on the iPod are 25%, so $50 and the margins on the phone are 20% for the 4GB iPhone, and 25% on the 8GB iPhone. This comes to about $100 and $150. If 4GB version accounrs for 70% of the sales, Apple's profits should increase by: 2M * 0.7 * $100 + 2M *0.3 * $150 = $230M

AAPL's earnings were $2B last year, so we're estimating an increase of about 11.5%.

Just looking at the recent stock chart from Yahoo! ... the stock jumped from $86 to $95 over the past few days, or about 10.5%. Not bad for back of the envelope calculations ...

Verdict: Apple's gonna make loads of cash

Impact on Cingular:

According to WSJ: For its part, Cingular said it expects to attract high-end customers who are willing to pay the price of the device and for the data services the phone could offer, prices for which the companies didn't disclose. Cingular wouldn't say whether it was subsidizing the cost of the iPhone, as carriers typically do for most handsets. On average, North American carriers subsidize $70 to $90 per phone, according to research firm Gartner Inc.

Even if Cingular sold the phones at cost, they would make it up from the data services, which are high margin revenue streams for the carriers. There's hardly any cost associated with an additional user checking their email on the network. In fact, the carriers probably want greater utilization on their networks to recoup the costs of infrastructure.

The iPhone could help Cingular increase the ARPU (average revenue per customer) significantly, especially over a 2 year period. I'm just going to assume that the data plan will cost $19.99, and related variable costs are $4, this brings it to $16 per month or $384 for the lifetime of the contract. And this is just for data services. I'm sure the voice revenues will be rather healthy.

What's even better is that Cingular might be able to pull high-profit mobile consumers from other carriers, improving the mix of Cingular's customers. The longer other carriers wait to respond to the iPhone, the more they'll bleed in high-end customers.

Verdict: Cingular's profitability should see a boost from this deal.

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Carrier response to iPhone

Following Sprint's new phone release, T-mobile just announced a white version of the BlackBerry Pearl. The BB Pearl seems like a solid device, not sure if white's such a key differentiator but what's interesting is that they've dropped the price on the device from $199 to $149.

[BlackBerry Pearl]

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Spotted: Bio-monitoring phone from Korea

Korea is no doubt one of the most advanced in terms of mobile technology. A team from Korea's Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology has developed a sensor that monitors Glutamine Oxaloacetic Transaminase and Glutamine Pyruvic Transaminase (indicators of liver function) and beams it off to a hospital or third party via the phone.

I'm sure they'll figure out privacy/HIPAA related issues in time. You don't want your friends to accidentally receive your GOT or GPT stats!

More importantly, this opens up a new model where the phone is merely the information relay device ... the data gathering piece is a special add-on and the data processing is done elsewhere.

Full Story at

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Sunday, January 14, 2007

Spotted: Sprint now offers their own version of the Motorola Q

Sprint has just added the Q to its lineup of phones. Makes one wonder what the impact of the iPhone is going to be on other carriers and phones. No one wants to get locked in for two years only to see all your friends carry new iPhones in a couple months and your new Q become obsolete.

Are you better off buying unlocked phones (I guess this only applies to TMobile and Cingular)?

Should phone manufacturers and carriers create more portable phones (i.e. usable across carriers)?

Full story from engagdt: Engadget

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Thursday, January 11, 2007

Spotted: Cellswapper; no more long contracts?

Spotted on techcrunch ... cellswapper enables people to swap contracts on their cellphones. Contracts are clearly a huge problem and this type of buyer lock-in is irritating customers. If only the pay-per-use voice guys also had unlimited data ...

CellSwapper Solves A Very Annoying Problem

New Jersey based CellSwapper is a cool service that came at just the right time. The site, which calls itself “the eBay of cell phone contracts” takes advantage of the fact that all U.S. cell phone carriers have clauses in their contracts that allow users to get out early, without the early termination fee that can range up to $250 per phone, just by transferring your account to someone else.

CellSwapper Solves A Very Annoying Problem

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2nd Flock founder leaves Flock

Techcrunch confirms Geoffrey Arone is leaving flock to join Bessemer Ventures as an EIR. Yes, this post was blogged using Flock :)

Update: This is now confirmed. Arone commented below, saying “I will be working closely with Flock, which is a Bessemer company. I have enjoyed working with Bessemer throughout and this opportunity presented itself. Flock is well-aligned with partners and is burning the midnight oil to get the 1.0 out. My Flock e-mail will still be in tact and if you know any good BD/Strategy folks, send them my way. Cheers, Geoffrey”

Second Founder Leaves Flock

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Apple sued over iPhone name

Apparently the iPhone name is not unique and was registered almost 10 years ago ... full story spotted on CNET ...

Cisco obtained the iPhone trademark in the year 2000 after it acquired a company called Infogear, which previously owned the mark and sold iPhone products for several years. Infogear's original filing for the trademark dates back to March 20, 1996. Linksys, a division of Cisco, has been shipping a new family of iPhone products since early last year. Last month, Linksys expanded the iPhone family with additional products.

Cisco sues Apple over iPhone name | | CNET

text of the suit:

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TeleNav's traffic offering unveiled at CES 2007

A new service is "Traffic," a capability to detect the flow of traffic and, if necessary re-route the user around critical events, such as accidents and traffic jams. The service is supported by data that is collected from road sensors maintained by the Department of Transportation (DoT) as well as fleet data that is collected from the GPS systems commercial systems installed for example in trucks. The traffic service is free if users sign up for the Telenav's general navigation service until June 30 2007, which is priced at $10 per month. Beginning in July 2007, the traffic service is available for an additional $4 per month.

CES 2007: Your cellphone can re-route you around traffic jams | Tom's Hardware

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Friday, January 5, 2007

Company Visit: Vocera

Healthcare facilities involve a mobile workforce that traditionally relies on a one-way paging system, which is often ineffective and can be a contributor to preventable deaths. Vocera's interactive messaging product enables healthcare staff to communicate with colleagues in a convenient and hands-free manner, compressing or eliminating several steps in their workflow. It also reduces the time to expedite patient care, which can be critical in emergency situations.

Customers using Vocera have experienced greater nurse satisfaction, patient satisfaction and increased patient safety. This directly contributes to lower nursing turnover, increased bed turnover and recovery of associated implementation costs through savings within 6 to 18 months.

Tech talk: Vocera links a company's employees using the communicator devices that utilizes the 802.11b network.

My favorite feature is the ability to locate a colleague. So if you're in an office and want to meet with John Doe, you simply hit a button and say (paraphrased) "Where is John Doe", and the response could resemble "John is near meeting room Alpha".

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Wednesday, January 3, 2007

California Trip -- TeleNav

Traveled to Califiornia with the Sloan E&I crew to visit VC firms and venture-backed companies. The visit to TeleNav was one of the most anticipated. They provide the software and service that allow a mobile phone to double as a GPS navigation devices. Their flagship product, TeleNav GPS Navigator is offered on Cingular and Nextel/Sprint. Pretty cool stuff!

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