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Month November 2010

Nokia's Ovi Store downloads hit 3 million a day

More than 400 000 new developers in past 12 months; 92 developers each top 1 million download mark; 1.5 million downloads of Qt software development toolkits

via Nokia – Show Press Release.

See the following chart comparing Ovi with iTunes Music and iTunes Apps download rates.

iTunes App Store submission rate holding at 20k/mo, Android Market on par

Thanks to 148apps.biz we know how many apps are being submitted to the App Store.

For the year so far the average has been almost exactly 20k apps per month. Toward the last half of last year, 10k/mo was the norm.

China Unicom Says It Will Introduce own smartphone OS by Year-End

The UPhone will run on a “totally new” operating system that Unicom developed based on Linux, Zhang Zhijiang, who heads the company’s technology department, said in an interview today at the Mobile Asia Congress in Hong Kong. The phone is being developed with Okwap, Huawei Technologies Co. and ZTE Corp., he said.

via China Unicom Says It Will Introduce Self-Developed Smartphone by Year-End – Bloomberg.

Operators are still considering bespoke operating systems.

See also: European Operators contemplate own OS. Why not just fork Android?

Samsung like Windows Phone, Android not so much

Samsung’s mobile marketing lead for the country, Sitthichoke Nopchinabutr, also provided a surprise and hinted that the company might turn on Google and focus primarily on Windows Phone. About 15 to 20 phones based on Android, Bada and Windows Phone would ship in 2011, but the majority of them would use the Microsoft OS. For every 50 Windows devices, 24 would be Android models and just five would use the in-house Bada OS.

via HTC, Samsung see Windows Phone, Android dominating phones | Electronista.

Shocking!

In three years Apple will still have a minority market share in smartphones

Morgan Stanley’s Web 2.0 update came out yesterday and it’s full of nice charts. Here is one:

Note that the expectation for smartphones to overtake all PCs (including netbooks) will happen when smartphones sell more than 450 million units per year.

In 2013 nearly 650 million smartphones are forecast to be shipped.

My estimate for the iPhone in that year is 180 million. That would give iPhone (excluding iPad and iPod) about 28% share. The last quarterly figure is around 17%.

Perhaps 180 million iPhones per year will be defined as failure by those who consider over 80% share as a threshold for success but I still think it will be a healthy business.

Even assuming a cut in ASP to about $350, Apple will still be able to get about $62 billion in sales from phones (a bigger number than 2009 total sales for the whole company).

I would also add that by the end of 2013 Apple will have sold about 470 million iPhones. Though many will be out of use by then, the installed base will not be small (I’d guess about 300 million). Including all iOS devices, 500 million is a credible estimated audience for developers.

It’s entirely possible that Android variants, offshoots and forks will add up to a bigger number by then, but to pre-emptively declare the platform “war” won because the also-ran Apple will only have half a billion users seems disingenuous.

Warner Music waits for Godot

You really can’t stress this point enough: We’re a decade past Napster, but the music industry still runs on CD sales. In Warner’s case, digital now accounts for 25 percent of overall revenue.

via Warner Music Renews Spotify’s European Deal, Waits for Google | Peter Kafka | MediaMemo | AllThingsD.

What’s even more amazing is that after ten years not a single industry participant has found a new job for which its product can be hired by consumers.

The music companies wait for Apple, Google, Spotify to  “invent” some new consumption model from which they can extract a rent.

The staggering size of iOS's game collection

iOS has nearly three times more games than the previous twenty-five years of gaming combined.

via The staggering size of iOS’s game collection.

Most of the comments in the linked article complain that there is no filter for “quality” in the App Store. Contrasts nicely with the persistent criticism that Apple curates the App Store.

Operators' last stand: payment platforms.

Operators “had high hopes until 2007 or 2008,” said Patrik Karrberg, a researcher in the London School of Economics’ Department of Management. The hopes dimmed after the emergence of iPhones and improved data speeds that made the Internet directly accessible on handsets.

“They gave up the idea of controlling the entry point,” Karrberg said. “That was the death of the portal.”

via Vodafone, France Telecom Push to Regain App Edge From Apple – Bloomberg.

It looks like a payment platform may be one of only a few opportunities remaining.

HP/Palm's Rubinstein believes in integration

In other words, to differentiate and succeed in the mobile device space, you need to own a veritically integrated stack strategy — software, hardware and services — like the one Palm is now building out with the help of HP’s not inconsiderable resources

via Palm Chief: By Birthright, Palm Should Have Owned the Smartphone Market | John Paczkowski | Digital Daily | AllThingsD.

I would not write Palm/HP off in this market.

Is the smartphone a commodity?

People throw around the idea of things being or becoming “commodities” but there is little clarity about what “commodity” status implies.

If you look up the word, it has nothing to do with technology or innovation. In economics, a commodity is something that is substitutable (fungible) and roughly equal to competing versions of the same thing. A mineral good (oil) or agricultural product (pork bellies) is roughly of equal value regardless of where it comes from or who produces it. Commodities also have very liquid markets and are therefore easily priced according to demand.

Commodities have a “fixed” quality which cannot be and most likely never was improved. It’s a product that is essentially frozen in terms of innovation.

But in technology and especially in terms of complex, rapidly improving and evolving products with uneven distribution a commodity is not easy to identify and there can be a lot of arguing about what is and isn’t.