Iphone sales & mobile merchandizing

See below an extract from Apple's financial results for this quarter:

"
- 6.9 million iPhone units were sold in the quarter, more than in all previous quarters combined
- After just 15 months in the mobile phone business, Apple outsold RIM in the September quarter. 6.1 million BlackBerry handsets were sold. Measured by revenue, Apple is now the third largest mobile phone supplier, after Nokia and Samsung
- iPhone 3G is now available in 51 countries, and will be available in 70 countries by the end of the calendar year
- The App Store now features over 5,500 applications offered in 62 countries, and tomorrow customers will download the 200 millionth app. from the App Store -- all this in just 102 days since it first opened"

Numbers speak for themselves.

No doubt that the change in business model (allowing operators' subsidies and non-exclusive agreements) coupled with the internationalization explain those impressive results.

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Meet One-On-One With Forrester Analysts At Our Consumer Forum 2008

Consistently rated as one of the most popular features of Forrester Events, one-on-one meetings give you the opportunity to discuss the unique technology issues facing your organization with Forrester analystsConsumer Forum attendees may schedule up to two 20-minute one-on-one meetings with the Forrester analysts of their choice, depending on availability. Registered attendees can now schedule one of their one-on-one meetings, and can schedule the other meetings onsite at the event.  Book early!

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Meet One-On-One With Forrester Analysts At Our Consumer Forum 2008

Consistently rated as one of the most popular features of Forrester Events, one-on-one meetings give you the opportunity to discuss the unique technology issues facing your organization with Forrester analystsConsumer Forum attendees may schedule up to two 20-minute one-on-one meetings with the Forrester analysts of their choice, depending on availability. Registered attendees will be able to schedule one of their one-on-one meetings starting on Monday October 20, 2008, and can schedule the other meetings onsite at the event.   Book early!

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Lala Innovates with Latest Digital Music Offering

This is, what, business model version three or four? Enough obligatory snark. Lala's latest offering is a new twist on the jukebox in the sky, with some aggressive and attractive price points. For 10 cents, you can "own" any single for streaming forever; $1 for most albums. If you want to take that song or album with you, you can apply your online only payment towards a DRM-free MP3 purchase.

Some observations:

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Problem with Feedburner feed

Someone recently told me that he received some weird E-mail updates from my blog. On several occasions he got repeated alerts about the same post and once or twice he got a message about a very old blog post, which was puzzling.

Forrester's online community manager, John Cass, investigated the issue. Apparently, it's a known problem with the Feedburner solution that Forrester uses to generate E-mail updates. It seems that Google, the company that acquired Feedburner, has not fixed the problem, despite several requests from users. You can see a couple of online threads (going back to March 2008) that discuss this issue:

http://groups.google.com/group/publicity-tools/browse_thread/thread/aabc60938061123c

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Facebook Want Digital Music Without the Cost

Reuters report that Facebook are keen to follow MySpace's lead and get in the digital music business. Why the "me too" strategy? I wouldn't underestimate the effect of MySpace�s phenomenal streaming stats for the first week of launch. But companies don't just make strategic decisions on the spur of the moment right? Right, but this doesn't feel like a big strategic centre piece, rather a way of getting some of the action without pursuing an expensive record label licensed strategy (the reports suggest partnerships with existing social music services rather than a proprietary service). And that isn't necessarily a bad thing. Music is not as central a part to Facebook as MySpace nor will it ever be. So it doesn't make sense for Facebook to launch copycat MySpace offering.

A smart strategy from Facebook will focus on tapping into one of the leading social music services and creating a heavily tailored Facebook implementation to layer on top of it, so that it provides a relevant solution that's appropriate to Facebook's look and feel, and to its users. So don't hold your breath for a MySpace Music II.

Google Maps - Overcoming the challenges of transliterating Japanese

Fascinating blog post by the Google Maps team;

http://google-latlong.blogspot.com/2008/10/transliteration-for-japan.html

"This week we will be releasing English labels of city names, prefectures, districts and transit station names in Japan. We have used a combination of transliteration (local pronunciation into English alphabet) and translation so that "Shibuya Eki" would read as "Shibuya Station", for example. We thought it would be more helpful to transliterate the name but let users know the difference between a city or a station. We've even used macrons so "Tokyo" reads as "Tōkyō" to help with pronunciation."

I totally agree with their approach - It's more helpful for English speakers to see "Shibuya Station" than "Shibuya Eki". And macrons .... who doesn't love macrons?

[Let me issue a bad pun warning for that last hyperlink]

Notes from the road... When I'm naked, I'm blind

You may remember that I complained about web sites that use illegible text in January.

Back then I promised to write about 'some "day in the life" scenes from a person with crummy eyesight (me).' I'm sorry that I forgot about that promise until this week when I made a business trip to Europe and found myself struggling to identify the shampoo...

14102008004_2

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Nokia Q3 Results

In the current economic context, Nokia's financial results were expected by many to be a good indicator of how the crisis could impact the telecom sector.

- Nokia mobile device volumes=117,800,000 units / +5% yoy
- Nokia sales: -5% yoy
- Reason is quite simple: Average selling price is going down with an increase in volumes in emerging economies (only Europe and North America showed a decrease in volumes yoy, respectively -5.5% and -16.7%). Nokia expects worldwide industry volumes to reach approximately 1,260,000,000 in 2008 vs an estimation of 1,140,000,000 in 2007 (always more explicit to present such high figures that way)
- Nokia sold 16M converged devices (-500,000 vs Q3 2007) among which 9M NSeries devices and 3M Eseries. It represented 14% of total sales in volumes!

So all in all Nokia seems to have resisted pretty well and delivered a reassuring message via its CEO: "With our scale, brand, improving product portfolio and low cost structure, we believe Nokia is well positioned for the current times." (my insistance).

At this stage, it is difficult to extrapolate those results to the whole telecom market. Here are some random initial thoughts to be taken with a pinch of salt:

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News Corp. on New Media

Some good bits in Paidcontent's summary of News Corp. COO Peter Chernin's comments at TV Week's Innovation 360 conference.

We don’t look at Hulu as a replacement for TV. We look at it as a replacement for reruns. We don’t rerun most of our reality shows

Chernin also compares MySpace's more media-like approach with what he thinks Facebook is doing. (I tend to agree.) Jupiter report on Internet TV cannibalism, and an oldie but goodie on social networks as media (more to come shortly on that topic).