Mobile Market Wrap-up for February 26, 2010

Once again I’m a little behind in getting out my weekly wrap-up, but this week I have a really really good reason. As most of you should know, last night was the gold medal hockey game between the US and Canada. I’m a huge hockey fan (comes with my Canadian roots) and yesterday’s game was one of the most exciting I’ve ever seen. In the end, the better team one (of course, I’m biased). Needless to say, I didn’t get much work done yesterday, hence the delay in today’s wrap-up.

Last week’s mobile news was a little sparse but that was expected following the flurry of activity around the Mobile World Conference. One of the more interesting stories was about mobile at the Olympics. Yahoo said they saw huge spikes in mobile searches related to every aspect of the Olympics. This doesn’t surprise me. The mobile web is fast becoming an integral part of our daily lives and with quick accessibility to info and news anytime, anywhere. What did surprise me are some of the key stats for searches on Yahoo last week:

  • Searches “ice skating rinks” were up 607%
  • Searches for “red Olympic mittens” were up 182% (um, there were searches for this before the Olympics?)
  • Searches for Lindsey Vonn were up 1,446%
  • Searches for “Shaun White snowboarding” were up 1,921%

Yahoo also built a specific mobilesite for the games sharing info, announcements, and results. This is truly the future of sporting events as the mobile web allows attendees to enhance their in-venue experience and for non-attendees to follow along. Well done Yahoo!

The other big story this week that caught my attention was Gartner’s latest worldwide smartphone sales and marketshare numbers. Overall, smartphone shipments were up 24% from the year before. The iPhone doubled its smartphone marketshare to 14% taking most of their growth away from Symbian (which is used by Nokia and I’ve discussed their slide in previous posts). BlackBerry ended up with 20% marketshare which represents a growth of 3%. So, for all of you who keep telling me that the iPhone is stealing marketshare from BlackBerry, it’s just not true. The iPhone is gaining ground but at Nokia’s expense, not BlackBerry.

As always, here are the latest handset rumors, announcements and reviews I found this week:

To finish off this week’s update, here are a few other articles I want to share with you:

See or hear anything else interesting in mobile.  Let us know by leaving a comment below.

Mobile Market Wrap-up for February 12, 2010

This week the Mobile World Congress (MWC) starts in Barcelona which brings together the entire mobile ecosystem including handset manufacturers, carriers, and software/application developers. It’s widely attended from around the globe and always creates lots of excitement. Last week’s big mobile stories were focused around MWC and analysts making their predictions of the hottest products and trends.

So… what were they saying? The first thing is Android, Android, and more Android. Google’s CEO, Eric Schmidt, will be giving the keynote speech which will no doubt create more buzz (no pun intended) around their private-label Nexus phone line and a ever-growing portfolio of 3rd party Android-based phones, as well as big opportunities for software/app developers that want to reach Android-users. Part of me hopes Google throws the industry another curve-ball to keep everyone on their toes.

In the past, most rumors leading up to MWC focus on new handsets, but this year the blogs already seem to have an inventory of what’s going to be announced, so it’s really not that exciting. Believe it or not, the big stories this year are focused on mobile operating systems, mainly Microsoft Windows Phone 7, MeeGo, and Samsung’s Bada. I know what you’re thinking, more OSes? Yup, it’s true. These companies just don’t want to give up on “owning” the platform, although I don’t think a mobile OS really equals owning the platform these days. If I wanted to “own” the platform, I would build a common user interface (UI) plus middleware that can sit on top of any OS and then build an ecosystem around that UI. That’s all most users really care about. We still need more consolidation in the mobile OS arena (although good work Nokia & Intel by joining forces and taking a step in the right direction with MeeGo).

As I mentioned earlier, the blogs have been previewing most new handsets expected to announce at MWC. Here’s a long list of handset news I saw last week:

To conclude this weekly update, here are several other articles I enjoyed from last that I want to share with you:

This week will be exciting, so definitely check our blog next week for a summary of MWC news. See or hear anything else interesting in mobile.  Let us know by leaving a comment below.