Mobile Market Wrap-up, August 23

As usual, there were lots of interesting stories in mobile last week. In particular, I found a couple of annoucements on the gaming front very interesting.

To start off, Microsoft announced the line up of Xbox Live games that would be available on their mobile Windows Phone 7 platform. I don’t play Xbox (Playstation is my platform of choice), so I couldn’t tell you if the game list is interesting or not. However, what I do find interesting is Microsoft’s mobile strategy. It appears that Microsoft is going to tie its mobile success to the Xbox platform. I wouldn’t call this a genius strategy as much as I would consider it a high risk bet. In my opinion, Microsoft has already lost this round of the mobile OS game to RIM for the enterprise, Apple for the high end, and Android for the general consumer. Since no one has gone after the hardcore gamer, Microsoft is filling an underserved niche to build a loyal following. On the other hand, it will take time and lots of resources, i.e. money, to grow the niche. Given Microsoft’s deep pockets, they are one of the few companies that can pull it off, and I like the fact that they are going after a niche in the market rather than trying to immediately compete head to head with Apple, Google and RIM, although I am sure they will end up there soon enough.

Behind the Microsoft announcement, rumors were leaked that Sony is working on an Android-based Playstation mobile phone. Adding phone capability is the next logical move for the PSP, and not because people want to use it as a phone. It is for the over the air download capability and the social gaming aspects that can occur using the mobile network as its backbone. Given Microsoft’s moves with its Xbox/Windows Phone 7 platform, Sony must do this, and quickly, to keep from losing customers and market share in the highly lucrative gaming console market. Of course, all of this could become a moot point if Google and Verizon get their way and regulate traffic on the mobile internet (OK – I’ll admit that last comment was a bit tongue-in-cheek, but I couldn’t resisit).

Finally, to wrap-up this week on a gaming note, Mashable pointed out 10 classic PC games that have been reborn on the iPhone. I was a bit surprised by how many of them I recognized, and played! It brought back memories of my college days and made me wonder how me and my college roommates ever graduated! Take a look and let me know which games you recognize and which was your favorite. Just for the record, mine would be Prince of Persia, although Doom runs a close second.

Mobile Market Wrap-up for February 5, 2010

Welcome to the latest installment of my weekly mobile summary.  To our loyal readers, I’m trying a little experiment and will be releasing the weekly wrap-ups on Mondays instead of Fridays as usual.  I personally like getting summaries on Monday mornings to set the tone for my week, so if you agree or if you don’t like the change, please leave a comment below.

The big story last week was the latest smartphone handset numbers released by Strategy Analaytics.  According to the report, 53 million smartphones were sold globally in Q4 2009 which represents a 30% increase from the year before.  Overall, 173.8 million smartphones were sold during 2009.  No surprise that Nokia topped the charts with 39% of the marketshare with RIM and Apple gaining marketshare to 19.8% (up 4.3%) and 14.1% (up 5.3%) respectively.

The other entertaining story was more Google vs. Apple cat fighting (you should expect it by now).  These two companies have turned the mobile market into a soap opera that includes name calling, product bashing and sometimes personal attacks.  Last week Google released their Google Voice webapp which circumvents iPhone’s “ban” on the Google Voice downloadable app.  And now this week, Google added Multitouch support to the Nexus One.  I’m not aware of any changes in Apple’s multitouch patent, so my best guess is that Google just decided to release the new feature to tell Apple “no more Mr. nice guy, we’re ready to rumble”.   Both companies seem to be mirroring each other with features (e.g. multitouch), acquisitions (e.g. mobile advertising – Google/AdMod and Apple/Quattro), and messaging (e.g. mobile is our future).  This should be an exciting week/month/year as these two companies battle without any playground rules.

As always, here is the mobile handset news I found from last week:

To finish this week’s summary, here is a quick list of articles I found interesting during last week and want to share with you:

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