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Mobile trends predicted for 2011

January 29, 2011 Leave a comment

oday we are on the verge of a time when app-capable non-PC devices will out ship PCs. The mobile sector will be the main growth driver, with mobile voice revenue advancing at a 8.1 percent CAGR in India during the 2010-15 period (in contrast to 2.7 percent for Asia-Pacific as a whole) and mobile data service revenue growing at a 27.3 percent CAGR during the same period. What ruling the picture today are mobile phone and its close cousin, mobile apps. Technologies like 4G and LTE, Near Field Communication (NFC) will witness increasing amount of hype in 2011, and as a result of it, the use of mobile/social/location combinations will soar. Adding to it, recent industry reports from InMobi and Synovate have revealed that consumers are showing a greater inclination towards receiving mobile advertising and marketing messages. So what are the fresh mobile trends that the coming year has in its store for us?

Here are the five that topped the list:

1) More personalized mobile marketing:

Thanks to the popular portable smart devices and advances in wireless technologies, mobile marketing is increasing quickly. Short message is regarded as one of the most efficient modes of mobile marketing. While mobile advertising boosts communication with consumers, the messages without a required permission from users cause privacy violations. But the adoption of more translucent and permission-based marketing will increase the credibility of mobile as an effective marketing tool.

2) Mobiles will turn into “electronic wallets” replacing credit cards:

he day is not too far when you’ll be purchasing your goods using your phone as a credit card. Mobile micropayments will soon make us pay from mobile-turn-electronic wallets. One of the key advantages of mobile payment is that it will make the transaction much quicker and secure than the credit card readers or any written form. Recently, Google made an announcement that in its next release of Android 2.3 or “Gingerbread”, there will be support for NFC (Near Field Communication) technology. Nokia’s C7 handset also has an NFC chip included, which will be activated in 2011. Adding to it, Apple?s next iPhone is also likely to come with NFC. NFC is a short-range high frequency wireless communication technology which enables the exchange of data between devices over about a 10 centimeters distance.

3) Apps vs. HTML5, the war will go on:

According to Forrester, it’s not a question of “either/or” when it comes to a choice between apps vs. the mobile Web, but both. While for regular users of services like banking and brokerage apps will be on demand, the Internet will remain the retreat for more occasional information and needs. However, despite great opportunities offered by the new HTML, apps and app stores continue to rule mobile content, as the availability of basic functions of an app even without a stable data connection makes it more appealing for customers.

4) Mobiles will join the 3D bandwagon:

Being integrated in almost any device, 3D technology is the talk of the town today. As of now, a few mobile manufacturers have started experimenting with 3D technology, but they still have to go a bit further to create a sophisticated 3D mobile device. This year, the market is likely to see more such experimentation. In India, Spice Mobility has already introduced a phone with 3D capabilities. LG has also tossed its hat into the ring. It showcased its 3D mobile concept at CES 2011.

5) The concept of Green Mobiles will get momentum:

In a bid to appeal to the environmentally conscious consumers, some mobile vendors are developing handsets that are eco-friendly. Following its “GreenHeart” mantra, Sony Ericsson has made Sony Ericsson Elm, a handset made from recycled plastics and free of hazardous chemicals. It comes with a low power consumption charger, reduced packaging and some eco-aware apps. Another interesting fact is that it comes with an e-manual on the phone instead of a printed guide. We have other mobiles like LG’s GD510 that comes with the facility of solar charging. Given this move, we expect other vendors to go down a similar route.

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Facebook taking on groupon – Launches Group-Buying Prototype

January 27, 2011 Leave a comment

Facebook is currently testing a new feature called “Buy With Friends,” which allows users to get discounts on virtual goods purchased by their friends.

Here’s how it works: A user makes an in-app purchase using Facebook’s currency, Facebook credits, and shares it in his or her newsfeed. A friend sees the purchase and can then buy the same item at a discount directly in the newsfeed.

Currently, the feature only works for certain in-game purchases of virtual goods. Developers determine the items and terms of the promotion.

Speaking at the Inside Social Apps Conference in San Francisco Tuesday, Facebook’s head of commerce product marketing Deb Liu said that during early tests, more than half of users chose to share their purchases with friends, Forbes reports.

Although Buy With Friends is currently restricted to virtual goods, we can easily envision how this feature could be expanded to include physical goods as well, especially as more and more retailers set up shot on Facebook. The prototype could be Facebook’s way to participate in the kinds of group-buying offers recently popularized by the likes of Groupon and Livingsocial.

Twitter Now Worth $4 Billion

January 27, 2011 Leave a comment

Twitter’s market value has reached $4 billion just a month after it raised $200 million in funding.

According to SharesPost, a secondary market for buying and selling stock in privately held companies, Twitter’s value has jumped to $4 billion, based on recent transactions. That is a $300 million increase in value in just over a month, based on the $3.7 billion valuation set by its funding round in December. Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers led Twitter’s most recent round of funding.

Twitter’s market capitalization will likely continue to rise in the near future. Several recent stock purchases on the private markets imply that Twitter’s value is more than $6 billion. While these smaller transactions aren’t a definitive basis for defining Twitter’s value, they are a benchmark that can help determine whether a private company’s value is trending up or down.

Facebook is still the king of private markets, though. While its most recent funding round valued the company at $50 billion, its value on the secondary markets has skyrocketed to $75 billion.

Secondary markets for privately traded companies are currently the subject of an SEC probe over whether they violate SEC regulations.

Zuck you’ve been hacked!! – can we still trust on facebook!??

January 27, 2011 Leave a comment

Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook fan page seems to have been hacked, with the hacker posting a message calling on the company to transform into a “social business.”

The message, seemingly posted on Facebook from Mark Zuckerberg’s account, was quickly removed (together with the fan page), but not quickly enough to go by unnoticed, receiving more than 1,800 “likes” and hundreds of comments in the process.

The message read: “Let the hacking begin: If facebook needs money, instead of going to the banks, why doesn’t Facebook let its users invest in Facebook in a social way? Why not transform Facebook into a ‘social business’ the way Nobel Prize winner Muhammad Yunus described it? What do you think? #hackercup2011″

Facebook made no statement about the incident, but if Zuckerberg’s fan page was indeed hacked, it’s a big deal. If the Facebook CEO (more accurately, the PR team that’s handling the page for him) can’t keep his Facebook account safe from intruders, who can?

What is your point of view?