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January 08, 2010



@David Rota
The price of MMS in your country is really crazy. In Indonesia the official price for SMS is around US$ 0.015, but after sending 8 SMS (around US$ 0.12), you got a free 300 SMS. And most operator priced the MMS almost the same price as SMS. Only the biggest operator have MMS rates twice the SMS.

But there's always a promotion. For example, the smallest GSM provider gives 1000 MMS each month on 2009. Several other provider gives 10 free MMS each day after you spend US$1 (if you today use the phone until it reach US$1, they instantly give you 10 free MMS to be used before 24.00 midnight or it's gone).

So, the price of MMS in Indonesia is next to nothing.

I also have a 70 years old relative that was capable of using computer, but only open email once a week, sending her an MMS is the easier method to be sure she saw the picture immediately.

Regarding the webkit browser, the phone you were having is too old. I believe you need at least S60v3FP2 or S60v5 to be able to see youtube directly on your phone. And I do believe nokia is doing the right way, because if I go to nokia conversations (, I would not be able to see the embedded video if I'm using iphone because it's not on the youtube. but on nokia, I would able to see it.

This is nokia 5800XM playing youtube.
a simple tap on the 5800XM screen will focus the phone on the video (full screen video).



Regarding Bada,
I disagree with your point of view on the badaOS. I believe for non-smartphone, OS is unimportant, since user just want to be able to phone + SMS. Therefore if Samsung want to position bada as the S40 competitor, they might success.

But on the real smartphone, I don't think it would be easy for bada to be success. I think 3 already is a crowd. The choice between Symbian, Maemo, iphoneOS, RIM, android, WebOS, and bada is already too much. And for me, Bada seems like a bad decision. A great ambition, but making an OS is different from making a skin for OS.

I bet my money on nokia, since they will make Symbian and Maemo source compatible with QT. I also think that iphoneOS/RIM/android wouldn't be gone in 2010. But Bada as a real smartphone OS in 2010 is like a maiden voyage entering a big storm. It would be interesting if they can beat the veteran palm webOS. I love palm, own a couple of their device, and think that their loosing the war just because 3 is a crowd. Therefore this would be very interesting for me.


Stumbled accross this post thanks to a pointer from @janchipchase - really excellent analysis and then debate in the comments, as a non-telecoms person, I was impressed by the passion with which the various viewpoints are held. I think mobile computing aka smartphones are an economic game changer, think PC but times ten. The traditional key success factors for mobile handset makers in this context while remaining necessary to get right will no longer be sufficient going forward to guarantee success. Success will rely on functionality and more precisely user experience. And I suspect killer app will be finance. A bank/atm/brokerage account/risk management device in every pocket. Which is why I suggested that Nokia use its huge market share and global reach to start making the transition now, and not cling stubbornly to their present business model for the next 15 years without building the business model that will inevitably replace it. I don't know what that business model will be - I suggested it could be a 21st century bank - but whatever it is, it's almost certainly different from what they have today and requires them to figure out which part of the new 'industrial stack' they want to play in (and hopefully dominate.) (cf. )

cheap computers

Nokia's smartphone market share remained well above its global handset market share, itself the best in the world.

Tomi Ahonen

Hi Davide, JB, cygnus, Davide (2nd), cygnus (2nd and 3rd), Sean and cheap

Thank you all for comments and for so many of you returning and debating the issues amongst yourselves. I will answer each of you of course

Davide (both replies) - First on iPhone, yes we agree, its primary innovations were on the UI and it was - as I say time and again - the only truly transformational phone ever, the single most important phone of our industry, more important to the industry even than the 'first' handheld phone by Motorola all those years ago.

On Google Android, I think here is a lot of potential, probably more so than with the iPhone OS/X because Android is open source and Linux based. I would expect it to evolve far more rapidly than Apple can, partly due to many handset makers involved and most of all being open source. So if it initially is not impressive, do give it a bit of time. I am not a programmer, but I do think that the iPhone OS/X design 'has to' suffer from the fact that its roots are in the Mac (PC) world - as variation of the Mac OS/X similarly how Windows Mobile has roots in the PC based Windows, where Android was built from the ground up as a smartphone OS. But as I said, I am not a programmer and there is more to making an OS succeed than strictly being 'best' haha..

As to RIM, Nokia etc 'ignoring the changes' - I think that is not a fair comment. Apple is clearly the best at making devices usable, but seriously - its first phone was not 'even' a true smartphone and even now its OS does not allow multitasking for example - so it is rather 'inferior' even when compared to far older versions of Symbian. But where Apple conveniently ignored many established paradigms of the smartphone space, they were able to then optimize their UI to be truly great at what it does well. Meanwhile, RIM and Nokia have introduced touch screens already and in many ways attempt to 'copy' Apple. Obviously they don't do it as well, initially. If you remember Windows 1.0 it was a horrible OS compared to the first Macintosh OS, but after some years Windows got ever better, and eventually, while Macs were always better, the differences became such that only real geeks and nerds would even notice. That is what will inevitably happen in mobile as well. The first 'lead' that Apple has, will be enormous. But the rivals will try to close the gap, and by focusing on areas where the gap is greatest, soon the rivals will be 'similar' while not probably ever totally catching up to the iPhone (just like Windows never caught up totally to the Mac).

Onto your second comment, about Italy today - yes there is bad pricing with MMS in many markets but I believe you can get far cheaper MMS rates as well as a user. And remember MMS is a multimedia - media - messaging channel. It is not 'optimal' for user-to-user messaging, ie for you and me to send pictures - even though it is suited for that. MMS is optimal to deliver media content, news headlines, pictures, videos by TV news, soap operas, magazines etc. And advertising obviously. In most markets where MMS is big, the majority of its revenues is derived from media, not person-to-person messaging. Now, think of the total user base. The total PC population that can access the internet is now about 1.2 billion. But MMS is used by over 1.7 billion people. So if you are the New York Times or CNN or whatever media brand, you can reach a larger audience via MMS - and be paid for your content. That is the big opportunity in MMS and its a shame that a top end smartphone like the iPhone did not support MMS.

Then on watching video 'because screen is so small' - let me just say this - don't think Davide that the mobile media (ie 7th mass media channel) is intended for you and me. It is intended for our teenager aged children and grandchildren. They have no problem at all watching video games and movies on their Nintendo Gameboys and PlayStation Portables. MTV said that their biggest lesson in developing mobile video content was that their viewers - young viewers - were TOTALLY ok with viewing 30 minutes at a time on the small screen, so rather than offer 5 minute 'snacking' on the phone, they now offer full 30 minute episodes of MTV content like Jackass etc. Don't think the screen won't work because you Davide won't do it. Think of teenagers, they certainly will. That is the future of this medium.

JB - very true, the majority of SMS users do indeed use T9 today, by wide margin. For them an 'upgrade' to touch screen will be welcome. BUT - I would argue for most who are 'addicted' to SMS, they will far prefer a QWERTY to a touch screen virtual keyboard. I think the touch screen virtual keyboard will be popular with 'digital immigrants' ie us older fogies who once used a laptop or desktop, and who then want a familiar experience, but for true digital natives, who have always been using SMS, they will go directly to QWERTY keyboards. Blackberry massive youth appeal globally speaks to this in just about every market.

cygnus (all 3 replies) - thanks. Very good points and thanks, perfect examples of the reality in the Emerging World countries and how MMS, SMS and browsing on phones is happening there.

About Bada, you make a great analogy - maiden voyage sailing into storm - and I do tend to agree it won't be easy. But Samsung have already committed to it. Now, lets assume for a moment, that the 'future' of the 'pocket computer platform' ie smartphones - will be determined to a disproportionate degree by its operating system, as happened with the desktop and laptop computers. If that is true, and Samsung is the second biggest phone maker but tiny in smartphones, it makes sense for them to make a strong play now into both smartphones and OSs. Clearly Microsoft is faltering as is Palm. Clearly Apple and Google are so new at it that they have not yet optimized the opportunity. And clearly Nokia is 'vulnerable' as it shifts from Symbian to Maemo in the long run. If Samsung ever wanted into this space, now is the right time. It won't be easy but they have announced it, and will definitely play this market for at least the next 2-3 years. And like I argued, Samsung - and only Samsung - can convert their existing portfolio into smartphone market share, which could easily jump ahead of all others except Symbian and RIM. If the media start to report that Bada is bigger than Android, WinMo and the iPhone, that would be huge news for Samsung and help them in their quest. But I totally agree with you, it won't be easy for them. I would bet far more on Bada than on Palm or WinMo though, what do you think?

Sean - happy to find you here. You make great observations. About the phone as the bank, yes it is 'inevitable' in the very long run, but we are talking decades not years. To do your full paycheck, pay for your utilities and your rent and car payments and groceries etc on your phone has been 'normal' in many countries like the Philippines, South Africa, Kenya, South Korea and Japan for many years; but the economic opportunity in mobile money is very weak. We - common users - are not willing to pay premium fees to bankers to handle our money on mobile. So either it requires very extensive re-thinking of the whole eco-system with massive cooperation with banks, credit cards, operators, handeset makers, points-of-purchase etc - like in Japan and South Korea; or else it works in markets where banking is weak, like in Africa etc. So yes, it will come, but it is VERY slow progress haha... But am happy you also see that. Incidentially, that (mobile money) does not need for the phone to be a smartphone, it can all be done in SMS or other very basic abilities.

cheap - thanks.

Thank you all for writing

Tomi Ahonen :-)



I got your point about samsung, and I totally agree with you that samsung might have a better chance than palm/windows. Because, unlike palm/windows, their device already rule the world.

But I would like to point out, even nokia didn't convert most of their S40 phone to S60. And seeing Bada, I fell somehow that Samsung positioned bada as a Maemo/iPhone/Android counterpart. Therefore I would doubt that bada would fill the medium spectrum of their phone..... But.... nevertheless.... This year will be a very interesting year.

David McClelland

The iPod Touch reveals that the iPhone concept transcends the Smartphone space.

They are being purchased bulk for public schools in US.

Lump in iPad.

Would anyone buy any other smartphone without service? Has any other manufacturer proposed doing so?

Then I remembered Apple's true weakness: Hubris

Tomi Ahonen

Hi cygnus

Yes, very good point, it does depend a lot on where Samsung positions Bada. I would think that with Samsung's considerable investment in the whole world, not just attempting to fight for North America (again with Samsung taking more of a Nokia-like strategy than say Motorola, LG, Apple etc) - they would not try their own new-entrant smartphone platform focusing only on the top end (Maemo/iPhone etc).

Did you notice what Samsung came out saying, that they intend to triple their total smartphone sales this year - thats heading for 8% to 9% market share. If that is their published goal - and a very aggressive goal indeed - I think it comes back to the Bada strategy I outlined. Expect most of Samsung's new touch screen featurephones this year to be migrated to Bada... Mid range smartphones thus, not top end.

But yes, I have no insider knowledge of what they plan, I am just looking at 'obvious' strategic options for each of the players and their strengths and weaknesses. We have to see, it will be an exciting year

Tomi Ahonen :-)

refurbished computers

It is expanding its proportion of touch screen devices and more importantly, expanding its proportion of QWERTY phones against the Blackberry.

cheap computers

Many people believe that Apple has invented a whole lot of tech stuff, but that's not true, Apple integrates other's inventions, make them actually usable and turn them into unique, great products and bring them to the mass market.

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It sounds great that Nokia is back as the top preferred phone brand among UK youth in the Mobile Youth survey of phone brand preferences.

cheap computers

It sounds great that Nokia is back as the top preferred phone brand among the youth in the Mobile Youth survey of phone brand preferences.

Laptop Battery

I have to assume that they will release a new browser based on their Torch Mobile acquisition sometime this year. If they do so, expect them to skyrocket up in the metrics that the media.

دردشة عراقية

Thank U Man


Its a side-show in the big global fight for smartphones. And while some North American players are indeed quite strong - RIM is the world's second largest smartphone maker behin

pulse oximeter

nice post! keep them coming

white bowls

I just love reading this post..Amazingly done..

devlet hastaneleri

is that IT departments will not determine phone types and will take on a different role - to secure networks against a variety of risks in a variety of handsets. It could make the business market far more volatile.

banka rehberi

hat is not so in mobile telecoms. US cellphone users (about 285 million subscriptions) represent only 7% of the global subscriber base of 4.6 Billion. While Americans are now getting heavily into smartphones, Forrester just today

yer kaplamasi

some more encouraging tid eep rolling in. Botswana reported a similar surge in Blackberry appeal among the youth as we've seen from Indonesia to Venezuela. Talkin

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