Skip to main content


Showing posts from June, 2011

Nokia solar-powered phones, and the search for the next big thing

Lots of people are looking at Nokia these days and wondering if they'll be able to pull a rabbit out of a hat that will keep them at the top of the industry.  Some are looking at their overall market position and improving app ecosystem.  Some are looing at their mobile ad revenue.  Some at their success with low-end phones in emerging markets.  Some are looking at how good Windows Phone is becoming.

I think that all of the above matter a lot.  But at the same time, they're all evolutionary, and none of them are particularly revolutionary. They're all a continuation of today's big thing, and none of them are tomorrow's big thing.

That's why I'm very intrigued to see Nokia's new experiment in solar powered cellphones.  They're taking running solar-powered cellphones and putting them into use in four different places, to measure how they work in practice. This means that the phones exist, and that the technology is close enough to final that experimen…

Innovative off-line/on-line food shopping on cellphones

Every now and then you see an idea and say "wow, I wish I'd thought of that!"  This new approach to cellphone food shopping, by Korea's HomePlus, is just that kind of idea, that I think we'll see more of soon.

HomePlus moved food shopping into subway stations, by installing billboards showing food items with QR codes that can be scanned by smartphones.  Users would look for food they want to buy, scan the QR codes, and have the food delivered to their house right after they get home.

Check it out:  (on a mobile device if you can't see the video, click here)

Would you buy from store pictures in a subway station? Would this fit your lifestyle? Most importantly, can this idea fit your business?  Could it be used for pick-up at the next subway station instead of delivery?

Shortcomings in iOS5 location-based reminders and existing mobile apps

In June, 2011, Apple announced that Location-Based Reminders would be a new feature of iOS5 on iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch devices.Grizzly Analytics sees the Apple announcements as a tipping point that is likely to propel location-based reminders into the mass-market.

But Location-Based Reminders as announced by Apple, and as implemented by mobile apps currently on the market, have shortcomings that limit their usefulness. They can remind users when they pass their neighborhood supermarket, but not when they pass any supermarket. They can remind users when they’re near the store they need, but not when they’re driving along a route that will take them near the store soon. They remind users regardless of the hours that a store is open and regardless of whether the items the user needs are in stock. And they don’t take traffic conditions into account in generating reminders.
All these shortcomings are the subject of active research by major mobile companies, including Microsoft, Apple, N…

Apple iPhone patent and how we understand it

Everyone's talking about the patent just granted to Apple for the iPhone.  The patent seems very broad, and many are talking about how broad the patent is and how it will effect others in the industry. The patent and analysis of the patent are definitely worth a read by anyone in the industry.

Regarding some of the conclusions that people are reaching, however, we want to point out that the iPhone ecosystem was very different when this patent was written.  The patent was filed at the end of 2007.  At the beginning of that year, Apple was not allowing any third party applications on the iPhone, because they were concerned about how they would impact device performance.  In the middle of that year Apple said that third-party applications for the iPhone would be browser-based.  This is the context in which the new patent was written.

So be careful analyzing this patent and drawing conclusions from it about what Apple has in mind. We analyze patents all the time, but they need to be t…

Best Buy launches cloud music service

Boy Genius Report just posted that Best Buy was launching their own cloud music service. This service will be competing with Amazon's and Apple's, as well as Google Music.

Best Buy didn't develop their own technology for this service - they're partnering with Catch Media, an Israel-based start-up company.  One interesting note is that Catch Media was strongly rumored to be an acquisition target of Google in Feb 2010.  At the time the deal never materialized.

Why is this interesting? Plainly put, there's life after Google. All the rumored Google acquisitions that don't materialize may well be on the way to their own success.  Of course, we don't know yet whether Best Buy's service will succeed, but it may give Catch Media the opportunity for success on its own.

Details to follow, and results to follow after that.....

Grizzly Analytics reports through a reseller near you

Do you have a relationship with a local research report reseller? You can still get Grizzly Analytics latest reports!  Here's a list of our reports availability at major resellers. If you want us to work with another reseller, e-mail us and we'll arrange to work through your reseller.

REPORT: Location-Based Reminders:
LnH (Korea): Click Click hereResearchAndMarkets: Click here (NEW!) Click here (NEW!)REPORT: Mobile Location-Based Services 2012-2015:
LnH: Click hereResearchAndMarkets: Click hereReportLinker: Click Click hereREPORT: Nokia Research in NanoTechnology for Mobile:
ResearchAndMarkets: Click hereLnH: Click Click hereReportLinker: Click hereAs always, feel free to contact us directly for more information, or to buy our reports directly.

Location-Based Reminders: iOS5 and Beyond

Location-Based Reminders: Initial Implementations and Future Advances June 20, 2011
In June, 2011, Apple announced that Location-Based Reminders would be a new feature of iOS5 on iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch devices.Location-based reminders have been implemented previously by mobile apps, but until now were never released by a major industry company.Grizzly Analytics sees the Apple announcements as a tipping point that is likely to propel location-based reminders into the mass-market.
Location-based reminders have the power to revolutionize how users manage and remember tasks.Advances in location-based reminders, currently in research, can transform how users manage their schedules and how they find stores & businesses that they need.
In its latest market and technology trend report, Location-Based Reminders: Initial Implementations and Future Advances, Grizzly Analytics reviews research underway at major mobile industry companies (Microsoft, Apple, Nokia, Palm and many others), survey…

Google buys SageTV

While most people were busy celebrating Father's Day, Google was busy acquiring a company that fathers will enjoy - SageTV.  SageTV produces software for digital video recording and set-top boxes.

Most people (e.g., here and here) are assuming that Google will use SageTV to beef up Google TV, which is not doing as well as Google had expected.  A few people are thinking that Google might move SageTV technology into Android.

Grizzly Analytics thinks both:  It's a no-brainer that Google will use SageTV to strengthen GoogleTV.  But at the same time we predict that Google will start releasing GoogleTV content and systems into Android.  Good access to TV-style content would be a big hit, especially on Android-based tablets.

Apple's stylus technology that fits a blogger's vision of iPad pen input

The blogger CultOfMac just wrote this article outlining his philosophy and vision of stylus input for iPads.  The article makes an excellent argument that (a) people should stop associating pen input with Microsoft's pen-based tablet PC system, (b) pen input would be very useful on an iPad, and (c) there are emerging iPad styluses that augment, rather than replace, standard touch input.

We at Grizzly Analytics are amazed at how this clear vision matches a new stylus technology that Apple is developing, that we reported in February 2011.

Of course, people don't believe that Apple is working on stylus technology, since Steve Jobs diss'ed stylus input in his famous iPhone speech in 2007.  But he wasn't against wasn't using a stylus when it was helpful, he was against being forced to use a stylus.  The stylus technology at that time also required using resistive touchscreens, which have problems with accidental touches and give reduced screen quality compared to the ca…

RIM - Strong contender in next-generation location technologies?

Following on to our previous post about RIM, one of the surprises we found when researching next-generation mobile location technologies was RIM's research in the area.

After all, RIM is known for secure communication and enterprise messaging and device security. If most people would guess what they're working on for the future, few would think of location technologies.

What we found is that RIM is doing interesting research in areas like indoor positioning, building databases of Wi-Fi networks, and analyzing traffic patterns and sending warnings of upcoming traffic jams.  The traffic jam research appears fairly recent, but the indoor positioning research has been going on for a while and appears fairly advanced.

For all the details, see Grizzly Analytics report on Mobile Location-Based Services 2012-2015. If you can wait until they bring it to market....

Apple's new iMessage - a threat to who?

Apple just announced, among other things, a new secure messaging system between iOS devices called iMessage.  It certainly looks interesting - it includes multimedia content, multiple recipient chat, and the ability to start a conversation on one iOS device and continue it on another.

A few friends asked "how much will this eat into SMS revenue for carriers."  My answer: Virtually zero.

Very few people message only with iPhone users. Most people message with lots of friends and colleagues, who use a variety of devices.  iMessage will definitely have its uses, but it won't take away a significant amount of SMS revenue.  Even when iPhone users want to message a friend with an iPhone, they'll likely want to use the same system they use for all their messaging, regular SMS, and not have to remember which friends have iPhones.

The bigger question, however, is the effect that this will have on RIM's BlackBerry Messenger (BBM).  If iMessage is provable secure, will ente…