By Ingrid Lunden - Thu 20 Sep 2007 02:31 PM PST
Apparently Sony (NYSE: SNE) Ericsson (NSDQ: ERIC) has placed an ODM order for Windows-based phones with Taiwanese handset maker HTC, according to a report in the Chinese-language Taiwan financial paper Commercial Times (via English-language The Unwired). If it's true, the news would be big on two levels: it would be Sony Ericsson's first major departure from the Symbian platform it has championed and invested in; and it would apparently be HTC's first deal with a tier-one manufacturer. The report, which did not cite its sources, said that SE would market the phones in the second half of 2008; and that the volume of phones shipped is expected to exceed one million units, accounting for between ten and twenty percent of HTC's total shipments projection for 2008.
By James Quintana Pearce - Wed 19 Sep 2007 12:00 AM PST
-- UK carrier O2 has signed up Player X as its aggregator for its mobile games portal. "Player X will work with more than 20 established mobile games publishers on deployment and porting to publication on O2's mobile games portal" reports NMA.
By James Quintana Pearce - Tue 11 Sep 2007 07:52 AM PST
Jerry Panagrossi, vice president of US operations for Symbian, has spoken to GigaOM about Apple's entrance into the mobile operating system market and the rumored plans of Google to follow suit. He seems fairly confident that Symbian will be able to fend off these newcomers and gain marketshare in the US—although that won't be difficult considering its low base. There's an interesting bar chart showing the penetration of smartphone OS's in various regions around the world, and Symbian dominates in all of them except North America, where it has just a sliver of the market. The Nokia N95 uses Symbian, of course, and it's also inside the new Motorola Z8 slider. From the bar chart Microsoft and RIM have the largest shares, followed by Access and then Apple. Taking the assumption that a greater percentage of smartphones will be sold to consumers rather than business people its reasonable to see where Symbian might take marketshare. Panagrossi said that Apple had "raised the bar in terms of usability", and other handset makers were close behind...meaning more popular Symbian handsets.
By Ingrid Lunden - Tue 11 Sep 2007 07:21 AM PST
Another attempt by a mobile operator to make the mobile Internet more useful—and more used: T-Mobile has relaunched its t-zones on-portal search service across its European footprint. Customers in the UK, Germany, Austria, Netherlands and Czech Republic (latter available only later this month) can now search based on different categories such as music downloads, games, pictures (wallpapers and logos) videos, news and other information—the results will all be items available within the t-zones walled garden. To keep users on-portal, the search service will also bring up results from the wider mobile web reformatted for the user's phone.
The new search service is being provided by Medio, the white-label search provider that already works with Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile in the U.S. T-Mobile also plans to provide a search-based advertising service with Medio by the end of this year. The Medio deal replaces a search service provided by MotionBridge. Pointedly, T-Mobile did not opt to use Google for its on-portal search and advertising provider. Google already has a deal in place with T-Mobile for its off-portal mobile Internet service web'n'walk. release
By James Quintana Pearce - Mon 10 Sep 2007 09:05 AM PST
Greystripe has signed a deal with Hands On to put some of the publisher's games on its ad-supported portal, GameJump. It's perhaps a sign that large mobile game publishers see the ad-supported model as a viable distribution channel—Greystripe did 14 million downloads in its first 12 months. Hands On (which is a reasonably significant player, having a few percent market share of the games market in the US, putting in equal fifth place according to Telephia) has signed up some of its big brands to the service, including Lego Bricks, Call of Duty 2 and Top Gun: Air Combat. Of course, these could be games that no longer get prominent place on operators' portals so Hands On thinks it hasn't a lot to lose—the deal with Greystripe is global. The deal could also be a reflection of the turmoil Hands On is going through, and be more due to desperation than a considered business plan. Whichever it is, the other publishers will probably keep a close eye on this to make sure they don't miss any boats...
Posted in: Entertainment
Glu Mobile has extended its deal with Sega, picking up Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Sonic Golf 2D and Sega Rally as licenses.
-- Ad-funded games company Cellufun has launched some new games under its Mob Hill Casino brand, including Video Poker, Black Jack and slots. The games will have a shared "bank" (which keeps Cellupoints, which are what people win) which can be made in one game and played in another, reports Mobile Entertainment.
-- HP is moving into the mobile space, a notable development because of the companies size and deep pockets. The two phones are 3G and aimed at business users. "The new phones are a key part of HP's efforts to expand its iPAQ brand of handheld products beyond PDA devices, which still sell briskly, though their popularity is fading in favor of more phone-like gadgets" notes AP
By James Quintana Pearce - Thu 06 Sep 2007 03:43 AM PST
A report (PDF) from Electronic Entertainment Design And Research has reached an obvious conclusion--video games of higher quality generate more revenue than those of lower quality, and games with online interactivity features generate more revenue than games without. The report is based on console games, which I'll stress are different to mobile games, but the figures are significant enough that you'd have to think it would translate to the mobile world. Games who scored tops with the critics (a Metacritic score of 90 or more) grossed sales around 5.3 times the average, although only about 2 percent of games fell into this category. In terms of online connectivity, the report found that games which allow users to play each other online earn close to twice that of games which do not, and that "games that use some degree of multiplayer capability [but not necessarily head-to-head play] also tend to make nearly 25 percent more revenue than those without" notes Reuters. The perennial issue of the quality of mobile games aside, any publisher that doesn't do their best to put multiplayer and/or community features in their games are shooting themselves in the foot.
Edition du 29.08.07
By James Quintana Pearce - Tue 28 Aug 2007 01:56 AM PST
A summer-long mobile gaming tournament is coming to a close, with the championship finals of the Midnight Gaming Championship being held in Dallas Texas on October 6. The game is the lastest in I-play’s Fast and the Furious franchise, Fugitive. There have been 50 events across 20 US cities as The Video Gamers League and Affinity Sports and Entertainment Marketing try to raise awareness of mobile games. I’m sure it won’t be as big as other game tournaments, but a good way to attract attention is to decide the "best" at something...