Gosh, I'll be competing with Gruber on headline sizes next. Well, Ericsson is shutting down the division which created the technology, in line with its refocusing on infrastructure (handset gimmicks are now the responsibility of SonyEricsson, and miscellaneous tech was folded into their mobile platforms team). Of course, there will be patents and licensing to keep raking in money.
I'm betting some idiot will take this news and run with it to herald (yet again) Bluetooth's death and push their pet alternative. Gotta be happening any second now.
The Master Plan
Prompted by stevenf and a lot of soul searching after dissecting a couple of business models, I've been reflecting upon the way people really use mobile data services.
I decided to look across the pond at the competition, and their Unimited Internet data plans. $29.99 a month, plus $0.2/m calling and 300 free SMS (each valued at $0.05). Nothing at all like their European tariffs, of course, which makes me wonder how much longer will European consumers put up with this madness.
Let's keep the facts simple: fixed data is so much cheaper (even if the US has it cheaper, mobile data in Europe is still exorbitantly priced), that mobile data can only be pinned this high for fear of missing shareholder targets. 3G licensing costs might be to blame in some countries, but it just doesn't add up (not even throwing in new infrastructure rollouts).
Looking back at 10 years of ISP business practices, you just know it won't last long.
Before ranting on about other stuff, I must say I feel tempted to run some numbers and figure out just how much of a "mobile boom" we're experiencing, and what percentage are data services raking in. After all, most of that information is in operators' annual reports - it's just a matter of putting together public information and using a calculator.
The Photo Game
So everyone is raving about Flickr and Organizr (which looks neat enough for me to consider implementing a DHTML timeline in my photo album), but who else has noticed Google now owns Picasa and lists it in its options page?
And while we wait for Google to do their thing with it, we can always play around with Flickr tags. Too bad the Düsseldorf and Newbury feeds look like duds so far. (Hint: searching for your mobile operator name can have intriguing results).
A Dim Flash
A bit more research into T-Mobile's efforts dug up not only its IM service but also its News Express Flash application for mobile news (something I lost track of a couple of months back) and the news that Macromedia is acquiring complementary technology. I honestly don't think Animoi's Java doodads will be much help, but I'm not holding out my breath for SVG either - adding more WAP content gimmicks to phones has a usability limit. Or an IQ limit. You be the judge.