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In the last days, there is a lot of whispering: Here a Chinese iPod skin manufacturer publishes a small iPhone skin on his website, an analyst wishes for an iPhone for the mass marked … and bang, everybody is expecting an iPhone nano to be announced. Then the news is spreaded, that Steve Wozniak – second founder of Apple – will join the presentation of the newest modbook at the Axiotron booth at MacWorldExpo … it’s a MacBook transformed into a tablet Mac. That increases the desire and spins the rumor mill even faster for an iPod tablet or MacBook touch. However, the market positioning of such a multitouch-gadget will be tricky:

  • If Apple stays with the walled garden iPhone version of Mac OS X they would have the existing and vital iPhone developer community committed to multitouch and gesture control … and by the way an exclusive distribution channel for applications with the AppStore. The main focus probably would be gaming and entertainment. But the gadget will loose the “pants pocket factor”.
  • If Apple uses a full Mac OS X version they could use the experiences of Axiotron and have to count on the Mac OS X developers, that they implement the benefits and potentials of multitouch and gesture control within their (existing) applications. The gadget would be more like a “MacBook Air Touch” than an iPod tablet and would more likely suite and target the business customers. En passent this would explain why there is so little spectacular information about the new Mac OS X Snow Leopard features leaked out.

What ever Phil Schiller will present on his Keynote at the Moscow-Center at MacWorldExpo in San Francisco on January 6th … and what is hidden behind the concealed exhibition banners … I’m thrilled and I’m really looking forward to it ;-)

Happy New Year 2009!

Happy New Year to everybody out there!

The field trial of the new mobile application from Deutsche Post, called Handyporto ended in September 2008. Basically it‘s clever and simple:

If you don‘t have a stamp at your fingertips you can send a Premium-SMS. As feedback you receive an SMS with a 11-number code. That code has to be written on the letter or poscard instead of the stamp … the rest is handled by the letter distribution centers of Deutsche Post.

But there‘s a catch: the stamp for a letter costs normally 55 euro-cents in Germany – the Premium-SMS for a letter costs at least 95 euro-cents. That‘s a hefty premium of 73% or more. Regarding postcards it‘s even more: 85 instead of 45 euro-cents is 89% premium or more. The user will be additionally charged for the costs of the SMS at his or her mobile provider.

It‘s clear for industry insiders, why Handyporto may be that expensive: The Deutsche Post is treated like every other mobile service provider and only get‘s a part of the revenue share of the 95 or 85 euro-cents: Basically, the Deutsche Post has to share their Handyporto-charges with the premium-SMS-serviceprovider – in this case the shortcode-SMS-number 22122 belongs to WHATEVER MOBILE in Hamburg, Germany. Additional the Deutsche Post also has to pay some cents for the code-SMS which is send back to the user. At last – there are a lot of expenses at the Deutsche Post itself for providing the infrastructure to recognize, process and validate the Handyporto-codes.
Therefor the higher price for Handyporto is comprehensible from a business point of view. But it‘s questionable whether the user benefit is big enogh to help Handyporto to be accepted and successful.

BTW just a brief remark to the marketing specialists: Don‘t do promotional Handyporto-FlashMobs again … that‘s contrary to nearly everything a FlashMob stands for.

Jason Chen, android-Developer-Advocate at Google, just blogged the good news: One day before the first T-Mobile-G1 android-smartphones ship in the US, the Open Handset Alliance released the sourcecode of the android operating system as open source. Quite logical and necessary step … but don’t under estimate this: This step may change the mobile industry like LINUX changed the computer industry.

Joshua from Engadget.com just published a first review of the Google-Phone T-Mobile G1 just before the official roll-out of the Android-cellphone in the US. He tested the hard- and software – so this is a must for all those of you, who want to know more about the new phone! Thanks Josuha!

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