(Non-niche) print magazine sales are falling swiftly – when the iPad dropped, many publishers hoped that their business model would be saved by the savior from Cupertino.

WWD.com now claims the following:

After Wired’s enormous debut month, the magazine averaged 31,000 digital sales between July and September, but even that fell in October and November, with sales coming in at 22,000 and 23,000, respectively. (For comparison, the magazine sold 130,000 total print editions for October and November.)

Not much to add here. If you do not provide valuable content for your readers, you will die…

Mobile advertising is one of the fastest-growing monetization venues for third-party developers – the late Berthold Thomae’s warning (the numbers can’t add up) apparently was not heard.

App data was passed to advertisers secretly in order to optimize yield. ThinkDigit now reports the following:

In the case of Lalo versus Apple Inc. et al, Apple and few major iOS developers are being sued by Jonathan Lalo for selling his personal data from his iPad and iPhone to advertisers, data which included his age, sex, and location information.

Even though moving your company to a safe offshore country will likely keep you safe as an ISV, don’t complain that you haven’t been warned…

Last month, the folks from Distimo’s have provided us with interesting data on application stores. It looks like they hold up to their promise of monthly updates – the next report has just hit our inbox.

First of all, we get a look at the average pricing of applications across the various stores. One can clearly see that Microsoft’s plans to keep Windows Phone 7 a “premium brand” have failed when it comes to app pricing:
avgprice Distimo on App Stores   November 2010

Next up is the usual list of “best sellers”. The top apps for the iPhone look as following:
blackberry iphone Distimo on App Stores   November 2010 iphone paid Distimo on App Stores   November 2010

On the iPad, the table looks different:
ipad free Distimo on App Stores   November 2010 ipad paid Distimo on App Stores   November 2010

Windows Phone 7 has the following toplist:
wp7 free Distimo on App Stores   November 2010 wp7 paid Distimo on App Stores   November 2010

Which can be compared to the more app-heavy toplist for Windows Mobile:
wm free Distimo on App Stores   November 2010 wm paid Distimo on App Stores   November 2010

Next up is the Ovi Store:
ovi free Distimo on App Stores   November 2010 ovi paid Distimo on App Stores   November 2010

And Palm’s webOS store:
palm free Distimo on App Stores   November 2010 palm paid Distimo on App Stores   November 2010

Finally, a look at the BlackBerry:
blackberry free Distimo on App Stores   November 2010 blackberry paid Distimo on App Stores   November 2010

Hit the URL above for further info…

When it comes to financing applications in the past-Apple world, various “schools of thought” exist. So far, no quantitative analysis has been performed about which method of revenue generation gets used how much…

The Mobile Lab of the Italian polytechnical school of Milan has now performed a detailed research – and ended up with the following figure:
mobile social network financing How mobile social networks finance themselves

Their report contains loads of extra info, and can be obtained here:
http://www.mobilelaboratorium.com/2010/09/mobile-social-networks-new-research.html

In the “good old times” of mobile, the ESD Handango provided analysts with a “Yardstick” report in somewhat frequent intervals. As the importance of said ESD has diminished significantly, they stopped reporting – instead, various app analytics houses fill the void.

One of them (called Distimo) has now sent us its monthly report, which happened to contain lists of top-selling products for various stores. First up is Palm’s:
palm paid Distimo   top sellers in November 2010

For comparison, here the top free apps in the Palm webOS store:
palm free Distimo   top sellers in November 2010

Next up is the Nokia Ovi. Paid apps look as following:
ovi free Distimo   top sellers in November 2010

Free apps always were strong on Ovi:
ovi free Distimo   top sellers in November 2010

After that, it’s time for a look at Microsoft Marketplace for Mobile’s paid bestsellers:
wm paid Distimo   top sellers in November 2010

And the most downloads:
wm free Distimo   top sellers in November 2010

Finally, a look at paid apps for the BlackBerry:
bb paid Distimo   top sellers in November 2010

And their free counterparts:
bb free Distimo   top sellers in November 2010

Further information can be found via the URL below:
http://www.distimo.com/report/download-latest

Even though market analysis firms should be taken with a large grain of salt whereever possible, interesting bits of info can often be derived from their data.

Mobile Apps Briefing reports the following:

mobile users have the ability to download apps, only 39 percent of that number regularly do so. The survey, commissioned by telecoms infrastructure company OpenCloud, found that 38 percent of smartphone owners download free apps, while 50 percent had downloaded no apps at all in the last month.

According to the research, the “average” smartphone user has downloaded “only 14” apps, while one-fifth have downloaded none-at-all. In addition, a concerning 43 percent of smartphone users are not planning to download any more apps.

Even though no further data was given on why users are fed up with apps, I personally tend to agree with a statement made by a Great Ape Ltd. manager at an event many years ago.

He claimed that users become unhappy about low-quality apps, and then stop downloading new content altogether. Falling application prices lead to less developer time, well, you get the idea…

We reported that RIM may have taken over DataViz a few days ago – back then, the story was not confirmed.

All Things Digital now reports the following:

“RIM has acquired some of the assets of DataViz and hired the majority of its employees to focus on supporting the BlackBerry platform,” the company said in a statement given to Digital Daily. “Terms of the deal were not disclosed but the transaction was not material to RIM in the context of RIM’s financial results.”

Not much to add here…

This explains why RIM wasn’t interested in creating Documents To Go for webOS – the boys were on the verge of being absorbed by RIM.

Mobile Apps Briefing reports the following:

Research In Motion (RIM) is rumoured to have acquired DataViz for US$50 million, developers of a document viewing application that has been preloaded on BlackBerrys for the last few years. A report from IntoMobile notes that the price is small enough to not require public disclosure.

Even though Dataviz itself has not stated anything re the matter, the decision makes good sense. Keep in mind that Microsoft has its own Office Suite, whereas Symbian is firmly dominated by QuickOffice. Furthermore, MobiSystems is making good progress in Android – leaving DataViz with iPhone and BlackBerry.

Stay tuned for an official confirmation if we ever get one…

So far, jailbreaking a PlayStation 3 required external USB hardware which had to be purchased and imported.

As one can see in the video below, you can now abuse your Palm Pre for the process:

Find out more via the URL below:
http://psx-scene.com/forums/showpost.php?p=505135&postcount=1

When it comes to app stores, every big platform now has one. However, individual developers tend to have a hard time “comparing”, as the usually tend to focus on one or two stores and thus end up with “slanted” numbers.

Market research house ABI Research now provides the following chart:
abi stats Which platforms will move content in the future?

Unfortunately, the company also predicts falling revenues to to the increasing availability of free or ad-funded substitutes for must-have apps.

Do you folks agree?

Everyone who has had a Palm OS device should know Kinoma – the boys offered a pretty flexible media player for the Palm OS which supported some formats nobody else had.

Unfortunately, the time of Kinoma for Palm OS seems to have come to an end. A post on the official Kinoma web site reads as following:

Since the launch of the original Kinoma Player in 2002, Kinoma has led the way in mobile media technology. The platform first established in Kinoma Player lives on not only in Kinoma’s flagship product — Kinoma Play — but also in products from companies including Sony and Sling Media.

As Palm OS fades into the sunset, we’ve had a lot of folks ask what our plans are. Today we’re announcing that we’ll be ending sales and support for Palm OS products in order to focus completely on current phone OSs.

If you’re a Palm OS user, here’s what you need to know: Kinoma will be ending sales of Kinoma Player 4 EX on 8/1/2010. We’ll continue to offer support, including any necessary security and critical fixes, until 10/1/2010. Effective 10/1/2010, Kinoma will offer only community-based support Kinoma Player 4 EX via our forum at forum.kinoma.com.

We’re also ending sales and support for Kinoma Producer for Windows and Mac OS on the same schedule.

We’d like to thank everyone who’s supported these products, and helped pioneer the now-common sight of people enjoying music, movies, podcasts and audiobooks on phones. You were ahead of your time, and when you upgrade your phone we hope you’ll choose Kinoma Play.

Given that the PDA32 is just ramping up, I can envision quite a few extra sales in the next few weeks. Nevertheless, it is sad to see another Palm OS developer go…

Tomi Ahonen is a famous analyst – who, unfortunately, is firmly entrenched in the “mobile web” side of things. It thus is not too surprising to see him bash the iPhone’s App Store. As many of his points also apply to other stores, I have decided to take some parts of his article and comment on it below (he permitted it on the blog btw).

His first point looks at financials, and is pretty reasonable:

… the relevant number is that half of all paid iPhone apps get less than 1,000 downloads. The median point is under 1,000. Lets call it 999. That number times $1.95 per paid app gives the ‘most typical app’ the total revenues in its lifetime – the full two years of App Store existence – of $1,948 dollars. This is before Apple takes its cut of 30%, so we are left with $1,363 over two years or $682 per year. This is so ‘successful’ that half of all of the developers of the 164,250 apps – will actually earn LESS THAN THIS.

Next up is download numbers. He ignores one thing here: things like the 100 million sold Tetris copies required hundreds and hundreds of contracts with carriers – while the iPhone head has to worry about but one distribution point:

So, most paid iPhone apps are games and some games can have ‘huge’ success, eh? Like the afore mentioned Angry Bird, the best-selling iPhone paid game app of all time with 4 million downloads at 99 cents ie earning 4 million (before Apple’s cut) and the previous champion, Bewelled 2, which had 3 million paid game downloads. You think that justifies your mission? That these numbers are ‘impressive’ for a mobile phone game? Sure. But I have some friends over there at Artificial Life here in Hong Kong, whose main business is in mobile, but not in making games for phones (they do TV-interactivity as their main business). They had a clever little game a few years ago, you might have heard of it, won many awards, called ‘V-Girl’ the virtual girl friend on the phone, in the form of an avatar. Like an adult age ‘tamagotchi’. These guys are not EA or any major game developer and this was not their main focus. They celebrated their 4 million paid download milestone – back in 2008. 4 million is nothing in the real world of mobile paid data services and apps. Nothing.

Take Tetris. Tetris sold 35 million game cartridges to the Nintendo Gameboy platform. Pretty decent numbers for a gaming platform. Guess how many paid downloads to mobile? Over 100 million. One Hundred Million. Paid game downloads (on Java obviously, not smartphones). And this is nothing in mobile. Nothing! Our numbers are huge. I want huge numbers. That – 100 million in Tetris – is nothing.

He finally goes on to state that creating iPhone-only apps for advertising is dumb. While this part makes sense at first glance, you should also keep in mind that the average iPhone buyer (aka not the one reading TamsIJungle) usually is one who is interested in luxury and “bling”:

But you get my picture. Take Hilton Hotels (the idiots). They developed an iPhone app to help busy travellers book their room service meal. An iPhone app to book a meal? And now limited to 3% of prospective clients? Why was this not done via a mobile Web (HTML) or WAP site? Is it somehow impossible to book room service meal on an interactive mobile website? Darn! Or take Walgreen the US drug store (the idiots). Their ‘mobile strategy’ was an iPhone app pleasing 3% of their customers and ignoring 97% while rival Rite Aid drug store did the SMS based loyalty card, prescription renewals etc and reached the pockets of 100% of Americans. Which is the smart move, which is the moronic move? And thats before we factor in the cost. The iPhone App still costs typically $35,000 to develop. You know what a mobile web site development costs on WAP or Web? Try one tenth of that cost – $3,000 according to that same source I used earlier, Internet Retailer, on May 1, 2010.

The full, somewhat long, but nevertheless very interesting article is below:
http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2010/06/full-analysis-of-iphone-economics-its-bad-news-and-then-it-gets-worse.html

Microsoft’s Windows XP can well be considered the longest-serving operating system in the mobile market – no other system has been used and actively sold so long after its initial introduction.

Even though it was originally planned to be eliminated much earlier, the emergence of ultra-low-power netbooks caused Microsoft to prolong its lifetime to keep Linux deployments at bay. However, this “amnesty” now also ends:

Just a reminder that – as announced in April 2008 – as of October 22, 2010, OEMs will no longer be able to pre-install Windows XP Home on new netbook PCs. However for a majority of our customers, they may not notice much change; many PC makers have already been actively manufacturing and selling a broad set of Windows 7 netbooks since Windows 7 released in October, 2009. In fact, according to NPD’s Retail Tracking Service, by April 2010, 81% of netbook units sold at retail in the US came with Windows 7 pre-installed.

I would also like to remind people who are still running Windows XP that as of July 13th, 2010, Windows XP SP2 will also reach the end of support. You will need to install the latest service pack available (Windows XP Service Pack 3) via the Microsoft Update website or look at moving to Windows 7 to be running a supported version of Windows. Support for Windows XP Service Pack 3 will continue through April 2014.

Given that Qt Creator now starts to support more and more mobile platforms via Linux, I predict that this decision could result in more Linux deployments in the mobile space (as Windows Mobile 6.5 dies, there is no real need for Windows unless you do BlackBerry) – let’s see…

Don’t ask me what the mobile FireFox team is doing – but it most certainly isn’t helping their market share in mobile. Vendors like Opera have made a killing off Windows Mobile and Symbian…and the folks at Mozilla’s have just released their first final FireFox mobile version.

Believe it or not – it is targeted at Maemo:

Firefox is currently supported on Nokia’s Maemo5 platform and is available for download on the Nokia N900. Users can download and learn more by visiting Firefox.com/mobile. Visit the FAQ for more information.

Even though I don’t want top be accused of mindless ranting, one question comes to mind: WTF. Why does the Mozilla Foundation release its first-ever browser on a platform which essentially has 5 users world-wide? And why not on a platform like WM?

Ideas, anyone?

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