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Facebook-Skype Facebook could earn $800m from a Skype copy says Strand

If Facebook/WhatsApp get into VoIP it’s bad news for MNOs

Without even mentioning the recent WhatsApp announcement, John Strand of Denmark’s Strand Consult argues that if it should decide to introduce cheap voice calls (via VoIP), Facebook could potentially blow Microsoft’s Skype right out of the water. As he says, “f you can talk to friends in Facebook, why would you need to use Skype?” Look at the facts. Facebook is already the world’s largest communications provider with over 1 billion users. It’s a platform where people communicate by voice, text and data. At $175 billion it has a larger market cap that any mobile network operator [MNO], save for China Mobile or Vodafone. And logically, Skype could be one of the first victims of Facebook’s entry to the VoIP market. Continue reading

LINE_mark WhatApp’s rival claims benefits from Facebook linkup

LINE added 2m extra users last weekend

Two events appear to have conspired together to boost interest in the LINE IM [Instant Messaging] system which originally sprung up in Japan. The LINE service added two million extra users during the weekend [February 21-22 2014] during WhatApp’s outage. With Facebook very definitely losing its popularity – especially amongst younger users, WhatsApp might definitely feel the fallout from its linkup with the social networking giant. Continue reading

chen- 2 new handsets @ MWC BlackBerry shares surge again on news of super encrypted messaging platform

Up by nearly a fifth in just a week

BlackBerry’s, CEO John Chen, has given the firm’s investors further cheer after revealing its messaging system would be made more bullet-proof for corporate customers. The news, coming in the wake of Facebook’s $19 billion (£11.4 billion) planned purchase of WhatsApp – which alone made analysts reappraise the value of BlackBerry’s messaging system, sent shares in the Toronto phone maker up another 8 per cent at close last night [25th February 2014]. This resulted in an overall 18 per cent leap in the manufacturer’s stock in less than a week. It ended the day at $10.60 on Nasdaq. Continue reading

whatsapp may get into voice - koum MWC: WhatsApp in new voice threat to mobile operators’ revenues

Plans to add near-free, voice capability to platform soon

Mobile operators could lose hundreds of billions of dollars in revenues over the next five years, say analysts, following revelations by WhatsApp that it will soon be adding voice capability to its service. WhatsApp, bought last week by social networking site Facebook for £19 billion, has already made serious inroads into the text messaging revenues of mobile operators with its own instant messaging facility. Now WhatsApp co founder and CEO Jan Koum says that by the second quarter of this year [2014] users will be offered an almost free voice call service, using the networks of the companies whose revenues are being directly hit, though he added his company would work with the mobile industry on encouraging people to move to data plans. Continue reading

BBM-new_logo MWC: BlackBerry leaps into bed with Nokia over BBM

Not only does it run on Nokia X but Windows Phone 8 (WP8)

Showing just how the newly-confident BlackBerry views its software services (rather than its proprietary hardware) as key to its survival, the Canadian smartphone pioneer has jumped straight into bed with Nokia. And therefore, Microsoft. So it is hardly surprising to discover that besides announcing that whilst BBM is already installed on the latest Nokia X (Android Project) handset, it will soon run on Windows Phone 8 (WP8) handsets, too. And not just a subset of BBM, it seems. Continue reading

matt_cross MWC: The most talked about brands in MWC 2014 run-up

Are punters expecting some big Nokia announcement @ MWC?

It seems that Hotwire and 33 Digital have been running a little analysis of the #MWC14 hashtag in the run up to MWC Barcelona 2014. They’ve worked out the Top Five brands being talked about and in @ No.1 is none other than Nokia with 7,584 mentions. Which is very interesting. We’re far less surprised that Samsung is second 5,869 mentions. In at third with 5,036 mentions is LG (which we wouldn’t have anticpiated whilst at four is Blackberry with 1,072 mentions. Facebook is fifth with 905 mentions. Continue reading

apple will have its work cut out - zoller Industry reactions to the Facebook/WhatsApp deal

GoMo decides to publish the whole lot

The acquisition of WhatsApp by Facebook has had such an impact on the mobile & cellular industry, everybody wamted to comment. It seemed unfair to just pick a few people so below is the full content of comments from Eden Zoller, principal analyst, consumer telecoms with Ovum, Stephen Sale, from Analysys Mason, Vanessa Barnett, technology & media partner with law firm Charles Russell, StJohn Deakins, founder with citizenme, Pamela Clark-Dickson, senior analyst for messaging with Informa Telecoms & Media, and Victor Basta, managing director of Magister Advisors, Thorsten Trapp CTO with Tyntec. Continue reading

john chen Market thinks again about BlackBerry’s worth after Facebook swoop on WhatsApp

Maybe BBM is worth a lot more than previously reckoned

Shares in struggling Canadian smartphone maker BlackBerry surged last night [19th February 2014] in the wake of Facebook’s $19 billion takeover of mobile-messaging startup WhatsApp, and which in turn made analysts rethink BlackBerry’s own worth. Though Blackberry was an early pioneer of mobile messaging, its stubborn refusal to open up BBM to users of other platforms – aligned with competition from the likes of Apple and Samsung on the hardware front – meant it fell into the doldrums. Its stock price has similarly suffered, slumping from a high of around 83 pence in 2009 to less than a tenth of that in recent months. Its failure to woo any takeover suitors has also kept in investors at bay. Continue reading

any excuse ... gaye advert Candy Crush’s King is more than 1 hit wonder

IPO is apparently on hold, though

It’s been downloaded directly onto mobile phones over 500 million times (as of December 2014). Yes, we are talking about the game Candy Crush Saga which has been created by a British firm – King. Now back in September [2013], it secretly filed its pre-IPO documents but the Daily Telegraph here has reported that the company has backed off form a potential NASDAQ IPO. The blame for this is laid at the doors of Zynga which IPO’d in 2011 but has gone pear shaped since. GoMo News isn’t quite sure we’re comparing like with like. Continue reading

- Tams Casual Connect Europe 2014 comes to a close in Amsterdam

European Show wraps up in Amsterdam and prepares for Asian Show

Press release

February 14th 2014. The Casual Games Association, an international trade organisation for the video games industry, concluded today a successful return show at the Beurs Van Berlage in Amsterdam. Now Casual Connect turns their sights on preparing for Casual Connect Asia in Singapore on May 20 – 22, 2014. Continue reading

Vodafone spurns Facebook appeal to provide ‘zero rate’ content

Britain’s Vodafone has snubbed a request from Facebook to ‘zero rate’ its content in certain emerging markets, the operator’s CEO Vittorio Colao has revealed.
Speaking in New York where he was addressing Vodafone shareholders before the sale of its 45 per cent stake in Verizon Wireless later this month, Colao told how he had been approached by Sheryl Sandberg – Facebook’s chief operating officer – to exclude the cost of access to the social networking site so that, in poorer countries, it didn’t count towards a subscriber’s data plan.
But Colao said he declined the request because “it does not make any sense . . . there is no reason why I should give my network capacity for free.” Continue reading

motorola_lenovo Google sells handset division to Lenovo for bargain basement price

Loses billions as it sheds Motorola biz that it acquired in only 2012

Google has agreed to sell its handset division to Chinese giant Lenovo less than two years after its foray into mobile phones, ostensibly surrendering to a market that proved too competitive. Under the deal, announced last night [29th January 2013] Motorola Mobility will be sold to Lenovo for $2.91 billion, vastly less than the $12.5 billion Google paid to buy the business in May 2012 when the smartphone patent battles were at their height. Then, Motorola’s trove of 17,000 patents was the main attraction for Google, though its hardware business was seen as an extra incentive, giving Google the chance to make its own branded devices against the likes of Apple, Nokia and BlackBerry. Continue reading

Christopher_Austin Guest Post: Apps and games we can’t live without

by Christopher Austin, a freelance writer who sometimes works with Army Games 365

Who doesn’t love a good app on their smartphone? Those beautiful, colourful squares have become vital tools to our daily existence. Shazam, MyFitnessPal, Instagram, Twitter, and numerous others, are keeping our lives in motion. Social media is now more powerful than ever, and with the advent of technology there’s no better way to stay connected with your friends than through a good app. Games should not be overlooked either because they’re just as valuable and engaging as the most popular apps out there. Continue reading

Juniper_in-app_spend Spend on in-app ads will increase fivefold by 2018

Latest predictions for spend on in-app advertising from Juniper Research

According to a new report from Juniper Research in-app mobile adspend should reach $16.9 billion by 2018 – up from $3.5 billion in 2013. The report says growth will be driven by several key factors including: – improved targeting capabilities plus a trend for more effective interactive rich media ads to be deployed in preference to traditional static display advertising. Plus tablets will close the adspend gap on smartphones. Continue reading

adblocker_facebook Debate over what data can be mined hots up for Facebook

Latest move is a class action in California

The battle between pragmatic mobile advertisers and the Internet libertarians has taken a new twist. Those who feel that the web must be ‘free’ have taken steps against social media giant, Facebook, over what they view as a case of “intercepting communications for profit.” What Facebook is trying to do is being a highly accurate profile of its readership, of course. So any information it can glean is highly prized. However, Matthew Campbell of Arkansas and Michael Hurley of Oregon have filed suit against Facebook in a Northern District Court of California seeking damages. Whilst this is currently a US based spat, its implication do, of course, have global implications. Continue reading