Editor’s Note: RCR Wireless News goes all in for “Throwback Thursdays,” tapping into our archives to resuscitate the top headlines from the past. Fire up the time machine, put on the sepia-tinted shades, set the date for #TBT and enjoy the memories!
Top 10 handsets from late ’08 led by BlackBerry Pearl
Editor’s Note: The following lists ranks the 10 most popular handsets in the United States for the month of October. Rankings were provided by AvianResearch L.L.C. The firm derives its ranking via its Monthly Retail Store Survey, which is based on responses from 100 service representatives and store managers at retail stores of the four major U.S. wireless carriers (AT&T Mobility, Verizon Wireless, Sprint Nextel Corp. and T-Mobile USA Inc.). The survey is designed to be reflective of the U.S. wireless market from both a carrier market share and geographic standpoint. Collectively, AvianResearch said the four largest carriers represent 85% of the U.S. wireless market on a subscriber basis. For the purposes of this list, RCR Wireless News has added carrier information beyond the four largest carriers surveyed by Avian. Research In Motion Ltd. has held the top spot on the ranking for five straight months, with the BlackBerry Pearl topping the list in April, and the Blackberry Curve dominating the list from May through October. Although most of October’s top 10 phones were present on the list last month, the HTC Corp. G1, the LG Electronics Co. Ltd. Env2 and the HTC Diamond made their first appearances this month. … Read more
MySpace takes its video mobile
Move over YouTube. MySpace lovers can now access video from the social-networking monster on their handsets. MySpace, along with video technology vendor RipCode, announced that MySpace mobile users can view all MySpace video content on compatible phones. “Video is a natural next step for us in mobile,” said John Faith, VP and general manager of Mobile for MySpace, available at m.myspace.com. “MySpace will continue to grow our video library as we increase delivery channels in order to keep pace with our users’ accelerating desire for video consumption.” Though MySpace mobile video will be rolled out globally, the service will only be available on select RTSP-streaming enabled mobile devices. This means Apple Inc.’s 3G iPhone, which supports progressive downloads, will be left out. But, because the videos are also streaming, users won’t be forced to sit and wait for enough of the video to be downloaded in order to start watching. Compatible devices for MySpace mobile video include the BlackBerry Bold, Palm Inc. Centro, Motorola Inc. Q9, LG Electronic Co. Ltd. Voyager, Nokia Corp. N95 and the Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. Instinct. MySpace said viewing works in an on-demand format, eliminating the need to store videos in multiple places, which will end up saving hardware space and energy. … Read more
Palm Inc. said yesterday that its revenue for its fiscal second quarter would reach the range of $190 million to $195 million, far below Thomson-Reuters estimates of $331 million. The company’s stock plunged more than 12% to a new low this morning before stabilizing somewhat in midday trading. The stock has lost 80% of its value in the last three months, according to MarketWatch. The decline in revenue resulted from sharply reduced demand for smartphones in particular and handsets in general, Palm said in a statement. The company reports earnings for the quarter ended Nov. 28 on Dec. 18. Analysts appeared to uniformly cut their ratings for Palm, with Global Crown Capital L.L.C. basing its own cut “on our expectations of a terrible February quarter, worries about liquidity in light of larger-than-expected losses and the complete lack of visibility into Palm’s revenue potential.” “Palm was hit by the simultaneous collapse in demand and rapid deterioration in pricing,” according to Global Crown Capital analyst Pablo Perez-Fernandez. … Read more
The MVNO, the merrier?
Mobile virtual network operators will likely join the ranks with most Americans facing a tough holiday season with mixed forecasts as to whether MVNOs will come out strong or gasping for breath. Tole Hart, analyst for Gartner, thinks the next few months will be tough on MVNOs, indeed, as it will be tough on many other consumer goods and services. “The silver lining is that they are prepaid so people may look to use these services as they budget more, but ARPU should be impacted due to more spending restrictions,” Hart said. Hart noted that MVNOs have been getting creative lately, trying to mimic top national carriers. However, in times like these, it might be best for the operators to stick to their roots, offering prepaid, cheap and no-contract based plans to potential customers. Cato Rasmussen, head of solution strategy for Martin Dawes Systems, an international provider of services to help set up and run MVNOs, said this might be the perfect time for a new MVNO to enter the market and try its luck, even while many U.S. MVNOs have tanked in the past few years. “Big brands don’t guarantee success,” Rasmussen said. “MVNO success doesn’t appear to come from spending millions of dollars on high-profile ad campaigns or acquiring “premium” content. It comes from careful investment, market research, targeted marketing and finding the right partner.” The operators that have managed to stay afloat, however, are taking the necessary precautions to retain and even attract customers. With Black Friday here and gone and Christmas only weeks away, deals are everywhere. Kajeet, a no-contract operator targeting the youth market, has puts its products and services on Amazon.com and is featured in the Amazon Toy List for this holiday season. While Kajeet has faced scrutiny and rumors of bankruptcy, this could be a last ditch effort to bring in some festive revenue. … Read more
Holiday deals heat up
Top wireless providers have been busy little elves trying to sway customers with deals, savings promises and incentives during the holiday shopping season. The most recent holiday ad wars began when Sprint Nextel Corp. released new advertisements that promised customers could save anywhere from $240 and up annually by switching to its “Now” network. The carrier is claiming by signing up for its Simply Everything plan, which runs $100 per month, customers can save $480 per year compared with Verizon Wireless’ unlimited premium plan at $140 per month. Sprint Nextel also claimed customers can save $540 per month compared with AT&T Mobility’s Nation Unlimited offerings, which cost $145 per month with unlimited text, data and AT&T Navigator are added. The beleaguered carrier also made the case for its family-plan pricing, dubbed Everything Messaging Family, which costs $99 per month for two lines with 1,500 minutes. This was compared to Verizon Wireless’ and AT&T Mobility’s family plans, which both cost $120 per month for two lines with 1,400 anytime minutes. (All three carriers offer unlimited on-network calling as well as unlimited night and weekend calls, though Sprint Nextel’s plans start at 7 pm, while its larger rivals make consumer wait until 9 pm.) … Read more
Check out the RCR Wireless News Archives for more stories from the past.