In The News

We had some very interesting things happen last week in mobile news and I thought I’d recap some of the top headlines here.

imageNetflix has updated their app to support all Android 2.2 and 2.3 devices. If you’ve been waiting for this to get the instant viewing plan, then now is the time. Hopefully we’ll see wider Touchpad support in the coming Months. And I just have to say, Netflix raising their prices has been a blessing in disguise for me. At first I was very upset because I didn’t want to spend even more money for my instant + 3 DVD plan. But then I realized that dollar for dollar, I’m actually going to save a lot of money if I get the instant only and rent at Redbox any time I want a, dare I call it this…an old school DVD. Raise your hand if you’ve done the same thing. Maybe there was some corporate espionage going on to get Netflix to change their plan costs. Yeah, yeah, that’s it. But seriously, Netflix had to understand that people are going to start to jump ship for other services, mainly Redbox. I can have the best of both worlds and still pay less then I did before they raised prices. Thank you Netflix for helping me save money.

imageSprint will most likely keep their unlimited plan intact for the iPhone 5. Honestly, I really don’t care much about it. There was a time I would have grabbed this phone at Sprint without a second thought, but not anymore. This is a perfect example of how companies make stupid marketing mistakes. Before Sprint got the Pre (boy did that go south), and before Sprint got smart and started to expand their Android portfolio, if Apple got off their high horse and tore up that exclusivity deal with AT&T and gave Sprint an iPhone, I have no doubts that Android would not be were it is today in market share. Sure, Android may have gotten here at some point, but without that competitive edge, who knows if the technology would have been adopted by so many and in so many fantastic ways. I for one am happy things turned out the way they did. I love every single Android phone I’ve had over the past few years, I love my new tablet and I can’t imagine having to use an iPhone as my regular mobile device. It will be very interesting to see what happens when it ships. We’ll probably see some very impressive Android devices shipping in the same time frame. Like…

imageNVIDIA is shipping a quad core tablet processor towards the end of CY Q4. Which is very interesting to me. They are obviously putting a huge amount of effort into mobile computing, while their biggest competitor AMD/ATI has nothing in this space. At least I don’t believe they do. Maybe I missed something? Anyway, if that is the case, what does it mean for PC gfx? Will the ATI cards start to surpass NVIDIA on that front. It’s been neck and neck there for years. Will ATI take advantage of this and push significantly ahead, or will they try to compete in this mobile space as well? What ever happens, I sure hope this doesn’t mean that PC gaming will suffer as result.

imageGetJar.com made big news this week with their free app store. Titles that you would normally pay for, you can get here for free. Not all paid titles are available, but they do have a very impressive collection. The most important question that comes to my mind is that of security. We know Google invests a lot of time and money to keep things safe and secure. How are these guys doing it? They have a small FAQ and I don’t see anything there about this topic. So while it’s tempting to go grab some free apps, I for one am more interesting in not taking a chance that my device will become compromised. I’m going to wait and see how they deal with their first major security issue, before I consider getting on board. But that’s just me. The other question that came to my mind, is how do they make money, and how do developers make money? Ok, that’s another two questions. I did find something in their FAQ about that. Here’s what they say.

Q. How do GetJar makes money?
A. Answer – GetJar generates revenue through its PPD (pay per download) system which allows developers to get premium visibility in GetJar’s store and distribution partners by bidding for ad slots. Developers can geo-target campaigns by country, carrier and/or handset and bid whatever amount they are prepared to pay for each download. A daily maximum budget gives developers a way to control their costs and developers only pay for the downloads they incur. Additional products like Application Download Page and Apps Catalogue Express (ACE) in addition to partnerships with carriers and OEMs contribute to GetJar’s reach and traffic and as a result help generate additional revenue.

Ignoring the obvious grammatical mistake in the question, let’s consider the answer. It certainly tells us how GetJar makes money, but I’m not seeing anything about the developers. In fact, it sounds like the developers are paying to have their products downloaded. This doesn’t make sense to me. If I’m going to give my app away for free, why am I paying to do that? How does that sales pitch go anyway? “Yes, our services are excellent and if you pay us for every download, we’ll let you give your app away for free!” Am I missing something?

imageAnd speaking of free apps. Amazon’s free app of the day for September 11th, 2011 is SPC – Music Sketchpad.

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