Archive for January, 2010

Mobile Monday: Real Madrid makes ?14M from 100,000 mobile subscribers

January 29, 2010

The super Tomi Ahonen has the details

(My Original Blog Post:


The iPad: Advertising is going to have to get a lot more entertaining

January 29, 2010

I’m delighted to be able to bring you the first of what I hope will be a series of perspectives from leaders around the mobile industry. Starting us off is CEO of MOFILM, Andy Barker. Given MOFILM’s focus on providing a platform for independent filmmakers to submit ads for some of the world’s leading brands (on a competition basis), I thought it would be good to see how they view the introduction of the iPad into the marketplace.

Over to Andy for his perspective:

– – – – –

Everyone’s talking about books, newspapers and apps for the iPad, but not many people are talking about film. At MOFILM we’ve built an entire business around the idea that user-generated video content is and will continue to be big on mobile, and we think the iPad’s just going to accelerate that, and in the process, create a new advertising model.

Firstly, the iPad is unique in the mobile world in combining two things: a big, beautiful, touchable screen and the ability to choose, stream and download video content. Yes, it’s nice watching video on the iPhone and iTouch, but video on the iPad is going to be in a different league. And with a nice long battery life, video is going to be one of the major apps.

But filmmakers and advertisers are going to have to rethink the kind of video they push out. iPad users aren’t going to have time for content that bores them. We’ve already seen it happen with You Tube on the iPhone/iTouch: people are hungry for videos that they get a quick hit from, that make them laugh or make them think, the sort of videos they want to pass on to their friends.

This means traditional TV/cinema ads are going to have to change. I can’t imagine that people watching 4 On Demand, for example, will want to sit and watch ‘brand experience’ TV ads endlessly repeated. In fact this kind of content is just going to annoy them.

So what can advertisers do? They have to find original, well made, engaging content, and lots of it, to fill the many available ad spaces without repetition. This is where independent filmmakers come in. MOFILM specialises in attracting ‘user generated content’, but what we really do is put ambitious, creative filmmakers in touch with the brands that need them for their advertising.

The deal is that the filmmakers pour their talent into making a film (they’re well compensated) and the advertisers get several completely original ads. And hopefully, iPad users get video that is a joy, not an annoyance.

– – – – –

Ah well here’s hoping Andy. Here’s hoping. Thanks for taking the time. I think you’re absolutely right and I hope that now there will (I imagine) be a common, easily accessible platform, we’ll see a ton more of this kind of entertainment-cum-advertising. I also hope we’ll get a lot more off the wall and exciting messaging, rather than the usual ‘it’s a perfume ad’ or ‘it’s a car ad’ bland creative.

By the way, in case you need a quick memory jogger on MOFILM, here’s a quick overview:

MOFILM believes that in the age of accessible, digital filmmaking, an independent filmmaker with just a camera and an idea can produce high-quality, commercial ideas. We want these ideas to be seen. Our competitions provide the platform for filmmakers to make ads for some the world’s leading brands, winning money and prestige in the process.

MOFILM filmmakers are valued by brands. Our competitions give our partners a chance to tap a huge reservoir of international filmmaking talent, as well as developing a wealth of content to be distributed online and via mobile devices. Our partners discover a whole new advertising model.

And if getting stuck into the world of independent advertising floats your boat, head over to to view the current competition briefs.

(My Original Blog Post:

Even Michael Dell can’t get touchscreens to work properly

January 28, 2010

I am, mostly, reasonably calm.

I think I got to age 17 having spent a long time professionally worrying about things before I realised — perhaps in quite a male manner — that worrying about things is a ridiculous waste of time. Stop worrying about everything, I told myself, and start doing.

So I’m calm, generally.

That is, until you put a video of somebody demonstrating a touchscreen mobile phone that doesn’t actually work properly.

I simply CANNOT stand to see it.

I’ll give you an example.

Many a time I have been at a launch party or event when a manufacturer has had cause to show off a video of their touchscreen device(s) working. Usually the videos are pre-packaged — which winds me up even more.

The videos generally feature a spokesperson showing off the product and marvelling at how good the touchscreen is — what they’re usually doing is telling us (not directly) that they’ve managed to make something that’s as good as — or close to the iPhone.

(Which is another pet hate: Can’t we please have some innovation beyond Apple?)

As the spokesperson is demonstrating, there will come a time when they swipe their finger(s) over the screen and… nothing will happen.

Because the touchscreen is a piece of shit.

The spokesperson things they’ve flicked the screen on. So does the rest of the audience. But the screen hasn’t moved. The spokesperson will notice this a few seconds later and quickly flick his/her finger again. Deliberately. And the screen will move.

And everyone in the sodding room thinks, ‘Er, so, yeah, not quiet up to Apple standard yet.’

This isn’t flucking rocket science, it really isn’t.

I’m going to make an effort to actually call people out on this. I’m going to actually highlight every sodding device that doesn’t WORK properly.

I don’t give a toss about the underlying technology or excuses like that. Either it works like the iPhone or it’s broken.

There’s no arguing here. The flick-and-it-works iPhone model is fantastic. I don’t care who made it or programmed it though. Either the flick works… or it doesn’t.

I understand that if the spokesperson doesn’t TOUCH the screen properly, yes, the device can’t be expected to perform. But 99.999% of the time, it’s the technology being shit.

Would you like a case in point?

Good, I was hoping you’d say yes.

Here, then, is Michael Arrington bumping into another titan of the tech world also called Michael: Michael Dell.

Yup. Even Michael Dell’s technology is inferior to the iPhone. How depressing.

Have a watch:

Near the beginning you’ll see Dell swiping through the new Android handset he’s showing off… and you’ll see him flick-and-… yeah, it doesn’t work.

There is no middle ground. Either it’s a touchscreen (and it works). It can’t be an almost-touchscreen.


Absolutely rubbish.

Won’t somebody please make touchscreens that work for all phones. Fix the hardware, the software, whatever the hell it is that continues to make fools out of spokespeople everywhere.

(My Original Blog Post:

An Inconvenient PR Truth

January 28, 2010

I came across this on SteDavies’ site. It’s a video by release delivery specialists, RealWire.

The key points?

– 1.7 billion irrelevant press release emails estimated to be received in total each year by UK and US Journalists alone

– 78% of press release emails are received by Recipients to whom they are irrelevant

– 55% of Recipients have taken action to block a sender of news

An Inconvenient PR Truth from RealWire on Vimeo.

There’s only one absolutely ridiculous agency that I’ve actually sent straight to my trash bin automatically. Everything else, I glance over.

Then I star it — because, to be honest, as long as it’s half interesting, I may well use it.

Then I usually go and get really busy earning money elsewhere.

Then I panic because I thought I had some things lined up I was going to write about (those starred items).

Then I write my own stuff because it was quicker and because those starred items are now on my third page of Google Mail (the equivalent of the graveyard) because I’ve had even more half interesting press releases come in. That I star.

And I think about…

Then I go and make proper money advising investment banks, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs and building my own businesses.

The one hugely misplaced assumption that most PR make about me is that I’m here to provide a service level to them — like the chap at the mainstream media publication is. Obviously he’s paid to bang out five pieces a day. About whatever.

I reckon about 15% of the stuff I publish originates from a press release sent to me by someone I don’t ‘know’ or have some kind of relationship with. I’d then go so far as to suggest perhaps 25% comes from PR that I know and trust.

The balance — around 60%, I make up myself.

I’d love a lot more assistance from PR. For example, I thought of sending out an announcement to the various PR lists asking them to send me some feedback on the iPad. The concept is sound — they would go back to their clients and ask them to pen 250 words on the iPad. They’d then send that to me. I’d integrate into a wickedly interesting piece. Everybody wins. I haven’t had to do a ton of chasing to 20 odd executives directly, they look good in front of their clients, their clients are happy because they’re published — and I’m delighted because I can deliver good stuff to the audience.

I didn’t bother doing this because the sad reality is that, despite spelling out what it is you’d like to read (at my best guess), I’ll either be sent nonsense, or nothing at all. Or I’ll get it next week. Not because of the PR being slow, but because the client doesn’t bother responding. Worst is when I’m sent something almost irrelevant. For example, a comment on the iPad by someone who manufacturers paper towels. Not quite in the zone for Mobile Industry Review.

It’s such a frustration watching more public relations professionals do their jobs.

Do you remember we used to do a newsletter years ago? In that newsletter, I liked to put in little bits of news. Every week I’d email perhaps 300 PRs asking ‘have you got any news’.

I used to expect being sent wholly irrelevant stuff as a result but goodness me. The amount of PRs who simply wrote back ‘no, nothing, sorry’ used to shock me. It was generally because they’d hit their press release quota for their client contracts and were sitting pretty. Or they’d finished doing the ‘hours’ for that particular client I was emailing about so they didn’t need to do any thinking.

They’re very good at being proactive. Try asking a PR if they’ve got any news. 95% usually respond ‘no’. The smart 5% will generate something. They’ll rustle up something within 10 minutes: A new hire, a bit of product feedback, an anecdote for one of their clients.

I used to keep a list of PRs who wrote back ‘no’. Most of them worked for agencies who routinely bill 7,500+ month to their clients. So whenever anyone needed a PR company recommendation, I’d know precisely who suggest avoiding. If you need a recommendation, let me know.

Now, though, the newsletter is just me. Speaking of which, I had a break last week. This week the topic is — predictably — about the iPad.

(My Original Blog Post:

The iPad is nothing but an oversized iPhone–now where does the line form to buy one?

January 28, 2010

Yes, it has an cringe-worthy name. Yes it’s a closed development environment. Yes it’s $500 I don’t NEED to spend. Yes it is highly derivative of the iPhone. Yes it has a huge bezel. Yes it’s on AT&T’s shameful excuse for a network. And yes, I want–nay–must have one. I will now address each potential problem area point by point.

  • The Name – It sucks. Who cares? I’m over it.
  • Closed – Oh no! Whatever will I do? As much as some arbitrary app rejections might suck here and there, the App Store has set the standard for all other app stores. All my favorite apps that I can’t live without will be on the iPad. And the fact that the App Store is closed; the fact that Apple makes the hardware and the software, is the very reason why people love the Apple experience. Developers can cry all they want about the its policies, but the App Store made buying a mobile app mainstream. Millions of customers that wouldn’t have existed otherwise  are now accustomed to paying for mobile content. You’re welcome, snotty developers.
  • It’s $500 – OK, I already have a MacBook Pro, an iPhone 3GS, do I need an iPad? No, I desparately need an iPad. I just do. Tech is my life, it’s how I make my living.
  • Just a Big iPhone – Yes! Exactly! That’s like saying that if you have a fifty pound pile of cash–a great thing, who would want a 100 pound pile of cash? Me who. That’s who.
  • Huge Bezel – OK, I’ll admit, at first sight of the big bezel–especially after seeing those sexy barely-there-bezeled mock-ups–I was taken aback. But then I thought it through. Where else would you grip it? Would you hold it like a cocktail waitress holds her tray?
  • AT&T – This is the only part that kills me. But for my needs, I’ll go WiFi only, and save on the $130 bucks and extra monthly subscription to yet another service. I’ll use it to surf the web at home, and use my iPhone when I’m out in the wild–who wants to lug around a tablet anyway? So by default this doesn’t matter to me at all (I know a total cop-out and AT&T’s SHIT 3G network should be a dealbreaker if you require 3G connectivity).

So yes, sign me up! I have already pledged my soul to the His holiness in the church of Jobs. Call me a sheep, a weak-willed fanboy, but when you are fiddling with your stylus, trying to get your sodding handset to work with that fragmented application, I’ll be joyfully multi-touching my way through the Internet, an ebook or one of the most compelling 140,000 apps ever made for a mobile platform.

(My Original Blog Post:

The official iPad Video

January 28, 2010

If you haven’t yet caught the official iPad video overview from Apple, the nice people at MacRumours have posted it.

Here it is:

Apple are simply superb at this stuff. The production of these kind of videos (let alone the actual product) is out of this world.

(Nice one Noah)

Watch this and tell me you won’t be getting one?

(My Original Blog Post:

Vodafone 360 Samsung H1: Failed to connect to server. Update cannot proceed.

January 27, 2010

Following on from my earlier post about Vodafone 360 woes, I can really see what the consumers populating the Vodafone 360 forums are experiencing. I tried to update/upgrade the firmware on the H1 and this is the screen I got:

I did the usual rubbish Windows restarts, reconnects and so on. No dice.

This could well be because my device is pre-release, but I doubt it — the error appears to be with the Samsung PC Studio.

Ah dear.

(My Original Blog Post:

Vodafone 360 Woes: “Nothing’s changed.. things are changing for the worse”

January 27, 2010

I was having a look at the referring traffic from Vodafone’s 360 forum today and saw quite a few clicks coming from this forum post.

The three links that Jay.B posted were all to Vodafone 360 articles on Mobile Industry Review (the links have since been removed by the Vodafone moderators which shows a very, very low tolerance for dissent).

It’s fascinating to watch just how Vodafone as a company deals with 360 and the consumer reaction to it.

Here’s Jay.B’s original post:

And this is how it looks after the moderator’s been through it:


The posts Jay.B were linking to are:

Vodafone 360: An Absolute Failure
This week’s newsletter: More about Vodafone 360

I particularly like how Jay linked to the final link:

and finally quite a good read that really describes what I would like to experience and what I am experiencing when using H1

Vdoafone’s Lukewarm 60-degree Offering

Jay finishes by asking:

I find the content of the above articles quite alarming and would like to know what is Vodafone opinion about what is stated in these articles?

Ah you’ll never know Jay. Vodafone’s position is not to get into a (potentially uncomfortable) conversation.

It’s a real shame. It’s highly ironic that whilst Vodafone 360 is a service that’s fundamentally based on communication, there appears to be next to nothing coming from Vodafone about 360’s issues or any indication about what’s on the road map. Perhaps I’ve missed it.

When you’re producing a service that can be upgraded remotely it is acceptable for there to be bugs, problems, issues. I didn’t for one second think that the photo issue (the limitation of only being able to post to Facebook) would hang around for more than 30-days or more before some bright spark at Vodafone fixed it with an update. But it appears this hasn’t happened.

Twitter integration was promised — it’s not quite materialised either.

Back to Jay.B again — here’s what he’s thinking:

The really scary thing is that not much have changed since then. No firmwares released addressing the issues. No known dates when the firmwares are going to be released. It’s 3 months since I have this phone and the only thing I can hear is that someone somewhere works really hard to get things sorted out. In my opinion nothing changed or things are changing for worse in certain aspects.

There have been one or two firmware updates that I’ve noted but not sufficient or frequent enough to placate Jay.B or the rest of us.

Jay goes further:

The bottom line is that the product (goods and services in the shape of H1/M1 phone and website) do not work as advertised. In fact I feel that I have grounds to ask for my money back. It would definitely be the case with any other product (TV, car, even MS Windows OS). The only reason it is not happening is because the smartphones and cloud computing are quite new concepts and they are not really clearly defined.

It gets worse as Jay.B explains:

But it is enough to use common sense and decency to admit that there is a problem and that most people who bought H1 phone wouldn’t buy it, if they only knew that most of the advertised features/services are not going to work.

It’s painful reading:

And I really wanted to have something else/better than iPhone and H1 was sold to me as a phone that can outdo the iPhone (and hardware wise it is better than iPhone). I had all the reasons to believe it. Then I had all the reasons to believe that things are going to get fixed.

This isn’t difficult to manage. It’s all about communication. Something you’d expect the 360 team — or the executives screwing it up — to understand.

If the next update is going to fix a lot of the problems, brilliant. But don’t sit there in silence. Post an update! Tell people what’s happening! Even if it’s coming in March, so be it, people can stop getting frustrated.

One of the newbies reading the post visited a little bit late and found the links posted to Mobile Industry Review removed:

I Want to read the articles but I can’t see the links a nymore… Is it only happening with me?! Any reason for the disappearing?

It’s laughable, it really is.

Vodafone does allow links to external sites — just not ones that aren’t entirely supportive.

Simply fascinating.

I write this post as yet another addition to my look-at-the-stupidity-of-the-mobile-operator pile. I can’t quite believe they are still screwing it up.

It could all be managed much, much better.

Meantime the more I watch 360, the more I see the customer complaints going unanswered and the negative commentary removed, it’s very clear that to see this is a department in total and utter chaos.

Poor Lee, the Vodafone eForum chap who’s taking all the flack from the Vodafone consumers, is doing his best with what he’s got to work with.

Here’s one forum contributor, Paul, who’s not been having a good day:

Am on my 2nd Samsung H1 in less than 2 months… on my first handset VF pushed the firmware update to my mobile there and then but apparently the 3 VF folks I have spoken to since don’t know how to do this for my new handset

I too got stuck unzipping but as soon as I opened PC studion as administrator (using Vista) it worked!

Paul’s referring to the firmware update process. You can’t quite do it over-the-air it seems. Instead you have to arse about with the Samsung PC Studio and unzipping of stuff. Still at least it’s a solution.

Paul continues:

What i find laughable about this whole saga is the lack of official response/update from senior folks at VF at the number of faults present in both the handset and 360 in general – Lee is doing a grand job fighting the flames but when will it get to a stage where top brass at VF admit they have F#*$ed up and should remove this handset and service until it is fixed once and for all.


Lee is doing his best to placate the hordes:

I know how frustrated you are, believe me, I’ve had the same issues as everyone else and I know we are working as hard as possible to get these issues sorted.

Jay.B points out that this isn’t really helping:

You are working so hard for so long and not much is really happening. I am reading this forum on regular basis and nearly everyone here has some kind of problem with this phone

He finishes with a suggestion that appears to front-of-mind for many a Vodafone 360 user:

I suggest that if problems are not sorted out by January you get us all an iPhone as a replacement phone till problems with this phone are sorted out.

Barry concurs:

I have waded thru 7 pages of how to update, I have switched on and off twice while connecting to PC Studio, I have taken the back off, removed the sim and repeated the above, I have stood on one foot in a bucket of water while repeating the above and still it will not get past attempting to unzip the the downloaded update. I can’t get emails, I can’t sync with Outlook. The phone in its present state is not fit for purpose but will Vodafone admit this and give me an Apple I-pod?

I don’t think Barry will get very far, alas.

I doubt I’ll have anything specific to tell you about Vodafone 360, beyond the litany of problems, in the coming weeks.

One highlight is the upcoming Vodafone 360 developer conference at Mobile World Congress. I would take the camera in there to interview developers but I understand Mobile Industry Review — and yours truly in particular — are most certainly not welcome on account of our rather direct Vodafone 360 coverage. So we won’t be doing that alas. There might be an opportunity to capture some hilarious footage of me being turned away at the door, perhaps. That would certainly be interesting.

So if you’re a 360 developer and you’d like some coverage, do contact me directly ( and we’ll sort out a profile.

Meanwhile I’m going to try and upgrade my Samsung H1…

(My Original Blog Post:

The new Apple ‘i-Pad’ – not quite what we were expecting

January 27, 2010

Have you seen this yet? Just in case you haven’t, it’ll be useful for your Zeitgeist knowledge…

MAD TV filmed this i-Pad spoof a good few years ago:

(Thanks K & V!)

(My Original Blog Post:

Apple Launches iPad: The full press release

January 27, 2010

Straight from the horse’s mouth, here’s the Apple press release on today’s iPad:

– – – –

Apple® today introduced iPad, a revolutionary device for browsing the web, reading and sending email, enjoying photos, watching videos, listening to music, playing games, reading e-books and much more. iPad’s responsive high-resolution Multi-Touch(TM) display lets users physically interact with applications and content. iPad is just 0.5 inches thick and weighs just 1.5 pounds– thinner and lighter than any laptop or netbook. iPad includes 12 new innovative apps designed especially for the iPad, and will run almost all of the over 140,000 apps in the App Store. iPad will be available in late March starting at the breakthrough price of just $499.

“iPad is our most advanced technology in a magical and revolutionary device at an unbelievable price,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “iPad creates and defines an entirely new category of devices that will connect users with their apps and content in a much more intimate, intuitive and fun way than ever before.”

iPad features 12 next-generation Multi-Touch applications. Every app works in both portrait and landscape, automatically animating between views as the user rotates iPad in any direction. The precise Multi-Touch interface makes surfing the web on iPad an entirely new experience, dramatically more interactive and intimate than on a computer. Reading and sending email is fun and easy on iPad’s large screen and almost full-size “soft” keyboard. Import photos from a Mac®, PC or digital camera, see them organized as albums, and enjoy and share them using iPad’s elegant slideshows. Watch movies, TV shows and YouTube, all in HD or flip through pages of an e-book you downloaded from Apple’s new iBookstore while listening to your music collection.

iPad runs almost all of the over 140,000 apps on the App Store, including apps already purchased for your iPhone® or iPod touch®. The iTunes® Store gives you access to the world’s most popular online music, TV and movie store with a catalog of over 11 million songs, over 50,000 TV episodes and over 8,000 films including over 2,000 in stunning high definition video. Apple also announced the new iBooks app for iPad, which includes Apple’s new iBookstore, the best way to browse, buy and read books on a mobile device. The iBookstore will feature books from major and independent publishers.

Apple also introduced a new version of iWork® for iPad, the first desktop-class productivity suite designed specifically for Multi-Touch. With Pages®, Keynote® and Numbers® you can create beautifully formatted documents, stunning presentations with animations and transitions, and spreadsheets with charts, functions and formulas. The three apps will be available separately through the App Store for $9.99 each.

iPad syncs with iTunes just like the iPhone and iPod touch, using the standard Apple 30-pin to USB cable, so you can sync all of your contacts, photos, music, movies, TV shows, applications and more from your Mac or PC. All the apps and content you download on iPad from the App Store, iTunes Store and iBookstore will be automatically synced to your iTunes library the next time you connect with your computer.

iPad’s brilliant 9.7-inch, LED-backlit display features IPS technology to deliver crisp, clear images and consistent color with an ultra-wide 178 degree viewing angle. The highly precise, capacitive Multi-Touch display is amazingly accurate and responsive whether scrolling web pages or playing games. The intelligent soft keyboard pioneered on iPhone takes advantage of iPad’s larger display to offer an almost full-size soft keyboard. iPad also connects to the new iPad Keyboard Dock with a full-size traditional keyboard.
iPad is powered by A4, Apple’s next-generation system-on-a-chip. Designed by Apple, the new A4 chip provides exceptional processor and graphics performance along with long battery life of up to 10 hours.* Apple’s advanced chemistry and Adaptive Charging technology deliver up to 1,000 charge cycles without a significant decrease in battery capacity over a typical five year lifespan.**
iPad comes in two versions–one with Wi-Fi and the other with both Wi-Fi and 3G. iPad includes the latest 802.11n Wi-Fi, and the 3G versions support speeds up to 7.2 Mbps on HSDPA networks. Apple and AT&T announced breakthrough 3G pre-paid data plans for iPad with easy, on-device activation and management.

Continuing Apple’s dedication to designing and creating environmentally responsible products, each iPad enclosure is made of highly recyclable aluminum and comes standard with energy-efficient LED-backlit displays that are mercury-free and made with arsenic-free glass. iPad contains no brominated flame retardants and is completely PVC-free.

Apple today released a new Software Development Kit (SDK) for iPad, so developers can create amazing new applications designed to take advantage of iPad’s capabilities. The SDK includes a simulator that lets developers test and debug their iPad apps on a Mac, and also lets developers create Universal Applications that run on iPad, iPhone and iPod touch.

Pricing & Availability
iPad will be available in late March worldwide for a suggested retail price of $499 (US) for the 16GB model, $599 (US) for the 32GB model, $699 (US) for the 64GB model. The Wi-Fi + 3G models of iPad will be available in April in the US and selected countries for a suggested retail price of $629 (US) for the 16GB model, $729 (US) for the 32GB model and $829 (US) for the 64GB model. iPad will be sold in the US through the Apple Store® (, Apple’s retail stores and select Apple Authorized Resellers. International pricing and worldwide availability will be announced at a later date. iBookstore will be available in the US at launch.

*Apple tested wireless battery life by browsing web pages and receiving email over an AirPort® network, never letting the system go to sleep during the test, and keeping the display at half brightness. This is a typical scenario of use on the go, resulting in a battery performance number that is very relevant to mobile users.

**A properly maintained iPad battery is designed to retain 80 percent or more of its original capacity during a lifespan of up to 1,000 recharge cycles. Battery life and charge cycles vary by use and settings.

Apple ignited the personal computer revolution in the 1970s with the Apple II and reinvented the personal computer in the 1980s with the Macintosh. Today, Apple continues to lead the industry in innovation with its award-winning computers, OS X operating system and iLife and professional applications. Apple is also spearheading the digital media revolution with its iPod portable music and video players and iTunes online store, and has entered the mobile phone market with its revolutionary iPhone.

(My Original Blog Post: