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Palm days are numbered February 28, 2007

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Having faltered in its strategies, Palm is aggressively looking for a buyer. Its saving grace might be its good patent portfolio.

Admob Numbers

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Admob was in town for Seattle Mobile Monday earlier this week. Some stats from their mobile advertising marketplace:

Traffic distribution - US 20%, South Africa 15%, India 13%, UK 12%, Romania 5%, Other 35%. (Couldn’t explain why SA and India are so high in this traffic mix)

Communities WAP Pages - 44% and Downloads - 44% dominate the traffic.

Nokia handsets dominate.

Sprint Numbers

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In the fourth quarter, data service revenues increased 66%, compared to the year-ago period and 14% sequentially. The growth is being driven by strong take rates for Power Vision SM data services on handsets, demand for text messaging and increasing laptop aircard usage supported by EVDO expansion on the CDMA network. Data contributed $8.75 to overall post-paid ARPU in the quarter and reached nearly $12 of contribution, or 20% of CDMA postpaid ARPU.

Overall ARPU was a little over $60, reflecting a 1% sequential decline and a less than 5% decline from the year-ago period. Post-paid ARPU continues to be impacted by lower voice revenues, which are being partially offset by growth in data revenues. Sequentially, CDMA ARPU was flat at $59, while iDEN ARPU declined 2% to $62. Compared to the year-ago period, CDMA ARPU was down 1%, while iDEN ARPU declined 8%.

1/3rd of US population using wireless February 26, 2007

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ONE-third of US Internet users have connected to the web using a wireless network, a survey has found.

The Pew Internet Project survey found that 20 per cent of Internet users had wireless networks available at home, double the number recorded in January 2005.

“We know that ‘always on’ broadband connections really deepen people’s relationship to the Internet; adding ‘on the go’ to the mix takes this a step further,” said John Horrigan, associate research director at the Pew Internet Project.

“The convenience of wireless access gives people the chance to fire off a quick email to someone while waiting in a doctor’s office or check the news headlines on the way to work.”

Some 34 per cent of Internet users surveyed said they have logged on to the web using a laptop computer, hand-held personal digital assistant or mobile phone.

More details at http://www.pewinternet.org/PPF/r/203/report_displa…

These numbers look low to me, but i haven’t digested the report yet.

And the Oscar goes to …

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Apple, Microsoft and others launched new ads to a captive audience. Apple’s ad for iPhone is here.

Bill Gates on Innovation

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BillG has a nice essay in Washington Post on Innovation. Innovation is life blood of any economy. In this age of Globalization, nations who are positioning their next generation to innovate will have economically competitive. Korea provides a great example of how to work on this idea.

China’s 3G Saga February 23, 2007

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According to Telegeography,

The Peoples Republic of China has postponed the award of 3G licences until the first quarter of 2008 at the earliest, according to Beijing-based business magazine Caijing, which cites an unnamed source. The report added that China Mobile will lead another round of tests of TD-SCDMA technology, beginning next month, which will run for a year. During this period, the magazine claims the Chinese government will not consider the award of 3G licences.

China continues to play with fire too close to the Olympics. The licensing is getting postponed every month. This makes FCC look stellar. TD-SCDMA continues to have problems, is not going to be adopted outside China (if ever) in any meaningful way and is just too late to the party. Earlier they wake up to this conundrum, the better off they will be .. Not having 3G roaming support in a year for Olympics will be a really bad PR move. They will probably have to do with make-shift equipment deployment.

iPhone pricing

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The current announced pricing of iPhone is quite high. In my interviews with the press, i have noted that this pricing is not sustainable and Cingular/Apple is likely to drop the pricing on launch. Now, there is some more evidence of the above.

Online market research firm Compete Inc. surveyed 379 people in the U.S., most of whom had heard of the iPhone and have shopped for an iPod, to find out how interested they are in the device. The iPhone is a combined music player and cell phone that Apple plans to start selling in the U.S. in June.

Among the 26% of respondents who said they’re likely to buy an iPhone, only 1% said they’d pay $500 for it. When Apple introduced the iPhone in January, it said it would cost $500 on the low end.

Forty-two percent of those who said they’re likely to buy the phone said they’d pay $200 to $299.

Nuance purchases BeVocal

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So, why did they buy BeVocal? Because, TellMe was too expensive. Nuance wants to move up the chain, acquisition gives better bundling capabilities and customer access. This move they should have executed a long-time back.

12 crackpot tech ideas from Infoworld February 22, 2007

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Current issue of Infoworld has some interesting thoughts on ideas that could impact the enterprise. My favorite is the last one - Total Information Awareness

Google Apps

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Google Apps

Google is trying to make inroads into the small-biz world by introducing its web-based cheap solution set and of course going after the Microsoft customer base. Though MS doesn’t have to worry about the corporate users just yet, the mom-and-pop shops might start to get pursuaded. However, as i have said before, Privacy is Google’s Achilles heel and if there are privacy-related issues and incidents, outages, etc., their cause will suffer as a result of onslaught of media reports plus this is new territory for Google.

They do have an iron-grip on the online search market and they can bring some interesting technologies to bear that empowers the new-age worker and make life simple. If anybody can give MS run for their money, it is Google and they are experimenting their way through it.

GigaOm has good coverage.

Microsoft to pay up big for patent infringement

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A federal jury in San Diego has ordered Microsoft to pay $1.5 billion to Alcatel-Lucent in a patent dispute over MP3 audio technology used in Windows.

In its verdict, the jury assessed damages based on each Windows PC sold since May 2003. The case could have broader implications, should Alcatel-Lucent pursue claims against other companies that use the widespread MP3 technology.

Google Visit/PanIIT Talk

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Visited Google’s Kirkland campus yesterday. Google graciously offered their space to hold our first PanIIT talk. Peeyush Ranjan, Engineering Manager at Google gave an interesting talk on the problem of Search Engine Freshness.

Abstract
As the web grows in size, so does the amount of data search engines need to process to provide comprehensive results for user queries. One challenging side effect of this growth is the inherent time delay in processing these pages. This results in a problem with web search that all general purpose search engines struggle with today: freshness of search results. Today, a search for [Hurricane Katrina] on Google.com will provide you with many authoritative sources for information about the natural disaster in 2005. That was not the case for days following the actual incident, when the top result pointed to a wikipedia article about 1981 Atlantic hurricane season, when another hurricane by the same name hit Cuba. While the whole world was worried about the damage in New Orleans, Google.com users were being sent to an article about an incident that was decades old. Only with passage of time did web get re-indexed and Google’s results were relevant again. Come and learn about the reasons why it is so difficult to keep the search index fresh, and what we are doing in Kirkland to help one of the biggest challenges facing the leading search engines.

It was an interesting exchange of ideas and potential solutions. Of course, the biggest problem for a solution is to be applied to majority of the pages so that the exceptions can be minimized.

Also, got a tour of the facilities - free massage rooms, Doctor’s room, reminded me of my Luminant days of the extravagant dot com era.

Want to be inspired? February 21, 2007

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You probably saw Steve Job’s magic act at the Macworld keynote, esp. some of the things he did with multitouch. Well this presentation from Jeff Han makes Steve look like a pedestrian.

Star-studded line-up for PAN IIT event

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As I mentioned, PAN IIT events attract awesome speakers, here is the current lineup

Jeff ImmeltHillary R ClintonArun Sarin

and

CMU President Jared L. Cohon, McKinsey’s Rajat Gupta, Keynote CEO Umang Gupta, uber VC Vinod Khosla, Headstrong CEO Arjun Malhotra, millionaire philanthropist Kanwal Rekhi, Bharat Petroleum CEO Ashok Sinha, iGATE CEO Sunil Wadhwani and other luminaries.

Be prepared.

Alltel’s numbers

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The number 5 carrier released its numbers:

Seattle Events February 20, 2007

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There are a number of networking events coming up in Seattle. Hope to see some of you there

1. 21st Feb - Pan IIT PNW - Talk on Webservices at Google’s Kirkland campus

2. 26th Feb - MobileMonday - Admob and Telephia presenting

3. 28th Feb - MocoNews Mixxer

Let me know if you need more info on any

iPhone - behind the scenes story February 19, 2007

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WSJ provides some insights into

“How Steve Jobs Played Hardball in iPhone Birth”

If in June, Cingular and Apple are able to pull this through, it could be disruptive to the existing dynamics between handset manufacturers and operators around the world.

One Year Anniversary - Thank You February 17, 2007

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 Thank You in Many Different Languages

Time flies. It was exactly one year ago, after prodding from friends and colleagues, I ventured into the blogging world and started AORTA. It has been a tremendous journey. I have met a host of new friends, colleagues, and clients on the way. We even made it to the FierceFavorites - Top 20 Wireless Industry Blogs. The blog has helped me keep my focus and share some of my work with fellow colleagues.

A BIG thank you to all the readers. You guys make it all worthwhile.

Thanks also to Om Malik, Ajit Jaokar, FierceWireless, and Moconews for letting me opine in their space.

I would love to hear from you .. any and all feedback is always welcome. Leave a comment or write to me directly at chetan at chetansharma dot com.

Again, Thank You and I look forward to the next year.

3GSM Notables February 16, 2007

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Sundance

Good coverage at Fiercewireless and Moconews