Google Sky : the limits ?

Are we talking innovation there ? Google Sky is a Google Earth extension ; a view of the universe from our good old planet... a flat universe, like the wall paper imagined by ancient civilizations.

All right, you're looking at beautiful shots taken from the Earth's best observatories. And you'll need a Universal Positioning System to find location RA: 18h18m54.0s DEC: -13°50m0.0s - that's Star Queen Nebula, a.k.a. Eagle Nebula, Pillars of Creation, IC 4703 (take Interstate 15 all the way to Planet Zorg - warning : no gas station on the way).

But I expected something more thrilling*. A 3D experience with a sketchup flavor.

OK that's a little demanding. Why not launch a Google Web then, the 3D mapping of all websites ? I saw such beautiful blossoms a decade ago.... Today's medusas would look even more beautiful.

* never mind the bugs, like finding your saved places in the sky's map at launch (now I know
MOT, LA is located in Auriga near Messier 38).


SHOW time for KTF

KTF launched SHOW, its WCDMA service, last March 1st. The 1st Million mark was passed on July the 6th and 10,000 newcomers are joining every day (1,277,000 end of July 2007). "WCDMA" is now a cooler label than EV-DO in Korea. And it shows in KTF's end of July figures : during the last 3 month, its market share remained stable despite a 245k subs growth, but EV-DO subs were down (-45k). The 2-3G migration goes on (3G representing 52.8% of total, up from 47.4%) but furthermore, this confirms the CDMA migration has started, even at the 3G level (EV-DO down to 43.2% from 44.3%, WCDMA up from 3.0% to 9.6%).

Enough with boring figures. From a marketing point of view, you just need to know SHOW is the first real answer to June, SK Telecom's cool brand launched with EV-DO ages ago*.

As the name tells us, SHOW targets entertainment lovers in their 20s rather than business segments. And there is that "play" feature in the "O" of the logo. One third of subs use video telephony, especially couples. So KTF decided to launch, after the success of Movie Tariff Plan (1 free movie ticket per month included), a Movie Tariff Plans for Couples. And while they were at it another one for SMS addicts.

International Roaming (traditionaly restricted to the 2-3G CDMA world before) was another major sales pitch, and KTF announces more developments with partners DoCoMo / Conexus Mobile Alliance and Microsoft. Non-handset devices with USB connectivity are mentioned.

I guess it's time for KTF to propose something more relevant for business targets.

http://www.show.co.kr/ / http://www.conexusmobile.com/

* note that, unlike KTF, SKT declares no specific plan for migration to WCDMA. But the mobile leader is obviously and at last preparing triple play solutions with cablecos and fixed broadband players. As usual with a content flavor ("cable TV programs" are mentioned).


Nokia's summer heat waves and iPhone floods

The beauty of manufacturing handsets is that when something goes wrong, figures tend to make any blimp look spectacular.

Take Nokia, for instance : 46M is not a Total Recall for them, but a big chunk of a whole year of production nonetheless. And unlike Mattel, this is not about dealing with cheap Chinese providers : Matsushita Battery Industrial is not your usual quick and dirty partner, but their batteries manufactured between Dec. 2005 and Nov. 2006 tend to overheat.

Just like iPhone fans ("fans" as in afficionados, not the rotors which were hit by smelly matter at the Finnish giant's headquarters) : they tend to overheat for this beautiful device that pushes hype up to the sky - some people call that phenomenon "Skype" and actually, iPhone users can now call through a service called Skype. Technically, it should be dubbed Three Band Billiard VoIP : one share for your operator, one share for Skype, and one share for an obscure service / solution / gizmo provider. Trickier than tromboning and hardly cheaper than pre-Reding intra-European roaming.

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