HomePlus subway virtual store gets "real" (from click and mortar to billboard and click)

Following the success of its QR code-based advertising campaign in Seoul subway with Cheil Worldwide (see "HomePlus subway virtual store - 2011 Cannes Lions"), Korean retailer HomePlus, a Tesco-Samsung JV, launches its first permanent virtual store in Seollung station, Gangnam area.

Since you liked it (over 10,000 views), I'll play it again, Sam :

This time, 2D shelves will stretch deeper into the station : with screen doors and pilars simulating popular sections and products of the hypermarket chain, all commuters have to do is to direct their smartphones to the items they please. HomePlus also decided to beef up backhaul, multiplying the time slots available for home deliveries.

Major hypermarkets being already open 24/7, now there's no way consumers can escape from contextual shopping traps.

mot-bile 2011


Supercharging Whom ? Google to Acquire Motorola Mobility

"Our acquisition of Motorola will increase competition by strengthening Google's patent portfolio, which will enable us to better protect Android from anti-competitive threats from Microsoft, Apple and other companies." That's how Larry Page explains the twelve billion purchase in the official Google blog.

The blog is titled "
Supercharging Android: Google to Acquire Motorola Mobility"*, but one could wonder who will be supercharged in the end. Third parties and endusers may start asking themselves what will come out of a landscape where former archrivals Microsoft and Nokia tie the knot, or where the mother of all netcos swallows a former giant manufacturer. SonyEricsson theoretically went even further on the value chain, but the union was celebrated in completely different times, when networks were not precisely clogged with mobile internet traffic.

More moves are expected. Apple has been rumored to be in a mega purchasing mood for quite awhile, and I wouldn't be surprised to see Samsung making something big. Lee Kun-hee just pointed out the necessity for the company to evolve, an evidence we recently repeated (see "
Huawei Vision : a view from the cloud"). This should go beyond such acquisition as Grandis, a specialist in memory wolfed down earlier this month by the South Korean chaebol.

Anyway, the Motorola episode reassesses the importance of patents in the legal war raging worldwide. Apple claimed a few significant victories : a big chunk of Nortel patents, plus a suspension of Galaxy Tab 10.1 sales in key markets.

The problem is Apple is not John Grisham, an entity that makes money with legal stuff. Being the next NTP is not exactly "cool".

And the consumer is not likely to beg "supercharge me".

mot-bile 2011

* where the king of the 80s is kindly put at the same level as bankrupt Nortel : an empty shell with a collection of patents


Huawei Vision : a view from the cloud

Huawei Vision runs on Android 2.3 but comes with a 160 Gigabyte spot in the cloud for every owner, positioning the Chinese player at the strategic gateway between that soft spot and its own hardware (scheduled for September in China, along with 4G). Apps agregation starts with the usual suspects : music, images or video that you may not want to transfer forever from laptop to laptop or to XX century storage solutions (ie CDs, DVDs).

Hardly disruptive : Alibaba just launched a similar concept, and of course Apple made a splash with its iCloud earlier this year. But Huawei was supposed to be essentially about hardware.

Sounds like that business model may not be sustainable anymore. Clouds may pass in the sky, replaced with new UFOs, but the truth is starting to sink in : smartphones are not much smarter than computers, and differenciation is getting more and more difficult every year. Worse : product cycles are even shorter and being cool never lasts long.

Food for thought for Samsung, who's been threatened by the Nokia syndrome even before claiming the leadership in handsets. But at least the Finns did venture into new business models. Never forget that OVI preceded Apple's App Store iOs by one year.

Of course, back then, Jorma Ollila was already gone, and Steve Jobs still cool.

mot-bile 2011

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