STEKIO Labs of Vancouver Canada plans to provide disruptive mobile technology to deliver content in the education, training and accreditation marketplaces. The three founders and I are entrepreneurs driven by the passion to leverage technology to deliver innovative business solutions. Our suite of web and mobile software solutions will enhance content delivery; engage institutions, associations and organizations; and empower students, teachers and alumni to share ideas, interact and stay connected with their "inner-circle" groups in a totally secure manner. Stay tuned!!
Last week both Samsung and Apple had bad weeks, for similar reasons. Samsung won an ITC (International Trade Commission) ruling that could result in an import ban for older iPhones and iPads in the USA. Then the day after the ruling, Canaccord released a report that put Samsung ahead of Apple in market share in U.S. smartphone market in the month of May. Shortly after that, due to cheaper phone announcements and investors' concerns about resulting profitability declines, Samsung lost $12B in market value last Friday. Ouch!
So how is Apple going to polish it's reputation this week? Let's wait and see what new announcements occur at their annual WWDC Developer's Conference which started today in San Fran - new iOS operating system upgrades, new low cost iPhones (see above), upgrades to the Mac, streaming radio, indoor positioning and wayfinding, or iTV? Let's wait and see but I think that the time is right to take out the polishing cloth.
Thorsten says that tablets will be dead within 5 years. This either confirms that PlayBook 2.0 is not coming, or it's a comment aimed at a market that BlackBerry knows it can't "play" in. Yes the new Q10 will enjoy popularity with the BB enthusiasts who love the keyboard - as I once did, prior to abandoning the International and trying the Storm (ouch!) - and BlackBerry has bet everything on the new QNX-based operating system. As they are a Canadian company, I do hope he sells 10's of millions of them as he has said this week to Bloomberg Television.
But will the iPad and other tablets wane in popularity? IDC's research released today indicates that in just this past single quarter (Q1 2013), more than 49.2 million tablets were shipped by Apple, Samsung, Amazon, Microsoft and Asus. That number shows a massive 142 percent increase from the same period last year. On top of that, it's even more than the total number of tablets shipped during the entire first half of 2012. Apple still has a majority of the market share (although declining) and what will they do with the $17B U.S. they just raised from their bond sale or their $145B of cash - more and better tablets I would say.
As for me, I am am still holding out for my iTV.
Atimi Software @Atimi in Vancouver has been releasing BB10 apps for their professional sports teams' BlackBerry fan advocates. These apps provide improved fan engagement and live game updates, along with plenty of content about their favorite players which they can share in their social networks.
BlackBerry is back in the game!
I want to know where my Apple iTV is? I am convinced there's one coming but what is the hold up? Stock is down, iOS penetration worldwide is down thanks to 200+ Android manufacturers (but growing), and I think it's time. Samsung, LG and Toshiba do too - they are hurriedly announcing TV's that respond to voice commands and let viewers move easily between Netflix and ESPN. The TV screens are also starting to look more and more like smartphones and tablets. They are expecting an iTV so where is it?
Lev Grossman in his recent TIME magazine article about Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, said that "the essence of Apple is the quantum leap, the unexpected sideways juke into a heretofore unnoticed and underexploited market...maybe the next stop is televisions". I love his writing but in fact believe that he's right. So where is it, as my 60" dumb TV needs replacing soon!
It took a marathon 16 hour negotiating session to reach a tentative agreement, but it looks like the NHL has ended the lockout. Lots still left to do to put the "agreed to [CBA] framework to paper" and then for the league's 30 owners and approximately 740 players to ratify it...but there's real hope now for a shortened 48 - 50 game season.
Next, there will have to be some fence mending with the fans as I discussed in my last blog, and we'll have to see how many players will come back (or be contractually released) from overseas. At least our NHL Juniors will be raring to go and to put our 4th place finish in Russia well into the past tense. As for me, I've already negotiated my own CBA with my family, and it's back to hockey soon!!
Does 2013 open with some optimism for a 48 game NHL season? At 5pm (EST) today, the NHLPA and the NHL sit down again in New York to try to hammer out a deal. I for one hope they can conclude a new deal, since the IIHF Junior tournament has nicely filled in the absence of hockey (go Canada go!!) over the holidays, but it's over this weekend and we need some more! How long can it take to discuss a 288 page document?
When we do get back to hockey, there will be fences to mend with the fans. Morgan Campbell of the Toronto Star believes that one way teams can do this is through mobile apps (December 27th article posted here). He states that as audiences have migrated from TV to computers, and now to smartphones and tablets, sports apps have the ability to better re-engage fans with news, updates, player bios, ticket availability and major event notifications (push messaging alerts to highlight start of games, goals, penalties, end of periods, scores and so on).
Bargain in good faith guys and let's enjoy at least half a hockey season. I'm scheduling my time just in case, and looking forward to the Canuck's in the Stanley Cup finals again this year!!
I'm rooting for RIM. Does any Canadian want another Nortel? Q3 results on Thursday mostly beat analysts' estimates by increasing cash to $2.9B (of which it needs at least $2B to properly launch BB10), $2.7B revenue and only losing about 1M subscribers worldwide as they wait for BB10`s release. Not bad given this year's challenges and it looks like Thorston Heins and his new team have done a good job of turning things around.
However this morning, starting with Kris Thompson's (National Financial bank) about-face in now downgrading the stock to "underperform", the stock has taken a beating. His concern is the company's warning that carrier service fees (per device fees that carry a 95% margin) are now going to be "tiered" because of competitive threats. These fees make up roughly 30% of RIM's revenue and added $1B in cash to Q2. Significant amounts if they are in risk, but I think RIM deserves more credit for their achievements this year. I hope BB10 is the saviour that RIM believes it can be!
Atimi Software Inc. and Weego Software Ltd recently announced a strategic partnership to jointly produce and market mobile solutions for professional sports teams in Scandinavia, Russia, Europe and Latin America. The combined Atimi and Weego offerings will greatly improve, extend and differentiate fan experience and sponsor outcomes for the sports teams and leagues they serve.
David Snell, Atimi’s Vice President of Business Development, explained that mobilizing a sporting event with a powerful mobile platform like Atimi’s Sports Framework enables content, schedules, box scores, statistics, standings, fan galleries, and player “cards” to be available and customizable in real-time on a fan’s smartphone or tablet. The Atimi platform is also scalable (depending on the sporting event needs) and provides opportunities to incorporate sponsor advertising throughout the application.
“We investigated all of the sports app vendors worldwide and found that the quality and sophistication of Atimi’s Sports Framework solutions is far above any other product on the market” said Pasi Ollikainen CEO of Weego. “We look forward to working with Atimi in making these solutions the standard in mobile apps outside of North America and to bring our teams closer to their fans”.
I remember back in the good old days when I sold IBM client server mainframes (I was a child protégée of course). Today, welcome back to the future with thin clients, VDI (virtual desktop infrastructure), PCoiP (PC over internet Protocol) and a new set of mobile solutions that enable a virtual "corporate desktop" to operate securely on our personal mobile devices.
There are two Vancouver companies in this field that are particularly noteworthy. On the corporate desktop side, Teradici is well funded and given their partnership with VMware, are going after the same companies using a similar pitch that I did with IBM, but with a new technology approach. The idea is essentially the same - one processor for programs and data, dumb terminals for the multiple end users...but the technology behind it is fundamentally new and different.
On the mobile side of things, FusionPipe Software has developed a compelling solution which addresses the BYOD ("bring your own [mobile] device [to work]") phenomenon. With the "corporate secure" BlackBerry increasingly out of favor these days, more staff are insisting that they use their iOS or Android devices for access to corporate systems and data. The FusionPipe solution provides a "secure wrapper" for the device which ensures that the IT Directors sleep well at night, knowing that their corporate data is safe and their staff are happily using their mobile device of choice.
As for me, it's great to see great technology ideas resurface anew.
Chartwell Principal David J Snell on Strategy, Sales, Marketing and High-Technology with a focus on Mobile.