Wednesday, January 31, 2007 


Positioning on carrier decks can make or break a mobile game title. Publishers who grab the best shelf space on carrier decks to show off their merchandise are rewarded with a significant bump in downloads and revenues, according to Telephia, the world's largest provider of syndicated consumer research to the telecom and mobile media markets. Telephia today launched its Mobile Game Merchandising product which, for the first time in the industry, quantifies and tracks the link between carrier deck placement and sales.

Telephia's Mobile Game Merchandising data shows that, mobile games promoted on a carrier's New, Featured or Best Seller decks saw 90 percent more downloads than when those same games were not promoted. Furthermore, titles that got top shelf placement on the first page of the carrier's deck achieved 53 percent more downloads than when those titles appeared on subsequent pages of the deck.

Conducted during Q4 2006, Telephia's research statistically analyzed the relationship between deck placement and sales for a broad sample of mobile game titles. Telephia is uniquely positioned to provide this analysis because it collects both deck placement data and title-level sales data. Rather than relying on self-reported purchases from consumer surveys to track games sales, Telephia maintains a panel of 35,000 mobile subscribers and passively tracks their purchase behavior by monitoring their phone bills. Telephia's point-of-sale data is the mobile media industry's standard measure of title-level market share.

"On-deck game downloads accounted for 74 percent of mobile game revenues in Q3 2006. Given the limited real estate on the mobile screen and the difficulty of driving consumer trial, getting top shelf placement is the #1 priority for game publishers," said Kanishka Agarwal , Vice President of Mobile Content, Telephia. "Our Mobile Game Merchandising product allows game publishers to competitively benchmark their share and quality of shelf space, and directly link it to the sales success of their titles. Our research takes the guesswork out of distribution and marketing mix decisions."

EA Mobile and Gameloft Dominate Top Shelf Space on Sprint's Game Decks

As the top mobile game publisher, with 29 percent share of all revenues in Q3 2006, it's not surprising to find EA Mobile as the top publisher on Sprint's What's Hot deck, which features best selling games. According to Telephia, EA Mobile's titles secured a 39 percent share of the first page on Sprint's What's Hot deck during the last six months of 2006 (see Table 1). They were followed by Gameloft, Namco, Hands-On Mobile and Glu Mobile. In comparison, on the first page of Sprint's What's New deck, Gameloft titles led with a 26 percent share of shelf, followed by Digital Chocolate, Glu Mobile, Vivendi Games and SkyZone Entertainment. Sprint's What's New deck features newly launched titles.

Table 1: Top Publishers on Sprint's What's Hot and What's New Decks, Ranked by Share of Shelf ( U.S. , H2-2006)

First Page of Sprint's What's Hot Deck

First Page of Sprint's What's New Deck


Share of Shelf


Share of Shelf

EA Mobile






Digital Chocolate




Glu Mobile


Hands-On Mobile


Vivendi Games


Glu Mobile


SkyZone Entertainment


Source: Telephia Mobile Game Merchandising, (H2, 2006)

Monday, January 29, 2007 

Carnival of the Mobilists #60

Mobbu is hosting this week’s Carnival of the Mobilists, check it out.



ELSPA’s 2006 Listing

Elspa has announced the top 50 best selling games of 2006. This year, EA clearly has taken a leap into the charts with a dozen of games on prominent positions. The most prominent license is clearly Who Wants to be a Millionaire from Glu which is in there with three separate editions. In total, 15 developers are represented in the top 50.

01 – Tetris | EA Mobile
02 - Sonic Part 1 | Glu
03 - Deal or no Deal | Gameloft

04 - The Sims 2 | EA Mobile
05 - Worms | THQ Wireless
06 - Pac-Man | Namco Wireless
07 - Monopoly | Glu
08 - Block Breaker Deluxe | Gameloft
09 - Tetris Mania | EA Mobile
10 - Who Wants to be a Millionaire | Glu
11 - Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2006 | EA Mobile
12 - Championship Manager | Eidos Mobile
13 - Need For Speed Carbon | EA Mobile
14 - FIFA Football 2006 | EA Mobile
15 - Who Wants to be a Millionaire 2nd Edition | Glu
16 - Lemmings | Glu
17 - LMA Manager 2006 | EA Mobile
18 - Family Fortunes | Player X
19 - Doom RPG | EA Mobile
20 - Monopoly Tycoon | HandsOn
21 - FIFA Football ’07 | EA Mobile
22 - FIFA World Cup ’06 | EA Mobile
23 - New York Nights – Success in the City | Gameloft
24 – Pub Pool | InfoSpace
25 - Ronnie O’Sullivan Snooker – Player One
26 – Jewel Quest | I-Play
27 – Sonic Part Two | Glu
28 - Midnight Pool | Gameloft
29 - Sim City | EA Mobile
30 – World Poker Tour – Texas Hold’em | HandsOn
31 - Street Fighter II | Capcom Mobile
32 – Ms. Pac-Man | Namco Wireless
33 – Prince of Persia – The Two Thrones | Gameloft
34 – Blockbusters | Player X
35 – My Dog | I-Play
36 – Sexy Pool | IndiaGames
37 – Tamagotchi Mobile | Disney Wireless
38 – 3D Pool | I-Play
39 - 3-in-1 Arcade Pack | AMS Mobile
40 - Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2005 | I-Play
41 – 2006 Olympic Games | I-Play
42 – Scrabble | EA Mobile
43 - Ice Age 2 – Arctic Slide | Glu
44 – Zuma | Glu
45 – The Weakest Link | I-Play
46 - Who Wants to be a Millionaire Music Edition | Glu
47 – Puzzle Bobble | I-Play
48 - FIFA Street 2 | EA Mobile
49 - Michael Vaughan Cricket 06/07 | Player One
50 – Call of Duty 2 | HandsOn

Source: Mobile games & Gaming Blog

Thursday, January 25, 2007 

Post from UK: The Nation of SMS Adicts

41.8 billion messages sent in total for 2006
3.5 billion messages per month
804 million messages per week
114 million message per day
697 messages per person for 2006

Via 160 Characters.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007 

Symbian introduces POSIX libraries on Symbian OS

At the official opening event of its Beijing office, Symbian Ltd today announced the introduction of POSIX libraries on Symbian OS™, which will significantly reduce the effort required to migrate existing desktop and server components, and mobile applications from other platforms, onto Symbian OS. The move will help broaden and deepen application development for Symbian OS and help improve developer productivity. Symbian OS is the market leading operating system for smartphones.

P.I.P.S. - PIPS Is POSIX on Symbian - will enable C programmers to more easily migrate existing middleware and applications, either commercial or open source, to Symbian OS by providing standard POSIX C APIs on Symbian OS. This has been achieved by supplying a new framework of POSIX C APIs for use by both C and C++ programmers. The new APIs are packaged into industry standard libraries - libc, libm, libpthread and libdl - and are tightly integrated with Symbian OS to optimise performance and memory usage. In addition, an updated tool chain will further reduce migration effort.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, January 23, 2007 

Carnival of Mobilists

This week's carnival is hosted by Xen Mendelsohn. Check it out.

Xellular Identity Blog.


Kuju boss confirms move out of mobile

Kuju Entertainment boss Ian Baverstock has confirmed that the company is moving away from mobile gaming, blaming the "tight stranglehold" operators have on the market.

Speaking in an interview in,, Baverstock said, "We're increasingly stepping away from mobile, we've found it a difficult market, one where it's hard to make money.

"There was too little development money and the retail income just didn't build like we'd hoped it would. There are people who are making money and doing a good job, but it wasn't for us."

As a result, Kuju has now sold its mobile publishing division and its mobile development business is "pretty much shut down now", according to Baverstock.

"The nail in the coffin for us was the increasingly tight stranglehold which the operators held over the flow of content to the consumer - they seem to have no interest in developing it as a market," he explained.

"Mobile is a pretty flawed model right now. Not enough money is spent, there's too much porting and testing required and the games are often poor quality."

So is there any chance of Kuju ever returning to the mobile gaming market? "Things would have to improve an awful lot," Baverstock concluded.

Kuju's six UK studios will continue to focus on PC and console games and, following a recently announced share deal, the company is now looking to expand. To read the rest of the interview, visit later this week.


Friday, January 19, 2007 

Brazil’s Mobile Market Growth Slows

Brazil’s mobile market is stuck although mobile penetration stands at just 53.2 percent (penetration in neighboring Argentina and Chile has surpassed 70 percent). This post reports the growth rate for Brazil’s mobile market is forecast to be only 10 percent in 2007, down from 15.9 percent in 2006 and a whopping 31.4 percent in 2005. So how did the market sink so low? Analysts reckon the main reason is the recent decision by operators there to stop subsidizing handsets, a move that makes mobile phones a luxury for much of the population. Mobile operators are focusing on post-paid users to boost ARPU.

An interesting point about the brazilian market: Even with all this dificulties, Brazil has reached almost 100 milions subscribers. 80% are pre-paid users.

Thursday, January 18, 2007 

Player X secures $9.89 million funding

Player X announced to have secured a $ 9.89 million funding from Nordic Venture partners, Long Acre Partners and Arts Alliance. Tony Pearce announced the funding will be used to reach the next stage of growth for the company. Player X recently expanded from a mobile game publisher to the mobile TV and Video arena.

"This is great news for the company and takes us to the next stage of growth. Having Nordic Venture Partners and Long Acre Partners on our board underlines how far we have come since our first round of funding. In less than two years the company has become a leading publisher and distributor of games and a pioneer in the emerging mobile video and TV markets - and this investment is key to this area," said Tony Pearce, CEO of Player X.

“We met with many mobile content companies but what excited us about Player X was not only its impressive games business, but its leadership in mobile video. We're confident the company will continue to make giant strides in both areas,” said Larry McDonald, Partner at Nordic Venture Partners.

source: Mobile Games & Gaming Blog

Tuesday, January 16, 2007 

Carnival of the mobilists #58

The carnival of this week is hosted by Tomas Landsprung. Great posts about the iPhone. Go there and check it out.

Monday, January 15, 2007 

MIDP 3.0 - Early Draft

The MIDP 3.0 (JSR 271) early draft is available for download. This draft is the best way to find out now what MIDP 3.0 will bring; it should be an interesting read for anybody involved with JavaME. The most important addition seems to be the concept of libraries (which can be shared between midlets).

Thursday, January 11, 2007 

Great posts about iPhone

A lot of great posts in blogosphere about the iPhone. Go check it out!

  • Mike Rowehl: “The mobile gardens have been tending toward unwalling, and unfortunately this sounds a bit like a move in the other direction. I hope I’m wrong. Really hope I’m wrong. Cause I know I’m going to have to get one of these things either way.”
  • Kelly Goto: “I feel Apple’s unique and stunning UI along with smart features such as the portrait to landscape switch and the proximity sensor to turn ‘off’ touch screen sensitivity when the device is held close to one’s face will win over the crowd. But with the higher price point ($499 for the 4 GB and $599 for the 8 GB) it’s definitely got to deliver.”
  • Tom Hume: “I’m with Ive: it’s “not too shabby” and all that, and my now-Pavlovian responses to any product Apple releases are telling me I want one, but I don’t see this as meaningfully impacting on the mass market (other than giving a slight kicking to other handset vendors). As such it’s more of a decent PDA than a phone, in my book.”
  • Raddedas at Techype: “Apple have created a niche product here with amazing appeal - to the niche. At the risk of upsetting the Silicon Valley types racing round on their Segways between hip coffee houses to brainstorm about how this will change everything (using free metropolitan WiFi and their suddenly not-so-cool Palm Treos to take notes), what the iPhone won’t do is change the world.”
  • Ewan MacLeod: “All I need to say is look at the N95, the pinnacle of Nokia’s engineering prowess. Stick it next to the iPhone. It just doesn’t compare. Symbian and the N95 just isn’t in the same stratosphere.”
  • Matt Croydon: “There are a few things that excite me about the newly announced iPhone (and a few details that I’m unclear on). One thing I’m pretty sure of is that the coming of the iPhone is the tipping point for a new kind of mobile web.”
  • Carlos Longino: "I’ve got a lot of questions about this device, and the Apple site doesn’t offer much guidance. I’m also very skeptical about the durability of the iPhone — it doesn’t seem like the sort of thing that will take very well to the typical abuse many mobile phones receive on a regular basis, in particular being carried around in pockets"

Wednesday, January 10, 2007 

Location Filter To Enable Mobile Gambling

Most of the announcements touting “mobile gambling” have refered to WiFi devices that are used inside casinos, but this one in the Casino City Times refers to gambling on mobile phones. Zero36 has filed for a patent for a “location-based filtering system” intended to allow people to gamble with real money in areas where they are allowed to, but restrict them to play-for-fun mode when they’re in a location where they can’t gamble. There aren’t any details as to how the technology works, and I suspect there’s still going to be resistance in the carrier industry.



Apple iPhone launched!

Apple has launched a comprehensive information sub-site on the iPhone, here.
The full releases are here and here.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007 

Yahoo! Go for Mobile 2.0

Yahoo! Inc. launched a beta version of Yahoo! Go for Mobile 2.0 at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2007 in Las Vegas. Yahoo! Go 2.0 is an innovative new application that redefines the mobile Internet experience for consumers through a unique product design, ability to personalize with content from the entire Internet and a reinvention of mobile search. With this launch Yahoo! expands its mobile Internet leadership.

The Yahoo! Go 2.0 beta ( is available for consumers to download today on Motorola's new MOTORAZR maxx V6 and MOTORAZR V3xx devices as part of the two companies' ongoing alliance to deliver an optimized Yahoo! experience on the world's coolest devices. Beginning in the first half of 2007, Yahoo! Go 2.0 will be pre-loaded on select new mobile devices from Motorola. Consumers can also download Yahoo! Go 2.0 on more than 70 other mobile devices from major manufacturers worldwide and use it on most wireless networks.

Additionally, Yahoo! expects to distribute Yahoo! Go 2.0 through mobile operators worldwide including Bharti Airtel, DiGi Telecommunications (Malaysia), Globe Telecom, Hutchison India, Idea Cellular, Rogers Wireless, Smart Communications, Taiwan Mobile and 3 Group in the United Kingdom, Italy, Denmark, Ireland and Sweden.

Yahoo! has created this new version of Yahoo! Go from the ground up to bring the Internet to the mobile phone with a suite of services that are fast, easy to use and highly personalizable. The unique carousel design of Yahoo! Go 2.0 makes it simple for consumers to navigate the selection of Yahoo! Go widgets for e-mail, local information and maps, news, sports, finance, entertainment, weather, photo sharing and search. The new service also includes Yahoo! oneSearch(TM) a completely new mobile search service designed to give consumers what they want on their mobile phone -- instant answers. Yahoo! Go 2.0 is the next generation of the service that launched for Symbian and Windows Mobile phones in 2006.

Key features of the service include:

-- Search reinvented for mobile consumers -- oneSearch recognizes the intent of a search term and presents relevant content -- not just a list of web links to PC sites -- on the results page. Results are grouped by subject making it easy to read through and drill down to get more details. (See press release titled "Yahoo! Reinvents Internet Search for the Mobile Phone")

-- Be local, no matter where you are -- The Local & Maps widget gives consumers quick access to comprehensive local directory information for businesses across the US, enhanced with ratings and reviews from the millions-strong Yahoo! community. Interactive maps, driving directions and real time traffic updates help consumers find their way. Local guides provide at-a-glance detail on what's happening in a specific city that day, as well as the most popular places to eat, shop and visit. Consumers can set their location and the experience will be tailored appropriately.

-- Rich, highly personalizable content from millions of sources to keep consumers connected -- Current headlines and a breaking news ticker in the News, Sports, Entertainment, Weather and Finance widgets keep consumers connected to the information that matters to them. Each widget also includes a "command center" where consumers can access more articles, use watchlists to track topics of interest -- from sports teams to stocks to celebrities -- or add new content from the millions of sources on the Web that publish in RSS.

-- Photo sharing keeps consumers connected to their community -- The Flickr widget integrates one of the Web's most innovative and prolific photo-sharing communities, making it easy for consumers to upload* and manage images from their camera phone. Consumers can also easily share photos, view their friends' pictures and browse or search the millions of images posted by the Flickr community.

-- Streamlined e-mail keeps consumers in sync -- The E-mail widget allows consumers to quickly respond to, delete or compose new messages or view attachments with a single click. Advanced search capabilities allow consumers to locate important e-mail easily by searching in the subject line, the message body or an attachment. Automatic synchronization allows consumers to access messages and contacts in their Yahoo! Mail account in real time. Any changes made on the phone are instantly reflected on the PC and vice versa.

I tried to download to my N93 but i was informed that the Beta is curently full... frustrating.

Monday, January 08, 2007 

A MySpace for the mobile generation

UMR student-entrepreneur Benjamin Roodman is going mobile with the launch of a social networking service that integrates the Internet with cellular telephone technology.

Roodman, a senior computer engineering major from Chesterfield, Mo., is the the CEO of ImThere, a social networking service that connects subscribers to information about events -- such as concerts, CD launch parties or indie film festivals -- via text messages over their cell phones. ImThere is the first service launched by a company Roodman co-founded in early 2006, Ramped Media.

'We want to be on the forefront of mobile Internet technology,' says UMR student Ben Roodman, CEO of Ramped Media. 'Text messaging is the medium that’s going to allow us to get to that point.'

“ImThere is a user-driven site that allows people to find things to do, by using either their cell phone or the website,” says Roodman, who is piloting ImThere in St. Louis with plans to expand it to other markets later this year.

Like MySpace, Facebook and similar social networking websites, Roodman’s ImThere offers users a virtual place to connect with groups of like-minded people. They can use the service to they can promote new bands and venues, share recommendations about music, art or restaurants, or discover new music and performers.

Unlike web-based services, however, Roodman’s is designed for mobile technology.

“We want to be on the forefront of mobile Internet technology,” Roodman says. “Text messaging is the medium that’s going to allow us to get to that point.”

ImThere is the first service launched by Ramped Media, the company Roodman co-founded a year ago with David Gorman of St. Louis. The two were friends from middle school who lost touch in later years but were re-introduced in early 2006 by a mutual friend, Tess Baklor, a UMR computer science student who also works part time for Roodman. Roodman and Gorman, an experienced entrepreneur who had already started and sold several companies, brainstormed about starting a venture that would integrate mobile and web technology, and Ramped Media was born.

Since launching ImThere in October, Roodman and company have established partnerships with local clubs, bands and media, such as St. Louis Sound magazine, the music website Playback:stl and iChannel, whose parent company, Bonneville International, owns four radio stations in St. Louis. The company is as virtual as its service, with Gorman and one developer based in St. Louis, Roodman and Baklor in Rolla, another developer in West Virginia, another in Pennsylvania, a designer in Portland, Ore., and another employee, UMR computer science graduate Amos King, in St. James, Mo.

The employees, like the company, are young. King is the oldest of the group. “I think he’s 25 or 26,” says Roodman. And the company’s headquarters? “We don’t need offices – at least not right now,” Roodman says. “We have coffee shops.”

While tweaking ImThere in the St. Louis market prior to a broader launch in other parts of the nation, Roodman is looking for angel investors who share his vision. He’s also cooking up other business ideas, including a mobile news and blogging service and other mobile Internet applications.

Friday, January 05, 2007 

Google To Offer Internet Search Service To China Mobile Users

Google said Thursday it will offer Internet search services to some China Mobile mobile-phone users early this year after it began a trial in December.

The California-based Internet company's move into the Chinese mobile Internet market comes as it struggles to wrest market share from local Web-search leader, Baidu. Google expects more people to access the Internet through their mobile phones in coming years.

The company said in a statement Thursday that China Mobile's users will be able to access Google's search engine through the mobile carrier's Internet service, Monternet.

China Mobile's corporate communications manager, Lei Yu, confirmed that both companies will work together on Internet search services, but declined to comment on how the co-operation would affect the carrier's business.

China Mobile is the largest mobile carrier in the country, with 296.41 million users at the end of November. China has the world's largest mobile-phone market, with 455 million users at the end of November, according to the Ministry of Information Industry.

China is also the second-largest Internet market after the U.S. with 132 million users at the end of 2006, Xinhua News Agency reported last month, citing ministry data.

The deal is Google's latest move in the Asian market.

Last month, Taiwan's Chunghwa Telecom and Google signed an agreement to provide an embedded Web search service on the Taiwanese carrier's mobile phones from this month.

Google Vice President Lee Kai-Fu said at the time mobile search is in its early stages and doesn't constitute a large part of the company's revenue, but added: "We're optimistic on the outlook because in the future the number of mobile phone users will exceed those of computer users."

Earlier Thursday, state-owned China Daily reported that Google will buy a stake in Shenzhen-based peer-to-peer file sharing network operator Xunlei Network Technology Ltd., citing Xunlei spokesman Jackson Zhang.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007 

Will 2007 be the year for mobile entertainment?

As a sort of counter-point to that depressing eMarketer story, Pocketgamer outlines why it is that 2007 is gonna be the year that mobile gaming rocks out. Citing trends such as advertising-supported games (as a good thing, believe it or not), better multiplayer options, and 3D gaming making a huge breakthrough, the article by Stuart Dredge makes it sound like a good year to flip open that phone and get your game on.

Perhaps the most interesting of all the predictions/trends that Pocketgamer identifies is the rise of D2C, which will end-run mobile service providers and deliver game content directly to the consumer.
Why should you care, if the games cost the same? It’s a fair question. But as publishers set up D2C sites, it could make for a better experience browsing and buying mobile games. Gameloft’s new Connect application, which we wrote about recently, is a good example, being an iTunes-style application that lets you check out new games, view demos and then easily buy and download them. Expect to see other publishers follow suit next year, while other firms (for example Mpowerplayer in the US) try to bring a number of publishers’ games together in one application. And D2C can mean other ways of buying mobile games too. For example, EA Mobile bosses have talked about their desire to sell mobile games in high-street games shops.

If you’re a fan of mobile gaming and plan to stay one throughout 2007, this is a good article to check out. Don’t let that eMarketer guy get you down.

Pedro "K2" Macêdo

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