iPhone's developing world 'feature phone' challenge

iPhone is dominant across four continents when it comes to mobile website marketshare, the latest Motally data as reported by VentureBeat informs.

However, Apple still faces challenges outside of North America from the likes of Symbian (Nokia) and cheap, generic ‘feature phones’ equipped with some form of Web access. How long until smartphones come in affordable enough to clean-up in this segment?

“The most interesting trend in the data is the large amount of mobile website traffic that is done on feature phones, particularly in regions like South America, Asia and even Europe.  These regions house the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China), which many economists believe will be major drivers of global economic growth in coming years.”

More breakdowns here.

Apple shares could hit $1,000, says Piper Jaffray's Munster

Gene Munster seems bullish on Apple, telling that Henry Blodget at The Business Insider that Apple stock could cross to $1,000 per share. No surprise then that AAPL stock closed at an all-time new high of $215.04 on trading yesterday (up 4.42 percent).

Some help too from Apple’s imminent tablet release, the color multimedia device which will allow us to browse the Web, listen to music, watch movies and or television shows and also act as an electronic book and newspaper reader, sending Kindle home to the Amazon.

Why will Apple hit these new heights?

  • Apple can become the global smartphone leader.
  • Apple can maintain its incredible growth rate.
  • There’s an explosive growth opportunity as products get cheaper.
  • The app development platform is definitely favoring Apple.
  • Apple won’t crack corporate America, but that’s not where the big mobile money is.
  • Apple’s “better positioned than any other hardware company to grow over the next 5 years”.

Thi second clip tells us why Microsoft won’t win this time around…

Bing goes the iPhone. Microsoft and Apple discussing Bing as default search on Mobile Safari

According to Businessweek, Apple is in talks with Microsoft to drop Google search as the default on Mobile Safari on the iPhone and iPod Touch.  The move would place Bing, Microsoft’s recently rebranded search, at the top of the mobile browser.  The reason would be twofold.  One: Microsoft would offer more money for users who click on ads from search and two, because Google’s Android is a much bigger threat to Apple’s iPhone than anything Microsoft can muster.

Interestingly, Apple may also add Bing as an option in Desktop Safari as well, according to their sources.  The deal, if finalized, may not be a long one however.  Businessweek closes by saying that Apple is working on a skunkworks search product of their own and they don’t want to ‘outsource the future’.

Acer founder Shih: US PC companies will disappear within the next 20 years

Apple, HP, Dell?  All dead.  That’s what Acer boss Stan Shih is forecasting for US PC makers in 20 years’ time.

“The trend for low-priced computers will last for the coming years,” said Stan Shih, high tech entrepreneur and founder of the island’s leading personal computer brand according to the Taipei-based Commercial Times newspaper.

“But US computer makers just don’t know how to put such products on the market… US computer brands may disappear over the next 20 years, just like what happened to US television brands.”

Acer passed Dell this year to be the #2 global PC maker and is on track to surpass HP next year.

Do you think the PC will even be around in 20 years?  With the way smartphones and now tablets are progressing, I think 10 years is a long shot.

Bootcamp 3.1 for Windows 7 is released

Apple has released Bootcamp for Windows 32-bit and 64-bit  (or through Software Update).  The release was originally timed to be at the end of last year and supports Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium, Professional, and Ultimate. 

Remember, Apple only supports Windows 7 on some Intel machines.  To see if you are one of the lucky ones, check here.

To upgrade from Vista, you’ll also need the update utility which unmounts the disk and updates it for Windows 7.  

Have fun with that.

Has Apple been slowly training us to use the tablet for years?

Mike Elgan over at Computerworld has an excellent piece this morning on titled ‘How Apple is training you for the future’. 

Visionary companies like Apple have better ideas for how we do just about everything relating to computers and media. They know they can invent and build the products. The big problem is convincing us to use them. 

That is a great point.  People aren’t just going to jump into a futuristic way of using a gadget.  Sure, a few of us will use what Apple tells us to use, but for the majority of the population, a gradual immersion is much more effective.

 He gives three examples of where Apple is currently doing this:

  1. Virtual keyboards (iPhone ->tablet -> computers)
  2. Mobile cable box and DVR (iTunes -> AppleTV)
  3. Apps on demand (App Store on iPhone -> tablet -> Mac)

I’d add that Apple is doing this with multi-touch.  Ever since the first iPhone and MacBook Pro got multi-touch, Apple has been slowly adding the technology to its product line and expanding how much we can do with it.  It is pretty obvious from its patent portfolio that there is much more to come in the Multi-touch arena with the next iteration of products and software due next week.

But imagine if Apple had tried to do this all at once?  This language of multi-touch would be way too much for users to comprehend.

Guardian: Apple has been approaching UK mobile providers to carry tablet (in a few months)

The Guardian reports that Apple has started looking for carrier partners in the UK.

Apple is understood to have approached several UK mobile phone networks, including Orange, about selling its forthcoming tablet computer to British customers.

As we reported earlier, this late move may mean that Apple waits a few months before it sends the tablet overseas.  The Guardian says:

British gadget fans will have to wait until much later in the spring, according to UK sources, but the price of the device could be reduced if Apple can persuade a mobile phone company to subsidise it.

The Guardian then goes a bit obvious on us. 

Apple is looking for mobile partners willing to bundle a mobile broadband contract with the iSlate. The UK’s mobile phone networks, meanwhile, also have deals that allow their mobile broadband customers easy access to thousands of public wi-fi hotspots across the country.

It will be interesting to see what US providers Apple has partnered with and what kind of deals they will provide -especially for those already on an AT&T iPhone plan.