August 17, 2009

Dell’s iPhone-class contender has made a quiet debut in China, with images of the new device emerging just days since news of the computer maker’s plan came to light.

Not a great deal is known about Dell’s iPhone in China launch spoiler, bar that it has a higher resolution screen than an iPhone: a 3.5-inch touchscreen with 360×640 resolution, compared to the iPhone’s 3.5-inch screen with 320×480 resolution.  It most likely runs a version of Google’s Android OS.

It’s also known to feature a 3.2MP camera, Bluetooth, a 950mAh battery, a mini USB port and a microSD card slot, said MobileCrunch. There’s no WiFi or 3G support, though – which is par for the course in China.

August 11, 2009

Last week Phil Schiller, Apple’s head of Marketing, sent out an email to Daring Fireball correcting the blog on a few facts related to a story about a app getting rejected from the App Store.  Now Steve Frank (developer of the popular Coda/Transmit software), who has gone on his own seperate but parallel rants about the iPhone App Store, has also gotten and email from Phil Schiller:

to summarize, he said: “we’re listening to your feedback”. Not all of my suggested solutions were viable, he said, but they were taking it all in as they continue to evolve the app store.

He went on to say that the rumors of widespread e-book app rejection I’d heard were false — that specifically one e-book app had been rejected because it facilitated iPhone-to-iPhone sharing of (potentially copyrighted) books. But that otherwise, there was no sweeping ban on e-book readers.

Since Phil is listening to his feedback, Steve is considering putting down his new Android phone and coming back to the Apple side after his week-long boycott. 

It is interesting that Apple is choosing this medium of communication rather than using the typical PR channels and/or a developer relations-type approach.  Steve Jobs often directly responds to emails as well so maybe this is the preferred means of communications..  This particular email seems to have worked on Frank.

(via TechCrunck)

 

August 10, 2009

We’ve been banging on about how your iPhone will be your wallet one day, and we’ve taken many a look at credit card processing systems preparing themselves for launch for the device – but now it looks like we may have missed a trick, at least according to former leader of Mac development and founder of the Be OS, Jean-Louis Gassée.

In his latest report on CBS, Gassée notes that with the iPhone and, to a lesser extent, the Apple TV, Apple has moved toward a whole different business plan, as a service provider rather than hardware maker. Bear with us, we know this is hard to see, and this is the tech exec’s opinion.

“Until recently, Apple’s profits were built on hardware sales. Everything else, system software or iTunes music revenue only mattered as a way to buttress hardware profits. For example, when iTunes came out, analysts expressed concern that music margins were thin or negative. So what? iTunes’s sole role is to prop up iPod and iPhones margins. Apple talks up its software, operating system and applications, spends hundreds of millions of dollars in development and generates modest or no direct revenue from it. It’s all in the service of Mac and iPhone sales and profit margins. That’s the picture so far, fast becoming the past,” he writes.

“With the iPhone, Apple hasn’t just broken into a new product category, it has shouldered its way into a new world of service revenues.” The former Mac chief then breaks out a few numbers, revealing that iPhone sales generate in the region of $850 in service revenue.

Gassée then moves to look at the micropayment systems which already underline iTunes. “Apple has developed an infrastructure,” he writes, observing that a future Apple tablet could be developed into becoming the “channel of choice” for entertainment.

“Apple could become a distributor and micro-payment agent for goods and services going way beyond you can get on an iPhone, think screen size, or a MacBook, think everyday mobility/ubiquity, weight and size,” he writes.

Gassée also observes that former Apple ally and now new competitor, Google, is moving into the same direction, hoping its Chrome/Android OS for netbooks and smartphones (respectively) will help it pump its intelligence into these devices, and hopeful it will then be able to gain business through the offering of similar services.

The former Apple executive also slams Google CEO, Eric Schmidt, to resign from Apple’s board last week, saying it’s long overdue – he should have gone when Google introduced Android…

It’s a fascinating read – go get it….

9to5toys 

August 7, 2009

TechCrunch’s sources at Google have informed them that Apple and Google had a no-poach employee agreement going on over the years that Google’s Eric Schmidt was on the board of directors at Apple.  "This was not a written agreement, and was considered non-official, but it was well-known and followed within the recruitment division of Google, we’re told."

Google and Apple have been investigated by the DOJ for sharing board members which could theoretically have the byproduct of this type of behavior.

Interestingly, now that Schmidt is off of Apple’s board, the "gentleman’s agreement" may now be off, according to MG Siegler.

He continues:

To be clear, this unwritten agreement was that Google would not go after Apple employees, and vice versa. However, employees of both companies were free to apply to the other company on their own, we’re told. That’s a small, but important difference as the practice of going after other company’s talent, also known as “poaching”, is considered to be an important component of healthy competition in the market. That’s why the Justice Department is looking into it.

There has been a flurry of events over the past year which indicate that Google and Apple’s relationship, while strong, might be deteriorating.  Eric Schmidt mentioned that Google kept multi-touch off of the Android G1 "At Apple’s request".  They also didn’t seem to mind too much when their Latitude and Voice applications for iPhone got pulled and simply said that they’d build web versions.  The Voice application rejection also got the FCC involved again, sending requests to Apple, Google and AT&T for clarification.

For what it is worth, the Feds have indicated that Eric Schmidt stepping down from Apple’s board would not stop their investigations.

Update: they’ve recieved the email below seeminglyconfirming such an agreement was in place.

 

From: XXXXX XXXXX <XXXXX@google.com>
Date: XXXXXXX XX, 2008 X:XX:XX AM PDT
Subject: Re: Google Opportunities- Follow up email…

Thanks for getting back to me.  I don’t believe that we have been in
contact previously – apologies if I am wrong about this.

From your reference to the [APPLE DIVISION], I take it that you are
currently working there.  If this is the case, we will not be able to
proceed with your application.  Google has an agreement with Apple
that we will not cold call their staff.  If you are not currently
working at Apple and are interested in learning more about [A GOOGLE DIVISION]
please let me know and I would be happy to chat with you.

Thank you again for returning my email.

 

Games are the most popular applications sold through the App Store, fresh research claims, dominating Apple’s sales lists and proving the company has become a games industry force at long last.

July’s Distimo report contrasts both the Apple and Android smartphone application markets. They reflect the popularity of games on the iPhone platform (though we shouldn’t ignore the contrast may be specious, as the iPhone platform also includes the iPod touch, which is more widely used as an entertainment, rather than communication, device).

Curiously, ten of the top 15 paid apps sold through the App Store are games, with utlities occupying three spots at the top.

The new findings in this report are:
       
– A negative trend can be identified in the total price of the Overall Top 100 for the Apple App Store. This however was influenced by the turn-by-turn navigation apps MobileNavigator Europe and MobileNavigator America, which were both published by NAVIGON AG. Turn-by-turn navigation apps are still popular.

– Pricing of applications in the Apple App Store and Android Market is quite similar, except for the Reference category which has a much higher average price on Google Android Market.

– The most popular games on Android Market cost between $0.99 and $5.95, with most going for $2.99, while for the Apple App store, most are priced very low ($0.99), and a few higher at $6.99- $9.99

– Games are still the most popular applications in the Apple App Store, with slightly more apps in the monthly paid Top 15 than in the free Top 15.

– Classic games on Android Market are more popular than in the Apple App Store, with even 3 out of the 15 most popular games for Android being emulators. These types of emulators are not allowed in the Apple App Store.

– Tools are very popular paid apps for Android, with 7 apps from the application category bvery different, there are no productivity/utilities apps for Apple in the overall Top 15.

August 6, 2009

With Google CEO Eric Schmidt stepping down from the Apple board this week, reports suggest new levels of competition between the two formerly friendly firms.

This may be true, and the battlefield between the two past partners could come down to a smartphone war in the world’s growing superpower, China. There, Apple’s soon-to-ship iPhone is likely to do battle with Android-driven devices from numerous manufacturers.

Don’t just take that from us – the world’s leading business market titles are all looking at the future tousle between the two, seeing this battle as one that one of the firms must win to secure dominance of the high-end smartphone market in China.

China Mobile – the world’s largest mobile carrier – plans to launch a range of Android-powered smartphones, perhaps as early as next week. And these will compete directly with Apple’s iPhone in a market nowhere near as saturated by Apple’s masterly grip on the news agenda.

China Mobile could launch a third-generation (3G) smart-phone called the OPhone, made by Lenovo Mobile, it will also introduce the Magic range of smartphones made by Taiwan’s HTC.

Apple’s response may be delayed – China Unicom, Apple’s purported iPhone China launch partner – isn’t expected to introduce the iPhone until September or October, when it launches its own 3G service in the country.

China Unicom last week denied reports that it had sealed a deal with Apple, but said there had been progress in the talks. A senior team of Apple executives is known to be in China now for talks with the carrier.

There’s a lot to play for in this territory. China is the world’s largest mobile phone market with 700 million subscribers, with smartphones accounting for 10 per cent of all handsets sold.

The Chinese market is extremely diverse, according to Citigroup analyst, Michael Meng, who notes that much of the business currently comes from middle-aged businessmen who don’t use a lot of data but talk incessantly into their mobiles, night and day.

With the Russian experience – where demand for the iPhone has failed to meet supply – smarting in Apple execs minds, Meng also offers a warning, “The average revenue per user [per month] in the Chinese mobile market is Rmb60, and for China Mobile’s customers it’s Rmb85. For the iPhone, the target is Rmb300. That’s a big gap,” he says. “So the potential subscribers we’re looking at need to be young, wealthy, well-educated, probably English-speaking, since the iPhone still has some English-language applications.”

It’s certainly an unusual situation that Google will effectively now be competing with Apple in perhaps one of the world’s key emerging smartphone markets. Particularly in view of comments from Schmidt last week – before his resignation – when he said, "I’ll talk to the Apple people – at the moment, there’s no issue."

While on the board, he once said, “From my perspective, I don’t think Google sees Apple as a primary competitor.” Despite which the Google CEO would recuse himself from discussions related to the iPhone.

“Eric has been an excellent Board member for Apple, investing his valuable time, talent, passion and wisdom to help make Apple successful,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO, announcing Schmidt’s withdrawal.

“Unfortunately, as Google enters more of Apple’s core businesses, with Android and now Chrome OS, Eric’s effectiveness as an Apple Board member will be significantly diminished, since he will have to recuse himself from even larger portions of our meetings due to potential conflicts of interest. Therefore, we have mutually decided that now is the right time for Eric to resign his position on Apple’s Board.”

The Apple/Google relationship has now become a Chinese puzzle.

9to5google 

August 4, 2009

Silicon Alley Insider is reporting (Wall Street gossip) that Apple may be building an online payment platform similar to Google Checkout, Paypal and the also-rumored Facebook’s "Pay with Facebook". 

It really isn’t that big of a stretch, Apple already plays that role for in-app purchases on the iPhone platform.  They also already have millions and millions of global account holders tied to credit cards (Jobs noted 65 million active iTunes accounts just last year). 

The infrastructure is already there in iTunes. A first stop?  Perhaps you’ll be able to make purchases at the Apple Store with your iTunes account.  Maybe they’ll build an app for that to ease the transition.  Then, they’ll add a few more retailers and all of a sudden, you have the Bank of Apple.

 

We took a look at the fast-paced and competitive development of solutions which allow you to use your iPhone to take credit card payments, replacing POS credit card processing machines just yesterday. Today’s claim that Apple plans to introduce its own PayPal-competing payment system simply extends the paradigm.

What it comes down to at its simplest level is: What if 65 million (or more) iTunes users could point their iPhone at a cash terminal in a shop and pay for their goods via their iTunes account? Apple has the micropayments sorted, has your details, you have a password, and with Remote Wipe it’s probably a lot safer than a credit card and a PIN number. Imagine, if you will, a situation in which you pay for your coffees in your local Starbucks with your iTunes account. The advantage being the lack of a minimum charge, as Apple’s used to handling small transactions.

Look – we’re not imagining the situation: Apple has patented the notion of using your iPhone as a device to access and purchase food in restaurants and more…

 

Consider this: Visa last year confirmed plans to develop a mobile payments-related services for Google’s Android platform. This will let users check their accounts, make payments, and more, using an Android phone. Does Apple want to miss that party? We doubt it.

If there’s one sticking point it’s profit margins. Apple currently takes 30% of in-app purchases.  That figure will have to come a lot closer to the 1-2% that Paypal and Google Checkout charge if they want to bring more retaillers on board.

 

 

 

August 3, 2009

Apple released a PR Statement today saying that Eric Schmidt had resigned from Apple’s Board of Directors.  The move was anticipated as more and more of Google and Apple’s businesses crossed over into each other’s paths.  The straw that broke the camel’s back was undoubtedly the announcement of the Google Chrome OS which will compete with Windows and Mac for the desktop space.

The move will also ease some regulatory issues.  The FTC had previously been investigating Apple and Google for sharing board members.  As of this writing, Google and Apple still share a single board member, Art Levinson from Genentech.  The FCC is also looking into the Google Voice App Store rejections.

 In May, Schmidt said:

“From my perspective, I don’t think Google sees Apple as a primary competitor.”
Mr. Schmidt said that if there were areas of competition between the two, he would recuse himself from discussions. He added that it was well known that he typically recuses himself from Apple board discussions related to the iPhone.

Last month, it was reported that Schmidt was going to talk to Apple’s Board about any possible conflicts.

"I’ll talk to the Apple people," he told reporters "At the moment, there’s no issue."

Apple today said:

CUPERTINO, California—August 3, 2009—Apple® today announced that Dr. Eric Schmidt, chief executive officer of Google, is resigning from Apple’s Board of Directors, a position he has held since August 2006.

“Eric has been an excellent Board member for Apple, investing his valuable time, talent, passion and wisdom to help make Apple successful,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “Unfortunately, as Google enters more of Apple’s core businesses, with Android and now Chrome OS, Eric’s effectiveness as an Apple Board member will be significantly diminished, since he will have to recuse himself from even larger portions of our meetings due to potential conflicts of interest. Therefore, we have mutually decided that now is the right time for Eric to resign his position on Apple’s Board.”

Besides OSes, Google and Apple compete in the following areas:

    * Smartphone software. iPhoneOS vs. Android
    * Webpage building software iWeb vs. Google Pages
    * Calendar software – iCal vs. GCal
    * Document writing software – iWork vs. Google apps (Docs, spreadsheets and presentations)
    * Feed reading software Mail.app vs. Google reader.
    * Email software Gmail vs. Mail.app
    * OS Software: MacOS vs. Android Linux
    * They both give away photo editing software – Picassa vs. iPhoto.
    * Web Browsers (both based on the same Open Source Webkit and sold for free) Safari and Chrome
    * Web Services with Apple’s MobileMe and Google’s Google Apps and Gmail.
    * Video services – Youtube vs. iTunes

  Fake Steve humorously and correctly analyzed the situation here and here.

July 31, 2009

The BBC has quoted O2’s spokespeople on an upcoming iPhone update scheduled for tomorrow:

An O2 spokesperson said the patch would be available Saturday through iTunes.

"We will be communicating to customers both through the website and proactively," the spokesperson added.

"We always recommend our customers update their iPhone with the latest software and this is no different."

The security update is related to the SMS vulnerability that Charlie Miller and Colin Mulliner demonstrated at this week’s Black Hat security convention but was originally discovered and reported over a month ago.

iPhones aren’t the only platform vulnerable to this attack.  WinMo and Android are too (though Google has already pushed a fix).  However, the bulk of the publicity until this point has been focused on the iPhone and Apple’s apparent inability to send up a patch. 

Because of the nature of this attack (SMS), it would also seem that the Telcos could play a part in preventing its use/spread.

Unlike O2, AT&T hasn’t mentioned anything to its customers about the issue and forthcoming solutions.

 

electrek 

July 28, 2009

Apple doesn’t want people jailbreaking.  Not even a little bit it.  If you don’t mind reading through 45 pages of legalese, you’ll see why.  It really boils down to these 13 reasons:

  1. Crashes & instability
  2. Malfunctioning & safety
  3. Invasion of privacy
  4. Exposing children to age-inappropriate content
  5. Viruses & malware 
  6. Inability to update software
  7. Cellular network impact 
  8. Piracy of developers’ applications 
  9. Instability of developers’ applications 
  10. Increased support burden 
  11. Developer relationships
  12. The Apple/iPhone brand 
  13. Limitation on ability to innovate

All of these seem like legitimate reasons for keeping out jailbreakers until you consider that iPhones are computers.  If Apple wins this arguement, why wouldn’t computer makers be able to dictate what is put on a 3G enabled notebook?  Could you modify the EFI/BIOS on a laptop?  What’s the difference?

Wired took a particularly hard look at the cell tower’s danger:

The EFF has asked the regulators for the DMCA exemption, (.pdf) which would allow consumers to run any app on the phone, including those not authorized by Apple.

Fred von Lohmann, the EFF attorney who made the request, said Apple’s latest claims are preposterous. During a May public hearing on the issue in Palo Alto, California, he told regulators there were as many as a million unauthorized, jailbroken phones.

In an interview Tuesday, he said he suspected those phones have not been used to destroy mobile phone towers. “As far as I know, nothing like that has ever happened,” he said.

He added that, if Apple’s argument was correct, the open-source Android phone from Google on T-Mobile networks would also be a menace to society. ”This kind of theoretical threat,” von Lohmann said, “is more FUD than truth.”

Apple also claimed that jailbreaking would pave the way for hackers to alter the Exclusive Chip Identification number that identified the phone to the cell tower, which could enable calls to be made anonymously. Apple said “this would be desirable to drug dealers.”

Apple has refused to sell the Google’s much-anticipated Google Voice app through its App Store, while also removing existing apps which use the service, reports claim.

Google had sent Google Voice to Apple for approval for sale through the App Store, but it was rejected. Independent GV Mobile app developer, Sean Kovacs, also saw his app removed from the App Store, with Apple saying his software duplicates features the iPhone ships with.

Google built similar apps for BlackBerry and Android, while independent developers also ported the service to the iPhone, with apps including GV Mobile and VoiceCentral made available for a few months. These apps have now been withdrawn from the store.

A Google spokesperson told TechCrunch: “We work hard to bring Google applications to a number of mobile platforms, including the iPhone. Apple did not approve the Google Voice application we submitted six weeks ago to the Apple App Store. We will continue to work to bring our services to iPhone users for example, by taking advantage of advances in mobile browsers.”

Speculation now suggests AT&T may have been behind the move to ban Google Voice. It’s thought the carrier may have felt threatened by the app, which among other features lets users send free SMS messages and make cheap calls using Google’s own number.

Adding insult to injury, independently-developed GV Mobile was apparently, “personally approved last April by Phil Schiller”, Apple’s top marketing guy.

July 25, 2009

The LA Times has the story.  We’ve talked about our love of Augmented reality apps before, but according to the Mark Milian, the iPhone will only be allowing access to the necessary APIs to build these types of apps in iPhone OS3.1 which they anticipate for September…right about the time some new iPods should hit the scene.

 

The NY Subway app above (via Macrumors) is a clever (but somewhat unnecessary) use of the technology to find the nearest subway terminal. 

July 23, 2009

You can now use Google Latitude on your iPhone, though it is just a webapp.  Interesting information form Google on why they didn’t build a "traditional" app:

We worked closely with Apple to bring Latitude to the iPhone in a way Apple thought would be best for iPhone users. After we developed a Latitude application for the iPhone, Apple requested we release Latitude as a web application in order to avoid confusion with Maps on the iPhone, which uses Google to serve maps tiles.

Google, like Apple, continues to push for improvements in web browser functionality. Now that iPhone 3.0 allows Safari to access location, building the Latitude web app was a natural next step. In the future, we will continue to work closely with Apple to deliver useful applications — some of which will be native apps on the iPhone, such as Earth and YouTube, and some of which will be web apps, like Gmail and Latitude.

Unfortunately, since there is no mechanism for applications to run in the background on iPhone (which applies to browser-based web apps as well), we’re not able to provide continuous background location updates in the same way that we can for Latitude users on Android, Blackberry, Symbian and Window Mobile. Nevertheless, your location is updated every time you fire up the app and then continuously updated while the app is running in the foreground. And, of course, you can check in on where your friends are, so we think there’s plenty of fun to be had with Latitude. Learn more about updating and sharing your location from your iPhone.

What gives with Apple not wanting an App for this?  Do they have something similar coming down the pipe?  If so it would be great if it could be a). integrated with the Maps app somehow and b). runs in the background.  We’ll see what develops.

Interestingly, it doesn’t work with the Mobile Safari in iPhone OS 3.1B. 

 

9to5toys 

Ted Patrick, Adobe’s Senior Manager of Developer Communities has said that he expect to see Flash support the major capabilites (GPS, Accelerometrs, Multitouch) of modern mobile devices.   The comments were made today at an Adobe event for analysts.  Adobe’s CTO, Kevin Rollins added that a full featured version of Flash for mobile phones will be available in beta by the end of this year/early next year.  

The demonstrations were all on Android handsets which are running on processors significantly slower than those in Apple’s iPhone 3GS.

The mobile Flash demonstrations shown today by Adobe were all on Android devices, still no world on Flash for the iPhone. ("It’s up to Apple," was the line again today.) A bevy of beautiful, touchable, turnable, location-aware Flash apps on Android could create a pretty compelling competitor to the contents of the iPhone app store.

 

Apple’s iPod touch and iPhones continue to lead the market in the US while becoming increasingly popular in Western Europe and Asia, the latest AdMob statistics reveal.

Freshly-published statistics for June 2009 offer a pretty good view on the distribution of iPhone OS devices by country. AdMob the world’s largest mobile advertising platform, uses its own network data in combination with Apple’s own disclosed figures to make its estimates.

The good news – and let’s face it it’s obvious, is that worldwide adoption of Apple devices continues to grow. North America remains a key market for Apple’s handheld products, you’ll find 58 percent of iPhone and iPod touch users there.

Western Europe and Asia represent 26 and seven per cent of Apple device users, respectively. The worldwide ratio of iPhone to iPod touch users in the AdMob network was roughly two to one in June; although this varied from region to region, this ratio has remained relatively constant over the last several months, implying a similar growth rate for both devices worldwide.

54 per cent of iPhone and iPod touch users are in the United States. Following the US, France, Germany and the UK each had more than five per cent of all iPhone and iPod touch devices. iPod touch users represent 38 percent of total iPhone OS devices in North America.

Requests from the Android OS increased 25 per cent month over month. Android has five percent worldwide OS share and is now slightly ahead of Windows Mobile for the first time.

AdMob’s June 2009 Mobile Metrics Report also offers an estimated breakdown of the number of iPhone and iPod touch devices sold in various countries. The company estimates that there have been 13 million iPhone and 12 million iPod touch units sold to date in the US based on user data in AdMob’s network.

This analysis is based on the 16.8 million unique users on iPhone and iPod touch devices on the more than 7,000 mobile sites and 2,500 applications in AdMob’s network in June 2009.
 

June 24, 2009

Tired of hearing how fast the iPhone 3GS is? Too bad…here’s yet another study of the browsing speed of the new iPhone 3GS and the new iPhone 3 OS.  Medialets ran the SunSpider Javascript tests on three recent iPhones as well as the Palm Pre and the Android G1.  The results are below (shorter bars are better).

 

 

This is a pretty clear indication that not only is Apple’s new hardware fast, but the new 3.0 OS is also pretty helpful in speeding up Javascript.

9to5google 

June 2, 2009

It’s no secret that Apple is morphing AppleTV into something bigger...with games. If and when Apple enters home gaming market, that product’s competition will come from Microsoft’s XBox. Microsoft wowed the audience at today’s E3 with their idea of the XBox of the future.  Keep in mind, this is only a concept at this point, much like Microsoft’s Surface was two years ago (and where are we now?).

Natal is particularly impressive given Microsoft’s recent past in home entertainment.

Notice that laptop is a Mac? That sticker leaves the Apple leaf uncovered.

June 1, 2009

Engadget’s sources say that new iPhones will come in just about every size imaginable.

…we’re hearing from a trusted source that new iPhones in 4GB, 8GB, 16GB, and 32GB capacities just garnered approval by the PCS Type Review Certification Board, the standards body responsible for certificating handsets for use with some carriers (AT&T, for instance)

Wow.  If so, that 4GB model is going to have a low starting price point.  That might make the Androids and Pres a harder sell.

 

May 27, 2009

Google Latitude is an application that has been promised for the iPhone for awhile now. It allows you to broadcast your GPS location and at the same time allows you to follow the locations of your friends. Obviously, there is both concern for abuse as well as excitement over this ability.  Google has released versions for the Blackberry, Symbian, Windows Mobile and, of course, Android. 

For whatever reason (App Store regulations?), Google has decided to skip over the iPhone as an native app and release Latitude as a Web App on iPhone 3.0.  With HTML 5 and Apple allowing Safari to access the GPS location in 3.0, apparantly it makes more sense to build a web app.  We aren’t quite sold on that yet but we are willing to try (Anyone got a URL for us?). 

This idea would be even better if Safari could continue accessing the GPS information in the background, for this to work.  More picts below.

Photos via Techcrunch

electrek 

May 26, 2009

If imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, then the mobile industry has the highest of praise for the iTunes App Store.  Nokia has followed Blackberry, WinMob and Android in releasing their very own App Store called Ovi

..owners of around 50 different Nokia devices can download applications, games, videos and podcasts. The store consolidates services, including Download!, MOSH and WidSets into a one-stop-shop for free and paid content. The store offers 20,000 different items, and can be accessed by 50 million Nokia device owners, the company said. Visitors to the store can choose to view all items, or only those compatible with their phone. The necessary software client is available in English, German, Italian, Russian, and Spanish. There is support for operator billing in Australia, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Russia, Singapore, Spain and the U.K. In the rest of the world users pay using credit cards. U.S. mobile operator AT&T Inc. will offer integrated support for the Ovi store later this year.

The only "advantage" we can see here is that Ovi is integrated with the carriers so apps can be put on the telephone bill. We use quotes because we wouldn’t want it this way but there are those out there who might.

 Tech Crunch mentions that the rollout isn’t going so well.

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