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Nokia & SE Report Dismal Q3, iPhone Enhances Free Apps

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It's Friday afternoon, you have the attention span of an ADD ant and there's a rash of mobile news about that really doesn't warrant numerous lengthy articles. What to do? It's your TR Friday round-up!

Firstly highlighting Google to be the financially invincible freak it is, both Nokia and Sony Ericsson have demonstrated it is perfectly possible to have disastrous quarters during economic hard times. The former has ran headfirst into a wall (which then fell on it) after reporting losses of over $1bn dollars (though largely from a write-down) along with a drop of 21 per cent in year on year sales. Most importantly however overall market share has also dropped again this time to 35 per cent (it had been as high as 44 per cent).

As for Sony Ericsson, it ran into a wall, the wall fell on it then was rebuilt only to fall on it a second time. It lost a proportionately far greater $224.7m during its summer quarter and saw revenue nearly half from $4.2m in 2008 to $2.4m. Even worse news is the drop in sales to 14.1m units, a collapse of 45.1 per cent year on year. $678.8m in outside funding has been brought in to try and secure the future of the business, which currently has $1.3bn in cash.

In more positive news, developers for Apple's iPhone received a shot in the arm today with announcement that in app purchasing has been expanded to free applications. This should mean an end to the string of 'Lite' app versions in the store and means users can simply pay to upgrade a free app to the premium edition inside it rather than having to download a whole new version.

Lastly, two API expansions should could have some interesting mobile knock-ons. The first sees micro-blog Twitter begin to roll out 'lists' this week which will allow applications (both mobile and computer based) to organise their followers into manageable groups (for example, sane, insane, dull and unmissable). This should slowly replace the proprietary list systems introduced in apps such as Tweetdeck.

Secondly, ingenious though currently underused 'computational knowledge engine' Wolfram Alpha is to open up its API enabling its integration into websites and mobile and desktop applications. This could be just the boost the service needs since we don't tend to surf over to a dedicated website to do some complex mathematics, but adding this ability into, say, a maths programme or mobile maths app makes far more sense. Personally, I'd like to see it seamlessly blended into Wikipedia.

Update: The Wolfram Alpha app has gone live in the App Store for a monstrous £29.99. It claims to be much more than just a browser shortcut describing itself as "the ultimate replacement for almost any kind of calculator or reference book - and much more". Then again, you could just use the already iPhone optimised Wolfram Alpha site for free. The choice is yours...

Links:
Nokia Q3 Financial Results
Sony Ericsson Q3 Financial Results
In App Purchasing via MacRumours}
Twitter
Wolfram Alpha

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