Microsoft, Nokia and carrier partners are planning a $100 million marketing push for the Nokia Ace (also known as the Lumia 900) when it launches in the United States. While the Ace isn’t yet official, it has been rumored that AT&T will unveil the device during the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next week. We exclusively reported in November that the Ace will offer a 1.4GHz processor, a 4.3-inch ClearBlack display and an 8-megapixel camera. Other reports have suggested it will run Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango) and support AT&T’s 4G LTE network. According to BetaNews, the Ace will hit AT&T store shelves in March where it will receive “hero” status. It is unclear how Microsoft, AT&T and Nokia will split the $100 million in marketing, but the hero status suggests it will be the focus of AT&T commercials, print ads, digital ads and in-store marketing. More →
AllThingsD is reporting that Apple is planning a media-related event that will take place at the end of January. It’s said that the event won’t be centered around an iPad 3 announcement, nor one around an update on Apple’s TV hobby, but one with Apples Senior VP of Internet Software Eddy Cue. Because Cue is involved, AllThingsD is concluding that this event is most likely around publishing or advertising.
UPDATE: TechCrunch says iBooks and publishing will be the focus of this small event. More →
For all the trouble Apple’s aggressive litigation strategy has caused Samsung, the South Korea-based electronics giant has finally found a way to make the pricey patent war work to its advantage. Samsung’s devices are gaining huge exposure as a result of Apple’s ongoing lawsuits, positioning Samsung’s Galaxy range of Android tablets and smartphones as the underdog alternative to Apple’s iOS lineup. More →
Apple may be implementing a number of changes to its iAd mobile advertising platform in an effort to attract more advertisers and to compete more aggressively against Google’s advertising solutions. The Cupertino-based company originally required that advertisers spend a minimum of $1 million on its iAd platform but then halved that figure to $500,000. Now, The Wall Street Journal said Apple is beginning to woo marketers by allowing them to spend as little as $400,000 on an iAd campaign. Read on for more. More →
It worked. 4G has been marketed so well by wireless carriers and vendors that people want it even if they don’t quite know why. A recent survey conducted by market research and intelligence firm In-Stat found that 75% of respondents listed 4G as one of the features their ideal phone would include. When asked which carrier offered the fastest 4G speeds, most respondents were left stymied. “Although 4G is an important feature for handset buyers, there is a lot of confusion surrounding 4G,” In-Stat analyst Greg Potter said in a statement. Read on for more. More →
China’s No. 3 wireless carrier is readying a massive marketing and advertising blitz as it prepares to begin taking iPhone 5 pre-orders at the end of this month, a report claims. Chinese-language daily newspaper Southern Metropolis Daily on Wednesday reported that China Telecom has already begun training staff in preparation for the launch of Apple’s fifth-generation iPhone handset. Sales of the device will begin in October, however the carrier will reportedly be opening pre-order sales toward the end of September. Southern Metropolis Daily also notes that China Telecom may increase the subsidy it offers on the new Apple smartphone in an effort to bump sales, and the carrier is also rumored to be prepping a 1.5 billion yuan ($235 million) marketing and advertising campaign surrounding the iPhone 5. With the country’s top carrier, China Mobile, expected to offer the iPhone 5 as well this fall, China Telecom’s aggressive strategy should do well to help bolster sales. More →
Microsoft’s General Manager of the Windows Phone Developer Experience on Monday announced that he is leaving Microsoft to launch a start up. Kindel did not share the details of his new endeavor, and his public profile on networking site LinkedIn lists him as Founder and CTO of <redacted> at A super secret stealth startup. “[The start up] has to do with sports, advertising, mobile, social-networking, and, of course, the cloud,” Kindel wrote in a post on his personal blog. “I’m insanely excited to get started.” The soon-to-be former executive was with Microsoft for 21 years, having joined the Redmond-based company’s developer support group in 1990. Kindel’s full email to his team regarding the decision follows below. More →
Hulu has confirmed that it is considering a third subscription option that would allow users to stream ad-free TV shows and movies for a higher monthly fee. “We’re currently an ad supported service but are looking into the option of a higher priced ad-free option,” a Hulu representative stated from an official Twitter account. Hulu made several additional comments to the same effect on Friday from its customer support Twitter account. The move would be an interesting one; Hulu dropped the price of its Hulu Plus premium subscription service to $7.99 last November, presumably due at least in part to slower than expected consumer adoption. A new pricier plan in spite of the recent price drop, that could also potentially anger network partners, is a tough pill to swallow —especially as the company looks for a buyer.
Shares of Google stock jumped more than 10% in after-hours trading following the Internet giant’s second-quarter earnings report. “We had a great quarter, with revenue up 32% year on year for a record breaking over $9 billion of revenue,” said Google CEO Larry Page in a statement. “I’m super excited about the amazing response to Google+ which lets you share just like in real life.” Google reported revenue of $9.03 billion in its June quarter, up 32% over the same quarter last year and well above the Street’s $6.5 billion consensus. EPS came in at $8.76, also well above Wall Street’s consensus of $7.86, and Google’s net income for the quarter totalled#2.85 billion, up from $2.08 billion in the second quarter last hear. Google also noted that Android activations are currently up to 550,000 devices per day, and its invite-only Google+ social network now has more than 10 million members. Google’s full press release follows below. More →
Nokia may be preparing to kick off a monstrous advertising blitz alongside the launch of its first round of Windows Phones, UK-based Marketing Magazine reports. The advertising campaign, which will apparently kick off in October when Nokia finally begins pushing out Microsoft-powered smartphones, is reportedly valued at just under $130 million. The new global campaign will seemingly be a rebranding mission of sorts, and will reportedly run for six months. Nokia has a steep climb ahead as it attempts to slow its bleeding market share while simultaneously attempting to get customers on board with a fledgling Windows Phone operating system that has not been well received thus far. Despite our love of the platform here at BGR, Microsoft’s share of the U.S. smartphone market has dropped by 35% since Windows Phone first launched in November, and International sales have been lackluster so far according to reports. Looking past its slow start, however, some analysts believe Windows Phone will quickly become one of the most popular mobile operating systems in the world. Pyramid Research, for example, believes Nokia will help propel Windows Phone sales faster than even Android saw during its rapid ascent to the No. 1 spot. Pyramid expects global Windows Phone sales to top Android in 2013. More →
According to a new report from research firm IDC, annual mobile app downloads are expected to jump from just 10.7 billion in 2010 to 182.7 billion in 2015. The company noted that that developers should keep a close eye on in-app purchases as the primary focus for monetizing applications – a far different approach than the standard method of relying on the initial app purchase. “This shift is most evident in the free app category, where in-app purchases allow users to buy a more functional version of the app or to turn on additional features,” the report said. “In this instance, the mobile apps space is largely emulating the success of mobile games that have long incorporated in-game purchases of additional levels, features, and functionalities as a key revenue source.” IDC argued that ad-supported applications and those that offer in-app purchase options must continue to keep users attracted over time. “The user sustainability trifecta of social networking, location, and the cloud are now increasingly being supported by the business model financial trifecta of application store purchases, in-app purchasing, and in-app advertising,” said Scott Ellison, vice president of mobile and connected consumer platforms at IDC. Read on for the full release. More →
BGR Interview: Verizon Wireless CMO Marni Walden on Android, Apple, tablets and new BlackBerry phones
We recently sat down with Verizon Wireless’ Chief Marketing Officer Marni Walden to discuss a wide range of topics — how Verizon went from smartphone zero to smartphone hero, the carrier’s colossal push that was a major catalyst for Android’s explosive growth, and even Verizon Wireless’ plans to take a leadership role with tablets just as it has with smartphones. We found it interesting that many phones are passed over when it comes to DROID branding, as that stamp of approval for only the best of the best. We covered Microsoft and RIM as well, and Ms. Walden even confirmed that Verizon Wireless will be launching three BlackBerry devices this year. The entire interview is after the break.
BGR Interview is a series of interviews and conversations with executives, influencers, tastemakers and innovators, covering the mobile and consumer electronics industries. More →