Archives: November 2008

Send Photos, Videos from Your Sprint Phone to MySpace and Online Services

Sprint users would be glad to know that they can now upload photos and videos which they took using their Sprint mobile phones directly from their phone to various online services including MySpace, Photobucket and YouTube and other social media sites. This is definitely a good service would be most useful during the Holiday Season where picture-taking and video capturing would be higly in-demand during festivities. Read more

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Hugo Boss Releases Branded Cell Phone

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Continuing the recent trend toward fashion-branded cell phones, Hugo Boss has placed its name on a touchscreen handset, Engadget reports.

Available in Europe beginning next month for €479 ($620), the Hugo Boss edition F480 is (surprise) a virtual clone of a Samsung F480. That makes it somewhat less adventurous than the surprisingly successful LG Prada KE850, which featured a unique design and feature set.

For the Hugo Boss phone, however, the major differences are: a Hugo Boss logo on the front panel, Hugo Boss themes (such as wallpaper and other graphics), and “Hugo Boss-inspired” ringtones, which on paper sounds scary more than anything else. There’s also an optional Hugo Boss Bluetooth headset to go with the phone.

Viigo Announces Cellular South Content Deal

Viigo_HTC_Touch_Diamond.jpgViigo, the mobile content and services provider, announced an agreement with regional wireless carrier Cellular South to launch a free, co-branded version of its mobile web platform, according to FierceMobileContent.

“Cellular South customers with BlackBerry, HTC Touch and Motorola Q9 smartphones may now access real-time news, weather, sports, travel, stock market results, entertainment and blogs from more than 5,000 Internet content channels,” the company said in a statement.

On the custom content side, Viigo will tailor content to Cellular South’s network footprint, such as including local newspapers, local blogs, and NCAA football standings that highlight the Southeastern Conference and Conference USA, according to the company.

Confirmed: Courtney Holt to Head MySpace Music

MySpace_Music_President.jpgAfter going several months without a captain, MySpace has confirmed that Courtney Holt will be the new head of MySpace Music, according to CNET News.

“Courtney understands how to successfully blend technology with music and the resulting new business opportunities born from such a combination,” said Chris DeWolfe, MySpace CEO, in the article. Previously, Holt was executive vice president of Digital Music for the MTV Networks.

Holt has a big job—convince people to turn away from iTunes, Verizon V CAST Music, Rhapsody, and countless other services and come check out his site instead. Or rather, come back, as MySpace originally began as a social networking site for independent musicians before turning into a catch-all portal for everyone.

El Paso Tops in Text Messaging

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According to new data from Scarborough Research, there’s a correlation between the average age and cultural makeup of a city or region, and the amount of text messaging that goes on there, MocoNews reports.

The study found that El Paso has the highest rate of text messaging, followed by Salt Lake City, Dallas and Memphis.

“Adult subscribers in El Paso text at a rate of 57 percent, compared to the national average of 48 percent. The other three top cities clocked in at a text-messaging rate of 55 percent. Sitting at the bottom half of the charts is Fort Myers, Fla. (36 percent), Charleston, W. Va. (36 percent), and Grand Rapids, Mich. (35 percent).”

According to the study, texters are 49 percent more likely to be between the ages of 18 and 24, 14 percent more likely to be Latino and 24 percent more likely to be black. “El Paso and Dallas have above average Latino populations, Salt Lake City and Dallas have more 18-24 year olds on average and Memphis has a larger black population on average,” the report said.

New Social Times Server

You may have noticed that the site has been down this morning. There has also been connection issues over the past few months. I’ve now shifted Social Times to a new server and we will be back on a regular posting schedule. Let us know if you run into any problems with accessing the site.

Amazon Kindle 2 coming in Q1: Report

Amazon_Kindle_2_BGR.jpgRemember the rumor about how we’d see a new version of the Amazon Kindle before the end of the year? The one where, even though Amazon publicly denied it, people believed it anyway?

It turns out that it was in fact scheduled for release in October, but Jeff Bezos pulled the plug at the last minute because he wanted changes to the software. That’s the word from TechCrunch, which also said that the Kindle 2 is now scheduled for release early in 2009, according to sources close to the product’s development.

Interestingly, the images that had surfaced of the new Kindle in October “are real—it’s a longer device but not as thick as the original Kindle, and fixes some of the button issues that plague users (like accidental page turns).”

Warner Music Digital Sales Skyrocket

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Could the tide finally be turning for the music industry? CNET News is reporting that Warner Music Group, the record label behind Green Day, Madonna, and Linkin Park, saw impressive gains in digital music sales, which include sales from online stores like the iTunes Store and Napster as well as over-the-air mobile services such as Sprint Music.

The label said that digital sales in the quarter ended September 30 grew 27 percent to $167 million, which is up from $131 million during the same time last year.

This comes two weeks after Universal Music reported gains of 33 percent in its digital sales, a result that prompted parent company Vivendi to say in a statement that this “more than offset lower physical sales.”

Handmark Partners with Zed for Music Personalization Content for Smartphones

partners_logo_handmark.pngHandmark, a developer and distributor of mobile media for smartphones, announced a deal with mobile entertainment company Zed for its expansive real music tones catalogue. We all know that smartphone users over-index in mobile data usage and content consumption, and this is the segment that Handmark squarely focuses on with its PocketExpress on-device portal, which supports BlackBery, Palm, Windows, Sybmian, iPhone and Android-based devices.

While the content from Zed certainly bolsters Handmark’s offering, what remains a lagging question for me is continued consumer willingness to pay for such content, particularly in light of the emergence of free and/or create-your-own content (in this case ringtones, such as iPhone ringtone creation with DRM-free content) becoming increasingly available to consumers. In fact the ringtone market, while the early darling in the mobile content space, has flattened and is expected to decline over the coming years. I believe that ad-support has to be key to sustaining/driving the mobile content market over the coming years.