Mobile DTV And Changing Content Pricing Strategies

The New York Times has an interesting article on how TV viewership has changed over the past few years and how broadcasters are adapting to the same. According to the article, TV broadcasters have lost over 25% of their audience in the past one year due to increased use of on-the-go devices such as cell phones or laptops.

Broadcasters are hence adapting themselves to the changine dynamics by investing heavily on mobile DTV that can bring uninterrupted programming even to viewers in a car traveling at high speeds. Thirty stations in the US have installed in equipments costing $75,000 to $150,000 for the purpose.

While the changing scenario means uninterrupted access to programming for the consumer, the cost of accessing content is also likely to go up. In a patent filed recently by Qualcomm, the company has elaborated on a technology that will change the price of access to content dynamically which would mean viewers on mobile TV may lose content access if they don’t agree to the price offered.

The inventors explain

“A server within a mobile TV broadcast network may negotiate the price for accessing a broadcast program with individual users via their mobile devices. The server may receive requests to access broadcast programs with price offers from mobile devices. The server may respond to price offers by accepting the price offer or by making a counter offer until a mutually agreeable price is identified. Alternatively, the server may implement any of a number of types of auctions for access rights to broadcast programs. Similar to negotiable dynamic pricing methods, once purchase requests for viewing access to broadcast content programs at current asking prices are accepted, the mobile TV broadcast service provider may transmit the appropriate decryption keys to the users who made accepted offers or bids.”

How could this be implemented? Let us take the example of broadcasting Super Bowl final over mobile TV. People traveling by cars outside the city accessing the live content from their mobile phones could be charged a premium considering that there is not much of an alternative viewing option. On the other hand, those watching the same content from inside a city could be charged less because there are always alternate viewing options.

Having said that, this is just a patent application and there is no guarantee for this to see the light of the day. Nevertheless, it gives interesting insights into how mobile TV pricing structures may change as we move forward.

Sprint To Offer Samsung Moment OS Update Soon

Folks at Android Central have reported that the first wave of upgrade to Samsung Moment’s Android OS could begin next week. According to their sources, Samsung Moment, which currently runs on Android OS 1.5 could directly be upgraded to the Android 2.1 version.

However, the first wave of upgrade beginning February 22 could require users to manually visit a Sprint store to get the update. The second round, which is expected to roll out on March 8 could be an over-the-air update.

These rumors are not confirmed, so treat it with skepticism for now.

[via Android Central]

Nokia N87 Smartphone Specs Leaked?

French website, BeGeek has published pictures of what they claim to be internal documents from Espoo that details technical specifications of the company’s upcoming N87 smartphone.

According to these rumors, the Nokia N87 will come with

12MP autofocus camera
Xenon Flash and night view mode
600MHz ARM Cortex 8 processor
3.7 inch AMOLED capacitive touch screen
Wi-Fi, A-GPS
FM radio and transmitter
16Gb/32Gb storage
Symbian OS

While it sounds impressive, we are still not convinced with the credibility of the information. So, as for now, take this with a grain of salt.

[via BeGeek, SlashGear]

Nokia Building Native Shopping List Manager Application

There are a lot of third party applications for smartphone devices that help you in managing your shopping list. However, it now appears that Nokia might want provide a native application for this purpose.

In a patent filed recently with the USPTO, the engineers have Nokia have described a smart application that will not only guide you to the particular location of the shop where you need to get the various items, but can also suggest alternate products if stocks are out – keeping in mind your allergies and dislikes!

Here are smart things this application can do

  • Store purchase history and notify user if they have missed any regular item that the software thinks you might have run out of
  • Alert user of discounts and offers
  • Use GPS tracking to guide you in the store for the location of various products
  • Suggest complimentary items. Have bread on your list? It will suggest butter

The technology appears interesting though it is to be seen whether or not such an applications lives to see the light of the day.  With such an application in place, we see Nokia signing deals with a Walmart or Target to encourage their users visit these outlets for maximizing their shopping experience Рin exchange for monetary deals with these retail majors.

What do you think? Will such an application encourage you to shop at specific retail stores? Tell us what you think.

Windows Mobile 7 To Offer Free GPS Navigation

One more nail lurking over the coffin for GPS navigation companies like TomTom. Rumors are doing the rounds that Windows Mobile 7, Microsoft’s soon to be launched mobile OS might come equipped with a free GPS navigation software that will make the likes of TomTom and Garmin redundant.

Windows Mobile blog, MSMobile makes this claim on their blog stating further that the OS will also bring Zune, Xbox, Bing integration, Games, music, new kernel and new UI.

You might recall that Android already offers free turn-by-turn navigation on their platform and Nokia too has introduced the same with Ovi maps. With Microsoft too jumping ship, it might not be too late before Apple offers a similar software too. For the record, Cupertino acquired maps development company PlaceBase last year and there are speculations over introduction of GPS soon.

Do you think TomTom and the likes have a niche to cater to in this new world order? Let us know what you think.

[MSMobiles via TechTree]

Apple Search Deal With Google Worth $100 Million

There were recent rumors about Apple replacing the Google search box on iPhone’s native Safari web browser with Microsoft’s Bing. It was being speculated that the deal with Bing was a short-term one – only until Apple develops its own search engine.

Business Insider has now quoted its sources as revealing that there is no truth in these rumors. It is being said that Apple has no intentions to venture into a business that is so heavily dominated by Google. As a matter of fact, the Apple Google search deal is said to be close to $100 – far too much money that Apple might not want to give away for its own search engine.

While it does make sense, it still does not appear to be the complete story. For one, Apple’s acquisitio of Quattro Wireless may not be strategically fulfilling if it were to be restricted to just ads alongside apps. With the launch of iPad, there is a serious potential for internet browsing to move away from open platforms towards closed platforms like the iPad. Under such a scenario, Apple could be losing out on a lucrative market if it did not venture into search.

So as things stand, we would like to treat the source’s denial with a bit of skepticism at the moment.

[via Silicon Alley Insider]

An Armband For Your iPhone? There’s A Patent For That

I have had absolutely no problem in carrying my iPhone in my trouser pocket. But Steve Jobs wants you to flaunt your iDevice wherever you go by designing a unique armband for the device.

A new patent for this armband filed recently with the USPTO claims existing armbands for devices like the iPhone do not offer great user experience and also hinder data input.

To counter the challenge, Apple has designed a new armband that “does not bow up above the input mechanism by an amount that would adversely affect the device operation“.

There’s not much to describe here. Check out the pictures below
iPhone Armband
iPhone Armband

Microsoft Planning To Buy RIM

Rumors about Microsoft launching their Zune phone have been swirling around for quite sometime. It is also speculated that MS would be making an announcement regarding this during the Mobile World Congress later this month.

However, news is in that Microsoft is also considering to buy one of the big guns in the mobile segment – including the biggest of them all, Nokia. However, the most likely candidate is said to be RIM.

Sources close to the All Things Digital blog have revealed that Steve Ballmer has indicated his interest in a buy out of RIM multiple times. No further news is known in this regard other than the fact that Palm is the least likely candidate.

We will keep you updated on this front as and when we see something cooking.

[via AllThingsD, Enterprise Mobile]

Palm Pre On AT&T Launching In May?

Documents submitted to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) by Palm suggest that the GSM version of Palm Pre might go on sale in the US around the 10th of May.

This has been revealed by members at the PreCentral forums who have compared the dates published on the FCC documents with actual launch dates for several of Palm’s earlier launches including the original Palm Pre, Pixi and Pixi Plus.

Palm Pre launched in the US on the Sprint network back in June 2009 and has since then launched variants like the Pre Plus in both America as well as in Europe.

Palm Pre on AT&T could be a boost for the GSM carrier whose exclusive deal with the iPhone is expected to end later this year. You might remember that Ma Bell had promised during CES 2010 to carry WebOS devices by the “first half of 2010“.

[via PreCentral, Forums]

HTC Scorpion Tech Specs Leaked

The tech-sphere is abuzz with rumors relating to upcoming HTC models lately and the newest to make it to the list is HTC Scorpion. Folks at AndroidSpin reveal an anonymous source as revealing crucial details about the HTC Scorpion. This is what we know at the moment

  • 1.5 GHz processor
  • Android 2.2 OS
  • Wimax availability

How credible is this news? We can’t say. But we would like to assume that if this is true, then we could be seeing one of the “smartest” phones around that can beat the processing speed of even the Nexus One hands down. What do you think?

[via Android Spin]