Mobile Content, Tablets, Apps

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RealNetworks, Inc., a provider of downloadable PC-based casual games, has acquired Helsinki-based Mr.Goodliving Ltd, a developer and publisher of mobile games throughout Europe. The acquisition establishes Real in the mobile games market, provides new market opportunities for its existing library of game titles, and will expand the reach of Mr.Goodliving’s titles into the US and Asia.

Posted May 13, 2005

I have urged major publishers to consider distributing content to the emerging mobile phone platforms. For all of the hype surrounding wireless (my own included), however, 2004 was not exactly the breakthrough year some had expected for mobile content. The fact is that U.S. customers are just getting their feet wet in premium mobile content compared to the faster buy-in from Europe and Asia. Part of this is a technology problem; but carriers and publishers also need to cultivate users more effectively than they have. Mobile content needs a jump-start.

Posted May 10, 2005

Nellymoser, Inc., a solutions provider for premium music services, mobile media, and commerce storefronts and branded infotainment portals, has closed a $5.3 million round of funding led by SOFTBANK Capital.

Posted May 10, 2005

NTT DoCoMo has announced that it will establish a wholly owned subsidiary, DoCoMo Capital, in California that will invest in venture companies that develop advanced mobile communications technologies.

Posted May 10, 2005

Verizon Communications Inc. has agreed with MCI, Inc. to further amend the terms of the Feb. 14, 2005 agreement to acquire MCI. As with the original offer and the revised bid of March 29, the MCI Board of Directors is unanimously recommending approval of the amended agreement to its shareholders.

Posted May 06, 2005

Sorrent, Inc., a creator and publisher of mobile entertainment, has raised $20 million in Series D financing led by expansion-stage venture capital firm, Granite Global Ventures. Sorrent's current investors, including BA Venture Partners, New Enterprise Associates (NEA), Globespan Capital Partners and Sienna Ventures, joined Granite Global Ventures in the round.

Posted May 06, 2005

With Ovum—an independent UK-based technology and research consultancy—forecasting mobile phone connections will hit the 2 billion mark next year, it’s no wonder content owners are scrambling to repurpose content for mobile device delivery.

Posted May 04, 2005

NTT DoCoMo, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, Sumitomo Mitsui Card and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking jointly announced that they have agreed to form a strategic, business and capital alliance for the launch of a credit-payment service using DoCoMo's "Mobile Wallet" phone equipped with smart-card functions for cashless payments.

Posted Apr 29, 2005

iAnywhere Solutions, Inc., a subsidiary of Sybase, Inc., has announced the upcoming release of AvantGo for the BlackBerry platform from Research In Motion (RIM). AvantGo for BlackBerry is intended to give millions of Blackberry users the latest business, sports, and entertainment news all optimized for their Blackberry devices. AvantGo for BlackBerry will be available for general release within the next 30 days.

Posted Apr 22, 2005

Sendia Corporation, a wireless business application platform company, has announced the availability of Wireless WorkSpace 2.0, a wireless application mobilization suite that gives enterprise and application developers the power to extend almost any enterprise application to popular wireless handheld devices.

Posted Apr 22, 2005

An international forum aimed at standardizing digital media and copy protection technologies is set to achieve a major milestone in its drive toward creating interoperable Digital Rights Management. This month, the International Digital Media Project (DMP)—which brings together more than 25 member companies across the digital content and device industries including Panasonic, Mitsubishi Electric Corp., Telecom Italia, and the BBC—is expected to release the industry’s first DRM technology specifications for Portable Audio and Video devices (PAVs).

Posted Apr 20, 2005

Google Inc. has released two new local services that are designed to enable people on-the-go to quickly and easily connect to the information they want from their mobile phones or wireless device. From local business listings to interactive street maps, users can now access Google Local information via a mobile Web browser and driving directions using Google SMS.

Posted Apr 15, 2005

Orb Networks, Inc., a developer of streaming media software and services, has announced the company’s streaming media software, Orb Media, will now be free to all users.

Posted Apr 01, 2005

Microsoft Corp. has announced the launch of MSN Video Downloads, which will provide daily television programming, including video content from, Food Network, FOX Sports, and IFILM Corp., for download to Windows Mobile-based devices such as Portable Media Centers and select Smartphones and Pocket PCs.

Posted Apr 01, 2005

The potential combination of Time Warner and Sprint, which was still only in the discussion phase as of January, has caused a great deal of speculation about how it would change the mobile content marketplace. Undoubtedly, the merger would further promote the “any time, any place,” content model, but it would also continue to concentrate the media market. This powerhouse partnership, if it were to come to pass, would give Time Warner and Sprint a so-called “quadruple play,” which would allow the partnership to offer a bundled package of high-speed Internet, television, long-distance, and wireless telecommunication services.

Posted Mar 30, 2005

NetManage, Inc., a software company that provides solutions for integrating, Web enabling and accessing enterprise information systems, has announced the introduction of OnWeb Mobile. The new product, which is an extension of OnWeb’s presentation and composite application capabilities, is designed to enable remote employees’ connectivity to existing corporate applications.

Posted Mar 29, 2005

I have been putting off writing this column for months, but I think it is time to come out and say it. Now is the time to ready your content for cell phone delivery. What seemed like a pipe dream of mobile telcos a year ago—getting people to draw down data and entertainment through their cell phones—is now close to the proverbial tipping point, and it is time for any recognizable content brand to stake a claim on the mobile phone frontier.

Posted Mar 23, 2005

Sybase, Inc., a provider of enterprise infrastructure and mobile software, has announced plans to extend support for the Research In Motion (RIM) BlackBerry wireless platform within its iAnywhere mobile product portfolio. With these enhancements, companies already using BlackBerry for enterprise email will be able to leverage their investments to enable access to other line of business applications, such as sales force automation and field service.

Posted Mar 18, 2005

Fast Search & Transfer (FAST), a developer of enterprise search and real-time alerting technologies, has unveiled FAST mSearch and has announced the formation of a strategic partnership with TietoEnator.

Posted Mar 18, 2005

Like survivors’ tales, the story of the Web’s role in the Asian earthquak and tsunami disaster will unfold for some time to come.

Posted Mar 17, 2005

Adobe Systems Incorporated and NTT DoCoMo, Inc. have announced an agreement for DoCoMo to adopt Adobe Reader LE software for its 3G FOMA handsets, in an effort to provide customers of the i-mode service with access to high-impact, reliable content delivered in the Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF).

Posted Mar 11, 2005

Crisp Wireless, a provider of mobile content management and wireless delivery software applications, has launched enhancements to its mLogic Store, a content management and ecommerce solution that supports Web and mobile discovery portals, over-the-air provisioning, flexible billing models, and digital rights management. Crisp Wireless’ mLogic Store is designed to enable businesses to increase revenues by distributing digital assets through various wireless distribution platforms such as Web sites, branded mobile portals, and in-store kiosks.

Posted Mar 08, 2005

SurfWax, Inc., a provider of Internet search and post-search solutions, has formally launched its Web-based Nextaris service. Nextaris is an integrated set of Web-based tools that are intended to allow users to easily search, capture, manage, securely share, and publish online information and collaborative blogs from the desktop or Web-enabled mobile devices.

Posted Mar 08, 2005

Random House, Inc., a consumer book publisher, has announced that through Random House Ventures, L.L.C., its investment subsidiary, it has taken a significant minority stake in VOCEL, a wireless producer and content distributor. Two of Random House, Inc.'s other branded information imprints also announced separate but related licensing arrangements with VOCEL, enabling subscribers to access distinctive content from their mobile phones: Living Language, publisher of foreign-language self-study programs, and Prima Games, publisher of video game strategy guides.

Posted Feb 25, 2005

MessageCast, Inc. has announced that its free LiveMessage alerting service is being used by podcasters as a way to let listeners know when a podcast is released. The RSS-compatible LiveMessage locates listeners on real-time networks then sends requested alerts to the best device--cell phone, PDA, PC desktop, or email. Podcasters using LiveMessage include The Rock and Roll Report, Hardcore Insomnia Radio, Michael Lehman, and Endurance Radio.

Posted Feb 22, 2005