In business, timing is everything, so the announcement that Nokia has sold its mobile television unit to Wipro Technologies comes as a bit of surprise given the news yesterday that mobile TV is finally on the way. Of course, Nokia, the world’s largest cell phone manufacturer, hasn’t had a good year… for a couple of years. The company reported a 90 percent drop in profits for the first quarter of this year.
But more importantly, the sale of the unit doesn’t mean Nokia is out of the mobile TV market entirely. In fact, the company told Reuters this week that it will focus on the consumer side of things rather than on the business-to-business market. So consumers can still expect Nokia handsets that will support the mobile TV client, and hopefully soon. While the test rollout of mobile DTV will begin by late summer in the Baltimore-Washington, D.C. market, to date there are still no handsets that can receive the technology.
Flash Memory Going in a Flash
This week’s conference call by flash memory provider Sandisk has turned a few heads. Company CEO Eli Harari announced that the company expects to see a demand for flash memory and an increase in the price as well. The reason is far less of a surprise. New mobile devices, including the iPhone, T-Mobile G1 and the BlackBerry handsets all use flash memory, rather than mini hard drives. Flash memory remains ideal for small portable devices, and while failure was previously a problem the new solid-state memory is considered about as reliable and actually more durable than a hard drive.
World Mobile News: App Store Coming for China Mobile
Another mobile apps store is in the works, and this time a billion Chinese can’t be wrong. China Mobile has announced that it will launch its own application service by the end of the year. This comes as the company rolls out its next-generation mobile network. China Mobile is in the process of expanding its own 3G mobile network, which is based on a China-developed mobile standard known as TD-SCDMA.
Called the Mobile Market, the apps site will allow independent developers and firms to upload applications for sale in the store. While still in development, rumors are that it might carry iPhone applications. This has been a point of contention as China Mobile was looking to bring the iPhone to the Chinese market, but obviously Apple would oppose any competition for its own App Store.
It will be interesting to see also whether any of the Chinese apps manage to attract interest from the West, as well as how closely the Chinese regime monitors what apps will be downloadable. Given that the country still has a tightly controlled media, we can only guess that the motto might be “we have an app for that, but you’re not allow to use it.”
World Mobile News: India Continues to See Mobile Adoption Grow
Despite a worldwide recession, the sub-continent continues to grow. Indian mobile operators have added a record 15.65 million customers in March. Mobile subscriptions continue to rise in India, which remains the world’s fastest-growing wireless market. In fact, the country has seen growth of nearly 50 percent – or more than 130 million users – to 391.7 million in the last 12 months.