By the time you read this, over $24 million in donations will have been collected via premium text messaging for the Red Cross’ relief efforts to aid those impacted by the horrific tragedy of the earthquakes in Haiti. To be sure, this is a credit to the generosity of the American people and to the need, which remains great. It also marks a watershed moment for mobile giving. There were milestones, however, along the way. Crises drive inspiration, invention, and adoption.
In December 2004, back when I was working for Verizon Wireless, a team of which I was a member determined donation via text [...]
The Mobile Premier Awards, perhaps the most prestigious startup competition in the mobile business, has named 48 companies to participate in its semi-final round. They were each nominated by their local MobileMonday chapters (groups that meet on a monthly basis around the world to talk about the hottest topics and issues in the industry).
An international jury will select 20 finalists from this list that will each get a chance to pitch their company at the Mobile Premier Awards ceremony on Feb. 15 in Barcelona. The event will take place during the Mobile World Congress.
Here is the list of nominees:
In December, Indian SMS-based social network GupShup announced that they had amassed more than 25 million users. A few weeks ago, they inked a deal with Facebook to let the social network’s users go mobile. GupShup CEO Beerud Sheth (in photo) claims to account for 5 percent of all SMS traffic in India.
Now, Webaroo, the parent company behind GupShup, has announced a fourth round of funding led by Globespan Capital Partners, with additional financing from existing investors Charles River Ventures and Helion Venture Partners. This is on top of $22 million in prior funding.
Venky Ganesan, managing [...]
A report from mobile analytics firm Motally finds that outside north America, the Symbian operating system used by Nokia still dominates Windows and Android phones.
Motally’s analysis says the future isn’t all about smartphones:
The most interesting trend in the data is the large amount of mobile website traffic that is done on feature phones, particularly in regions like South America, Asia and even Europe. These regions house the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China), which many economists believe will be major drivers of global economic growth in coming years.
The Nokia [...]
It looks like a lot of us enjoy torturing island natives during our spare time. Bolt Creative said today that its Pocket God game has sold more than two million copies on the iPhone.
The company contends that it is the first to create a paid app that has crossed the two-million sold mark. Other higher-priced apps have generated more revenue, but the 99 cent Pocket God app has had tremendous staying power since its launch in January 2009.
The game, which has a sick sense of humor, is the brainchild of Dave Castelnuovo and Allan Dye, a two-man team whose efforts have become a textbook case on how [...]
Scale is an application released today for Blackberry smartphones that takes the temperature of your relationships based on how often you interact with various contacts. A color-coded dashboard provides an automated “heat map” of your professional and personal networks, helping you to identify relationships that need attention.
The application comes from a bootstrapped New Jersey-based startup called Socialibrium.
In addition to monitoring the intensity of your relationships, Scale also consolidates your communications history with a particular person into a single view. The application [...]
Mplayit is known for its mobile app catalog that lives inside Facebook. There, you can shop for apps for your phone using a full-sized display instead of the one on your handset. Many of the popular titles like Sims 3 and ShopSavvy have playable previews. The arcade tracks the hottest apps and offers recommended titles.
The 9-person company already has deals in America with Sprint and AT&T, but most recently Mplayit has been chasing partnerships outside America. In November, the company announced a deal with Telefonica O2 in Europe. This week, it added two more deals with Australia’s [...]
Those lucky South Koreans get everything first. Motorola’s newest Android phone, the Motoroi, will go on sale from SK Telecom early in February. Specs-wise, it’s like an updated Droid with one heck of a camera.
The phone’s leading feature is an 8 megapixel camera with a Xenon flash. It can record video in 720p HD format, which Moto claims is the first time any Korean phone has been able to do it. South Korea’s broadband networks make America’s seem like a bunch of old dialups. They’re capable of shuffling around high-definition movies.
The Motoroi will be the [...]
Boku is on a roll. The mobile payments company bought two companies, combined them and, in June, launched its service, which lets people pay for online goods and games with their mobile phone accounts. Now it has raised $25 million in a third round of funding.
The San Francisco-based company was one of the finalists in our startup competition at MobileBeat. Now its service is available in 58 countries, and it has more than 1,000 online merchants, game publishers and others using its service. DAG Ventures led the round, and investors Benchmark Capital, Index Ventures and Khosla Ventures also participated.
Even as the global advertising industry entered a significant contraction last winter, the nascent mobile ad market started heating up.
Why? Credit the iPhone.
First, publishers of new mobile applications started paying other publishers every time a user clicked on their ad to download their applications (cost per click, or CPC). Second, brand advertisers sought to reach iPhone users as they surfed more frequently on their applications.
Back in November 2008, while the rest of the economy started to tank, Jason Spero, vice president of marketing for Admob, the little mobile ad company created in [...]