|The keys to Jack Dorsey's retirement fund?|
As they say on their blog.:
"...we’re updating Twitter for mobile web (mobile.twitter.com) in an effort to give every person on the planet a consistent Twitter experience."MobilePhonesFan sees this as a smart move.
Concerns over high data rates and what phone makers call 'convenience factors' (e.g.: long battery life, tough and reliable handsets with readily available, inexpensive spare parts) are a big part of why many emerging markets show slow take-up of online social services. Most feature phones can overcome those objections.
Pointedly, Twitter's revised mobile app is claimed to use one-third less bandwidth. This new-found electromagnetic thrift helps make Twitter "... the most accessible way to connect with the world, even with the weakest signals and the simplest devices." Perfect for tweet-starved folks in India or Indonesia. Or Derbyshire. Or Mississippi.
|Nokia's Asha Touch 311|
The Finnish company claims to make phones that cost less and yet 'do' more, offering up their handsome new Asha Touch line as example. True, they sure don't look like inexpensive phones. And yet they are, with prices ranging from €59 to €89 -- roughly $80 to $115.
|Nokia's Asha Touch 305|
In line with Twitter's thinking, it's clear Nokia are banking on demand for mobile Internet in developing markets.:
"By introducing the Asha Touch phones to the market, we're accelerating our commitment to connect the next billion consumers. These phones deliver on what young, urban people value most -- a great-looking device; and an intuitive and affordable experience for connecting to the internet, to their friends, and to a world of entertainment, web apps and content."-- Mary T. McDowell, Nokia Exec. VP Mobile Phones
But there's another reason for Nokia's shift toward inexpensive touchscreen devices. Their traditional dominance in the low-end has been undermined. Increasingly, buyers are opting for low-cost Android smartphones instead of featurephones ...for more than a decade, the part of Nokia's catalog with the highest customer loyalty.
Worse, thanks to slow sales of their Lumia (Windows Phone) line, Nokia is now finding their product-mix suddenly bottom-heavy. In a world market that's rapidly shifting to smartphones, over 80% of Nokia's revenue comes from feature phones. It's because of this imbalance that Nokia lost the #1 phone maker crown to Samsung, last quarter.
That's where the Asha line comes in. By promising smartphone-like looks and functionality at featurephone prices, Nokia hopes to lure back some of those defecting buyers. “People see the smartphone phenomenon,” says Nokia VP McDowell. “They want apps. They want browser access. There’s just a smaller wallet.”
|New Twitter Lite: Less Bandwidth - Tastes Great|
Better-designed Web apps means even small, low-cost phones can provide a good user experience. Even the White House seems to be helping Nokia's cause. Last month, President Obama called on all US federal agencies to optimize their websites and critical services for mobile devices, with an initial review in just 90 days.
Who knows? With so much help from app developers, Nokia could yet turn things around.