What You (may have) Missed – Part 48

Another action packed month, and as the eagle-eyed among you may have noticed, this is our 48th monthly round-up, which, if your maths is working, will tell you that we are four years old this month, and still fired with the same enthusiasm for mobile marketing as we were on day one.No need to send us a card, just spread the word and tell all your colleagues what a useful resource we provide.
Nokia took everyone by surprise towards the end of October, launching a lawsuit against Apple for allegedly infringing its patents for GSM, UMTS and wireless LAN (WLAN) standards in its iPhone handsets. Don’t expect a quick conclusion to this one…
There was a healthy amount of M&A activity, with Ipercast acquiring the technology and production assets of 3G Factory, which deploys and operates 3G mobile multimedia services; social and mobile strategist Adeye buying Storyz; and ROK Entertainment Group snapping up mobile gaming company Player One.
ROK also found time to launch Ideas TV, a Mobile TV service, in the Dominican Republic, and to strike a deal with football content website Goal.com to deliver Goal.com’s most popular online services to mobile phones in selected territories worldwide.
Tech firm SLA Mobile unveiled an interstitial mobile advertising solution targeting mobile and 3G data card users, while deCarta took the wraps off deCarta Mobile Search, a brand-able mobile local search alternative to traditional Internet search engines, designed specifically for mobile operators, directory service providers, and handset manufacturers.
TravellingWave launched what it claims is the first voice-powered text prediction application for mobile phones. The VoicePredict software will enable mobile users to input text using their voices and by typing one or two letter key presses per word spoken. And off-portal mobile display ad network Todacell announced the formal launch of its proprietary ad flow management solution, which it says has a proven record of increasing campaign conversion rates and other results-based advertiser and publisher metrics.
Meanwhile, comScore unveiled comScore Plan Metrix Mobile, the next generation of its Plan Metrix media planning tool, for use with mobile consumer segments. According to comScore, Plan Metrix Mobile provides marketers and their agencies with superior data quality, by combining reported mobile behaviour measurement and key mobile device ownership characteristics with comprehensive attitudinal, lifestyle and product usage information.
Social mobile application store Mobango announced a partnership with RingRing Media, the independent mobile media planning and buying agency. The partnership will give RingRing’s clients access to a huge mobile distribution community, with over 5 million members and more than 2,500 supported devices, and over 550 million apps already downloaded. RingRing Media’s platform will handle effective premium mobile advertising campaigns, across geographical location and optimised for handset screen size and model.
And mobile ad network 4th Screen Advertising struck a Europe-wide mobile advertising deal with mobile music discovery provider, Shazam. The deal will see 4th Screen’s ad serving technology platform, Mpression, serving targeted ads into the UK, Germany, France and Spain.
NeoMedia Technologies appointed Neustar as the exclusive patent licensing agent in the US for its intellectual property for two-dimensional (2D) barcodes, and also announced a partnership with Spanish firm Bems, which specialises in mobile solutions based on 2D barcodes, to distribute 2D barcode solutions throughout Latin America.
i-migo revealed the first stage of its new, patented mobile phone security system. It’s a Bluetooth, device, much like a key fob, which pairs up with the phone. So long as the key fob and the phone remain within range of each other, nothing happens. But if the phone is taken out of Bluetooth range of the key fob and the connection is lost, it sets off an audible and visible alarm on the key fob, while at the same time locking the handset.
The Mobile Entertainment Forum’s (MEF) released its third Business Confidence Index (BCI), compiled by KPMG, which predicts an average revenue growth of 33% for 2010 for the mobile entertainment industry, a 6% increase on the corresponding figure for 2009.
And application developer Simon Maddox revealed that his 0870 app for the iPhone launched had saved consumers more than a quarter of a million pounds in the two weeks after its launch on the Apple App Store. The app suggests lower-cost standard landline alternatives to 087- and 084-prefixed numbers.
Also on the apps front, application developers welcomed Apple’s move to allow them to offer in-application purchases within free iPhone apps. Previously, Apple had only allowed in-app purchases in paid-for apps.
And there was evidence that retailers are waking up to the mobile opportunity, as fashion retailer Oasis selected ExactTarget to power email and text message marketing campaigns throughout the UK and Ireland, and fashion, lifestyle and sports e-tailer MandMDirect.com appointed mobile agency Sponge to power a range of mobile services.
Online and mobile dating service Flirtomatic secured its first US operator deal as it was selected by MetroPCS Wireless as a preferred mobile social networking service, accessible via the MetroPCS mobile web portal.
Finally, as the postal strike tested the patience of UK consumers and b
usinesses, mobile ecard firm Sharpcards reported that it had seen a 63% increase in unique buyers compared to the monthly average, and, on the first day of the national postal strike, the highest amount of traffic on the ecards service ever.
That’s one firm, presumably, that’s in no hurry to see the postal workers and the management settle their differences.
That’s it for now. Check back regularly for all the latest news from the world of mobile marketing.

David Murphy
Editor