Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Iphone IV Will it live up to the hype?

The most important feature for ad practitioners is the new mobile ad component.

IAd. IAds go live July 1 with commitments from Nissan, Citi, Unilever, AT&T, General Electric, Sears, Target, JC Penney and Best Buy. So far, Apple has $60 million in ad commitments. EMarketer projects the mobile ad market will hit $166 million in 2010. Developers will collect 60% of iAd revenue, with Apple pocketing the remainder. (NYTimes Bits Blog)

As far as features go, the phone is red carpet sexy. The Facetime video chat feature is getting a lot of buzz, as well as high definition video and even a gyroscope to make gaming more interesting.

CEO Steve Jobs also revealed that Apple expects to control 48% of the mobile ad display market in the later part of this year. Courtesy of AdAge, here is a run down of the new features that will make this a sweet contender

Video calling. The new iPhone has a front-facing camera and will be able to make video calls via WiFi through a service called FaceTime. Because of WiFi, these calls are free and won't count against AT&T's monthly data plans (AT&T is the exclusive wireless carrier for the iPhone). How big is this? Well, how popular is Skype? The smartphone has already become less about voice and more about data usage, and Apple just launched a service that supports talk without buying minutes from a carrier. Good timing, too: Last week HTC released Evo, a new phone on Sprint's first high-speed data network that supports video chat, too. (Engadget)

Video capture. Sure, the iPhone 3GS shoots video, but the new iPhone will shoot in HD, or close to it, and has the promise of video editing capability with the coming iMovie app for the iPhone. (Gizmodo)

More battery, more power. Battery life is up to seven hours of talk from five on the old phone, which runs on an A4 chip, the same as iPad. Also, it has a gyroscope, opening up more big possibilities for gaming.

Netflix. The movie service's CEO, Reed Hastings, joined Mr. Jobs on stage and introduced Netflix for iPhone. The free app will stream movies via AT&T's network or over a WiFi connection. Just make sure your data plan can handle it. (AllThingsD)

Bing. This is no zinger for Google because its search engine will remain the default in the new Apple operation system. But Microsoft's search engine Bing will now be an option, joining Yahoo. Mobile search ads will account for $143 million in ad spending in 2010, according to eMarketer.

AT&T could cash in. Activities such as streaming movies or uploading videos edited with the new iMovie app require a lot of data and could mean greater costs for iPhone users, especially as AT&T just changed its fees for data last week. AT&T introduced a new fee structure last week that got rid of the $30 all-you-can-eat data plan, replacing it with two metered plans at $15 for 200 megabytes and $25 for 2 gigabytes. Today, 98% of smartphone users will save money with the new structure since they use less than 2G, according to company numbers, but that could change if users up their data use with the new features announced today. Analysts say AT&T changed data charges to lure just-minutes users to data plans, and will reap the benefits from existing customers later once data consumption increases.

How well will this do in the marketplace? Let me put it this way. This morning I saw my Blackberry quivering in the fetal position.

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